Work on the unfinished Troll Screamers shown above as well as several NEW Troll Screamers will resume soon. I have several body parts ready to go for the new creations.

Sunday, 28 February 2010


Not much to show in this update at the moment as you can see first of all with the male Troll Screamer who will become a wizard later.

I have finished his eyes, ears, nose, nostrils & enhanched his mouth a little more along with his bottom gum. His hat IS completed & ready for fitting which i will be doing right after posting this update. I will also be making the arms & legs for him & the female Troll screamer who is to become a witch below.

She has ALL the same completed sections as the male above but she also has her hat fitted. Without additional items such as hats etc each Troll Screamer IS around 30/35 inches approximately in height from the top of the head to soles of the feet. Additional items such as hats, wands, staffs etc will be defined by each item in turn.

As i was working on these two guys i have been getting some character ideas from my wife & children. I told them i DO NOT want to simply do copyrighted characters how ever. So far they & i have come up with 6 additional new characters for my Troll Screamer series:


Whilst working on these first two Troll Screamers it occurred to me i was going to do a little give away competition when i reached my first 100th post & then every 100 after that. For some reason i forgot to get anything ready for it Doh!. SO, i figured since i am working on this new series of Troll Screamers what if my readers would like the oppertunity to win one?

ALL my Troll Screamers are to be ORIGINAL ONE OFF creations. Even if anyone copies my creations they WON'T be 'original Darkside Creations' created by me. I just need to know if anyone would be interested in this little give away?

Here are my current thoughts on how it will be run & when etc.

Since i missed the first 100th posting i have decided to start this from my 200th posting which won't take me long to reach.

The give away rules i have come up with so far ar as follows. Please note these rules 'may' be changed 'slightly' as i work on this idea:

1] An 'automatic' start date will commence from the 200th posting (ANY subject) by ME here in THIS blog. THAT date is of course unknown at this time. I WILL how ever confirm the start date of said in advance.

2] The PRIZE Troll Screamer 'character' is as yet un-specified but WILL be created & shown on the notification of the START of the competition.

3] The single outright winner will be selected from a pre-set number of posters something like 20. This IS not the final decision at this time.

4] A 2nd & 3rd place winner(s) WILL be set too.

5] 1st prize a fully finished signed Troll Screamer

6] 2nd & 3rd prizes will be a complete set of  'official' Troll Screamer 'blank' parts so you can build & create your very OWN Troll Screamer(s). These parts WILL be ALL the 'main' pieces required to create a Troll Screamer. You WILL of course have to create 'some' items yourself ie: finger/toe nails, hair, skin & paint it yourself too of course etc. Each 2nd & 3rd place winners WILL also  recieve a complete step by step HOW TO guide on CD ROM on how to build the Troll Screamer up. So even IF you have 'never' worked with paper mache before you CAN still do it & have your very own when finished.

Thats it so far. I have to work out a few final details but they WILL follow closely to whats listed above. So what can YOU do whilst waiting for this to get going then?

Well just let me know if you are interested in this give away. Either comment here or any of the following updates on the creation of my first two new Troll Sreamers or Email me here. I am only going ahead with this give away IF i get enough positive feedback for it. So if YOU want to win one let me know BEFORE it all kicks off. Do you know someone who might like to win one or at least the 2nd or third place prizes so they can build theyre own? Let them know today.

More on this soon.

P.S. Permission IS given to copy ANY part of this post by way of spreading the word without asking me. I ONLY ask you DO NOT alter any of the text or images attached. Thank you.

Thursday, 25 February 2010


For quite sometime now i have been looking for something to call my own. my own little PM character that not only could be posed in as many ways as i see fit but also to take on 'other' characteristics or looks too. I think i may have found it. Not only found it but have actually been making it/them without realising i had all this time too. Irony creeps up on the best of us many times un-noticed does it not lol.

Dan Reeder the undisputed father/creator of monsters & specifically monster screamers. Set the presidence for said little fantasy creatures of wonder not to mention other marvelous creations besides. It happened that one day the paper mache group i am part of Paper Mache Art decided to set out a new anual challange to honour Dans wonderful little creations by getting some of us the group members to create our 'own' little screamers.

I wanted to do something that was a little off the set mark seeing as i don't like to outright copy other peoples style or work even though of what was created 'none' were directly copying Dans creations. So my first 'Troll' Screamer Sluggich was born shown below.

I also wanted to add a NEW dimension, a new twist to my Troll Screamers too besides the outward looking form of a screamer (a big mouth) i wanted to add the dimension of 'defying gravity' to each one also. As you can clearly see with Sluggich (pre-final painting) he actually appears to be falling over but won't shown below. There is NO camera trickery or image editing involved here i assure you. What you see IS the final TRUE finished position of his whole body.

You may even think he is standing on ALL of those massive feet to achieve this stunt but he IS only standing on the 'back half' of his huge feet. Yet still he will not fall over lol.

Soon after i decided that by making my 'own' little monster screamer i would still not be directly copyig Dans original creatures i would in my own way be honouring his creatures. So then MOTS was born. Again MOTS has his own 'unique' gravity defying stunt too as again you can see below. He IS only standing on his front toes as with Sluggich NOT his whole feet.

Even though MOTS has a tail & large feet he is neither standing on ALL of his huge feet nor is he relying on his tail either for balance. Look more closely at the other pictures below. If you still can't see it clearly click on each image to see a blown up image.

Can you see the 'shadows' under his tail & feet? As with Sluggich MOTS is ONLY standing on a small section of his large feet lol. You can find more pictures & information on Sluggich & MOTS in my older posts. The building of MOTS can be found in one of my YouTube videos too in which i actually 'rock' him then wave a piece of stiff card under his tail to show it is NOT supporting him. Yet he IS top heavy too  to look at!.

Not long after the birth of my first two screamers i set about creating 'more' Troll Screamers after having decided to 'alter' the original deigns of them as you can see below with 4 of my newest Troll Screamer WIPs.

A very different styled Troll Screamer indeed. At the first day of creation with these NEW style Troll Screamers one of my sons Simon said he would love to see me turn one of these into a magic book reading & wand or staff weilding wizard-like troll. At the time i never gave it much thought. I DID how ever want to give these new trolls a theme of sorts but in relation to being a family group. Each having a simple function or status within a family setting.

The other day though whilst working on the second of the new Troll Screamers Simon again raised his thoughts but made it more into a more formal request this time. Below is the little fellow i was working on at the time.

So NOW i realised i HAVE my 'creatures' to work with i can NOW set about creating 'charactors' & 'situations' for them to apear in. With all that said the first new Troll Screamer  WILL be a book holding staff or wand waving wizard. Complete with big witch/wizards peeked hat. Flowing robe like garb & wild out grown whiskers too lol.

To add to this new birth in my creativety i would like to remind everyone i DO NOT use wire frames or supports. Cloth or any other none paper materials in my FINAL creations. I 'may' use none paper or cardstock materials to 'copy' a shape or form but ALWAYS ALL none paper materials ARE removed BEFORE final completion of each project. The ONLY none traditional wood & paper materials i use are: Latex balloons, PVA glue, assorted paper & cardstock including cheap tissue papers, plastic or rubber balls for copying spheres or ball forms & cheap catering foil for mass copying whole forms. So EVEN the clothing of these new Troll Screamers WILL be paper based no matter HOW it may look on completion. I assure you otherwise.

I WILL run a feature on the complete process of HOW i create these guys from balloons to final creation but later. For now you can see how the first of these new projects are developing in the side column under the heading W.I.P WATCH. Also each new Troll Screamer WILL be a one off 'unique' character design. So if & when they go up for sale anyone wishing to purchase them WILL be assured they are getting a totally unique original Darkside creation.

Monday, 22 February 2010


So i finally got 'another' project finished on time actually the day before my deadline at that my youngest daughters 16th birthday which was this Sunday gone. I got the project finished on the Saturday evening before lol.

I was going to just do another series of static pictures to show you the finished project but thought you might better understand the design by seeing it in a live action video short lol. So without any further rambling delay from me here is the finished project video short:

A link to the YouTube version (some sound & music running) can NOW be seen on YouTube. The link is at the bottom of this page in the er!, list of links lol.


Dan Reeder is to speak up in Seatle so it seems though he was trying to keep it quiet. One of his growing followers on his forum found out it appears lol. It by all accounts is a short free for all seminar thing in which Dan is going to give a short speach & slide show on paper mache. You go get Them Dan.

Anyone interested you can get information on Ignite Seattle here:

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Down the right hand column you can see the latest updates to some of my W.I.Ps (Work In Progress) i have been working on in between main project HOW TO's that get posted in the main blog column. I just updated the images today.

Friday, 19 February 2010


Just a quick note to say that my dolphin money bank just recieved it's second & final coating of Dragon Skin. I have chosen to give it a black bone mix skin coating The next installment of the feature post very soon.

Thursday, 18 February 2010


Many who know me in much tighter arty paper mache related social circles (look around my blog to fill in the obvious gaps here those who are newbie visitors to my blog) know i only go art supply shopping once a lunar month (every 4 weeks). Normally on a Tuesday at that. Since travelling great distances is uncomfortable thanks to my culmination of dissabilities that have me wheelchair bound for any walking distance over 5 yards, i then prefer to obtain my required art supplies from as 'local sources' as possible. Now because the art supplies i require on any normal art supply run can only be found in certain shops (stores) thanks to a distinct lack of specialised 'art only' shops & wheelchair accessable shops (stores) at that i have to go from one end of our main shopping area (a long street essentially with some hills, twists & turns to it) to a 'limited' number of known places were i can find my art needs.

By the time i get 'up the street' alone as we call it i am already in a great deal of pain & therefore unable to do much more than visit 'known' generalised shops (stores) for my art needs & they only carry a fraction here & there of what i actually need at any given time. So saying i am never in any condition to go trooping around looking for any 'new' art supply sources at the best of times. This particular months art supply run however was delayed by one day. On the day i would normally be out my youngest daughter who is about to turn 16 years old next week (& who i am making the custom dolphin money bank for too) ventured out on public transport for the first time on her own. It turns out as a stroke of luck she decided to have a look around the 'other' local shops (do i have to keep adding the word stores now?) that are situated in a section of street i don't have time to or am in too much pain to venture over to for a look on my own.

On her little day out my daughter came across this little 'gem' of a find.

It turns out it was not far from where we'd be dropped off by taxi, only a two minute walk in the wrong direction. So we went for a quick look. The store front immediately looked hopeful & retained an exsisting wheelchair accessable like concrete ramp which was a bonus from the off. So a quick look in the window I gladly ventured inside. You always know you are in the right place when the shop owners or staff make an effort to hold the door for you. You would be supprised how many will watch me & B (Barbara my wife) struggle through a door with my wheelchair.

The instant i entered the store it was clear this is a 'multipurpose card' & or 'gift creation/enhancement' related art shop, BUT!, as many long time paper mache artists WILL know more than half the tools & or materials used in gift cards or gift wrapping enhancement supplies CAN be used perfectly as well in paper mache construction too. Indeed as i moved further into the small shop i soon saw there were indeed a nice mix of 'other' art related supplies too not just card or gift creation supplies. A small selection of paints water colour & acrylic, specialised paint brushes with assorted refined shaped tips which i quickly grabbed two smaller packets of. Some selections of blank papers, etching foils & more. Craft knives singular or in medium & large sets. Again i grabbed a single craft knife & one of the smaller sets. I figured 4 years of using a more bulky Stanly multipurpose craft knives was enough. I could NOW get new specialised craft knives & blades right here & at a great low price too.

Now as i say the shop IS small on the interior, how ever as far as i know it's only been open around 3 short months. I spent a good 30 minutes looking around & was immediately VERY impressed at what i saw. Although the amounts of each item did appear to be currently limited what i found there around 30% of which fit MY paper mache 'tools & material' requirements. Now as i say the shop to my knowledge has ONLY been open a few short months. Most people starting a NEW business such as this aren't going to want to clutter up the shop with countless items that aren't going to sell. Any owner to a NEW business IS going to want to 'get a feel' for whats wanted. Saying that how ever this owner HAS the right idea of just what supplies to start stocking up with.

From what i currently saw in the shop i have the feeling i could expect to find a LOT more items i CAN use for my paper mache art in the near future. Space may not be a premium, but a wise head for just what potential artistic customers may require IS high on the ajenda here for sure I have the feeling this IS going to be one 'hot' little shop & i KNOW already that it IS going to be the 'first' port of call 'every' art run from now on.

The art supply shop is run by the most friendly & delightful person you could ever want to meet even briefly in my/this case: Susan Nicholsen. Susan informed me she was in the midst of preparing a website too: Susan can be reached for further details which i haven't & was unable to provide here:  The website currently doesn't have much to show but from what i saw at the actual shop it promises to be a great little place to frequent in store & online too. I know i will.


So finally all air dried not directly by or near to any radiators etc. The cash trap box section is workable again. So without any further rambling from me lets move on to the next stage shall we.

To begin with 'before' i begin to add the foam effect to the top of the cresting wave i need to position the & fix in place the cash/dolphin holder slot in the top of the wave. Here it is finally dried after i decided to add a few more layers of strips for good measure. I figured since this dolphin is to be removed & replaced often then best play safe & make it good & strong by adding a few more layers of strips. It has around 6/8 layers of strips on it now more than enough for such a small area. I, er!, forgot to keep count sorry. That said a little common sense here will help YOU determin how thick to make this piece i would assume?

Becuase i first layered the dolphins 'support' underneath with foil it slides right off the dolphin.

The masking tape covered foil then itself slides right out of the coin slot too.


I cut a hole roughly the shape of the coin slot/dolphin holder into the wave. It needs to be as close as possible to this piece so draw around it to make it right. But when cutting it out IF you are a little 'crude' don't worry as i will show you in a few minutes this is to be reinforced & covered up anyway. So any rough edges WILL be supported fully & hidden too.

I inserted the coin slot/dolphin holder but DID NOT glue it in place YET as i want to set the angle for the dolphin when it sits in the coin slot/dolphin holder for the final design.

I set the final desired angle WITH the dolphin in place this way i can see it's right before fixing in place perminantly.

Now to the foam on the top of the cresting wave. For this i am going to use some stage 1 pulp 'nuggets'. That is to say pulp that has gone through the blender as wet paper then left to dry FULLY into odd random sized 'nuggets' as you can see here. If these were to be put through a blender again but this time dry they would produce the much finer shredded 'cotton' like material that you would then mix any desired form of glue in with to make pulp or paper clay etc. As i say though i want to use them as here in theyre 'nugget' stage.

Slowly & steadily i then hot glued each nugget in place around the top lip of the wave & the coin slot/dolphin holder as shown.

The final result. The whole thing is NOW ready to be Dragon Skinned to both smooth out & add  a little more strength to the project. I will be Dragon Skinning the 'inside' only of the cash trap box too. The inside of the wave & the outside of the cash trap box will simply be painted directly as these are initially hidden from everyday sight. I also don't want to alter the near perfect fitting they have right now.

So i will get to Dragon skinning this right away & will be back with the final section of this feature where i will then add the other dolphins to it. Once it's again all dried out. As before it WILL have to be dried by air with NO direct heat source risking the project warpping. Even at this near completed stage even though the whole thing IS quite strong warping CAN still be a factor since the Dragon Skin will to some degree re-soften the project no matter what glue i had used in the constrution.


More & more i am reading within many of the groups, blogs & forums i frequent (& getting angry over it) that PM artists are STILL getting 'negative' or 'suprised' reactions to a piece of art being made out of paper mache. The question in my mind that is growing faster than my creative ideas (Trust me i can't keep up with my idea's either) Just WHY is it this way?

Paper mache HAS been around for some 4,000 years now. The Egyptians used it, in more recent times the French brought it back into public attention with such pomp & pshion even getting to name the very art form they didn't even invent for what may be ALL future human history for that matter!. The Japanese have used it to make houses centuries before the French came across it. I even read somewhere that even some cavemen were experimenting with it (brain surgery too but thats another story for another day). Yet it still is thought of today as nothing more than a whimiscal art form best left to the noisy messy classrooms of 5 year olds!.

That said here in the UK paper mache pieces specifically black laqured pieces of antique paper mache from around the 1800's are very sought after & can go for several thousands of pounds (UK Sterling). Yet STILL i have read people claiming it's nothing more than a pre-school whimsy & thought of as nothing more than a balloon pig or bowl making pass time. Dare i repeat this? Not even art!. I even know some 'respectable paper mache artists' who frown deeply on balloons coming anywhere near paper mache in refference never mind actual use.

I use ballloons when ever i require most any large armature form. More so in a dragons head or torso granted, you would even expect it to be so since they lend their basic unaltered shape perfectly to those forms. You would be very supprised to know just how many of my 'none' balloon shaped pieces actually started out as a balloon of some sort be it a small, large or pre-shaped crude animal shaped balloons.

The question is then: Will this unfair negative attitude EVER change? Still many artists are shying away from public gatherings where community art fares are held. Buying or selling paper mache art too is proving to be a big no no to some myself included. Paper mache artists are EVEN bowing down to pressure & freely re-naming their art form so many (in MY opinion) stupid 'none' paper mache related terms that i simply will not repeat here as i find this practice & the derogitory terminology used offensive not only to MY own art but to the art form itself.

Some so called 'jewelry' artists can simply walk along a local beach gather modern day glass fragments that have been washed & rubbed by the tides & sands into granted some very interesting forms. Stick it to some cheap metal chain or shoe string type cords & call it art. Whilst others can take some of what appear to be to ME to be nothing more than random photographs of a hillside during a spectacular sunset in black & white exposure. Then bang it in a wooden or plastic picture frame & call it art. Going to the extreme some 'ahem!' so called artists can stand two house bricks next to each other. Put it in the middle of an empty large room in some private art gallery & call such abominations art too.

So WHY this stigmata hanging over paper mache art then?

Back to my earlier question: Will this way of thinking ever change? Well no, you want to know why? Because it's just too easy to go with 'whats in fashion' instead of sticking with something that HAS real meaning & place in the art world. Sadly the stagnent negative way of thinking is NEVER going to change unless not just paper mache artists force a change but the none creative artists among us who are paper mache art lovers. They are going to be the ONLY ones to make this much needed change. HOW?

Join forums, blogs, make websites. Be more active supporting them too. Be more open about enjoying this art form both in admiring & buying it too. Make the artists you are following or buying from feel like they ARE valued as the TRUE artists they ARE. More so make the world know it too. Going to an art fair? Not seeing any catagories specifically created for paper mache as a stand alone art form at the fare? Then find an official & complain 'your favourite' art form is not being reflected in the so called art fair then.

Let us assume then your part of a group or forum etc & see some one using a loose term for paper mache art instead of the real title it deserves. State so in a none rude but defensive comment to hopefully get the error fixed. Do what it takes to get the general public to understand this IS a REAL art form not some cheap whimsical fly by night thing that none real artists do because they can not afford the price of two house bricks to lean together in some creepy private gallery somewhere.

Paper mache IS art for crying out loud, help make the world see it too today.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Down the right hand column you can see the latest updates to some of my W.I.Ps (Work In Progress) i have been working on in between project HOW TO's that get posted in the main blog column. I just updated the images today.

Monday, 15 February 2010


So back to the dolphin money bank now it has fully dried here is the explination as to WHY i removed the entire insides in the last stage as promised.

I lined around 1 3rd of the way up the 'inside' of the wave as you can see here with foil. I also used only enough masking tape to keep the foil as close to the shape of the 'inside' of the wave as possible. Have you worked it out yet? Don't worry it will all become very clear in a few minutes lol.

To this new foil layer i than added 4 layers of standard news print strips but left this layer just short of the top of the foil so it remaind 'seperate' from the actual inside of the wave making it removable later.

Over the 4 news print layers i then added 2 100gsm paper strip layers. Sometimes those apparantly useleass heavy 'matt' paper printed flyer magazines that come in news papers actually have a use after all lol.

Over that layer i then added 2 layers of 120gsm grade brown paper. The colour is of no importance here nor is the actual 'finish' of the paper, smooth or rough. It was simply some heavy paper i had laying around at the time & of the grade i wanted to use for the final layer at this stage. Like the previous layers i kept this layer short of the actual wave inside.

Once the 'new' internal 'copy' was fully dried i then pulled it free. Voila' a perfectly matching inner box. Or rather it will be a perfectly matching 'removable cash trap'. Have you worked out WHY i am doing it this way yet then? No keep reading then it WIL become clear lol.

Of course the 'removable cash trap' is useless without a bottom of it's own so let's make that now. Normally i would use a single piece of cardstock here but i didn't have any laying around. Perhaps some rich kind hearted benifactor might order me some large sheets of flat corrigated cardstock online some day lol. Anyway i taped together 2 pieces of pizza cardstock to fit the bottom of the removable cash trap. Masking tape will work fine here as i am going to cover this in news print strips anyway later.

Rather than work with corners that might get in the way i drew around the removable cash trap to cut out a much easier to manage piece of cardstock. Of course if you have plenty of room to work with then this is extra work you can miss out at this stage. As you can see i work in a small corner space lol.

I then at first hot glued this in place.

I then gave the 'inside' of the removable cash trap' 2 layers of news print strips to both tidy it up but to also add to the strength of the bond to the base too. I then gave the 'outside' of the removable cash trap 1 layer of news print strips to tidy it up a little to cover up where the odd piece of foil that could not be removed. I ONLY gave the 'outside' 1 layer as i don't want to alter the near perfect fit it has. Er!, what's that red plastic ball doing in shot? For that matter the small box in the background too? I need a bigger working space lol.

Now because i can't put the removable cash trap back into the wave to dry & retain it's shape i have to leave this in a 'cool' place to fully dry out slowly to reduce warping. So i am going to have to leave this a couple of days to dry out.

So has anyone worked out WHY i made this 'removable cash trap' inside the money bank instead of just making a simple hole with bung? Okay here is the reason. What is the one thing you CAN'T do with ANY standard money bank unless you destroy it to get your savings out? Thats right you can't put 'paper' cash in a money bank without smashing it to remove it first lol. Making this custom money bank with the removable cash trap means my daughter can NOW drop 'paper' money into the money bank & remove it any time she wants without having to smash it to get it back out again. Simple when you think about it really lol. More on this project soon.

Sunday, 14 February 2010


Skulls it seems are 'in' right now. I am finding that in the last few days more & more of my fellow artists have been hard at work making them & the best of the best at horror & gore bar none is in on the act too.

Stolloween a never ending source of both mind blowing & supreme art alongside simply astounding HOW TO's has been at it again. This time he has a 'video short' on his blog showing a new development in skull creation. As always his methods are just so perfectly simple all the video contains are a coupe of skulls of which two we get to see rotated & the cardstock sections that make the skulls up. Yet thats ALL you need to see & understand HOW it all fits together. If you ever wanted to make your own skull(s) from cardstock up then your not going to find a simpler method than you will find right here. Just click on his name above to see just what i am talking about.

Saturday, 13 February 2010


Sometimes a simple idea is a greater thing than you first realised. Sometimes it's not until a fellow artist comes up with the same idea that you realise just how great that simple idea actually turned out to be.

Recently fellow artist & friend Kent Goodwin combined another artist friend Dan Readers extremely fast & wonderful creature 'cloth mache' making idea with an 'adapted' version of my foil copying idea (he uses cling film as apposed to my foil) & is now creating some wonderful dragon head trophies with it. Whats next from that creative genius i wonder lol.

I wish i could claim the fame to being the creator of the idea of using foil to copy but sadly i can't. I can say that i HAVE been using foil to copy forms for more than 2 years now though refining it along the way. But it was not until just yesterday when i was doing my rounds through my blog listings i follow that i discovered that another brilliant fellow artist whos works never cease to amaze me whilst bringing a smile to my face when ever i see anything new he has done. Not only has the ever marvelous paper boy been adding to his collection of fantasic creations. He has also used the foil approach to copy of all things a 'skull'.

In actual fact it's to emulate an album cover he has but what caught my attention was not only has such a brilliant artist who has no need to use corner cutting techniques such as foil copying, did so & also did so using a 'skull' - Awesome.

Here is what he created:

To get the FULL story shoot on over to his blog right now. You will not be disapointed i assure you. Click HERE to pop on over to his blog.

Permision was sought & given for me to use this image. Permission IS NOT given to copy this image from here. If you want a copy of this image or anythng else by the paper boy then seek permission directly from the artist. Thankyou.


Some of my W.I.Ps that i no longer have a use for either simply get thrown in the recycle bin or on 'rare' occaisions get recycled as paper pulp!. Other wise these W.I.Ps are perfectly salvageable W.I.Ps that 'could' easily be used in a project.

YOU could use them as a unique starting point in a project of YOUR VERY OWN. Now & then some of these W.I.Ps ARE quite good & i hate to scrap them so readily. Space how ever is NOT my friend so i simply can not hang on to them too long whilst i wait for the potential oppertunity to re-use them in some new project. So i am giving visitors a very unique oppertunity. Simply scroll down the page watching the right hand column until you find the logo shown above for FULL deatails.

Friday, 12 February 2010


I am going to be adding a NEW feature to my blog W.I.P Watch but just what is it then?

I had better start by explaining just what a W.I.P is for the benifit of those who may not know. Basically a W.I.P is a project or Work In Progress, right from the start of an actual project to the last stage of the projects completion the 'unfinished' project is called a W.I.P. Obviously any projects i show through the postings of current projects in the blog here you see the whole thing from start to end. Not all of my work gets finished how ever. More than not some projects are put to one side or are constantly damaged by my family. Some of these i often repair though some times i give up on them as a lost cause & scrap them no matter how close to finished or even if they are finished.

There ARE even some odd projects NO ONE EVER gets to see, private commisions or personal projects, experiments etc that either DON'T make the grade or are simply to show some one in private HOW TO do something they may be stuck on but may not want this fact to be made public. Mostly how ever these will simply be projects i had set to one side & am working on in between other projects when time allows me to or are current projects that you will only see the end result of.

So from time to time without notification i will add a new image or images of these actual W.I.Ps as they develope, as i have time to work on them between other projects. There WILL be a brief 'blurb' attached to explain 'what' the W.I.Ps are & what has changed since the previous said image update. That will be it until the project is finished or is handed over to the new owner be that in a private commision or what ever.

You will be able to see the first of these W.I.Ps very soon at the bottom of the right hand column. Who knows some people may even find them instructive in some way?

Thursday, 11 February 2010


Hi everyone i need the help of everyone or at least as many as i can get who visit my blog. Basically ANYONE who has a little spare surfing time free once in a while. If you can research something for me?

I need to know what & how many kinds or forms of 'paper molding' are being used today to compare this method i am trying out in one of my experiments. It makes no difference what type of 'negative mold shell' is being used, plastic, plaster, metal, clay, rubber etc. It is the methods of 'HOW' the paper is being added INTO A NEGATIVE MOLD i need to know.

I need ANY pictures, links etc for comparison. Be they commercial methods or amature. I don't want to say just yet 'what' i am doing exactly for two reasons:

1: I don't want people to 'just' research 'what' i am doing as in exactly the same way as i am doing it. I want the search to be as varied as possible & it HAS to be 'paper' that is being molded ONLY. NOT paper clay or any paper 'mixed' media just 'plain paper'.

2: I would of course like to claim fame to the process if no one is doing anything like it that is a given lol.

ANYTHING & i mean ANYTHING relating to 'paper' NEGATIVE MOLDING METHODS. Obviously this is something i could research myself but the more eye's i have on the research the faster i get results. It goes without saying of course i WILL share the technique with the everyone. I just need as much 'comparison' information as i can get my hands on to make sure this is not something thats been done before, or as i am doing it.

Thanks ALL in advance. There is NO time limit for this research to be done in. As soon as possible would be great but i need to know the search is/has been as thorough as possible. Remember it makes NO difference what type of material the NEGATIVE MOLD is made of being used as long as the 'material being molded is paper' ONLY.

Once again thanks in advance.


Whilst making a batch of dolphines for a paper mache water feature project (one of several i have planned) my youngest daughter on seeing the dolphins i had already made then asked me if i would make her a dolphin money bank with some dolphins featured in it. I told her if i had the time i would make a few spare dolphins & make the money bank as an extra little present for her 16th birthday which is coming up soon. Whilst thinking this over i figured this might make a great little feature for my blog here too. So here it is, part one of the project.

To see HOW i made the dolphins i am using for this project you will need to hunt through the archives here. The dolphins HOW TO are in the 'dolphin & mermaid' water project posting. This is one of those dolphins pre-dragon skinned.

ALL the dolphines in both my dolphin water feature project & this money bank project will be attached to 'both' projects in the 'same' manor. How ever since 'this' project is to be a working money bank i figured why not make it an attractive dolphin money bank that doubles up as an attractive dolphin orniment too?

Of course i can't then simply attach ALL the dolphins in a perminant manor as i would have to make a coin slot that spoilt the look of it being an orniment too. So without a coin slot HOW would my daughter then insert her cash. To get around this problem i decided to make the coin slot invisible when not being used to insert money so i then attached a small rectangular piece of card under one of the dolphins which i then reinforced with some paper strrips before i dragon skinned over the whole thing. This exctra piece will act as the 'coin slot' hide & the means of holding the dolphin in place at the same time. Clever huh lol.

Now i can't simply cut a coin slot in the top of the money bank as i would any other then insert the dolpin & expect it to simply stay in the right position, it simply wouldn't work that way. I need to add another dimension to the coin slot to hold the dolphin in the right position too. I want the dolphin to sit right down 'on' the top of the money bank just as if it were fixed like the others are going to be.

To create this illusion i then can't make a holder for this dolphin that sticks up above the top of the money bank. I have to make it 'inside' the top of the money bank. Now there IS an ewasy way to do this 'without' using ANY kind of special measuring or any other kind of techincal skills. I simply need to make a small card 'tube' the 'same' shape as the coin slot/dolphin holder.

So to begin the process i first covered the card under the dolphin in foil (a modyfication of my skull foil copying technique). I then wrapped this 'tightly' in 1 layer of masking tape to make sure the foil was the exact shape of the card. This has the added bonus feature of making the coin slot/dolphin holder slightly bigger than the fixed card under the dolphin once the foil & tape are removed. So the dolphin will slot into the coin slot easily but be snug enough to hold the dolphin in place too.

I want to be able to remove the coin slot card section from the dolphin easily when it is finished so i covered the 'entire' area in foil in case any glue leeked under the card when adding the strips later.

Here you can see the 'thin' card stock is wrapped around the foil 'tightly' twice.

I then 'smoothed' out the edge of the card stock with masking tape. More to simply fix it in place tightly than make a smooth finish. Th final finish of this the outward facing side of the card WILL be lost inside the money bank & never seen unless you look up inside the money bank. Even then it is not so important to finish this outter side off so perfectly.

The 'base' of the coin slot how ever i left 'open' as you can see here. WHY? Well how would the coins drop through the slot silly if i blocked this bottom off lol.

Then i covered the coin slot card section in a few layers of paper strips to fix the shape & add to the final strength of the section. Okay i will come back to the dolphins later when i have the actual 'box/coin' section of the money bank completed. So lets take a look at the construction of that now shall we?

Using a suitably sized cardboard box of any thickness will work here. Since what i am about to show you if you ONLY can get your hands on a structuraly rather weak box such as this one then do not worry. This IS fine trust me here.

As you can see here the box i am using is as about as structuraly strong as wet toilet tissue. NOT what you would expect ANYONE to be using in a strong money bank project... Or so you think. I only require the physical 'shape' of the box NOT the actual box itself. Also since i need to alter the 'shape' of this box this felxable card stock is simply perfect for my current needs. As with around 90% of my armatures i use in my projects i remove them after the initial build has begun & is self supporting. The same rule applies to this project. Confused? Trust me it WILL become clear as we move on through the project lol.

Now to begin to alter the shape of this box to make it 'more' cresting wave like in shape. To begin with i need to cut down one of the narrow sides which NOW will become the 'front' of the cresting wave. I am only going to cut down to around 1/2 inches short of the bottom of the box for the front of the wave.

As you can see (after tacking in place) i have kept the front of the wave very acute. By doing it this way i can greatly increase the curve of the back of the wave making the wave seem bigger than it actually is. A simply optical illusion.

It may not look it bt the back of the box IS slightly more curved than the front. Once i add some wave shaped fins to the 'sides' & the 'front' of the box it WILL increase the appreance of the size of the wave.

For the first two wave shaped pieces of card i made them slightly bigger than the box to add to the final illiusion of making the cresting wave appear bigger than it realy is.

To attach these to the edges I am ONLY going to 'tack' them in place using hot glue. I will explain WHY i am only tacking these in place later.

I also attached a few more smaller wave shaped pieces of card stock to the 'front' of the cresting wave, inbetween the two large outter edge ones.

I want the top of the cresting wave to 'peek' slightly so to do this i have cut a few 'slits' in the front & back of the wave a few inches deep.

I then 'squeezed' the top of the wave together slightly then tacked in all in place with a little masking tape. As you can see i also added a couple of small wave shapes to the back of the wave too.

I have some news paper strips prepared. I have torn these to around a quarter of a page size from an average sized daily news paper.

Now when gluing in place i am going to lay ALL of the strips in a 'vertical' position ONLY on this project. Normally i might criss-cross them, or go with a complete random style. Not this time. I want to let the strips 'flow' naturally 'into' the spaces 'between' the wave shaped card pieces i fitted through out the project as you saw above. This way the wave 'should' have a more 'natural flow' to it. adding to the illusion of it being a cresting wave frozen in time as it were.

I gave this project 4 layers of news print & 1 layer of 80gsm white printer paper & left it to totally dry out for a couple of days.

I also gave the front 'base' a fanlike foot to add to the illusion of the depth of the wave by making it look like it was dragging water from in front of itself as a real wave would as it rose up.

You may not be able to see the illusion here as my camera & lighting is not very good, but the wave has the illusion of being deeper & a feel of movement to it. I will try to grab some better pictures as i work on the next stages of the project. For now how ever i have one last thing to show you for this stage of the project build.

I 'completely' removed ALL the inside of the wave right up to the very first layer of news paper strips & the wave shaped card pieces i applied. By ONLY 'tacking' the wave shaped card pieces with hot glue I could then easily rip ALL the box out with little to no effort. I then added one final layer of white paper just to clean up the inside a little. Now of course the money bank appears to be useless as it has NO bottom to it, or is it? WHY i have chosen to make it this way WILL be revealed in the next stage of the project build i promise you lol.