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.

Thursday 26 November 2009


Well today i started work once again on my dragon slayer series weapons my skull axe 'blade' & broad sword 'blade'.  Ten minutes in working on my skull axe blade i realised you have to appreciate the guys who made real weapons in the darker days before paper mache sculpting & power tools. Hmm i think i had better explain my reasoning here before i ramble on too much.  Many of you will know from reading my introduction blurbs etc on the right hand side of my blog page as well as some of the bits n bobs posted down the main page. I prefer to work as 'hollow' & as 'light' as possible with as much as 90% of my sculptures. Using shaped balloons & or shaped card'/paper in my armature stages. Then removing as much of the insides of my sculptures as possible without comprimising strength.

It occured to me that if & when i sell these weapons that the buyers are surely going to want to role play with them at least once even when told these ARE DISPLAY sculptures ONLY. I just can't believe that they will pay any attention to that, well would you? I know i probably wouldn't either. SO, with that in mind i have deliberately made these weapons as 'solid' in construction as possible. Apart from the skull on the skull axe & the axe shaft which by theyre very shape & the way they were made are strong without having to be solid. The blades how ever on BOTH weapons are 90%/95% solid construction.

Which brings me back to the skull axe blade. I 'should have' shaped the blade more as i did with the sword blade during construction, but i am not sure of how i want the final 'edge' to look, clean edged or well used basically. So with that in mind i left the axe blade edge around 4mm thick. Now i am using a hand held orbital power sander (135W rectangular pad base) to do the heavy work for me. On which i am using heavy duty 40 grade glass coated sanding sheets.

The axe blades construction is 2mm corrigated standard box card stock through out the main blade. with 1mm pizza card stock bulking/shaping to the back of the blade (where it attaches to the skull) then levelled out using common serial box card stock on the gradient in the blades final shape. This is all covered on BOTH sides of the blade in a criss-cross fashion with 10 layers of 1 inch wide strips of alternating standard news print & 80 gsm white printer paper. ALL stuck down with 50%/50% water PVA glue soloution.

The skull axe blade (& the sword blade) each have had a solid 7+ days in a well aired warm place to thoroughly dry out.

Working on the skull axe blade is a 'nightmare' lol. It took me almost 10 minutes to just take one side of the axe blade down a few layers of paper & NOT reach the corrigated card stock of the main blade yet. I have had to stop to let my hand feel like a hand again. If thats bad enough thats just the actual 2 inch 'edge' of the blade i haven't started to shape the rest of the side of the blade yet. Mercifully that is not such a big job as the actual edge lol.

Working on this i just can't help but think of the effort that went into creating some of the more refined quality weapons of old. Man those guys must have had TRUE dedication to what they were doing. They were not only forging weapons of note they were forging theyre names in history as TRUE artists in the weapon making scene. ALL of it by hand pre-power tools. It makes me wonder who held the greatest pride the weapons owners or indeed the makers?

Thursday 19 November 2009


Whilst working or rather still re-working this old project i replaced the original broken bone shaft i made for it. I was going to simply make a straight wooden effect shaft but an artist colleague of mine who makes the most astounding minutures of a number of characters (specifically those from games characters) Mark Patraw  AKA: kramwartap: Paper Mache Resource gallery & his website suggested that it may be better to keep the original design, the bone shaft. After some thought i decided he may be right. This IS a fantasy weapon after all so why lose the 'fantasy' look. So here is an update of the re-workd bone shaft.

Thanks Mark. I will post more on this project as it gets done folks.


This is a subject i feel i must address as i am now re-working a series of fantasy weapons i started some time ago but have yet to finish. Some time ago someone once asked me in a private email "If you love dragons so much why do you then want to make dragon killing weapons?" Well whilst at first this may seem odd along with the fact when i got back into paper mache a few years ago the very first thing that inspired me back into this art medium & the very first thing i even began to make were large dragon heads.  Integeral to 'me' MY beliefs whilst growing up the concept of if there is good in the world there HAS to be evil too, after all there IS a negative to every positive. An up to down, a left to right.

Whilst i simply love & adore the 'concept' of dragons because of my personal beliefs if there were good dragons then there simply 'had' to have been bad dragons too. So, alongside my many unfinished dragons (heads & full bodied). I felt it was only natural to also begin creating dragon slayer weapons too. Put more simply i like balance in the world & making these weapons for ME balances things out.


I think it is about time i said a big thankyou & hi to both my resident & newer followers. The numbers may not be very high but your being here IS VERY much appreciated. I am finding though that not all you guys are including links back to your own blogs (or websites). Which is a shame really. Why? Well even though my main love is paper mache i do like & respect 'other' art mediums too. With this in mind i WOULD like to return the favour to ANY followers of my blog by following 'your' blog in return.

Apart from showing populatrity of a blog it IS also plain & simple curtasy i feel. Many blog owners also have websites too these i can provide links to in my favourite links at the bottom of my blog too. So, ANY of my followers who find i am not following they're blogs 'please' drop me a line here: to let me know where i can find your blog or websites so i can place the required information on my blog.

I must also just mention i am ALWAYS up to my neck in busy. I have this crazy way of starting more projects than i finish. So time, free time is never on my side. So if you find i haven't appeared to have stopped by your blog recently & dropped off a comment of two. Please be assured i WILL have been by if not every day then every other day to see what was new.

Too ALL my followers once again thank you so much for following my humble little blog.

Tuesday 17 November 2009


There IS now a link in my extensive & growing HOW TO video links over on YouTube To a complete video covering parts 1 & 2 of this running feature for those who would like to see more than the static tutorial shows. You can find the link at the bottom of this page.

Sunday 15 November 2009


Before i begin this post i MUST point out my children (mostly in their 20+'s now 4 still at home) AREN'T deliberately destructive when it comes to my paper mache projects. They just don't stop & think when they dump things down or knock things over. Of course no one admits or tells me they knocked, crushed or broke something that may be drying or what may be at a crucial delicate stage etc either. Anyway for reasons that would take too long to explain i have two projects that are in my collection of current 'unfinished fix & re-model' phase.

I cycle through un-finished/damaged projects as i constantly create new projects be they simply for my  HOW TO video's on YouTube or idea's that won't stop popping into my head & won't leave me alone to finish others started earlier. So here are those 2 pieces.

The first is an un-finished project. Part of my DRAGON SLAYER SERIES i started a while ago now.

This is the hilt of a two handed sword i started some time ago. I started this & the wall mount holder but never started the blade until two days ago. On this the hilt i am going to re-model the dragon heads.

This is the blade. For some unknown reason the photograph shows the blade twisted & bend. It is in fact straight & flat. It does of course need to be sanded down when fully dry to give it the real blade look & feel but thats a few days away. The blade is around 1 meter long & around 4 inches wide at the widest section.

This is the un-finished wall mounted display bracket. It is only pinned to the wall at the moment for storage until i finish it by 4 small panel pin nails. The finished piece will have 2 holes drilled for screws.

Here it is with the hilt seated in position again to keep it safe until finished.

Now to my un-finished 'broken' project. Again part of my DRAGON SLAYER SERIES my bone skull axe & sheild. Here the sheild is depicted pre-teeth added & with the original leg bone shaft. The shaft was broken one day. So i not only began to re-design the shaft but have also begun to re-design the blade too.

The original stage with original blade & leg bone shaft.

The NEW shaft. No decoration added at this stage but it will be different when finished soon.

The replacement axe blade. Bigger, bolder with more style to it with the heavier side of the blade sweeping down as apposed to the original ballanced style.

More on these projects as they develope.

Monday 2 November 2009


Time to open the mold & start to mass produce those dolphins.

First job to remove ALL the box'ing that was made to hold the wet plaster in place until it dried.

Now BEFOR you attempt to open the final plaster mold casting 'if' you used a wax releasing agent as i did then here is a simple trick. Place the entire 'un-opened' mold on a radiator & leave the whole thing until it gets HOT, not so hot you can't hold it, but hot enough to melt the wax inside. This will also melt the wax into the plaster more than the dolphin being copied (or what ever your making) since the plaster is MORE absorbant because the dolphin is covered in varnish NOW you see WHY i covered the dolphin master form with varnish. I did it so when i heated the mold up the wax would be pulled into the plaster & NOT the dolphin.

You MUST pull the dolphin (or YOUR project your making) from the plaster cast mold 'EVENLY & SLOWLY'. I rushed it & it cost me some damage to the mold. BOTH sides of the final mold not shown so clearly in these terrible pictures, the mouth & nose lines have been torn away. I can repair this how ever using my dragon skin (bone mix) later for the final form casting from this mold.

I also i discovered did not remove enough of the wax from the 'female key holes' either. I won't be using these to make my copies, but i did want to show you how they worked. Oh well a deserved lesson taken i suppose.

Now before i make my paper strip copies i have another trick to show you. I have painted the inside of BOTH halves of my plaster mold with silver spray paint (high chrome). You can use any colour you like but make it glossy or smooth metal finish. WHY? Simply because the plaster is going to keep absorbing the wax releasing agent. IF i were using a high quality fine grade sculpting plaster designed epecially for this task then i could get around one hundred copies from any quality made mold. This is only cheap 'finishing plater' purchased from any high street general supplier. The type of plaster that goes on dry walls last to give the plaster that smooth finish - 'finishing plaster'. I rebuilt the damaged area before adding the spray paint of course.

Both sides.

Again i coated the inside of the mold with wax as a realsing agent.

Then added a few layers of paper strips. Between 6/8 layers in all.

Had i made a better job of the 'keys' i could have simply put these together whilst still wet, added some weight to the mold as they dried to fix the two halves together. The most of the building work would have been done for me when they dried leaving me with a quick trim job. Or by adding pulp into both halves again putting the mold halves together & again adding weight until dry. They will dry faster exposed to the air this way though however, so i opted for this method.

Once dry it's time to remove the 'new' copied paper dolphin sections.

Once agan i was too heavy handed & i pulled the paper copy out too harshly. Yes once agan i tore the mouth details 'off' the mold... Insert your own version of profanities i used here chances are i used every type there was so your bound to guess right!.

At least my paper strip copies came out perfectly.

Do NOT make these too thick with paper strips or you will have to struggle with a sharp craft knife to trim them. Because i only used a few layers of strips trimming these was easy using scissors. They WILL be thick enough & strong enough even at around 1mm to with stand being handled. Even when you rub down the 'bur' (the raggy edges) before joining the two halves.

Now whilst holding the two halves together simply fix them in place with small strips of paper & glue.

A final smooth down by hand & then the first dolphin is ready for it's fins & tail added once dry.

Finally dried here is the original & the NEW copy. They will STILL need to be patched up & finished off in dragon skin for a truely smooth finish of course before painting & sealing with varnish for use in my water feature (with real water), but now i can make perfectly shaped dolphins at leisure & not have to worry about sizes & shapes being off.

Below are some pictures of the first dolphin with the fins added now waiting to be painted with dragon skin to finish it off. Ignore the stick stand it was only added to allow me to take the pictures. It is NOT part of the finished sculpture.

The video to this stage is NOW in the links list at the bottom of this page.
More soon.