Wessex Sculptor member Madeleine Page ran a very successful one day workshop on Saturday 16th February 2019, 10am – 4pm at The Barn studio.

Madeleine’s fascinating piece, Angel of History, pictured above, says so much about her relationship with paper!  In her own words…..

Paper – it’s ubiquitous – it wraps things, we write on it, draw, print and paint on it, use it to cover our walls, keep our eggs from breaking, read from it, use it as insulation material. But do you know how many ways it can be used as an art material in its own right?

This workshop will be an introduction to this interesting, very common but magical material. I’ll show you some of the ways it can be used create amazing sculptures and 3D objects. Also some of things that you can’t do with paper! There will be a chance to experiment with using paper in a variety of ways, and perhaps to make something out of paper that you would never have thought possible.

We won’t spend a lot of time on actual paper making, but it will include a demo of how to make a sheet of your own paper to help you get started.  Its very easy, and gives an idea of the kind of material that you might want to work with.’

After a short demonstration of and discussion about how paper can be worked dry to make beautiful 3D sculptural works, as well as running through some essential techniques, Madeleine led participants through a practical session on paper making; how to prepare paper pulp, add colour and texture with materials such as seeds and leaves, the use of a frame to produce paper sheets and how to dry the resulting paper.  By lunchtime, the group had all mastered the paper frames and had produced piles of beautiful handmade paper which, when dry, will be perfectly strong enough for further sculptural development.

The afternoon session focussed on papier maché; what it is, what it can be used for, suitable paper to use, the variety of ways of preparing the paper, glues and gluing and the use of armatures and stands.  By the end of the day, all participants had not only made their own handmade paper, but also a small papier maché sculpture, successfully using paper in very creative ways.  Everyone particularly liked the emphasis on low tech, simple and easily available materials that infinitely lend themselves to be developed into further sculptural ideas.