This week, I made a giant brown bear head to hang on the wall….
It is one of the messiest things I’ve ever made, so brace yourself. It’s also really, really good fun. Having mastered the bear, Harry and I are currently attempting a triceratops (because our ambition knows no bounds). But first, let’s scroll back to the beginnings of the bear..
Start by blowing up a large balloon (actually, start with at least two; one will pop or deflate at some point in an explosive, soul-destroying splatter, so have a back-up). Soak pieces of this magical plaster and carefully cover most of the balloon, leaving a plate-sized gap at the bottom; I used three layers, waiting 24hours for each to dry. You can also use traditional papier-mache, it will just take a few more layers to become rock-solid.
When dry, gently pop the balloon with a pin to release the air; this will cause it to shrink gradually away from the sides of the shell and minimise the risk of it collapsing, like so;
Stand and admire your beautiful spheres. Consider fleetingly how anatomical they look. Get a grip, begin again.
I fashioned a nose and some ears out of more of the plaster, squeezing it into lumps and moving it around for an appropriately snout-like muzzle. I trimmed the rough edges around the sides to give a flat base for hanging.
Then the fun (and slightly less messy) bit; paint! I began with a base coat of caramel-brown acrylic paint, then added a darker shade to give definition around the muzzle and back of the head;
..and then added hot pink inner-ears, a sponged smudge of colour for the cheeks, and a black nose, using white shading to create the impression of nostrils (and that’s not a line I ever thought I’d write). Two buttons from our button box made perfect eyes, glued into place, and my husband’s stylish and expensive winter scarf the perfect
stolen borrowed accessory.
..and then I borrowed my actual husband because Harry was finding it quite heavy to hold. Doesn’t he look dashing?
Nate (for that’s the bear’s name, we’ve decided) is currently residing in the spare bedroom, but will shortly transfer to Harry’s room where he can keep a careful and affable eye on things. At least until the triceratops comes along, and then who knows?
Have a good week, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing!