Paper Mache Cow Sculpture
W. needed a small cow as a prop for a video his Spanish class was filming... and he needed it quickly. He decided to make his cow out of paper mache over a wire armature. You can adapt the directions to make any animal.
What you will need:
- Aluminum Wire (we bought ours at a yard sale)
- Pliers, if desired
- Aluminum foil, if desired
- Newspaper torn into strips
- Acrylic Craft Paint
W. began by finding a cow photo on the internet that he could use as reference. From the photo, he could tell that a cow's body is a very boxy, rectangular shape.
Using the cow photo as a reference, W. bent a piece of wire for the two front legs, and then made the back legs with a matching length of wire. He joined the front and back legs with two pieces along the sides and one piece along the top of the cow. Then he stabilized the front legs by adding a shorter wire between them. He did the same for the back legs.
For the neck, W. twisted a wire onto the top of the front leg section. He fashioned a cow head out of a single piece of wire and hung it from the end of the neck. W. is very much into Alexander Calder mobiles, so he liked the way the head dangled from the neck wire. Another way to handle the head would've been to squish some aluminum foil into a ball and then shaped it into the head. The foil head could then be attached to the neck with either foil or wire.
W. mixed 1/2 cup of glue with 1/2 cup of water in the bowl. He dipped a strip of newspaper into the glue mixture, and then wiped off the excess glue by pulling the strip between his fingers.
Placing the glued strip along the bottom of the cow's belly, W. folded it up over the bottom wires. He continued overlapping and crisscrossing strips of glued paper over the cow.
W. wrapped the legs with strips of glued newspaper before he set it down to dry. Because the cow was hollow, it only needed to dry overnight.
He finished the Holstein cow by painting black spots over the white paint.