Now that I had a technique for making teeth, it was time to do some mass production. The picture above is of 28 teeth: formed, sanded, smoothed, gessoed, base coated and first layer of distressing applied. I want the teeth to look old so I have been investigating how to distress them.
I still need a few more layers to build up the antiquing look.
And this is ONLY the lower jaw. I still have another 28 to make for the top.
When I started into paper mache I tried several types of glue but quickly choose traditional white resin glue as my favourite. I surfed for more details but one question intrigued me: white vs wood glue.
For my work I use three glues.
Other than Weldbond, I tend to use generic or house brands of white and carpenter’s glue. Here are my observations of each as it pertains to paper mache.
First thing I learned is all white glues are not the same. Some are thicker and made to grab and dry faster. For paper mache you want the basic white glue. I buy it in three litre jugs and fill smaller dispensers. In the image above, the left dispenser with the crazy top is white glue, the right is carpenter glue. I found a four pack of these pictured small squeeze bottles in an art store. I drill a hole in the top then make come sort of cap. Then I fill them as needed.
The small bottle of white glue called “Craft Glue” is an example of a thicker, faster drying glue. I found it too thick for most of my work and tough to control the flow of glue when dispersing in a thin line.
For paper mache glue I use a latch bail jar. Easy to mix up a new batch (90% white glue, 10% water), quick to open and close. It is important to keep the jar closed when not using it to avoid dried chunks. I usually apply my glue with long flat brushes.
Let’s walk through the three for strengths and weaknesses.
So what’s the best glue for paper mache? For me it is all of them. They each have a purpose.
Not that I had a technique for making teeth, it was time to make some and try them on the jaw.
I created nine teeth and attached a short length of bamboo skewer to the bottom. This will serve as the root when putting them into the jar as well as a way to stand them up while painting. I took a board and just drilled a few rows of holes.
Here are front and side views of the seat with the teeth inserted in.
Now that I see how they work, I will start on the side ones shortening them towards the back of the jaw.
This is definitely fun.
After much experimenting I have come up with the approach I am using for Pottie Mouth's teeth. As I learn more I will modify this post to reflect what I learn.
June 15. I love tuning a process as I work. Today I decided to use an end of wet tongue depressor to protect the tooth from the clamp.
I added step 10 to put a piece of wet depressor between the clamp and the tooth. I also predrilled the dowel so that I can arrange them on my tooth stand.
I made several variations of teeth. Here are some of them.
Next technique to develop is creating the teeth. In Wilburine, I worked out an approach of bending wet wood coffee stir sticks. For Pottie Mouth, I need much larger teeth. Coffee stirs would be too thin.
I decided to use 3/4" x 6" tongue depressors. A box of 500 unsterilized sticks was $9. They are hard wood, and when, soaked in water become pliable. Using nails on wood, I could bend them, but this still creates a flat tooth. I call my next idea a "Monster Tooth Maker."I modified the jig setup from Wilburine. First, I used finishing nails and drilled holes just a tiny bit smaller with a drill press and then pressed in the nails. This gave me perfectly vertical nails. I put some tubing over them, as finishing nails are steel and leave a rust spot on the depressor.
As I tried making teeth, it became apparent that the end needed to be rounded. To create the round effect, I bought some 1/2" copper plumbing fittings and 1" hose clamps. Then I found some 1/2" dowel. Now instead of the copper fitting, I used a short length of dowel as the core with two host clamps. I also cut up some split vinyl tubing to use as shims to tune the bending. Be sure to towel dry the tongue depressor where you are adding glue for the dowel to avoid thinning the glue. My intent is to paper mache over the base of the tooth once formed to give a solid shape.
Once dry, the ends can be cut into a point for the tooth top. It is better to cut the bottom before drying, as the curved wood tends to split when cut curved and dry.
The top image is of the jig with a finished tooth, including a thin layer of kraft paper towel mache to smooth out the transition.