Lori Hough
(231) 924-8056

Giraffe Armatures


Most people think of pinatas or ballons covered with strips of paper dipped in flour and water when they hear the term papier mache. Actually papier mache is a medium that has been around for centuries. It has been used for sculpture, masks, decorative ceiling mouldings and parlor furniture. Papier mache has the capacity for great detail and can be made strong and durable, thus making it an exciting medium to sculpt in. In using paper, the sculpture is never cold to the touch. The combination of this warmth, when used with realism in form and color, lends itself well to the essence of life coming through the sculpture. Because papier mache is light weight, additional reinforcement is rarely needed for the installation's site making it ideal for suspended, wall mounted, and even freestanding sculpture.

The technique Lori Hough uses is derived from the traditional method of papier mache (using an armature and layers of paper and glue). Wire, welded steel, and/or chicken wire is used for the armature. It is with this armature that Hough first captures the general shape and movement of the piece. To this armature are added many layers of recycled paper dipped in glue, allowing each layer to thoroughly dry before another is added. More detail is added with each layer until the final shape and strength are achieved. The sculpture is then sealed and finished with acrylic paint and varnish.

Care and Maintenance

Hough's papier mache sculptures require little care and maintenance. They do need to be located in a dry environment. Use of a clean, dry paintbrush works well to remove dust that can collect in the fine textures of the painted surface. A slightly damp soft cloth may be used after first using the dry brush if necessary.