Many people use a paste that is made of white flour and water that has been brought to a boil. I did some experimenting and found that this paste is not as strong as raw paste, so you’ll need more layers of paper to make your finished sculpture stiff enough. However, it does dry clear, so many people prefer it. To make boiled paste, mix a heaping tablespoon of white flour with a cup of water in a small saucepan and stir until there are no lumps.

Put the pan on the stove at medium heat and bring to a oil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. The paste will be very runny at this stage, but it will gel as it cools. Raw Flour and Water Paste: This is the paste I almost always use, because it’s stronger than boiled paste and you can complete a project with only a few layers of paper. To make up the paste, Just pour some white flour in a bowl, and add water gradually until you have a consistency that will work well. Use a small kitchen mixer so you don’t have any lumps). How thick should you make your paste? It’s actually up to you. Experiment with thick pastes that resemble hotcake batter, and thin pastes that are runny and watery. You get to decide which ones you prefer. Keep in mind that it is the flour, and not the water, that gives strength to your paper macho sculpture. And also remember that each layer of paste and paper that is added to your project must dry completely to keep it from developing mold.

Speaking of mold, why not use wallpaper pastes that contain fungicides? There are two reasons why I choose to use white flour pastes, instead of ingredients that prevent mold. First, white flour is ridiculously cheap when compared to any other type of art supply. And second, I hate the idea of dipping my hands in something that contains poison. If small children were helping me with my projects, this would be even more important. To prevent the development of mold in your projects, you Just need to remember that molds cannot grow without water.

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Therefore, take every effort to dry out your projects completely. I usually put my small sculptures in a warm oven (not over 200 F) or place them near a radiator. Next summer I intend to build a solar dryer that will be large enough for bigger items. The main trick is to make sure the sculpture is dry all the way through – if any dampness is left inside when you apply paint or other finish, the sculpture will eventually rot from the inside out – a truly disappointing development, I assure you.

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