The cat came back

two paper mache masks cats by artist Shannon Reynolds
Paper Mache masks of our dear departed
I guess I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to my cat (who departed this world after twenty years only weeks ago--see his true likeness here).  A friend's Hallowe'en party provided a perfect excuse to re-incarnate him, twice, while trying my hand at paper mache.

two paper mache cat masks by artist Shannon Reynolds
This one is the better likeness
I made these masks, which are lightweight, flexible, and easy-to wear, over a form I sculpted from SuperSculpey (a first for me) and aluminum foil using multiple reference photos.  The likenesses are far from exact, but I think the masks conjure him well nonetheless.

two paper mache cat masks by artist Shannon Reynolds

For the mask-making, I followed the ingenious techniques explained so comprehensively by Jonni Good on her amazingly informative blog: Ultimate Paper Mache.  Jonni, if you find this post, I've ordered your book, but haven't yet received it and so made use of your excellent YouTube videos.

And, since the carnavalesque masks seemed to represent only one aspect of his personality, I also sculpted a more dignified bust, using a paper mache clay also developed by Jonni Good over a wire and foil armature.  I haven't decided whether to paint him, as the ancient Greeks surely would've, or leave him to yellow slightly (there's some linseed oil in the mix).  I think I like the gravitas of the unpainted version for now.

paper mache cat sculpture by artist Shannon Reynolds
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paper mache cat sculpture artist Shannon Reynolds
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paper mache cat sculpture Shannon Reynolds
paper mache cat sculpture artist Shannon Reynolds


Rob said...

Terrific work!
I think I'd leave the bust unpainted, it has a statuesque quality that might be lost under paint. The masks look great too.
Jonni's site and videos are great; and she is a great sharer too.

Shannon Reynolds said...

Thank you, Rob!
Yes, I think the bust will remain unpainted. And I agree with you about Jonni.

Unknown said...


christinec said...

I so love your cat mask and bust , you can see the love you have for your cat.:)

Shannon Reynolds said...

Thank you, Christine (and Bill, sorry for the delay)!