Papier mache

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Head of Medusa
MFA # 1978.415
Making Papier Mache
MFA #11.20569


A composite product made from pulped Paper or textiles, then mixed with a filler (e.g. Calcium carbonate), and binder (e.g. Glue, Starch or Linseed oil). Papier-mâché is thought to have been initially used in China during the Han dynasty to make warrior helmets and ceremonial masks. Since then objects painted to imitate Wood, Stone, or Metal have been found including coffins, boats, boxes, trays, shields, armor, dolls, and animals. This inexpensive method was used also used for interior building decoration as well as arts and craft activities. Large pieces were sometimes formed around chicken wire or balloons.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Papier-mâché; Paper mache; carton-pierre

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