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Discussion Starter #1
How thick can you build up paper mache (using paper towels and ~40% water & ~60% wood glue) in one sitting? I was working on my pumpkin head last night adding ribbing to the (thoroughly dry) plaster cloth base and made ribs about 2.5 inches wide and probably 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick. Too much at one time, or just be patient and let it completely dry?

What is the recommended thickness for one sitting with strip paper mache and paper mache clay?
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Hi DD..
I don't think there is a recommended thickness as such, but personally speaking I prefer to work gradually, applying two or three layers and letting it dry before adding more layers where necessary to build up detail.
Part of the reason being that mache and celluclay do tend to shrink somewhat during the drying process, plus a big wodge of wet mache is relatively heavy and can result in slippage and deformation of detail.
I'm sure other members would say otherwise, but thats just the way I prefer to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Baron. My paper mache pumpkin ribs seems to be drying okay, albeit slowly (pretty firm after 48 hours). I'll take your advice going forward and add thickness more gradually - probably do no more than 1/8 inch at a time. As you'd mentioned, I did notice a slight shrinkage in the thickness and will need to add a little more to the ribs I had done, after they are thoroughly dry.
 

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Bête noire
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A tip on drying mache - use a fan. I find that I can get mache dry enough for the next layer after just an hour or so. Left overnight, they'll be completely dry.
 

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Going bump in the night..
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A method I use in drying my mache is the old "E-Z Bake Oven" power source...a hundred watt bulb.

I have a clamp light (the aluminum reflector kind), with a simple light bulb in it, mounted on a stand, and just place it next to the mache - the heat works into the mache (through all the layers), and dries it relatively quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Excellent! Thanks Otaku and Ugly Joe. I like how the paper mache gives the pumpkin a realistic shape and texture, but the two day drying time seemed a bit much. I'll try your suggestions as well as reduce the thickness I add at one time.
 
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