Making a Paper Mache Pumpkin (continued)

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I repeated the entire process to make two half-shells of the top third or so of the pumpkin, including the stem.

Pumpkin Pumpkin
Halfway there Clay off, second half on

I taped the two halves of the top shell to the bottom with a few pieces of duct tape, then covered the seam with paper mache, removing the duct tape strips as I reached them. I decided to add the top as two separate halves, rather than joining it first and then sticking it on the bottom, to get a better fit. As I added layers along the seams, I reinforced the stem and covered the hole at the top of the stem shell with a few layers of paper mache. When the first layers were dry, I looked over the pumpkin and added paper mache wherever there was evidence of a seam, giving the surface a nice smooth finish.

Pumpkin Pumpkin
Taped onto bottom Paper mache over seams

When all this was done, the pumpkin leaned forward a bit too much for my taste, so I improved on nature by adding a flat bottom that held the pumpkin in the right position. I did this by taping a folded over bit of cardboard to the bottom, securing that with a few strips of paper mache. When the paper mache had dried, I sprayed some expanding foam insulation into the space to make the bottom really solid. I carved down the excess foam after it had hardened, and covered the whole thing with paper mache.

Pumpkin
Cardboard and spray insulation make a flat bottom.

Much of the detail on the surface of the original pumpkin was lost in covering it with paper mache. I wanted to add back the grooves. I drew in where I wanted the grooves with a marker, then used a commercial fine-grained paper mache called Celluclay to add the high parts between the grooves.

Pumpkin Pumpkin
The replicant and the original Celluclay ridges added

After the Celluclay had dried, I covered it with a few layers of paper mache to create a nice surface on the pumpkin. It is difficult to get the Celluclay smooth, and it doesn't take detail well, so the additional layers of paper mache are necessary. They also protect the Celluclay ridges, which I think might get easily broken if they were the outside of the pumpkin. When all this was done, I sawed open the pumpkin, covered the cut edges with two layers of paper mache, then painted the whole thing with a couple of coats of gesso, followed by a base coat of white acrylic.

Pumpkin Pumpkin
Paper mache over Celluclay Cut, gessoed and painted white

Then the easy part, painting it with acrylic to make a nice pumpkin. I had a lot of fun making this, and it's really solid.

Pumpkin Pumpkin
All painted! Painted on the inside, too!