Craft for Kids: Papier-mâché Narrative Bowl
Diego Romero’s work integrates traditional techniques from his Cochiti heritage with his love for both the ancient and contemporary storytellers of Western culture. From Greek vases depicting legends of gods and heroes, to comic books hailing the deeds of superheroes of the modern age. Romero uses his pottery to tell narrative from his own experience and indigenous folklore, a contemporary storyteller within craft.
In this hands-on activity, let Diego Romero’s work inspire you to make your own bowl, and tell the story of someone you consider a hero, whether from life or legend!
Watch the video below of Diego Romero on his life and work for inspiration, and ask yourself: Who are the heroes in my world?
Video Treasure Hunt:
- Rolling clay into a long coil shape
- Young children dressed as knights
- An ancient Greek chariot
- A coyote stealing fire
- Polishing with a stone
- A fallen angel
- Using breath as a tool
Hands-on Activity: Papier-mâché Narrative Bowl
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups water
- Aluminum foil
- Cooking spray
- Acrylic paint, or markers
- Cut or tear your newspaper into strips. Make sure the paper is clean and dry.
- Choose a bowl to use as a mold for your paper mache. Larger bowls will require more newspaper.
- Place the bowl on a flat surface, bottom side up. Cover the bowl with tin foil. If you don’t want your bowl to have much texture, try to make the foil lay as flat to the surface of the bowl as possible.
- Lightly coat the tin foil with cooking spray or oil. This will help make it easier to remove from the paper mache bowl when it is dry.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and water. Mix until it resembles thin pancake batter.
- Take a strip of newspaper, dip it into the flour mixture, and use your fingers to remove any excess liquid before laying it on the bowl.
- Continue coating strips of paper in the mixture and laying them onto the bowl until it is completely covered. You may need one or two additional layers to strengthen the shape of the object.
- Feel free to experiment with different shaped vessels, like cups or glasses. When complete, allow the form to dry completely overnight.
- When the papier-mâché is dry, remove it from the tin foil. Trim any rough edges with scissors.
- Now you can paint or decorate your bowl however you may like. Here are some ideas:
- Choose a scene from a myth, legend, or story that influenced you and illustrate it on the inside of your bowl.
- Create a portrait of someone you consider a hero – it could be a specific person (a relative, a friend, or a public figure), a role in society you respect (doctors, teachers, or firefighters), or a fictional character that inspires you (a comic book hero or figure from literature).