Papier Mâché Tray Restoration
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The photo above shows an English papier mâché tray after restoration. It had arrived in my studio with a damaged corner, and a few small pieces, all that remained of the original breakage.
After some consideration, and various trials, I concluded that the incomplete fragments were not enough to work with to rebuild the corner, and ultimately were of little use. I could think of no other solution than to reconstruct the corner with new material.
First I consolidated the slightly delaminated paper along the broken edge of the tray with an adhesive; at this time I also inserted some small wooden pins into the edge to anchor the epoxy putty that I would use to build the new corner. I then made a mold of the under side of the opposite corner of the tray, which I used as a support to create the shape of the new corner with putty.
Purple colored mold supporting the putty material.
Removal of the mold after the putty had set.
After smoothing and shaping the primary surface of the new corner, I finished the underside as well.
Finally, I painted the new area black, added the gilded decoration, and distressed the restored area to blend it in with the surrounding original surface.
Restored corner above, another angle below with less glare.