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NIVES ČIČIN-ŠAIN masks workshop - papier mâchéu technique

About papier-mâché technique: Simultaneously with the invention of paper, the papier-mâché technique developed in China between 200 BC and 220 AD. The first attempt at modeling three-dimensional objects (shields, vessels) in paper-mâché dates from that period. In the 17th century this technique spread throughout Europe from France, where it obtained its name (paper-mâché means mashed paper). Papier-mâché (papier-masse in German, cartapesta in Italian) is a porridge-like mass made of torn paper soaked in water, mixed with binders – an adhesive (starch, for instance) and a filler (chalk, plaster of Paris and clay). While wet this mixture is easily cast from molds or modeled by hand. The dry mass, which is usually painted or varnished, is characterized by great sturdiness and extreme lightness. This technique flourished in Paris around 1740, at the time of rococo. It is very popular nowadays, less among artists and more among those who see it as an enjoyable hobby. Papier-mâché was earlier used to make toys, vessels, figures, frames, furniture and decoration for furniture and ceilings, set props, as well as imitation objects made of ivory, wood, metal, etc. Today this exceptional technique is used most often to model carnival masks, boxes, Christmas tree decoration, decorative vessels, etc. When sculptors are in question, it is used for reliefs, lamps, realistic figurines, but also abstract compositions, set props, etc.

About workshop:

In two days you can master making unique masks in papier-mache technique. It is like Venice technique, but has a higher value because of its uniqueness, where the masks are created in positive, unlike other techniques where the masks are pushed in negative and have the same shape, the difference is only in colour. When you learn how to use a mixture of paper and glue, you can use the same technique to making dolls or any other art object.. Workshop duration: 2 x 6 x 3 hours or 4 hours (breaks included). Note: the workshop does not include the painting, participants can buy a mold for 10 €


Nives Čičin-Šain was born on 23 April 1961 in Split, where she graduated from the Art School in 1979. She became a member of the Croatian Association of Independent Artists in 1989. So far she held 30solo exhibitions in Croatia and abroad and took part in more than 50 group exhibitions throughout the world. In her artistic expression Nives mostly uses a papier-mâché technique, an art technique which took her decades of research to perfect. The artist held many workshops at home, in Japan, Germany, Israel and America. In the 1990s she participated in numerous theatre projects, modelling art props, masks and jewellery. In addition, she created three independent scene set designs and three costume design projects, thus gaining precious experience which is reflected in her present work. She also has experience with illustration of books and design of picture postcards. In 2007 Nives published a book called My Papier-Mâché, written in Croatian and subsequently translated into English and German. Lately she has mostly shifted her focus to graphics and jewellery design. She lives and works in Split, Croatia

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