I did it. I managed to finish five more witches. It took me way longer than it should have, but I had quite a long break between creating the wire/foil/tape bodies and starting with the paper mache.
I stuck to the same method when creating the basic forms, although I made three heads with separate jaws so they have an actual mouth instead of just lips that I built up to create the impression of a mouth. This meant I could add icky teeth and a tongue.
I also decided to create the shoes/boots and hands fully out of clay, instead of the foil/tape form I used on the first five ladies. My hope was the hands and shoes would be a bit more refined if they were fully out of clay. It sort of worked.
I also decided to do only one layer of strip paper mache and I covered more area on each witch before drying. This made the strip application step go much faster. My biggest misstep this time was forming them and applying the strip mache before I really knew what each lady would be doing.
My biggest accomplishment this round was with my paper mache clay. I boiled the hell out of the toilet paper before mixing everything together, so the consistency of the clay was greatly improved. I also froze the clay in several batches, so I don’t have to make new clay for awhile.
The rest of the process was pretty similar to the first round of ladies. I did find out I can cut away the clay and foil if there’s something that really looks off. I trimmed excesses skull on one witch and a section of jaw on another. I was also able to smooth the dried clay by shaving it with a knife.
Trying to figure out what the ladies should be carrying has been a challenge. Because they’re kitchen witches, I wanted them to have kitcheny items. I got a bit more creative with polymer clay this time and created peppers, carrots, and a dead rabbit.
With the encouragement of my cousin Mandy, I also started playing with watch pieces to create additional items and made an ulu knife and a hatchet/meat cleaver using watch pieces and polymer clay.
Overall, I am very happy with how all of these ladies turned out.
The next five witches are already well on their way and will be ready for the strip paper mache in the next day or so. I have a fairly clear vision for all five, which is always helpful. It also usually means nothing will work out the way I’m envisioning. At lease I know I can easily remove faces if that happens.