Paper Mache CelluClay Bird

Last month I worked at the Texas Art Education Show with ACTIVA.  I designed the Talavera bird lesson plan below using CelluClay and then taught workshops to teachers and demonstrated in the booth.  WE HAD FUN!  If you haven't tried it, CelluClay is an instant paper mache material that is super light weight and sturdy. 

CelluClay Bird

Talavera Bird with ACTÍVA CelluClay

Talavera is a special style of pottery created in Mexico.  Specifically, it is a type of majolica earthenware that was introduced to the people living in what is now Mexico by the Spaniards.   The style was used in functional and decorative ceramic pieces.  This bird is created with ACTÍVA CELLUCLAY and decorated in the Talavera style–bright colors, nature designs, and patterns. 


ACTÍVA CelluClay (white or gray formula)


Masking tape

Tan colored acrylic paint (Plaid's Folk Art brand)


Permanent markers (Sakura Permopaques

Spray varnish 

ARMATURE:  Crumple newspaper and secure with masking tape to create the body of the bird.  Repeat with a smaller ball of newspaper to make the head.  Tape the two pieces together.

MIX:  Mix ACTÍVA CelluClay pulp according to instructions.  Optionally, you can tint the white ACTÍVA CelluClay with tan acrylic paint while mixing to give it the look of natural clay.

PAT: Take a handful of clay and pat onto the bird armature.  Continue to cover the bird form.  Dip your fingers in water to smooth out certain areas of the bird. 

FORM:  Add small amounts of ACTÍVA CelluClay to build up the wings and tail areas.  It's worth mentioning taking care not to build up the walls  too thick–no more than 1/4 of an inch.

DRY: Leave the bird to dry so there is maximum air exposure.

PAINT:  Paint the bird with tan colored acrylic paint if you didn't pre-tint the ACTÍVA CelluClay.  Use chalk to draw your design–flowers, leaves, feathers are some ideas.  Color in the design with permanent markers or paint.  Outline the design with  a permanent marker.  Seal with acrylic spray varnish.

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