Art Inspiration: Dragon’s Head Reconstruction, Stage 1


Several years ago I was asked by the after school teachers to create a dragon head for a Christmas pageant. In the show we were celebrating different celebrations around the world around Christmas time. One of then was a dragon dance from China, which is why they needed a dragon’s head.

It was a bit of a challenge when they asked me. If you do not know this but I am pretty good at creating things using different artistic mediums. For the dragon’s head I was going to create it using papier-mâché. I have created different things in the past such as nativity senses, piggy banks with the students, piñatas, puppets and some masks. Yet I never created anything this large.

I used two different boxes for the head and two foam bowls for the eyes. The eye ridges were crumpled up newspaper taped in place and the teeth are precut from cardboard. I then papier-mâché the entire head with a few layers to make it strong enough for the dance but I did not make it too heavy because the students where carrying it.

The papier-mâché is a simple recipe where I use flour, salt and water. I place an amount of flour (whatever you need, a little or a lot). Then I sprinkle some salt over the flour, so that it does not mold. Then I add water and mix it into the flour and salt. I keep adding water until I get the mix to the consistency similar to pancake mix. I then dip newspaper strips in the mix and then place it onto the creation. Then you have to let it air dry for a day or two before adding more layers of papier-mâché dipped newspapers. Once the shape is all done I paint it white to cover up the black ink on the newspaper. Once finished I painted it red, green and yellow.

In the end it was a great creation and the students and teachers enjoyed it very much. Yet after the performance we did not need the head any more and I was about to throw it out. But a teacher asked if she could have it for a lesson on Chinese New Year so I said sure she could have it. Every year after she brought it out for the class and the school to help celebrate Chinese New Year.

But the ravages of time are ever-present and the head began to come into disrepair and in the past year the jaw finally fell off. To be honest I made the head within a month and did not expect it to last a year let alone over 6 or 7. So when a teacher asked if I could fix up the head, I was more than happy to fix it.

Stage 1

First off I had to fix the jaw and any other damage on the head. So before I fixed anything I took the jaw off and removed any repairs they may have done over the years. I took off tape, the fabric backing and beard, some layers of old papier-mâché and anything else that looked bad.


Plaster of Paris to reinforce the Jaw

With that done I reinforced the jaw by using a clothes hanger. I cut the hanger in half and taped it to the inside of the head and jaw, just to keep it in place. To make sure it was firmly in place I used Plaster of Paris and gauss. It is very similar to what doctors used to make casts. It’s strong and secure but a bit heavy.

I got Plaster of Paris making it a bit liquidly instead of the thicker plaster, then I took precut pieces of gauss about 25 – 30 cm long and dipped it into the plaster. I then placed them in the places I wanted making sure I smoothed it over the areas. I used these pieces on the wire frame to make sure it was secure and on other areas that was damaged, the eye ridges, outer and inner jaw. Once this was done I let the plaster dry for about two days to make sure it is completely dry (I used a lot of plaster).

I then papier-mâché the entire head to fix and strengthen any other area that needed it, horns, the nose, teeth, inner mouth and over the Plaster of Paris to give an even look and feel to the head. This time I did several layers of papier-mâché to make it stronger. It took a few days because I needed it to dry after each application.


The entire Head covered with papier-mâché


Next week I will let you see the next phase of the reconstruction. I hope you enjoy the first stage of the Dragon’s Head Reconstruction.


If you have any questions please feel free to place them in the comment section and I will answer them as soon as possible.


2 Responses to Art Inspiration: Dragon’s Head Reconstruction, Stage 1

  1. Pingback: Friday Two Cents: Building Many Happy Memories With A Dragon’s Head | Paul Gauchi

  2. Pingback: Friday Two Cents: It Is Within Me | Paul Gauchi

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

The Trombonist's Mouthpiece

Music, education, and philosophy

Paul Gauchi

My innermost thoughts I wish to share. These things Inspire me, maybe they will inspire you.

Lucia Lorenzi

the body politic: musings and meanderings

Eternal Atlantis

Official Website of Luciana Cavallaro

The Art Studio by Mark Moore

Where Imagination Becomes Realality

Daniel is funny

Monsters, Jokes, Analogies

A Step onto the Road

The journeying of a literary hopeful


Thinking deeply about education

The Baggage Handler

I made the impossible easy in both worlds!

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Belief Blog

Spreading the Power of Belief

The First Gate

Stories, Dreams, Imagination, Soul

Chris Martin Writes

Sowing seeds for the Kingdom

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods

The writer gives life to a story, the reader keeps it alive.

Mama Cormier

.... my journey to a healthy life, making new memories and so much more

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: