skulls for baba yaga: a tucker-produced tutorial in countless, nonlinear steps (but with great results)

you will need:

flour and water paste (consistency less like glue, more like… conditioner)

pieces of glassine (torn in a variety of shapes, and you will want some curved edges to work with

balloons (inflated, to various sizes)

you will brush one side of the glassine with the flour paste, and cover the entire balloon (except for the little opening at the knot.)

take a long strip of glassine and put paste on about half of it. attach it from the top of the balloon, so it is stuck to a layer of glassine previously applied to the balloon, but so that the dry section of the strip — with no glue on it — now hangs loose, more or less in front of the tied-off “belly button” of the balloon itself.

take a new piece of glassine and ball it up, and put some paste on one side of it, sticking it — dry side still facing you — to the un-pasted piece of sheeting you just put on. yup, this is all just hanging loose still. you are creating the extension that forms the jaw.

take a new, nice long strip of glassine and coat one side of it entirely with paste. cover the glassine sheet that is partially glued to the balloon, but also has the crumpled ball on it, from the top, to the bottom, and curving around to the back of it — gluing it down more or less in the shape of a J, sandwiching in the crumpled piece.

then take a shorter piece of glassine and wrap it horizontally around this new wonton-like protrusion. see? now we have a more skull-shaped skull.

wad up a little more glassine and use other small pieces of glassine to affix it to the skull where “cheekbones” would appear.

now you can make a second coat of glassine over the entire piece — or, use glassine AND some of something else (a different paper, some fabric, paper or “real” lace) — and if you have not been dipping your glassine strips into the bowl of paste so that both sides are covered — make sure to brush an extra coating of paste over your finished skull-shape.

let the outside dry.

(this is a project that takes a few days.)

once that skull-shape is dry, you’re gonna pop that balloon and pull it out.

the rest is just cutting (carefully) with an x-acto blade. eyes are easy.

little nose-slits are also easy. if you look carefully here you can see that by the time he got to this prototype, tucker had anticipated putting the cuts for the nose here and had made a faintly indented triangle where they would be placed, by pinching some of the wet glassine between where the eyeholes would go. it’s not necessary, but it definitely helps make this skull the great skull that it is.

there you have it! now repeat, for the number of enemies baba yaga has ever had. how many skulls will there be outside of her hut at liberty lands? and will you dare to approach it? … we will find out… soon!

Papier mache skull-nose-5

(check in with us via PM on facebook to find out what hours we will be home on october 30, 31 and november 1, cranking out the skulls, and possibly some big chicken legs.)


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