ship work

I’m working on several new ships – it’s been ages  and I especially love to make boats in the spring. The first is made from tattered antique gowns, layers of silk, tulle satin, lace and sheer cotton – stitched and stitched in a meandering way – inspired by the eccentric mending and layers of boro textiles.

tattered silk ship

The 2 below are paper mache. I start with a layer of brown paper,  torn up paper grocery bags  (very old lady of me to save them)  for the first layer over the cardboard armature and then layers of newsprint. I usually let some or all of the newsprint show so I divide  it according to type size and style and I have a box of clipped out words saved (also very old lady of me).

paper mache work

The next is a translucent paper mache ship – a big one – in its beginning stage when it looks like a cocoon. I’ve hung it to dry and  I can start to apply the finish layers in the morning – I love waking up to dry paper mache.

translucent ship


And my rat problem has gotten worse……


  1. The rat on the right looks dragonish to me. A rat dragon? The translucent boat is just lovely. Like something elvish and mystical.

    Thanks for the visuals.

  2. Love paper mache. In school we’ve just created some tiered celebration cakes. Your boats have a wonderful ethereal quality.

  3. sallie a kane

    Ann, I think I love your ships most of all your work, they are so very special, I’ve been working on a big ship (at least 3 masts) all winter, and am having trouble finding a really long bamboo skewer for the tallest mast, it’s holding me up, what do you suggest instead? I appreciate any advice! Thank you, Sallie
    ps, was thinking of driftwood?

  4. Wonderful creations! I like your animals and the lovely boats. Amazing artworks!

  5. I just found your lovely website, so forgive this comment on an old entry:
    It is NOT old-lady-ish to save paper bags and whatever other materials you come across. I have a cupboard full of such stuff, and it is just great to see how often something silly like a wooden thread spool, a chocolate box or a shiny stack of old cd’s can be used in a creative project. Not that I’m an artist, just a grandmother (and at heart a child, always) keeping busy with glue and paints and bits of material!

  6. Such wonderful creations! Thank you for all the inspiring and amazing things!

  7. Evelyn Tarleton

    Hi from down under ..Australia… so loving your postings..very sweet ..i havent made anything as yet but i will…. .i am in tne process of gathering materials…. evelyn

  8. Absolutely beautiful work. Could I ask what the transparent boats are skinned with?

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