Using glue and a little bit of creativity, area students transformed flat house supplies into shapely companions this week.

Using glue and a little bit of creativity, area students transformed flat house supplies into shapely companions this week.

Six students, entering fourth through eighth grade, participated in a three-day paper mache class offered through the McPherson Recreation Commission. Instructor David Brock showed them how to combine newspaper, cardboard and tape into various creatures.

On Monday, the class selected which object they wanted to create, then began cutting and taping cardboard together. If making an animal, the students used wire to connect the legs to the body.

The glue, either a corn starch-based goo or an Elmers art paste, was introduced Wednesday. The students tore newspaper into long strips, spread paste onto them, and attached it to their cardboard structure.

On Friday, the class pulled out paint and brought their creations to life.

Brock said the class allows the students to work on problem solving and think about their work in a different way.

"I think it's important for kids to think in terms of three dimensions," Brock said, adding this is the most difficult part of the process. "They see so much two dimensional things like computers these days, but they need to figure out how to make things in three dimensions."

Although it took some time to get their ideas off the ground, many of the students were inspired by each other.

"There's no telling what they'll make," he said. "Once they see a lot of their friends take off and do something, that gets them going. An idea can spread based on what they see each other doing."

Several students decided to create animals.

Emma Mirkes, 10, made a cocker spaniel to look like her new 10-week old dog at home.

"(The paste) is really slimy and kind of cool temperature wise and it spreads easily," she said. "If you're someone who likes to get dirty, you would like this part."

Braden Bookless, 13, knew he wanted to make a spider before he went into class the first day. His choice was based on a creature he saw on his brother's video came.

He said this was his first time to do paper mache, and the hardest part to do was attaching all the legs.

"It's fun to get out of the house and do something," he said about the class.

Taylor Young, 10, said she first wanted to make a caterpillar, but after a while, it began to look like a dachshund.

Lacey Zerkel, 9, was inspired to make a SpongeBob Squarepants character once she saw a demonstration piece made by Brock. She said she enjoyed the class because it is fun and she is allowed to be creative.

Brock has taught a paper mache class every year since 2009 and enjoys making creations of his own at home. He has a collection of gargoyles and has thought about making enough for a gallery.

"I really like paper mache as an art form," he said. "I like to make things, and this is an easy thing to get kids going with."

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