Spring Bay woman creates beautiful papier-mâché dishes for This Old Newspaper contest

Mona Lewis displays the two beautiful dishes, with owls guarding the dishes, that she created out of paper maché for the ‘This Old Newspaper’ contest.

SPRING BAY – Mona Lewis has created two beautiful owls guarding dishes, using papier-mâché, for the provincial ‘This Old Newspaper’ contest.

“They are both owls guarding the dishes,” Ms. Lewis told the Recorder. “The bigger one is more sprawled out.” She pointed out the smaller creation is a candy dish and the one is for knick knacks.

Ms. Lewis explained the process she took to create the dishes. “I didn’t keep track of my time. But I stirred the flour and water, perhaps 15 minutes until the flour dissolved. Then I let them set for three hours until glue formed. While this was taking place I tore the newspapers into tiny pieces as I watched the news, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. This was done twice for at least two or three hours each time as I made the larger dish first and decided it was too big for a candy dish. After the glue formed I mixed the torn newspaper into the flour and water mixture with my hands for approximately an hour each time until it formed a clay.”

“After this I made the larger dish in about two hours, and let it set for three days until it was firm enough to paint. I took about an hour to paint it,” continued Ms. Lewis. She then, “put cardboard from a cereal box inside the lager one to support the sides as I was modeling it. While this was drying. I made the smaller one in about the same amount of time. Finally, I finished them with two coats of Varathane.”

“I used acrylic paints,” said Ms. Lewis. “It might have taken about an hour and a half to paint them with the varathane.” She pointed out the papier-mâché was made with flour and water (equal parts of both) and newspapers. “I used three cups of each, three Recorders and three Expositors, torn into tiny pieces, and mixed into the floor and water.”

She had “read in the Expositor and the Recorder about the challenge and decided to see what I could do with things I had on hand. I don’t expect to win a prize, but I just did it because I enjoy doing crafts although I am 88 years old.”

Turners of Little Current will be showcasing the ingenious works of Manitoulin Island residents. 

So far, The Manitoulin Expositor has received three submissions—a 1920s flapper-style dress and headband from Diana Parrill of Sheguiandah, a woven purse free of any materials other than newsprint from Jessey Mandoshkin of Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation, and an eight foot long swing bridge replica atop a globe, all made from recycled Expositors, by Gord Soplet of Mindemoya.

The deadline for the provincial ‘This Old Newspaper’ contest has been extended until Halloween, October 31.