After it was primed, I gave this bowl several coats of a light green acrylic paint, and decoupaged a butterfly on the interior:
I’ve been contemplating painting the rim in a coordinating shade of blue, but the butterfly is so striking against the solid background that I may leave it as is. I’ll cogitate on it for a while more before deciding.
Once the painting is complete, it will get several coats of clear acrylic varnish, and then it will be ready to go into the shop inventory.
Sometimes I’m just a little too impatient taking it off the form, and sometimes it’s just a little too reluctant to let go:
The red-circled areas are pretty obvious: the edge cracked as it came off the form. The orange-circled area is a little trickier to make out; it shows several small areas where the papier mache pulp stuck to the form and pulled out of the bowl, leaving small voids.
The bad news is, this is not an uncommon occurrence. The good news is, it’s easy to fix.
First, dry the bowl completely in a 230F oven for several hours. (In this case, I took a few oven-proof silicone molds and propped the sides of the bowl as close to the desired shape as possible. Not all cracks require this.) Once it’s dried and cooled, it’s like spackling a wall: simply fill in the cracks and voids with finishing pulp, and pop it back into the oven for another hour.
You’ll notice that the rim is not perfectly circular — this is a natural result of how the bowl is formed, and while I could use the dremel to sand it even, I actually prefer the irregular shape. This will become a “butterfly bowl”, and the more organic edge will enhance the decoupaged design. (Besides, if you want a perfectly round bowl, you could just go out and buy one. ;-))