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.
Dried and sanded, the bowl is “whole” with no loss of strength or integrity; decorated and varnished, no one will ever know the cracks were there. Well, except those of you who read this entry… 😉