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In looking for a project that the church school could embrace for the Advent season, Director of Christian Education Sue Thompson found a project that a church in England started in 2007 called a “Crib Service.” This project involved making life-sized characters out of paper. Using this papier-maché project as inspiration, it was adapted for Towson Presbyterian Church and worked on throughout the weeks of Advent by an intergenerational group. Musician and sculptor, Lucy Meyer, finished sculpting all of the pieces originally worked on by various families of TPC, using the plaster cloth described below. 

Medium: Papier-maché, using plaster cloth and newspaper, plastic bags and coat wires, spray paint and glitter The figures were inspired by Early Renaissance painter Sandro Boticelli’s graceful paintings of the Nativity and of the Adoration of the Magi. Papier-maché is one of the oldest surviving forms of artwork, possibly as old as the invention of paper itself dating back to Ancient Egypt. None of the figures were carved down, but instead built up from the wire and cardboard frames themselves. Once the forms were made, using hanger wire and plastic bags and paper, careful application of strips of newspaper were then adhered. Lastly, powdered paper or pulp was used to form faces, in addition to the use of modeling material called plaster cloth, also used in orthopedic casts, which was then draped as clothing to bring the figures to life.

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  • 400 West Chesapeake Avenue
    Towson, Maryland 21204
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