(around the table) – red hot chilies in winter

A little project we began just at the start of the new year … my daughter had plans of throwing a fiesta for my birthday … but with the return to regular life after the holidays, we are still working up to our fiesta ….

We started with strips of newspaper … and made a batch of homemade wheat paste.

There are many recipes available. Wheat paste is basically a mixture of flour and water (in many cases heated over a low heat and whisked for a smooth consistency).  Other strarchy, non-gluten flours will also work well.

we shaped our chili peppers … by dipping the newsprint strips in bowl of the wheat paste … and with our fingers squeegeed off the excess wheat paste.

twisting the newspaper around itself in a cones-like way … adding a layer or two more and then placing them on  a cooling rack to dry… this may take one to three days depending on the size of your peppers

Yes, traditional paper mache can be a bit messy depending on who’s cooking …but  I love this traditional folk craft method as it is always likely to have the materials on hand.

as the first layers of newspaper dry …. more layers can be used to build on the initial form… just make sure to leave time for layers to dry in between ….

we have painted ours with matte acyclic paint and let the writing of the newspaper show through in places.

I like the feel of having some of the process still revealed…  and the hot redness of those toasty paper chili peppers as winter lingers on…

… we will be making twisted stems, but that is still for another day!


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