The Making of a Monster

~By Anne C.

Beasts, phantoms, despots and serial killers have thrilled and fascinated humans, time out of mind. Some of us shy away from such frightening thoughts, but others venture bravely into the dark corners of imagination, seeking out monsters, making their acquaintance, and bringing them into the light through arts and literature.

Earlier this month we explored the human relationship with monsters, both real and imagined, with a selection of psychology, sociology, and history books. In this post, we discuss the many ways of making monsters using visual and textile arts.

If you haven’t delved into the arts in a long time, making monsters is the perfect introduction because a monster can take any form, however strange and lopsided. As proof of concept, check out the paper mâché  creature we made and perched on the “Monsters” display in the Business, Science, Technology (and Monsters) department on level 7 at the Central Library.

Monster BIG face

Is it a dragon? A dinosaur? A sea monster? We’re not sure, and that’s okay. He’s made using both a standard paper mâché  recipe and paper mâché  clay, which we found out about through YouTube videos on the website Ultimate Paper Mâché .

For tips on making your own paper mâché creatures, we suggest both the website above and the book Paper Mâché Monsters, by Dan Reeder.

Looking for something a little less… gooey? Why not turn your singleton socks into little lurking friends with Stray Sock Sewing, by Daniel Nault.

If you’re a knitter, perhaps it’s time to branch out into needle felting with Little Felted Animals, by Marie-Noelle Horvath. (If the sweet kitten on the cover doesn’t look like a monster to you, we have one word of explanation: Bunnicula.)

For these books and more, check out the list “Making Monsters – Creature Crafts,” in The Seattle Public Library catalog.

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