Paper Mache “Ice Dragon”

As usual, I’ve been absent for a while.  It’s been a very busy summer helping my daughters with various things and with work needing to get done around the house.  Scraping and painting a deck is not nearly as much fun as making art, but it has to be done.    I’ve decided to take a break from making dragon trophies.    Having said that, I wanted to make just one more.   And because I have a Facebook account that I never feed I figured I’d post some tutorials there.   I know that some of you don’t do Facebook (good for you if you don’t!  I really don’t like Facebook as a company, but it was a necessary evil for my art) so I’m going to basically repost here what I put on Facebook, with perhaps a bit more commentary.  It will actually flow better in this blog because I can insert photos where they belong instead of as a group at the end of the post on FB.   Thanks for stopping by.

As I said, I was intrigued by the idea of an “Ice dragon”. Actually, I’ve had a number of requests to make something along those lines. Of course Game of Thrones has a lot to do with this. But Viserion didn’t become what I consider to be an “ice dragon” just because he was now dead. His eyes turned blue and his coloring was more white. Everything else was the same.

This drawing by ILoresart,(Gijón, Spain) is more like a real ice dragon. I love the ice horns. In fact, whether or not I could make great looking ice horns became the lynch pin for making the project. I think I will use this photo as sort of a template for the project. Next post: Making some ice horns.

GOT type Ice dragon

The success of any dragon project depends to a large degree on the horns. I have made dragon horns many different ways. I have made them out of solid polymer clay, or polymer clay stretched over a compressed aluminum foil armature. I have just twisted paper around pieces of wire clothes hanger and then wrapped with masking tape, then “cloth mache” (more about that in later posts). None of those methods would work for ice horns.

So I decided to experiment with clear casting resin, the same stuff I often use to coat the inside of the mouths of my dragons. It isn’t cheap or easy to use, but it’s the only thing I can think of that would be very hard and clear, like ice.

I’m going to describe what I did. I still don’t know how to post photos along with the description. So I will just list my steps and post an album of photos. Hopefully you can see which photos go with which step.
Here is what I did.

1) I made a pile of thick aluminum foil. I rolled pieces together and compressed them until I got a general shape that I liked. With some final squeezing and a layer of masking tape, I had the shape of the two main horns. I used those to make simple molds.

compressed aluminum final horn shape

final horn shape 2

2) To make the molds I wrapped more foil around the horn shapes. I wrapped that again with masking tape, and then with bubble wrap and newspaper (only because it was handy). 

add bubble wrap around mold

3) I pulled out the horns leaving a rough mold of each horn.

making the mold for horns

4) I put those into a kitty litter container (I have lots of those around).

mold in kitty litter container

5) I mixed clear casting resin with the catalyst. I did this outside wearing gloves and eye protection. This stuff is really nasty. You don’t want to breathe the vapors or get any of it where it doesn’t belong. I have heard that if you get the catalyst in your eyes you will go blind even if you get to the emergency room! (That is probably not true, but it’s dramatic so I’ll stick with it.) 

mixing resin

6) I poured the resin into the molds and let them sit overnight.

7) The next day I peeled off the various layers exposing the resin. I knew after seeing the first inch of the horn that it was going to be great.

peeling off aluminum more peeling

final horn

Here is how they turned out. Perfect. Because these worked out so well, I decided to go ahead and make the dragon.

In fact, this worked out so well I decided to also make the teeth out of “ice” (casting resin). I will show you how I did some of those next post. Meanwhile, I am going to make a few more smaller horn to use for smaller molds. I want a pile of various sized horns. That will take a few days.

About danmonsterman

I've been a paper mache artist for many years. Visit my website for instructional videos, galleries, and everything else paper mache. Or visit my WebPress blog,
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45 Responses to Paper Mache “Ice Dragon”

  1. Ray Bennett says:

    Awesome Horns. I like how it came out. Would look cool with some blue LED’s lighting them up. Still love your stuff, thanks for the update.

  2. Susan Prokop says:

    What a great idea, thank you for posting. This is really inspiring! ice dragon horns..I wonder what different ideas, your viewers will come up with, using clear casting resins!

  3. Rick Neilsen says:

    That came out great Dan! The texture from the aluminum foil really gives it an icy look. I agree that blue lighting could be neat.

  4. Cher from Maine - now in Florida says:

    This is awesome already! I can’t wait to see the finished dragon- like the idea of icy blue glow- very cool (non pun intended!!) You can also get a nice frosted effect on that acrylic by lightly sanding with super fine grit sand paper if my memory serves me.

  5. Cher from Maine - now in Florida says:

    One last comment- I just was thinking how great a two headed dragon would be using the theme “Fire & Ice”…..just putting that out there… Thanks for sharing with us

  6. deborah white says:

    Makes my day to see a post, whatever the length in between.
    I’m so impressed by the ice horns, that I have reconsidered using resin in projects. I have been fearing it because of the nastiness and I haven’t been keen on what I saw others do with it. Is it heavy? as the other things I mentioned not being impressed with, were very heavy, and I usually need things to be not heavy.

    • You are very nice to say that Deborah. Yes, the resin is nasty. I’m always very careful when I use it. I do it outdoors with gloves and eye protection. It isn’t too heavy, no more so that the other horns I’ve made with Fimo or even paper mache.

  7. Jean says:

    Very cool Sensei. I look forward to seeing the process and the outcome

  8. mihaya de haan says:

    thank you for sharing it

  9. Sue Pearson says:

    Wow, those came out beautiful Dan! I take it that the tinfoil didn’t stick too bad to that resin? Did you use any kind of mold release before you poured? It sure looks nice!

    • Thanks Sue! The foil didn’t stick too much where it was smooth. It did a little in the crinkles, but I knew that I could use a knife to get it out. This resin breaks in a crystalline way, so when I would dig out pieces of foil it broke just like ice would. So it maintained the icy look.

  10. e47art says:

    Thanks for the WIP! The texture on the horns is fantastic.

  11. Elizabeth Allen says:

    The horns are amazing! You’ve just given me an idea for a project. 😃 your work is just out of this world! And the fact that you share it with the rest of us, make you equally amazing in my books. Thank you so much for sharing ❤️🌺🕉

  12. David White says:

    Welcome back Dan and yes those horns look outstanding. I imagine that teeth shall too (Sort of like the Alien Queen’s) so glad you’re back and we look forwards to this latest project.

  13. cecelia says:

    Really inspirational icicles!

  14. Janet post says:

    That’s friggin coool!

  15. helen glasscoe says:

    These are fantastic. Perfect, in fact. Can’t wait – it is going to be something else, really. I love watching your projects coming together. I watch, wait and think about emulating but haven’t actually plucked up the courage yet.
    Thank you for including us all in your amazing projects. xx

  16. Roger Morales says:

    wow …… is fantastic ……you do the impossible

  17. Claire says:

    Always love seeing what you are up to no matter how long I n between posts! Can’t wait for the rest of the dragon to evolve from these fantastic horns!

  18. Bridget says:

    Lovely! Do Ice Dragons blow frost instead of fire?

  19. Lesley Armstrong says:

    Wow the horn really does look like ice, great job Dan. Love your humour, about the resin in your eyes, pmsl, very funny, keep it coming. Lesley from Australia.

    • Thanks Lesley. I’ve had lots of strange experiences with this resin over the years. I once made a head that I wanted frozen in a jar. All because I found the great glass cookie jar at a garage sale. I put the head in the jar and poured a gallon of that resin in. Of course I always put in way more catalyst than the directions call for. After a short while is started smoking and moving. I had to put it outside of my apartment. I lived on a busy street in Seattle at the time. I had many people wondering about the strange head in the jar with smoke coming off of it and the crazy guy peeking at it out his window. Then again, I was known as “Dan the Monster Man” back then. I was considered the neighborhood crazy artist.

  20. suebetanzos says:

    Dan, I love reading your posts. I’ve considered working with resin. More on the jewelry level, small stuff to start with. Thanks for sharing your journey. I also have a blog which I need to dust off the cobwebs and post more often! Really cool work!

  21. Alex Johnson says:

    Dan! Such a cool creation!

    I’m in the process of trying to emulate this for my best friend’s Game Of Thrones bday party. I’m having a little trouble getting the foil off of the resin, any tips?

    Thanks! And again, so freaking cool!

    • Hello Alex. Yes, there were places where the foil was imbedded into the resin particularly on the smaller horns. I just used a box cutter knife and scraped. It was quite a job to get it all off. Good luck!D

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