A short history: Ancient Egyptian death masks, Persian trays and étagères, English Georgian era architectural detailing and coach door panels, 19th Century American paper canoes, and early 20th Century domes for observatories.
Right after that, during WWII, papier-mâché was used to make fuel tanks for short range aircraft that were super-light and disposable so the planes could fly longer. On another frontline, the British constructed facsimiles of soldiers out of papier-mâché to draw sniper fire, and on American soil, the US Government put out ads such as this:
ILLUSIONS ARE VALUABLE IN WAR
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT SEEKS INVENTIVE MYSTIFIERS! MAGICIANS TO THE FRONT
Call for “Fakers” to Fool Germans—American Camouflage Corps Wants More Artists and Skilled Mechanics. A Chance for Adventure—Ingenious Men Make Dummy Cannon, Papier-Mache Horses, and
Other Means of Deceiving Enemy.*
The American Camouflage Corps. was a huge success, and papier-mâché saved a ton of lives. Take that to your next craft fair cocktail hour. Or apply it to this season’s duds.
Photographer: Ian Morrison for opusreps.com
Stylist: Dani Michelle for no-namemanagement.com
Model: Andrew for nextmodels.com, Los Angeles
Groomer: Patrick Chai for eamgmt.com using Bumble & Bumble
Styling Assistant: Brooke Feder