Paper Maché Animal Sculptures - Melanie Bourlon

What a thrill it is to feature the anthropomorphic paper maché sculptures of French artist Melanie Bourlon!

paper mache fox dressed in clothing

Each nattily dressed animal Melanie creates is incredibly realistic with an enormous amount of whimsy factored in to delight the viewer.


Admit it... are you smiling? The expressions of this beret-wearing sheep and super-serious hound are priceless.

paper mache sheep wearing beret

paper mache hound in suit jacket

I can guess what you're thinking... "That dapper fox at the top of the page can't be papier mache, can it? But he has real fur!" No, that isn't fur, but Melanie's painting expertise makes it look like it is. Enjoy this video that shows her at work.

She earned a degree in art and literature in the 90s, and then opened an antiques and rare objects shop. Later, she studied the creation of faux marble and frescoes, as well as trompe l'oeil, the painting technique that fools the eye.

paper mache hare

A prolific sculptor who has created scores of beautifully constructed pieces, Melanie uses recycled paper, wire, stone, fabric, lichen, bark, root, felt and even cow dung. (Am not convinced about the latter, but I'll take her word for it. Perhaps that's why this fellow is wearing boots. :))

paper mache cow wearing boots

Melanie manages to give each figure an air of decorum... yet we're snorting with glee!

paper mache dog dressed in clothing  

Not all of her paper sculptures are animals... you'll find intricately detailed period fashions, such as shoes and bodices, as well as plants and edible delights on her website

paper mache bear dressed in clothing


Update 2022:

Melanie Bourlon is on Instagram and Facebook where you can follow for updates. She exhibits frequently in France, offers in-person and online paper maché classes, and has a gallery in Les Avenières.


paper mache leopard dressed in clothing

Photography: Anthony Cottarel

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. So very realistic. How wonderful to see her work.A truly great artist.

  2. Wow! Would love to have a tenth of her talent! Amazing work. Thanks Ann for sharing this with us.

  3. Oh, these are marvelous! She imbues the sculptures with such character, even emotion.

  4. Wow, and I am having trouble with a paper flower today :) This work is amazing. Thanks for including the video. Watching her mix the papier mâché brings back memories with my mother :)

  5. all I can say is WOWWWWWW!!
    thanks for sharing !!!

  6. Oh, yes, I love her artwork. I featured her on my blog before and she has written to me. She is quite humble about what she does, but it is amazing.

  7. beautiful i love it
    have a nice weekend!
    Greetings Baukje

  8. Hard to believe it's papier mache! Thanks for posting, Ann!

  9. coool!! One question, what do you use for the base of the head?

  10. I love créating with paper mâche artist myself I take joy in designing pieces of Cartapesta that move me in ways wood cannot.
    Your work is divinely intriguing and would love an animal bust form of our dog, (Italian Greyhound) all dressed up as you show in your art style.

    See you real soon.
    I will be posting later today some of my art pieces in paper mâché .




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