Snapshot in Time: Papier-mache in Peru

 Catherine Lucy

Sisters in Peru with papier-mache figures

Many Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are talented artists, including Sister Mary Kay Kottenstette of the St. Louis Province (pictured, forefront). Here she is creating and directing the making of life-size papier-maché figures in Chimbote, Peru, for the first time circa 1968 or 1969. The figures were for a nativity set that would be placed on the roof of a nearby church. They have a mesh wire form covered with papier-maché (also known as paper-maché), which is a crafting technique that uses layers of paper and paste to mold a shape. The figures were then clothed and painted. Young people from the area are shown helping with the project. Sister Mary Kay would go on to make a life-size papier-maché figure of the Risen Christ for another church.

Photo from the St. Louis Province Collection, Carondelet Consolidated Archives.

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