This technique was invented in China and taken to France where it got its name, which means chewed paper.
The traditional method of making paper mache is to use a mixture of water and flour cooked to the consistency of heavy cream. The paper is cut or torn into strips, and soaked in the paste until saturated.
The strips may be placed on an armature, or skeleton, commonly made of wire, or on an object to create a cast.
Oil or grease can be used as a release agent if needed. Once dried, the resulting material is sanded and painted.Mexican Paper Mache
In the past, paper mache crafters in Mexico were called cartoneros and they worked in the traditional markets selling:Piñatas used during Christmas season and birthday parties.
And Judas sculptures, big figurines depicting Judas Iscariote burnt in public plazas during the Holy Saturday.
The work of the cartoneros has evolved and paper mache has been used to make decorative crafts such as fruits, vegetables and trays and folk art sculptures like the world famous alebrijes.
Paper mache is easy to learn and versatile so it is a technique widely taught at workshops around the country. Popular designs like, clowns, viejitos, animals, skulls, skeletons, catrinas and masks are made in different parts of Mexico notably in Jalisco, Guanajuato, Puebla and Hidalgo.
Vibrantly colored skeletons and animals, full of life and movement thanks to the technique he wonderfully mastered, are collectible pieces.
His son Mario Moreno Contreras inherited Saulo's artistic talent and is recognized by many folk art scholars as the perpetuation of the Alambroide Style.