Using a variety of tools—some standard, others improvised—drywall contractor Bernie Mitchell works magic with mud.
Bernie Mitchell Using a variety of tools—some standard, others improvised—drywall contractor Bernie Mitchell works magic with mud.

Any highly skilled drywall taper is an artist of sorts, but Bernie Mitchell is an artist by any standard. An Ennismore, Ontario, drywall contractor, Mitchell has spent the past 20 years developing and refining a method of creating remarkably lifelike relief sculptures in drywall mud, many of which ornament the walls of area vacation homes.

The blank canvas for one of Mitchell’s creations is an expanse of standard drywall that’s been taped and given a couple of coats of primer. For the sculpted figures, he uses a customized mix consisting of standard drywall mud that’s first thinned with water, then firmed up with dry setting compound. There’s no hard-and-fast recipe, but the goal...

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