It was a beautiful, clear blue sky morning in the glorious heat of Summer 2018 we arrived at Porthgwarra Beach in far west Cornwall just as the tide was receding. It’s such a beautiful cove and we kept spotting something in the water around the rocks and went to investigate. It was a whole area of kelp – a Kelp Forest! Wandering through the pools left by the tide there were beautiful shells, stones and shiny pebbles. This was my inspiration for this Under the Sea piece.
- Powertex Fabric Hardener – Transparent
- Easy Structure
- Bister in Blue and Brown
- Powertex Easy Varnish
- Secret Art Loft Acrylic Ink Aqua,Deep Sea,Metallic Aqua
- Powercolor Ultramarine Blue, Turquoise Pigments, Red Ochre
- Secret Art Loft Interference Blue, Mojito Lime, Blue Curaco, Golden Olive, Limonchello Gold
- 30 x 1.5cm MDF Base
- 2mm Aluminium wire, masking tape, green tissue paper, selection of shells, moulds and clay
How to make a Powertex kelp forest
Step 1: Use either Stone Art or other air dry clay to push into moulds, leave to dry. Cut 9 or 10 lengths of wire and randomly drill holes into the mdf base.
Tip: I had a tennis ball size piece of Stone Art clay left over from a previous project that I kept. Spray water lightly over a piece of clingfilm which I wrapped tightly around the clay. I sealed it in a reusable plastic bag.
Step 2: Push wires into holes, secure with masking tape then rip lengths of masking tape sticking it the full length of both sides of the wire to create lengths of kelp.
Decorate the base
Step 3: Build a thick random layer of Easy Structure on the base, push shells, moulded sea shapes etc into the easy structure. Spray with bisters, set aside to dry.
Tip: If you use a large central shell like I did, it is worth masking off with some cling film or paper before you spray with bister
Step 4: Wash back the bister from shells and shapes. Use red ochre to colour some of the coral like shapes. Add a generous layer of transparent Powertex fabric harder on the base and drop in mixed art stones.
Step 5: Rip up lengths of pale green tissue paper and paste onto the kelp using transparent Powertex. Leave to dry. Transparent Powertex helps to keep the transparency.
Tips: Paint the transparent Powertex onto the masking tape and press the tissue onto it with a Powertex soaked brush.
Step 6: Using the blues and greens metallic pigments bring out the highlights of the bottom of the sea. Brush Mojito Lime and Golden Olive, Limoncello Gold randomly on the kelp. If you leave lighter patches the sun will shine through enhancing the kelp.
Leave it in a place where you get the sun. Watch it at various times of the day to see where the sun lands and where you might want to add further metallics and maybe a pearl or crystal.
I hope this easy but interesting focal piece inspires you to create your own under the sea project. You might also like this lovely fish sculpture project by Annette.
Don’t forget to share your makes in The Powertex Studio and if you can give me a shout out that would be awesome.
That’s me for now, check back in June when I’m upcycling one of my early Angels that has been keeping watch in my garden for the last couple of years.
Bye for now