The sea is my heart, a Powertex octopus

Designer – Shell North

A Powertex octopus. The theme this month is Underwater, this is one of my favourite go to themes I love to create with as I love the sea. Living in Dorset I’m close to the sea and often find myself seeking respite on some of the peaceful secluded beach spots I know of. There are so many interesting aspects of the sea I get inspiration from, the creatures, colours, sounds and textures.

One of my favourite sea creatures are octopuses, they are such interesting creatures, incredibly intelligent and majestic.

So then, it’s decided that in this article I will be creating an octopus sculpture. I chose to work with both fabric and Stone Art clay to get the look I wanted.

Powertex Octopus sculpture by Shell North
Powertex Octopus Sculpture by Shell North

Materials used in my Powertex octopus

Supplies for Powertex octopus
Supplies

Tools

Skill level

Intermediate due to size

Creating the body shape

  • Using wire mesh, create a balloon shape with a skirt, stuff with waste materials (like used gloves) then cover in foil, then cover in masking tape.
Create the body shape
Step 1 Create the body shape

Making the tentacles

  • Wrap 8 lengths of wire in foil until the right thickness for tentacles and then place around main body. Cover and secure with masking tape and curl into shape.
Adding tentacles with wire and foil
Step 2 Add tentacles

Making the eyes

  • Cut the polystyrene ball to make the shape of an octopus eye, attach the eye with hot glue and again to attach to the body.
Craft octopus eyes with polystyrene and plastic craft eyes
Step 3 Add eyes

Covering with stone art clay

  • Roll out the Stone Art clay to 5mm thick, dampen with water and firm in place over the sculpture. Use a pallet knife and a little water to blend any joins.

Adding fabric for the web area

  • Using strips of jersey cotton, work in the Powertex Universal Medium and attach the fabric like a skirt around the mantle. Blend the edges.
Blend the edges of the fabric with the clay
Blend the edges of fabric and clay

To finish the project

While the clay is still wet use the texture sponge to create a texture on the surface of the clay.

Dry brushing

Leave to dry a few hours, then mix powder pigments of your choice with easy varnish and dry brush colour onto your sculpture.

Powertex Octopus sculpture by Shell North
And here’s the finished Powertex Octopus by Shell North

I will probably add suckers on the underneath of the tentacles at a later time, but due to its size over ran with the time allocated (1.5 days).

Top tip

When shaping the tentacles I sat the octopus sculpture on top of the up-turned 250g stone art tub so I could give the tentacles more movement instead of them being flat.

Did you know?

Octopuses have 3 hearts? Really does make them the heart of the sea!

Well I hope you enjoyed my article this month. If you’re inspired to sculpt with Stone Art clay, catch my Powertex bird sculpture article from Jan.

Well that’s all from me until next month,

Peace, love and octopus hugs,

Shell x

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