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

Clowning around with Powertex Clownfish

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth

By Annette Smyth

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth
Clown Fish

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest article.  I was so excited when I found out the theme for this month was UNDER THE SEA.  I love anything connected with the ocean.  So much so that I think I could have been a mermaid in another lifetime. In fact my dream home is next to the sea with an airy, light cliff top studio looking over the waves and beach – I did say it was dream!

My inspiration for my creation came from old photographs I had taken during a diving holiday.  Whilst flipping through the album these cute little clownfish kept appearing time and time again. Obviously they were crying out to be made into a sculpture.

I like to use StoneArt clay for my Powertex clownfish sculptures.  Making my clay up and giving it time to rest before using it, I find gives me the best results.  Resting it overnight double wrapped in clingfilm in my usual method.

DID YOU KNOW –  Stone Art clay will keep for at least two weeks if kept in an airtight wrapping.  

Materials List
Kitchen foil
Masking tape
Ivory Powertex Universal Medium
Powertex Stone Art
Powercolor pigments – White, Orange, black
Powertex Easy Varnish
2 black glass eyes on metal wire

You will also need 
Plastic gloves
Paintbrush
Plastic container to pour Powertex into and mix Stone Art clay in

Create Clownfish Armature

  1. Using the foil, form a teardrop shape with slightly pointed ends and flat bottom approximately 10cm long and 2cm thick – don’t worry about fins, they come at the clay stage

2.  Cover the shape with masking tape

3. Paint with a layer of Ivory Powertex Universal Medium

Adding Stone Art clay

Powertex Clownfish Stone Art clay

4. Make Stone Art clay using Ivory Powertex – see the “how to” video from my previous article here.

5. Cover your fish with clay.  Blend the joins together with a slightly damp finger.  Pinch the clay away from the body to create the fins and tail.  

6. Place the eyes in position and push through the clay into the underlying tape and foil.  Leave aside to dry.

TOP TIP – Use a pointy tool or cocktail stick to make the hole for the eyes as this will go through the tape more easily.

Adding colour

7. Using the easy varnish and orange pigment dry brush the stripes onto the fish. See “how to” video here.

8.  Now repeat with the white pigment filling in the gaps between the orange stripes.

9. Finally using the black pigment paint thin lines where the orange and white stripes meet and dry brush black around the fins and tail.

I decide to create a soft coral for my fish to sit in using an old cotton mop head and Ivory Powertex.  

Powertex Clownfish by Annette Smyth
Clown fish in coral

Just think of all the other fish and sea creatures you could create. Have you seen the amazing Powertex Ammonite Light article by Jill Cullum. Your sea babies would look fantastic nestled into this.

I would love to see what you come up with.  Why not leave your comments on this article below and share your makes in the Powertex Studio group on Facebook.  

Until next time Happy Creative Adventures and remember you can always find me on my Facebook page and on my website.

Axx

Stone Art Clay Powertex Birds

Mixed media Blue Powertex bird Stone Art clay sculptures

Stone Art Clay Birds of Powertex Paradise by Shell North

In December my first Design team blog goodie box arrived! I was so excited!!! I was given the theme of a pair of birds and these are some of the items I received to create something with stone art clay to hopefully inspire others. (eggs, molds and dies are my own)

I did some research for birds in the style of these new MDF bases. I’m usually quite inspired by nature but nothing I found tickled my imagination. So decided to create something whimsical and a little different. Something from my imagination that may represent a bird of paradise. Because sometimes we need thoughts of warmer places of tropical paradise in these colder month in the UK….

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Powertex uk’s favourite product of the month is Stone Art, I decided I was going to use stone art as a clay to cover this piece. I also pulled out my bottle of Blue Powertex liquid art medium. Although I love this colour, I just don’t use it enough! Mixing equal parts of Blue Powertex to stone art powder until I couldn’t stir it anymore. I kneaded it like dough until the stone art granules could not be seen. This was wrapped in cling film and left for a few hours while I prepped everything else.

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First step was to create the bird shape was cut two polystyrene eggs in half long ways and attach them to the breast areas of the MDF bases with masking tape. Molding the 3D shape of the birds with foil and covering in masking tape. Keeping the holes in the MDF bases open for the wire wings by piercing through the eggs with wooden skewers.  Then threading some wire through the bottom holes, I created a wing shape. Inserting the ends of the wires back in through the top holes on both birds, covering in foil and masking tape again. I built up the rest of the birds bodies as before with foil and masking tape.

Now the birds were fully covered in tape I pushed them onto the 2 pin metal base and molded legs for the birds with foil and tape as before to secure them.

The clay I had made earlier was now ready to use, so I warmed it slightly by kneading. I took clumps and rolled it out into sheets about 5mm thick. Wet the underneath with a little water and smoothed onto the birds piece by piece. To blend the areas as one, I again used a little water my finger tips and a small pallet knife. I also made some feather molds from the clay and added to the tail area of the birds.

For the wings I used one of my favorite texture products…. paper decor, available in a variety of colours. Today I used pink because the blue Powertex is quite dark the colour of the paper decor won’t show through. I cut feather shapes out of it and worked blue Powertex liquid hardener into each piece before smoothing on both sides of the wings.

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Next I took Bronze (brown) stone art clay. Made with stone art and bronze brown Powertex art medium from a recent workshop. Rolled a long thin sausage shape and molded the beak shapes smoothing them into place. I covered the legs using stone art clay with my finger tips, a little water and small pallet knife.

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I created a small repetitive feather texture all over the birds body on the still wet clay. By pressing the silicone texture pad against areas I needed texture. I wanted to create webbed feet, using left over wire from the wings I shaped bird feet. And covered in masking tape before paining them black with black Powertex universal medium.

I decided to add wire crests to the birds to give extra interest. By pushing thin wire through the clay and curling them at the ends. I chose some green glass eyes and pushed them into the clay. I decided to be a little quirky with the colour of the legs, as I’m creating whimsical birds. So I painted the legs stripy using licorice twist and clotted cream acrylics.

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I left them to dry for a few hours so the clay would harden a little. So it was now time to bring them to life, by dry brushing with colours. For this I used Powertex powercolor and colortrix powder pigments mixed with easy coat varnish. I used orange and then faded yellow ochre in onto the beaks. I used ultramarine blue, then turquoise mixed with a little white. This makes the turquoise pop on the body and wings. Finishing by lightly dusting rich gold over the body and terra-green on the wings.

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Well the finished piece can be seen below…..Thanks for reading my first blog as part of the Powertex UK Design team. I hope you all enjoyed what I created this time. Do join me again next month when I’m back with another article.

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Don’t forget all the items used are hyperlinked. Click the highlighted text and it’ll take you straight to items you require, to save you time searching. Please don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions below.

In the mean time why not look through all the new and old blogs. Provided for you by the Powertex UK Design team and guests. You can also find me at The Crafty Little Corner. Send me a message if you would like to do this workshop with me. Or find me on my Facebook page sharing new ideas, hints, tips and a whole lot of Powertex inspiration.

Please spread the love and share this and other blogs.

Peace, love and Paradise 😉

Shell x