If Medusa could Stone Art you

Designer – Shell North

For my July article we are delving into ancient Rome and looking at incorporating Medusa and Stone Art. The Romans were renowned for their love of wine, both producing it and drinking it. So a wine Medusa jug is what I will teach you to make this time.

Medusa was a Gorgon and one of the most frequently repeated motifs in Greek and later, in Roman antiquities. The Legend has it that if you were to gaze into her eyes you would turn to stone. Or in our case…Stone art!

Powertex Stone Art Medusa jug by Shell North

Materials List

Powertex materials list for Medusa jug
Powertex item list

How to make a Stone Art Medusa jug

Make some Stone Art clay

To start I mixed my own colour using the Bronze, Lead and Ivory Powertex Fabric Hardener to make my own shade of stone art clay. I mixed it with equal parts Stone Art powder to make the clay.

Mixing Powertex

TOP TIP Leave some of the Powertex mix aside before mixing in the Stone Art powder as you will need some for the cotton later.

Making the jug shape

Insert the bottle into the large yoghurt pot, add foil to create shape and cover in masking tape. Shape foil to create a handle and tape as above.

Make the jug shape with foil

The messy fun bit

Using the Stone Art clay, smooth pieces over the base little by little until covered. Shape a spout as desired with the Stone Art clay.

Add Stone Art clay

Adding the motif

Cover the back of your plaster face with a little Stone Art clay and smooth around the edges into position.

Plaster face
Use a plaster face

Creating the deadly snake hair

To create Medusa’s hair use some tiny strips of cotton and work them into the Powertex Fabric Hardener colour mix you made earlier.

Making fabric snake hair
Making snake hair

Creating moving hair

Using the wet strands, apply one by one in a wiggly position, over lapping and layering to create movement like living snakes!

Snake hair Medusa
Medusa

To finish

Dry brush lighter shades of Grey and Red ochre Powercolor pigments and Easy Varnish, finishing with lighter colours last to give a worn/aged appearance.

Powertex Stone Art Medusa jug by Shell North
Powertex Medusa jug by Shell North

Handy tip

TOP TIP To get even coverage with stone art, why not use a pasta machine to roll out your clay all in one equally level sheet. I have found many cheap second hand ones for £5 in charity shops! Just make sure your clay is not sticky before rolling through.

Did you see Kore’s planet canvas recently? I was hugely inspired by it so if you missed it, find it here and you too may find inspiration.

Hope you enjoyed this article? If so please comment below or share your inspiration on the Facebook Powertex Studio page.

Well that’s all for me this month,

Peace, love and a little splash of wine from my jug 😉

Shell xxx

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