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

Moonlit sea with Powertex

Designer – Kore Sage

I’m lucky enough to live a short walk from the sea. I love to visit under the moonlight and listen to the waves. The colours of the water and the beach are so magical under a full moon. The nautical themed mdf was perfect for creating moonlit sea scenes.

The lighthouse had a lovely message in this piece. That no matter how deep the water gets, trust that you will find your way. I hope my plaques inspire you to create your own underwater scenes.

Moonlit sea scene with Powertex and metallic pigments by Kore Sage
Moonlit sea scene by Kore Sage

Metallic pigments for a moonlit night

Metallic pigments are perfect for creating a moonlit glow on my scenes. For the base colour I used Black Powertex on one design and White Powertex on the other.

On this first plaque, I used Black Powertex to paint and adhere layers of mdf with a nautical theme. Stone Art clay was used in the tiny ammonite mould for the little fossils. I also used lumps of the clay for rocks, building dimension and lifting the mdf shapes.

Powertex mixed media detail by Kore Sage
Texture details

Tiny fabric scraps, 3d balls and Powercotton completed the underwater look. I left it to dry before adding the colours.

Pigments were mixed with Easy Varnish and dry brushed over the textures. I use Golden Olive, Violet Valentine and Blue Curacao which made a beautiful moonlit glow.

Powertex moonlit sea plaque by Kore Sage
Moonlit scene

Ivory Powertex and Bister

Powertex Moonlit sea scene
Under the sea scene

My second scene used Ivory Powertex to paint the pieces and adhere it all together. I used tissue paper and cardboard for the back ground. Stone Art clay built up the scene with the mdf shapes. Small, medium 3d balls and sand added extra texture.

Wite Powertex base
White Powertex

When dry I sprayed it heavily with Blue and Black Bister sprays. I used a strong Rust mix and poured this over some of the textures. I sprayed this with a vinegar and water mix.

When that was all dry I chose Aqua Metallic ink and Copper pigment to highlight my textures.

Copper details on Powertex scene
Copper highlights

These watery moonlit sea scenes were really fun to create and will look great hanging in my home. Be inspired and have a try yourself. Do share your makes over on the Facebook group too, we love to see your creations. Or you can tag us on Instagram with #powertexaddict

Powertex mixed media plaques by Kore Sage

If you like the watery theme you might also like this project. You can also find more of my Powertex art at Kore Sage Art. Until next time, find some time to let your art out.

A kelp forest – under the sea

Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter

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.

Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter
Under the sea: Kelp Forest

Supplies

How to make a Powertex kelp forest

Step 1: The ingredients
Step 2 - Setting in the wires

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.

The base

Step 3: Building the composition

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: Washing back and adding a top layer

The kelp

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.

Step5: Adding the Kelp

Metallic colours

Step 6: Bringing out the colour

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

Fi

Powertex Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter
Powertex Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter

Under The Sea Powertex Sculptures

Powertex shark by Donna Mcgghie

By Donna Mcghie

What lies under the sea can be both beautiful and terrifying in equal measure.

I decided to make my own homage to the 1970’s film Jaws for my first underwater sculpture for this article. Thanks to this film I always feel a primeval sense of unease when swimming in deep water, and that music hovers around at the back of my brain. However at the same time I also have an exhilarating rush of adrenaline. My senses feel alert and vibrant. 

Under the sea, Powertex shark by Donna Mcghie
Although I am scared of sharks, I have grown rather fond of this gnarly old Powertex king of the seas

Powertex Stone art mixed with black Powertex fabric hardener was the perfect medium for this gnarled, battle scarred shark.

Powertex zip mouth on shark
An old zip works perfectly for his pointy little teeth
Powertex shark on base
The black metal base makes the perfect base for this powertex sculpture

The sea bed can be an eerily beautiful setting. Mixed media was used to create this under water 3D canvas.

The eerily beautiful seabed that is home to my shark

The illusion of the sea was created by using a mixture of blue and white Powertex Fabric Hardener sprayed with blue bister. I created the spiky coral by soaking Powercotton in transparent Powertex fabric hardener. Shells that are not conventionally pretty added the finishing touch.

Beware of Beautiful Powertex Mermaids

Powertex mermaid by Donna Mcghie
I used bits of lace and paperdecoration to add texture

Many legends and myths are connected to the sea. One of the most enduring myths is that of the mermaid.

My mermaid canvas was created by swirling blue and white Powertex fabric hardener onto a canvas. Bister was then added and blasted with a hair dryer.

My mermaid started to take shape when I poured green Powertex fabric hardener to create the shape of a tail.

I mixed Powertex terracotta and white fabric hardeners together to create a flesh tone, whilst Yellow ochre fabric hardener worked well for the hair.

Davy Jones’s Locker

There are many versions of who Davy Jones was, and just as many theories as to just how he ended up lurking at the bottom of the sea.

Maybe he was seduced by the beauty of a passing mermaid. Her beauty having lured him down to the murky depths below.

Powertex under the sea
My Davy Jones sports a jacket I spied in a charity shop, soaked in Bronze Powertex Fabric Hardener

Our facebook page The Powertex Studio is a great place for ideas and motivation. You can also inspire others by sharing your own makes.

You can also see more of my work and find out about my workshops on my website www.artandmurals.co.uk.

My last month’s blog was inspired by the artist Vincent Van Gogh

That’s all for now. As this is an inspiration blog I have not done step by steps, but if you would like more detailed instructions I am happy to provide them. Please leave me a comment below if you like what you see, and remember to take care, especially when swimming in deep water.

After all, you never know what is lurking beneath.