The sea is my heart, a Powertex octopus by Shell North

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.

Materials used in my Powertex octopus

*Lead grey Powertex Universal Medium

*Stone art clay made using

*250g Stone Art mixed with equal amount of Powertex Universal Medium

*Jersey cotton fabric

*Wire meshWireFoil

*Masking tape

*30mm glass eyes2 x 50mm

*Polystyrene balls

*Powder pigments such as Powercolor, Colortricx or Pearl pigments

*Easy varnish



*Hot glue gun

*¾ paint brush

*Wire cuttersPliersCraft knife

*Texture pad

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 vinyl gloves) then cover in foil, then cover in masking tape.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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