Mixed Media Mosaic Cuttlefish

collage, Mosaic

I set myself a new project getting back to my love of mixed media. I decided to create a mosaic from my collection of beads, metal charms, paper flowers, seed beads and glass mosaics.

Mosaic art supplies

Other supplies included:

  • A3 piece of MDF
  • Mosaic Glue
  • Resin
  • Picture hooks for hanging
  • Pencil
  • Primer
  • Paint

One of my favourite sea creatures is a cuttlefish and I thought the textures created with all the pieces would make an interesting sea themed college, something I could hang in the bathroom.

Using some reference pictures, I sketched out a basic cuttlefish onto the wood and painted round it with Primer. When this had dried, I began picking out different beads and metal pieces I liked to start building up a pattern. Once I was happy with a few placements, the gluing commenced!

Mosaic Cuttlefish

I had a large translucent bead in mind for the eye, as cuttlefish have interesting eye shapes. To emphasise it I added smaller black beads around it.

common-cuttlefish

After adding larger pieces I began filling in the gaps with a variety of seed beads. I wanted the head, body and fins to be well defined so I focused on making the body blue-green, the fins more gold and the head blue and red.

mosaic cuttlefish

After finishing all the mosaic part of the piece, I painted around the cuttlefish with some blue Dylusions paint.

Polymer Clay Reef Sharks

Polymer Clay

I like to give myself creative challenges, and sometimes I think why am I doing this to myself!? But having seen some beautiful polymer clay sea scenes that include different sea creatures, I thought it was time to stretch myself and make a bigger version of my sea Altoids tins.

The first thing I needed to do was find a suitable container for my mini reef. I didn’t want it to be too heavy or deep so it was easy to see all the details inside. After looking round a few charity shops, I found a large bowl in the supermarket for £2 – bargain!

For references and inspiration I looked through Citizens of the Sea, a beautiful book recommended to me by a friend with has the same obsession with sea creatures! I also love Pinterest for ideas and YouTube for videos on techniques with polymer clay.

DSCN2485

Now I had all my materials, I gathered all the different coloured Fimo together I wanted to use in the coral reef. I also used white sand for the sea bed, some really shells and resin. I bought some rubbing alcohol and found it is one of the best (and cheapest) things to clean your clay of lint and dust while you’re working, and can be used to smooth the clay.

I started the coral reef in the bowl by adding clay around the edges, which was a mixture of brown, yellow and mother of pearl. Looking at a few pictures on my phone for reference as I made the different coral shapes, I worked intuitively as I went along and found this to be my favourite approach to this project. I didn’t draw out any plan of how I wanted it to look and I think this helped with making something organic and natural.

As the different shapes and pieces were so small, this became quite a time consuming project. I had to take frequent breaks over the weeks that I made it to save my hands from getting to rough. At first I was going to have one shark and maybe an octopus in the reef, and to get the scale at least semi accurate, I put the bowl to one side after doing a little bit to make the shark. I was very happy with the way he turned out for my first attempt.DSCN2486

Life, Creative Ruts and Days Out

Polymer Clay

I’ve had some creative blocks recently, and with other things going on in my life, it’s been over a month since my last blog post. And who knows how it is June already?! It’s only just started to get warm here in Manchester, May seemed to be a lot of rain.

I recently added a page about creativity and creative blocks, a topic I have been thinking about for a while. I also decided to take my own advice and went for a walk a few weeks ago to the Southern cemetery near where I live. Getting away from my desk was a good way to stop worrying about any creative blocks. It was quiet and peaceful with so many bluebells. I sat down on a bench and woke up some sleepy ducks – they gave me a heart attack being surrounded by old gravestones in the quiet!

It was serene and a lovely place to think, walk around and having a break from technology. I also went to Blackpool last week, somewhere I have never been. The weather was beautiful and the breeze from the sea was a nice relief from the sun – I still managed to get sunburnt, whoops! It was full of arcade places, fish and chip shops, tacky gift shops and I thought it was so much fun. My friend and I went to the Sealife centre there so I could continue my sea creature obsession. I loved the rays, seahorses and I got to see a nautilus. They are cool and weird!