Morning all

Well if anyone follows me on Instagram you’ll know that I managed to get the hat proportions right for the riding hat I was after which I have to say I was quite pleased with, so I wanted to decorate my first one well and since I’m all about the steampunk at the moment, I wanted to give it a steampunk feel but without the goggles or cogs.  So a little bit of thinking brought me to octopus or octopi (is that better grammar).  I’m not sure why steampunk and octopi are so well linked but they are, definitely more so than whales or sharks who also lurk about in the depths of the oceans.

Going with that theme I found a lovely bit of blue velvet to give the feel of the sea, and decided on a buckle to hold it at the back and an octopus sitting at the front. Not having a buckle or octopus lying around I needed to make them, so out comes the polymer clay

I’m not sure if I have mentioned this on here before but I have a real love of polymer clay it is so versatile, I have been playing with it for years now and love to incorporate it into projects. I even have made buttons out of it that can be the exact colour and size/shape I want and go through the washing machine without a problem, wonderful stuff. But I digress as usual.  Polymer clay is the perfect stuff to make an octopus out of, and today I thought I’d show you a few before and after pictures of my painting process.  (There are loads of really good youtube tutorials on painting if you want more details.)

So here Sid before his paint job:

The first thing I did was give him a black wash, ie very watery black acrylic paint sponged over him to soak into the crevices. The buckle and extra tentacles on the other had had a complete black paint job because I wanted them to have a metal look by the end of the process. (Did I mention that I thought a few extra tentacles curling out from the band would look cool?)
Once Sid was quite grubby looking and completely dried off, I started to dry brush him. I have 2 favourite paints for dry brushing, both permanent acrylic metallic paint, first ‘pure gold’ and second ‘copper’. I seem to use these on everything.
Firstly I dry brushed the gold on to Sid and the other parts

Then after a little pause, to ensure that everything was completely dry, or maybe just to make a cup of tea, I dry brushed on the copper, lightly on Sid, but more heavily on the buckle to add to the rusty old metal look.

So then it was just a matter of putting it all together.  I had put holes in the end of the separate tentacles and a couple in Sid too, so the tentacles could be wired and then sewn on that way and Sid was secured with a little bit of sewing.

Here is the back with the buckle in place and the tentacles curling out of the depths….

and Sid in prime spot on the front.

so before and after..

I hope you’ll agree that he looks more steampunky.

and just in case polymer clay is new to you, it comes in a whole range of lovely colours too that can be used in wonderful ways that never need painting, I was just using up some old dirty clay in this project.

Here’s a couple of non-painted things I’ve made to give a feel for it..

Hugs and Kisses

Ally