This is a visual diary of the development of the octopus we called 'Diane' during the stages of her journey.
It took 10 months and about 300 hours from the time I picked up the clay to her final patina and buff up.
She weighs 29 kg making her the biggest of my projects.
The base was given to me and I decided within minutes of its gifting exactly what I wanted to do with it and that is what happened.
I built a flat plate to sit on the polished angle side of the Pounamu block.
The plate has a design on it that represents the sea flowing into a beach which has a rock flow cascading over the back of the block. These are depicted in various textures.
The rock formation also serves as a extra hold on the greenstone.
There is a shaft under the plate that goes right through the block and its anchored with 2 nuts and washers. A silicon plug completes the underside.
I built and attached a formation on the plate that represents a fumerole found on the ocean floor that emits gas and heated water upon which many life forms are to be found.
Into this are placed the 3 steel shafts which are attached to the octopus body. The sculpture is designed to be separated for transportation. The shafts are wrapped in small coils of old wire that represents the gases emitted from the fumerole.
The story of the octopus herself is fairly straight forward with new techniques being learnt along the way. This was the the most intricate of all my works.
With invaluable advice from Alex at Skellerns foundry, I managed to avoid any serious pitfalls and she progressed through the months along with a growing sense of excitement that this was going to be something special.
And now, judging from the reactions of all who have physically experienced her and those online, I think that aspect has been achieved.
The fine job that Alex and her team at the foundry did in casting her, made my job that much easier and enjoyable.
Thanks to Chris for his contribution to the photos.
I hope you enjoy following her creation as I have set it out here.
The creation of the armature that will form her basic shape and of the packing with paper, wrapping in tape and the rough positioning of her head.
The master arm in clay then divided into 3 for moulding.
Creating the suckers under the body. The head into the basic finished shape in clay.
One shot of the making of the caps for the 3 steel shafts that project into the base.
The first of the arms in wax and beginning the attachment of the wax arms.
The progression of the arms attachment in wax.
Closeups of the texture I applied.
From the bits and pieces straight from the foundry through to the completed sculpture. Bead blasting and patina still to be done
The completed sculpture. The first and second photos beautifully display the base and the texture.