Monday, 15 May 2017

The Horror from the Depths of the Sea - for SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges

Those who are familiar with H.P. Lovecraft's stories about the Old Ones (of which Cthulhu may be the most well known) and other invented horrors, know that these godlike creatures have conquered Earth billions of years ago (and maybe even have sparked life...who knows?) - but they have never occupied our planet completely (noone really knows what - or who - interrupted their seizure). The old continent R'lyeh for example sunk and now lies somewhere deep on the bottom of the ocean. And this is the place where the Great Old One "Cthulhu" is supposed to rest - waiting for some mad scientist or archeologist to speak the spell that will awaken him again...

By the way H.P.Lovecraft purposely gave his Outer Gods, Old Ones and their lairs names that are unspeakable. He even wanted their language to be as outer-worldly as possible - and he succeeded, didn't he? ;)

My friends and I love to play pen and paper role playing games from the world of Cthulhu. It is great fun to play a character that does not have a clue what it is that he is stumbling into...and later finds him- or herself simply trying to survive and not go mad facing unspeakable horrors.

But enough introductory blurb...(I'm afraid this is going to be a text heavy post anyway, so maybe you might want to get yourselves a cuppa) project for this month's challenge over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges is inspired by Great Cthulhu, lying on the ocean ground, sometimes rising to spread his horror across unlucky humans who get in his way. The diver's helmet is what is left from one of these encounters. And Cthulhu still holds it in his tentacles while lying in slumber on the ocean ground.

He only awakens now and then when he thinks he has heard someone calling...and opens an eye. Only to fall asleep again (hopefully), waiting, dreaming.

Welcome to our May challenge over at 

We are once again having an 
"Anything Goes - Steampunk/Industrial" 
themed challenge - so you are free to create whatever you like as long as it has at least a steampunk or industrial twist to it. 

I got the idea for my project while rummaging through my "bits 'n bobs" box with old bottle caps, metal findings, trash and left overs from other projects and stumbled across two tentacles that I had done months ago when I accidentally had prepared too much Apoxy Sculpt clay. As the two components harden within about 40 minutes after being kneaded with each other you cannot store it for later use. So I quickly decided to make tentacles - but with no idea for a project in mind.

The large magnifing glass maybe was a gift from my husband's uncle who is renovating old-timers (cars and motorcycles). The box I used is the middle sized one from the Calico Craft Parts ATB Cube Kit that I have already partially used HERE. And I bought the diver's helmet on the internet last year or so.

How to make the tentacles: 

Sadly I forgot to take any pictures when I formed the tentacles, but it actually is quite easy: you take a small (maybe walnut size) lump of your clay - you don't have to use the Apoxy Sculpt; a cheaper air hardening clay does the trick as well - and roll it between your palms until you get a long roll. Apply more pressure to one end while rolling so you get a pointy end on one side of the roll. Tear or cut off as much as needed from the other side and flatten.

Then roll really tiny pairs of balls in growing size and stick them to the tentacle. Use an embossing tool with two differently sized pointy ends to press it into the centers of these balls. There you have your suckers!

Bend the tentacle in the desired shape and let harden.
If the clay starts to get cracky dip your fingers into water and smoothen out the surface.
Allow at least two hours for your clay to harden. The thicker the tentacles, the longer it will take.

How to create the Cthulhu Box:

Paint the insides of the ATB cube with DecoArt Teal Dazzling Metallics paint. Set aside to dry.

In the meantime apply some "Navy" DecoArt Americana paint to the tentacles as a base colour. You can speed up the drying process with a heat tool but you can as well let them air dry and assemble the ATB cube in the meantime.

Use matte DecoArt Decou-Page and a thin brush to assemble the box.

Dry brush some DecoArt media fluid acrylic Titan Buff onto the tentacles. Use a soft wide brush and wipe most of the paint off it on a piece of kitchen roll. Only the remains on the brush are used for dry brushing. With a gentle motion and no pressure swipe the brush across the tentacles in different directions. Repeat that until you are content with the result. Let dry or heat dry. 

Create a thin wash of DecoArt media fluid acrylic Green Gold and apply to the dry tentacles.

Next apply a coat of Raw Umber heavy body acrylic paint to the outsides of the assembled box. Let dry.

While the painted box dries take out your Alcohol inks (I used Ginger, Rust and Latte) and apply them to the metal ring of the magnifying glass and the helmet to get a rusty look. 

Rub some DecoArt media Texture Sand Paste onto the box using your fingertip. Use dabbing motions to create a rough surface. Let air dry.

Apply washes of DecoArt media fluid acrylics Raw Umber, English Red Oxide, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide and Diarylide Yellow. Use a kitchen roll to dab off the paint in some spots after each wash. Work from darkest to lightest colour.

The helmet needs a stand: use a cork that fits into the opening at the bottom and cut off the end. Paint the cork with DecoArt Navy Americana paint. 

Use a hot glue gun to fix everything into place.

Sculpt Cthulhu's eye from white air hardening clay. Use whatever feels handy to create a reptile-like surface for the eye to sit in. (I had some texture plates and modelling tools and I used the opening of the tip of a ball point pen around the eye to create smaller circles).

Let dry thoroughly (this may take up to several hours - depending on outside temperatures). Then repeat the same process as with the tentacles - starting with "Navy" and then dry brushing with Titan Buff...

...and adding a wash of Green Gold. Use a fine tip brush to apply a wash of English Red Oxide around the eye.

(you can see that I made a third tentacle as I found that two weren't enough).

Use some rough sisal string and the hot glue gun to fix the eye and the magnifying glass on top.

I found that the box needed some feet - but most of what I had was too big, too high...not appropriate. Finally I found a necklace that was made from coconut discs and these were perfect. Yay! 

Et voilá!
Great Cthulhu and whatever remained of that poor diver...

Oh dear! I hope he doesn't see me! 

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this far, dear creative friends and visitors! I hope you liked the little excursion into the realms of the Old Ones and their horrors.

Please, let me invite you over to our challenge blog to check out my teamies' makes (they're fantastic!!!) and the challenge itself. I hope to see you play along with us soon!

Hugs and happy crafting,


  1. Love the idea and the run through is great, thanks. It looks really aged, those tentacles are fab, I feel sorry for the poor diver.

  2. Faszinierend Claudia!Das lebt fürmlich!! Wundervoll gemacht !
    Liebe Grüße nach Wien!

  3. AWESOME!!! Faszination pur und perfekt erklärt, wie das auf deinem Blog nicht anders zu erwarten ist. Lieben Dank auch für die Krönungsblumen im SASPC Post :-) - Thron vorhanden, Krone wird noch gesucht ;-)
    Hugs, Kerstin xx

  4. Whew - every photo of that eye looks like it is MOVING Claudia. I literally got chill bumps up my spine when I saw the first picture of it from the top. Dear me.... still shivering. Absolutely INCREDIBLE texture - truly looks like it has been underwater for unending ages. Your tentacles are AMAZING. REALLY a FABULOUS creation. Xj.

  5. OMG this is totally awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. You win the game! I am not saying a word in fear of awakening the old god!! I totally love how imaginative this piece is and the wonderful storytelling that you share with it Claudia! Do you think you were guided to make extra tentacles by perhaps...a voice from the deep? Freaking awesome!! hugs, Maura

  7. this is so cool I can hardly stand it!!! =D love! that eye is so creepy.

  8. Fantastic piece of art Claudia, the magnifying piece at the top is fantastic magnifying the eye and texture. Adore the focal piece and your paint techniques. Brilliant. Tracy x

  9. Poor diver indeed!... an amazing creation, Claudia, I love this story, and the textures you made. Thanks for the inspiring step by step.

  10. Oh my gosh! This is an amazing piece with so many wonderful details.

    Thank you for sharing the step-out photos and description of your creative process!

  11. Gosh what an incredibly creative and imaginary design Claudia, brilliantly conceived and created, love it xxx

  12. Omg...Claudia...this is absolutely outstanding!!! I love everything...the intro about dark worlds and old gods is perfect and so is your piece!!! ❤

  13. Claudia this is an absolute masterpiece! I love evrything about it! Love love love!!!!!! Barbara

  14. An amazing project each step is absolutly inspiring x

  15. Claudia, this is absolutely amazing! Your crafty genius pushes me to work towards being better and better. You are such an inspiration. Hugs, Autumn

  16. Outstanding! Stunning creation! I adore it!


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