Seascape: Gravel and Shell Mural

CIMG1907The gravel and shell mural arose from the gift of a bag of blue aquarium gravel from a friend who knew I liked to find novel ways of upcycling. After a few months I was close to admitting defeat when I was offered another bag of the gravel and then a rather over-the-top ‘dream catcher’, made up of hundreds of tiny shells:

mural.startImmediately thinking along the lines of a grotto or something with water, a ramble round the garden reminded me of the vacant space on the back wall of the shed extension, and immediately the concept of a seascape mural was born.

The cladding was removed and exterior plywood cut to fit, of necessity in 3 large pieces and two slim outer pieces, which were painted roughly with 9 different tester paints to provide the background for the application of the gravel and shells:

backgroundTo judge the potential effect of the gravel and shells I cut and painted several strips of card and blue-tacked them on the background before taking down  the plywood, bringing it inside and beginning the actual application:

stripsgravel.everywherePVA glue was used to affix the gravel and shells, the latter having conveniently been cut in strips from the dream catcher and the ends secured, and a sprinkling of some leftover Cornish CIMG1901gravel was included to soften the blue. Of necessity this was done with the plywood in a horizontal position; standing the panels upright when the glue was dry brought about a sound reminiscent of one of those ‘rainstick’ musical instruments and a large quantity of loose gravel accumulating on the floor – we shall be sweeping up remnants of this for months to come! Finally, a layer of sealant was applied and the panels refixed as a complete mural. Project Blue-Gravel-and-Shell complete!


14 Responses to Seascape: Gravel and Shell Mural

  1. Pingback: Seascape: the Blue Gravel and Shell Project | Rambling in the Garden

  2. Annette says:

    What a work of art, Cathy! Now that I can see it up close I get a better idea as in your other post it’s more or less “just” a blue wall. Must have taken quite a while. All that’s missing now is a hammock, a palm tree and some shells scattered on the floor. You could dream yourself to the Carribean from time to time (listening to the lapping of the stream in the background) 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette. I have to confess to having no desire whatsoever to lie in a hammock either here or in the Caribbean, but hearing the stream reliably lapping in the background sounds like a good idea… 😉

  3. That’s amazing and not at all where I thought you’d put it, it’s really effective, I am making a fairy glade with the grandkids during the holidays so I could take a small amount of gravel from you for the project if it would help with the surplus.

  4. joanna says:

    you can’t make a mural without shifting blue gravel…
    BTW, I like your garden maps. Such a wise idea. Wish I weren’t so lazy

    • Cathy says:

      And I couldn’t come up with anything to use the blue gravel apart from the mural!! ps it took a bit of time to do the original map but not a huge amount and I know people find it helpful, as I would do when I read articles about gardens

  5. Pingback: In a Romano-Japanese Vase on Monday: Birth of Venus | Rambling in the Garden

  6. How clever Cathy! A real work of art! Now, all it needs is a little boat bobbing on the waves!! 😉😀

  7. Cathy says:

    Doh! The captain is going to get a bit of a shock when he finds the world is flat after all… 😉

Something to say after reading this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.