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 downΒ  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!

CIMG1908

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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) πŸ™‚

    • 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… πŸ˜‰

  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:

    ha-ha
    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!! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜€

  7. Cathy says:

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

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