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a Consortium of Octopuses

Octopuses are fascinating creatures that have captured the imaginations of people around the world. For many, the octopus represents intelligence, flexibility, and adaptability, making them a popular subject for art and design.

My child, the creative creature they are (!), found making this simplistic design of these ornaments a therapeutic and joyful task, as it allows the imagination to fill in the details and give each ornament its own unique character.

The small octopus ornaments shown here are crafted from foam clay, a lightweight and versatile material that allows for endless creative possibilities. Foam clay is a unique medium that is soft and pliable, making it easy to mold into various shapes and sizes. It is also very durable and has a smooth, tactile finish that is perfect for making small, intricate details. A variety of colours are used, including bright blues, pinks, and oranges, to give each ornament a unique and eye-catching look.

"I make tiny Octopuses to give to random people at events and gatherings. I believe that by spreading some unexpected moments of cuteness and kindness will bring on a sense of community with smiles! "

By spreading joy and positivity through simple and colorful characters, they have a powerful impact on mental health, promoting the use of the imagination and lifting spirits.

**An interesting fact about octopuses is that they have the ability to change color and texture to blend in with their surroundings or communicate with other octopuses. They achieve this by controlling the pigmented cells, called chromatophores, in their skin. Octopuses can also change the texture of their skin by controlling small muscles that can create bumps or ridges, allowing them to blend in with their environment even more effectively. This impressive ability is not only useful for camouflage and communication, but also for intimidating predators or potential threats.**

Let these continue to serve as a reminder of the beauty and wonder of the natural world.

A word on a recent exhibition in St Helens where some of the Octopuses were displayed and taken as part of the Reside* interactive display. Reside* is a year-long Artists Residency programme as a way for artists to develop and share the work they create. There will be more events to come with St Helens being the Borough of Culture 2023.

"I also believe in the importance of building and nurturing a sense of community. As a handmade artisan, I am fortunate to be part of a larger community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for creating and sharing their work with others.

Being part of a community not only provides a sense of belonging and support but also offers opportunities for growth and learning. Through interactions with other makers and customers, I have been able to gain valuable insights and knowledge that have helped me to improve my craft and expand my creativity." KHitchcock



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