Creating a Creepy Anglerfish from Worbla

Amanda of Elemental Photography and Design created this piece for display using Worbla’s Finest Art and some supplies from the local discount/dollar store and shared her process with us below!

Sculpting with Worbla – especially off cuts and scraps – is easy especially if you work from a base to bulk up a design. You can use aluminum foil and foam, but I love repurposing other lightweight items from discount stores. Like hollow acrylic shapes like balls or Easter eggs! 


You will need:

  • Easter egg that can be separated into halves
  • masking tape
  • craft foam
  • Worbla scraps / off cuts
  • some paper or aluminum foil (for bulk)
  • references (optional)
  • scissors (not pictured)
  • sculpting tools (not pictured)

Step One: Build Your Base

Take your egg apart and nest the pieces together to get the base angle you want your fish to have. Tape or glue in place – you’re covering this in Worbla later so neatness isn’t a priority. 
Next build up your base layers with some craft foam, including the lips and any major ridges you want the fish to have.

Step Two: Base Worbla!

Take your Worbla scraps and starting with the largest pieces, heat them up and wrap your fish in them! They will stick to one another and to the foam, and you just want to get everything covered here.  Decide where your large folds, gills, and eyes are going to go and sculpt them up with more scraps – you can see the eyes are just a ball of Worbla pressed flat and the flesh around the eyes are just more scraps folded in half to add depth and pressed into place.


Add more scraps! More layers! Then sculpt with tools – keep your tools wet to keep them from sticking to your Worbla. To blend your seams, hit the area where you have a seam with high heat for a moment until it is very soft, then use a WET smooth tool (like a spoon or curved wooden tool) and using circling motions ‘burnish’ the seam away. You can see how the seams have been blended around the eyes and back in the 3rd and 4th picture. Do this to avoid needing to add primer later!


Step Four: FINS and LIGHT

Create your fins – I did two types, one with 2 layers of Worbla and the spines just pressed in, and two with 2 layers of Worbla and little Worbla snake ‘spines’. 
The lure is a snake made of Worbla scraps heated and rolled together then sculpted details. 

Step Five: Attach Bits Part One

Attach your pieces and blend seams as you have before.


Start by filling in the mouth with some Worbla to hide the interior. Then paint it! You don’t wanna try to paint it AFTER adding teeth, trust me….

Step Seven: TEETH and final details

Roll Worbla noodle snakes, add points, and then attach as your teeth. Finish any last details like more gills and smoothing seams.

Step Eight: Paint!

I used Jacquard Lumiere paints and pigments for this fish – any acrylics will work but I love the coverage Jacquard gives for Worbla projects! For extra fun you could add some glow in the dark pigments which is something I hope to do later :D You can prime first if you want a smoother surface but I love the Worbla texture on this creature so this was painted unprimed!


Now go forth and create your own monster fish!