Easy 3D comes as a heavy powder that is mixed with Powertex Fabric Hardener to create a clay. The clay is like dough and can be applied to canvas art as well as sculpture. It’s designed to crack as it dries which can leave deep cracked textures in the surface.
If you would like to try some Easy 3D Flex for yourself you can find it at Powertex UK. Need a little help to make up the clay? Just go to the instruction sheet at the bottom.
Powertex Design Team examples
The Design Team love to use this clay. Here’s some examples of how they’ve used it in their creations.
This planet art project by Jill has a tutorial in the Magazine, click on the image to open.
Shell’s beautiful Mandala art also has a tutorial, click on the image to see her step by step blog.
This art doll kit is highly textured. You can see how Abigail puts this together in her tutorial, click on the image.
This month’s Powertex Secret Art Box was full of wonderful Venetian Carnival themes and there was so much to play with. From the gorgeous lace and MDF masks to the Venice themed rice paper and the Fleur de Lys mould from ArtyCo. I couldn’t wait to get creating my Venetian carnival canvas.
I’ve been to Venice twice and think it is a beautiful city, so wanted to recreate the beauty and also the aged feel of the buildings with my piece. An 8 inch box canvas was the perfect size to create my mini work of art.
Additional materials used:
8 inch box canvas
Powertex Easy Coat Mat
Blue and Brown Bister sprays
Powertex pigments in Violet Valentine, Clear gold and Silver
How to create your Venetian Carnival Canvas
I painted the canvas with Easy Coat Mat and stuck the paper in position making sure I painted more over the image to help it adhere and protect the surface.
A great tip is to wet around the edge of the image you want on the paper with a wet paintbrush. The paper will tear easily and give a textured edge.
Next I created more texture on the canvas by mixing the Easy 3D flex, included in this month’s box, with the white Powertex, also in this month’s box. Mix it until the clay spreads easily. Apply with a palette knife to the top and bottom corners to give the Italian stucco plaster effect.
You could allow this to dry naturally but I sped up the process with a hairdryer. This gives a lovely bubbly texture.
Using the white Powertex I painted the large mask. Dip the lace pieces in Powertex, making sure they are covered but not saturated.
I worked on the large MDF mask using the various lace pieces included in the kit, and the MDF flourish and moulded flourish. Use White Powertex to stick it to the canvas.
I created an air dry clay fleur de lys from the Artyco mould and added to the canvas.
I removed the Venice wording from the MDF carrier sheet and used the negative image on the canvas.
Ensuring it was coated in the Powertex and then adding embellishments from my own stash of paper flowers, corners and charms.
When completely dry, I sprayed it liberally with blue and brown bister. Don’t panic if you feel you’ve sprayed too much bister, you can wipe it back so it’s not so dark.
Allow this to dry thoroughly, before you highlight the piece with dry brushing.
Finally once this was dry I could use my Pearl Red Pigment, Turquoise pigment and the Plum Pudding Acrylic Paint and varnish included in the kit.
This is where the piece comes to life, as you dry brush each area of detail and see all the texture emerge.
I also used violet valentine pearl pigment, clear gold and silver pigments from my stash.
Use a tiny amount of varnish, about the size of a 5p, and dip your brush into the varnish then lightly into your pigment. Work this on your brush and then take the excess of colour off on a cloth or kitchen paper before lightly stroking the brush across your work. The art of dry brushing is a dry brush, light strokes and build up the colour.
Tags are really popular in the crafting world at the moment. For my stormy sea tag, I’m using the A5 tag from Powertex UK. They are great quality to work with, whatever your style of crafting.
Don’t you just love the fact that we all have our own individual style? Obviously style evolves as we experiment and learn new techniques. My own style I would describe as rather haphazard. I’ve never been one for over thinking a project.
Once many years ago an art tutor declared my work to be very ‘organic’. Initially I wasn’t quite sure how to take this, but I think I know what she was getting at. As an artist I like to allow my paint, Powertex, or whatever medium I’m using to have a life of it’s own. You could say I’m a ‘go with the flow’ kind of a girl.
Go With The Flow
What do I mean by ‘go with the flow?’ Well, according to the artist Jenny Holzer “Going with the flow is soothing but risky.” I find it soothing to allow Powertex to take on a life of it’s own. I also love the sense of risk, the excitement of never quite knowing what I will end up with.
That could be why I love stormy seascapes. How wonderful that everyone’s storm will end up slightly different.
Sponge Powertex White over MDF pieces and set aside to dry.
2: Blue Bister
Spray Powertex Ready Mixed Blue Bister on the top third of the tag. Use a damp sponge wipe away spaces for the clouds.
3: Adding fabric strips
Soak denim strips in transparent hardener to for sections of the lighthouse and paint the top. A blast of ready mixed black bister gives a rugged effect.
4: Pouring Powertex
Fun Time! Pour blue fabric hardener with smidgeon of white for the wave. Whilst still wet spray with green bister and blast with dryer for movement and crackles.
5: Place the lighthouse
Place the lighthouse into position. Almost there now, just a couple of final touches and your picture will be complete.
6: Adding texture
Steel grey pigment with some easy structure paste create a rock for the lighthouse to stand on, and 3D Sand with Yellow Ochre Powertex form a shoreline. If you wish to add a few more wild white touches with a pallet knife, go for it.
Although this is only A5 in size, I think it packs a punch. As I stated above, this was very much a ‘go with the flow’ project.
Of course does help to have a rough idea of composition to keep the image interesting. Being a fan of the so called rule of thirds so, I placed my focal point (the lighthouse) to the left of the scene.
I also roughly directed the white foam on the wave to guide the eye up towards my focal point.
Please do post photos of your own stormy sea tags over on the Powertex Facebook Page, we love seeing what you create. Also feel free to leave any comments on here.
I’m the Powertex tutor for Southampton, so if you are interested in a workshop please pop over to my website where details can be found on the blog section. More info on Jenny Holzer can be found here.
That’s all from me for now folks. Keep on going with the flow and see you next month.
Hello Everyone, this month’s theme of Ancient Rome has got me really excited.
Why I hear you ask?…….Well, my Dad was born in the village of North Leigh in Oxfordshire. It is here that the remains of one of the largest Roman villas can be found. At its height, around the early 4th century it had 4 bath suites, 16 mosaic floors and 11 rooms with underfloor heating. I expect the inhabitants found our climate a little cool!
It was the mosaic floors that really grabbed my imagination and so I did a bit more digging into their symbolic meaning. I found that homes often had a mosaic with medusa in. This was considered a lucky talisman as it was thought to ward off evil, as her stare would turn the viewer to stone.
I immediately thought of using stone art to create the tiles and rather than Medusa I chose to use the Green man plaster , a more gentle image. The piece needed to be rustic and aged so bister was the perfect choice and having missing and misplaced tiles around the edge also gives it a timeworn feel.
If you would like to read more about the history of the villa please click here.
Feeling grey? One of the things that people often comment on when they see my creations, is the colours. Words such as rich, deep, bright and vibrant are common.
Therefore, they are often surprised to hear that almost all of them are made with either the bronze (brown) or the lead (grey) Powertex universal medium as the base colour.
Why Bronze & Lead for the Base Colour?
1. Final Colour Considerations
Bronze and lead are both neutral colours and therefore will look good when dry brushed using any of the powercolor pigments. In fact they are perfect for my signature rainbow colours created using Powercolor pigments!
If you start with a bold base colour such as red, blue, green, etc you have already limited what colours will work well on top and the final pieces can look a bit ‘flat’ and lacking in depth.
2. Depth vs Brightness
The thing I love most about fabric sculpting is the textures and depth that can be created. To create the illusion of greater depth, the colours within the folds of the fabric should be as dark compared to the top of the folds.
Therefore black and bronze Powertex will give you the appearance of greater depth. My preference is bronze as I like the warmth that it creates.
To achieve a slightly lighter/brighter feel I use the lead Powertex. Whilst it loses just a little of the depth that bronze creates, the lighter base colour lifts the overall brightness of the piece.
Here are a few more of my creations to demonstrate the colours that can be achieved using black, bronze and grey Powertex with powercolor pigments :
See more uses of bronze and lead Powertex in my previous articles. I used Bronze Powertex for my Steampunk Top Hat and lead Powertex for my Storage Caddy.
What are you favourite colour combinations? Let us know in the comments.
Many of my creations are available to purchase and I also make customised pieces and take commissions. If you’d like to see where in the north east of England I’ll be with my creations over the summer, pop across to my Curiously Contrary website or facebook page.
Until next time, Abs xx
(Please note that the images I have shared in this article are of my own designs and are there to illustrate my points around colour. Please respect the time and creativity that goes into generating original designs by not recreating these pieces for sale or for other commercial purposes. If my designs inspire you to create something similar, that is fantastic, and if you are sharing them online, it would be lovely if you would acknowledge my designs (and the Powertex Magazine) as your source of inspiration.)
I love the simplicity of using something like string or twine and knots to create something magical and unique. Wanting to step away from the full circle dream catcher I drafted a moon with star idea for sweet dreams.
I wanted to use techniques to create vegan feathers with twine. A lot of my past customers have been vegan and dislike the use of animal products so creating an ethical dream catcher was up there on my to do list. Created with a ‘boho’ style making from twine, a recycled lampshade ring, recycled jewellery (charity shop) and Ivory Powertex to make weatherproof for outdoor use.
What are dream catchers exactly?
Sometimes referred to as “Sacred Hoops”, Ojibwe dream catchers were traditionally used as talismans to protect sleeping people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares. Native Americans believe that the night air is filled with dreams, both good and bad.
When hung above the bed in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dream catcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day.
Make as a soothing tool for kids! I made dream catchers for my children when they were young. Explaining how these would help ease their nightmares, quite handy indeed.
Call it a placebo effect for non-believers but my children believed what I said and they worked at soothing their nightmares, happy days!
Note – Use real feathers with children however as the twine ones will be slightly shape and pointy when hardened.
Putting it all together
I made the twine feathers first, using a knotting technique around a length of twine, next I wrapped the lampshade hoop with twine. Using the standard catcher webbing but didn’t go all the way around so I could create the moon shape. I added a hanging beach wood cut star and then covered everything in Ivory Powertex hardener.
Finally once dry I finished by attaching the junk jewellery and beads I have collected from car boot sales, donations or charity shops. I don’t think I’m going to colour this, I like the simplicity of it. I enjoyed this so much I think I’m going to re-purpose some more broken lamp shades though and create different colours!
Why not try create one of your own sweet dreams and share on our Powertex studio group page on Facebook? We always love to see what you create that’s inspired by our blogs. Also don’t forget to comment below. What would you have done differently? Does this inspire you to create your own? Share your inspired dream catcher in the Facebook group.
Did you like my charity shop upcycles here? Catch my February blog where I used a lot of recycled items along with the Secret Art Box subscription box.
The subscription boxes are exciting boxes of exclusive Powertex goodies that are delivered to your door each month! Don’t miss out on the fun, get yours today HERE .
Powertex planets are a fun and easy canvas project to try. It doesn’t take much in the way of supplies and if you’ve used stencils or masks before you’re half way there! With Powertex you really can use basic techniques for amazing results.
Prep your canvas with Blue Powertex Fabric Hardener and while it’s drying cut your circle masks. Draw around plates or lids and carefully cut out. Keep both parts.
Spray the background
Arrange your circular masks. Darken the background with Black Bister Spray. Vary the amount around the canvas. Leave this to dry naturally.
Paint the planets
Swap the mask for the stencil on each planet and paint the circle with a layer of Ivory Powertex, not too thin. Do one at a time!
Spray the Bister
While the Powertex is still wet, leave the stencil in place and spray generously with Bister in your chosen colour. Notice I’ve protected the canvas.
Create the Bister crackles
Heat the Bister with a hairdryer until cracks start to form in the surface. A heatgun or tool can be too hot for this. Repeat these steps for all your planets.
Put half a teaspoon of Ivory Powertex on a plate and use a very wet paintbrush to splatter it across the surface for stars. I had a practice on paper first!
One of my planets had smeared a lot so I tidied it up with a bit of Blue Powertex and Black Bister when it was dry. I didn’t worry too much about the others and I thought they looked pretty good. I love the blue Powertex coming through the Black Bister too!
Top Tips for Powertex planets
Each planet will take a while to dry so be careful when masking the rest of your canvas. I used a piece of printer paper held near my planets while I sprayed them. Using more than one colour of Bister on a planet to give it a darker side helps them look dimensional. Try Easy Structure paste or 3d balls to add texture before you add Bister.
Thanks for reading my blog today. I hope you will have a go at painting your own Powertex planets! If you do, please share your art in the Powertex Facebook group as we love to see what you make.
Powertex dreams. Hello again fellow Powertex creatives, for this months article my theme was ” dreamers and stars” well I have a dream…
If you have a dream, just go for it
I have been creative for what feels like forever and I have always wanted to give up my day job and be an artist full time. So a few years ago I set myself a five year plan and as of now I am less than two years away from reaching my end goal. In fact it is one year and 11 months, not that I am counting! I am now in the process of building up local contacts and have started doing workshops once a month. I’m teaching myself better photography skills, learning how to be more technical savvy (not my strong point) and be confident in myself.
So as I do love to create I decided to make myself a journal, to document my thoughts, feelings and design ideas.
If you have not yet got any Powertex in your life, then head on over HERE to see all the goodies that are on offer.
My design for my journal
How it ended up
So, I say to you..
If you have a dream or strong desire to go and do something, just go and do it. If it takes you months or even years like myself, make plans for what you want to do. Life really is to short and you may end up saying, I wish I had done that or this. I am well on my way to achieving what I want to do and while I am doing that I am always honing in, on the best that I can be.
So I hope myself and the rest of the design team here are always inspiring you to reach for your dreams. If you would like more Powertex inspiration, you can find loads of eye candy on…
We’re really looking forward to the 2019 Powertex Garden Party. The marquee will go up for another two days of crafting, laughing and relaxing in great company. In just a few weeks we will put on our aprons and gloves and get stuck into some great new projects.
These photos were taken by Sam Butler last year so we can share just a little of our creations and the experience. The Secret Art Loft studio at Powertex UK HQ is in a stunning countryside location, with beautiful gardens and woodland areas.
The event is well equipped and the main studio displays wonderful artworks and an opportunity to stock up on products. The gardens were also full of fantastic sculptures.
Even larger projects are fun and manageable with tutors close by to offer advice or support. Beginners don’t need to worry.
The hand massage went down well for busy hands.
Shelagh wrote us a lovely review of her weekend too.
“Thanks for the Garden Party! I had a wonderful weekend. Of course now I’m buzzing to do arty stuff! It’s nice to have some positivity to turn to in memories and art form.”
There’s time for a glass of something before we go our separate ways. Cheers!
There’s still time to book the last available tickets for this year’s 2019 Powertex Garden Party. If you’d like to join us for this special two day event, you can find all the details here. We’d love to see you but be quick.
For my planet in the night sky, inspiration came from warm summer nights, sat in the garden, looking out for shooting stars. I decided to try and replicate one of the planets. Hmmm, once started though, my imagination overtook and the finished article became much more magical.
Easy 3d flex makes beautiful cracks and texture. Experiment using different mediums to add colours. Here I have used layers of inks and acrylics, with a final layer of wax.
As you will see from the photographs, things changed along the way. This is what I love about mixed media. Some layers get covered, some peak through. It’s all part of the journey of creating what you love. Just go with it!
The Secret Art Loft acrylics and inks work wonderfully for layering up. Their translucent quality makes blending easy, and the metallic inks look like molten metal.
I find it is really important with mixed media, to let each layer dry thoroughly before moving onto the next. Not an easy one for me, as I am an impatient crafter. However, your layers will become muddy if they aren’t dry.
Pour Powertex liquid colour onto the canvas. Spray with Bister of a different colour then dry with a hairdryer, to create the crackle effect.
Add texture by creating a heavy crackle effect
Mix Easy 3d flex with Ivory Powertex to create a clay. Layer over half of the canvas. Dry with hair-dryer spraying lightly with blue bister during the process.
Creating further texture
Using material, coated in Ivory Powertex and small ‘craters’ made from the 3d flex clay, build the layers of your planet.
Start by adding green ink to the deep cracked area and violet acrylic to the green side of the planet.
Using greens, pinks and purples, layer the craters, blending as you go. Paint the material section with black acrylic, then add layers of metallic acrylic.
On the side created by 3d flex, add a layer of Powerwax, mixed with pigment. Once dry, wipe with a damp sponge to add interest.
I decided my fantasy planet needed a touch more ‘bling’ so I added a few beads, blending in with the colours I had chosen along the way. The joys of creating a fantasy planet are that you can really be free with your choice of colours and the texture that you create. It’s nice not to be too rigid in your planning, as planets evolve, then so should a piece of art.
Planet in the night sky
I am looking forward to seeing lots of new planets, so feel free to share them in the Powertex Studio.
If you would like further planet inspiration take a look at this blog from Annette Smyth. Or why not join me for a workshop to create your own planet. Bye for now, Jill x