The Secret Art Box – May

A Home Under the Sea

Designer – Jill Cullum

A home under the sea Powertex canvas by Jill Cullum
A home under the sea by Jill Cullum

I was so excited to receive my first ‘Secret Art Box’, and I was not disappointed when I opened it.  Full of possibilities to create this article with.  It’s a challenge of being given a box of ‘goodies’ and then creating out of my comfort zone.

Materials List

Inside the art box was a cute fish. I was in my element as my last article was based around my love of the beach. I wanted a different style this time, so with several possibilities in mind, I chose a canvas as my base.

Detail of Powertex canvas

The secret art box fish

Not content with one super cute fish, I wanted two!  With a sharp knife and careful cutting, I sliced the fish in half.  Using the reverse of the canvas I covered the top half with the nautical paper, using Easycoat Matt.  The bottom half cried out for some stone art and brown Bister. 

Powertex Secret Art Box May fish under the sea theme
Fish and clay details

The sea bed was created by adding texture with stone balls, material and clay pieces. The adorable mini ammonite moulds as well as the shell mould in the ‘Secret Art Box’ made the clay shapes.  The fish needed lots of lovely texture, you can really go to town with this, especially when adding colour.  Terragreen pigment works a treat for this theme. 

I love the way things develop as your creative piece comes together and I didn’t really have a picture of the finished piece in mind. It just happened along the way.  I hope you like it and feel inspired to create your own ‘home in the sea’.

Secret Art Box May is a Home under the sea Powertex canvas
Home under the sea detail

For more sea themed inspiration take a look at my last blog here.

I am looking forward to seeing your pieces of art, using the May ‘Secret Art Box’. Please share them at The Powertex Studio on Facebook.

Secret Art Box May Powertex project by Jill Cullum
Finished mixed media canvas by Jill Cullum

A little teaser of my next blog, which will take us from the sea, into the sky! Bye for now, Jill x

Something fishy by Gill Goldsmith

Powertex UK Secret Art Box

Gill is demonstrating the May Secret Art Box and it’s got a watery theme! She’s diving in to the contents and using the unique and mystical Terragreen pigment to create something fishy! Read on for the details.

So I opened the May Secret Art Box from Powertex and WOW! Look at all the goodies that I received and in my perfect theme… nautical.

May 2019 Secret Art Box from Powertex UK

Something fishy

My first make had to be using the fish and I had the idea of making him with a fish bowl. (I’d seen the clear plastic bowls in a well known shop where everything is £1!) So I first covered the fish in black gesso and extended his fins, tail and mouth with air dry clay. I used the ammonite mould, included in the kit, to create his eyes.

Create the fish shape

Tail and fins

Next I covered him in fabric, using the black Powertex in the kit to give the effect of scales and fins and added fringing to his tail.

Create the fins and tail

Seaweed and shells

I created some rocks for the base of the fish bowl, recycling old gloves that I had used to Powertex in. I created texture with the balls in the kit and made shells with the cutter from air dry clay.  Then I used fabric to create the seaweed and left it drying on tin foil. These create movement in the finished pieces. I also used a piece of wire covered in fabric to attach Mr Fish to the bowl.

Leaving pieces to dry

Dry brushing

When all my pieces were dry I’m ready for the exciting bit. The dry brushing with the pearl pigment included in the kit (this month was Terragreen) and some Interference Blue from my stash. I placed the seaweed and rocks into the fish bowl and secured them with Easy Coat Mat, which is a great varnish and strong glue. 

Something Fishy Powertex project by Gill Goldsmith

Final touches

Mr Fish was dry brushed in Terragreen and Gold pigments. I used the fabric covered wire to attach him to the bowl and brushed this with Curacao Blue.  He was also attached to the bowl with Easy Coat Mat varnish. The final touch was using the tiny message from the glass bottle in the kit, which read “Make it Happen” to the top inside of the bowl and this project was complete.

Something fishy by Gill Goldsmith

Mr Fish Secret Art Box Project by Gill Goldsmith. Gill is a Powertex tutor at The Powertex Port in Chatham in Kent. You can see other Secret Art Box projects here and here. If you’d like receive a Secret Art Box, full of Powertex and mixed media goodies, you can subscribe here at Powertex UK.

A kelp forest – under the sea

Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter

It was a beautiful, clear blue sky morning in the glorious heat of Summer 2018 we arrived at Porthgwarra Beach in far west Cornwall just as the tide was receding.  It’s such a beautiful cove and we kept spotting something in the water around the rocks and went to investigate.  It was a whole area of kelp – a Kelp Forest! Wandering through the pools left by the tide there were beautiful shells, stones and shiny pebbles.  This was my inspiration for this Under the Sea piece.

Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter
Under the sea: Kelp Forest

Supplies

How to make a Powertex kelp forest

Step 1: The ingredients
Step 2 - Setting in the wires

Step 1: Use either Stone Art or other air dry clay to push into moulds, leave to dry. Cut 9 or 10 lengths of wire and randomly drill holes into the mdf base.

Tip: I had a tennis ball size piece of Stone Art clay left over from a previous project that I kept. Spray water lightly over a piece of clingfilm which I wrapped tightly around the clay. I sealed it in a reusable plastic bag.

Step 2: Push wires into holes, secure with masking tape then rip lengths of masking tape sticking it the full length of both sides of the wire to create lengths of kelp.

The base

Step 3: Building the composition

Decorate the base

Step 3: Build a thick random layer of Easy Structure on the base, push shells, moulded sea shapes etc into the easy structure. Spray with bisters, set aside to dry.

Tip: If you use a large central shell like I did, it is worth masking off with some cling film or paper before you spray with bister

Step 4: Washing back and adding a top layer

The kelp

Step 4: Wash back the bister from shells and shapes. Use red ochre to colour some of the coral like shapes. Add a generous layer of transparent Powertex fabric harder on the base and drop in mixed art stones.

Step5: Adding the Kelp

Metallic colours

Step 6: Bringing out the colour

Step 5: Rip up lengths of pale green tissue paper and paste onto the kelp using transparent Powertex. Leave to dry. Transparent Powertex helps to keep the transparency.

Tips: Paint the transparent Powertex onto the masking tape and press the tissue onto it with a Powertex soaked brush.

Step 6: Using the blues and greens metallic pigments bring out the highlights of the bottom of the sea.  Brush Mojito Lime and Golden Olive, Limoncello Gold randomly on the kelp. If you leave lighter patches the sun will shine through enhancing the kelp.

Leave it in a place where you get the sun. Watch it at various times of the day to see where the sun lands and where you might want to add further metallics and maybe a pearl or crystal.

I hope this easy but interesting focal piece inspires you to create your own under the sea project. You might also like this lovely fish sculpture project by Annette.

Don’t forget to share your makes in The Powertex Studio and if you can give me a shout out that would be awesome.

That’s me for now, check back in June when I’m upcycling one of my early Angels that has been keeping watch in my garden for the last couple of years.

Bye for now

Fi

Powertex Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter
Powertex Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter

Under The Sea Powertex Sculptures

Powertex shark by Donna Mcgghie

By Donna Mcghie

What lies under the sea can be both beautiful and terrifying in equal measure.

I decided to make my own homage to the 1970’s film Jaws for my first underwater sculpture for this article. Thanks to this film I always feel a primeval sense of unease when swimming in deep water, and that music hovers around at the back of my brain. However at the same time I also have an exhilarating rush of adrenaline. My senses feel alert and vibrant. 

Under the sea, Powertex shark by Donna Mcghie
Although I am scared of sharks, I have grown rather fond of this gnarly old Powertex king of the seas

Powertex Stone art mixed with black Powertex fabric hardener was the perfect medium for this gnarled, battle scarred shark.

Powertex zip mouth on shark
An old zip works perfectly for his pointy little teeth
Powertex shark on base
The black metal base makes the perfect base for this powertex sculpture

The sea bed can be an eerily beautiful setting. Mixed media was used to create this under water 3D canvas.

The eerily beautiful seabed that is home to my shark

The illusion of the sea was created by using a mixture of blue and white Powertex Fabric Hardener sprayed with blue bister. I created the spiky coral by soaking Powercotton in transparent Powertex fabric hardener. Shells that are not conventionally pretty added the finishing touch.

Beware of Beautiful Powertex Mermaids

Powertex mermaid by Donna Mcghie
I used bits of lace and paperdecoration to add texture

Many legends and myths are connected to the sea. One of the most enduring myths is that of the mermaid.

My mermaid canvas was created by swirling blue and white Powertex fabric hardener onto a canvas. Bister was then added and blasted with a hair dryer.

My mermaid started to take shape when I poured green Powertex fabric hardener to create the shape of a tail.

I mixed Powertex terracotta and white fabric hardeners together to create a flesh tone, whilst Yellow ochre fabric hardener worked well for the hair.

Davy Jones’s Locker

There are many versions of who Davy Jones was, and just as many theories as to just how he ended up lurking at the bottom of the sea.

Maybe he was seduced by the beauty of a passing mermaid. Her beauty having lured him down to the murky depths below.

Powertex under the sea
My Davy Jones sports a jacket I spied in a charity shop, soaked in Bronze Powertex Fabric Hardener

Our facebook page The Powertex Studio is a great place for ideas and motivation. You can also inspire others by sharing your own makes.

You can also see more of my work and find out about my workshops on my website www.artandmurals.co.uk.

My last month’s blog was inspired by the artist Vincent Van Gogh

That’s all for now. As this is an inspiration blog I have not done step by steps, but if you would like more detailed instructions I am happy to provide them. Please leave me a comment below if you like what you see, and remember to take care, especially when swimming in deep water.

After all, you never know what is lurking beneath.

Powertex Moulds

Fossil Mixed Media canvas art by Anna Emelia Howlett

In May the Product of the Month is silicon moulds. Powertex UK have a range of highly detailed silicon moulds for adding dimension to your mixed media art and crafts. Use with a Powertex and Stone Art mix for easy air drying clay. From tiny ammonite fossils, to flowers and leaves to extra large egyptian heads, take a look at the full range here. Don’t forget, when used with Powertex or Easy Varnish your pieces are also weatherproof and suitable for outdoor projects!

Powertex UK Fossil Ammonite mould

The Design Team using Powertex Moulds

Here are some examples of work using Powertex UK moulds by the design team.

Mixed media canvas with fossil ammonite mould and textures by Anna Howlett
Mixed media canvas with ammonites by Anna Emelia Howlett
Mixed media canvas with fossil ammonite mould and textures by Anna Howlett
Textured fossil canvas by Anna Emelia Howlett
Layered flower and leaves from Powertex UK moulds by Annette Smyth
Layered flowers and leaves sculpture by Annette Smyth
MDF plaque with Powertex and embellishments by Annette Smyth
Powertex plaque with flower embellishments by Annette Smyth
Mirror frame with Powertex and fossil ammonite embellishments by Donna Mcghie
Mirror frame with fossil detail by Donna Mcghie
Wonderland inspired mdf Powertex project by Donna Mcghie
Stone Art flower details by Donna Mcghie
Seascape with Stone Art Clay ammonite fossils by Jinny Holt
Seascape with Stone Art ammonites by Jinny Holt
Bottle vase with Stone Art embellishments by Jinny Holt
Curved bottle vase with Stone Art clay flowers by Jinny Holt
Ocean inspired journal with fossil ammonites from Stone Art Clay by Shell North
Journal cover with ammonite fossils from Stone Art clay by Shell North
Decorated picture frame with Powertex stone art clay flowers by Shell North
Picture frame with flower details in Stone Art clay by Shell North

Using moulds is a lovely way to use embellishments in your project. Because you have the mould you can make as few or as many pieces as you need and you can apply them while soft to curve around your surface like on Jinny’s bottle. You can also change the colour easily and Stone Art clay is very easy to work with.

If you like the look of the flower moulds you might want to take a look at this beautiful flower girl project by Anne. You can find the whole range of Powertex UK moulds here. Don’t forget to pick up some Stone Art while your there!

Powertex Flower lady with flower detail by Anne Waller
Detail of Flower Girl by Anne Waller

Clowning around with Powertex Clownfish

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth

By Annette Smyth

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth
Clown Fish

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest article.  I was so excited when I found out the theme for this month was UNDER THE SEA.  I love anything connected with the ocean.  So much so that I think I could have been a mermaid in another lifetime. In fact my dream home is next to the sea with an airy, light cliff top studio looking over the waves and beach – I did say it was dream!

My inspiration for my creation came from old photographs I had taken during a diving holiday.  Whilst flipping through the album these cute little clownfish kept appearing time and time again. Obviously they were crying out to be made into a sculpture.

I like to use StoneArt clay for my Powertex clownfish sculptures.  Making my clay up and giving it time to rest before using it, I find gives me the best results.  Resting it overnight double wrapped in clingfilm in my usual method.

DID YOU KNOW –  Stone Art clay will keep for at least two weeks if kept in an airtight wrapping.  

Materials List
Kitchen foil
Masking tape
Ivory Powertex Universal Medium
Powertex Stone Art
Powercolor pigments – White, Orange, black
Powertex Easy Varnish
2 black glass eyes on metal wire

You will also need 
Plastic gloves
Paintbrush
Plastic container to pour Powertex into and mix Stone Art clay in

Create Clownfish Armature

  1. Using the foil, form a teardrop shape with slightly pointed ends and flat bottom approximately 10cm long and 2cm thick – don’t worry about fins, they come at the clay stage

2.  Cover the shape with masking tape

3. Paint with a layer of Ivory Powertex Universal Medium

Adding Stone Art clay

Powertex Clownfish Stone Art clay

4. Make Stone Art clay using Ivory Powertex – see the “how to” video from my previous article here.

5. Cover your fish with clay.  Blend the joins together with a slightly damp finger.  Pinch the clay away from the body to create the fins and tail.  

6. Place the eyes in position and push through the clay into the underlying tape and foil.  Leave aside to dry.

TOP TIP – Use a pointy tool or cocktail stick to make the hole for the eyes as this will go through the tape more easily.

Adding colour

7. Using the easy varnish and orange pigment dry brush the stripes onto the fish. See “how to” video here.

8.  Now repeat with the white pigment filling in the gaps between the orange stripes.

9. Finally using the black pigment paint thin lines where the orange and white stripes meet and dry brush black around the fins and tail.

I decide to create a soft coral for my fish to sit in using an old cotton mop head and Ivory Powertex.  

Powertex Clownfish by Annette Smyth
Clown fish in coral

Just think of all the other fish and sea creatures you could create. Have you seen the amazing Powertex Ammonite Light article by Jill Cullum. Your sea babies would look fantastic nestled into this.

I would love to see what you come up with.  Why not leave your comments on this article below and share your makes in the Powertex Studio group on Facebook.  

Until next time Happy Creative Adventures and remember you can always find me on my Facebook page and on my website.

Axx

Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest

Designer: Abigail Lagden

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Whenever I think of the open sea and what might be underneath, it always conjures up stories of pirates, shipwrecks and treasure. So for this month’s article I wanted to share a project to create a Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest, bursting with gold, coins and jewels. To give it a personal touch and a bit of bling, I used ‘jewels’ rescued from some broken jewellery which I think gives it some extra sparkle.

Materials Used:

How to create a Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest

Step 1: Paint the wooden box all over with bronze Powertex. Add some details using die cut shapes and metal embellishments and some straps using fabric.

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Step 2: Before adding the contents, scrunch up a piece tin foil to use to fill about two thirds of the chest. Covered with a piece of fabric coated in bronze Powertex. Add a piece of netting over the corner of the box.

Top tip: Work on a plastic surface. Powertex will not stick to plastic, I worked on a piece of laminated paper so that I could peel the finished piece off to add it cleanly to the base.

Step 3: I filled my treasure chest by coating 1p coins and medium 3D balls with bronze Powertex and placing them over the fabric. Fragments of abalone shell were added for magical iridescence.

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Step 4: Dry brush chest with bronze gold colortricx pigment. Rich gold colortricx pigment to colour the contents. To give some iridescence, I also added touches of the following pearl pigments to the contents – violet valentine, green ginger, sherbet dip and pink flamingo.

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Step 5: Once all of the pigments had been applied, I then used transparent Powertex to stick the ‘jewels’ into the chest.

Step 6: Create an interesting base by coating a wooden disc with a good layer of ivory Powertex. Sprinkle on some small 3D balls and whilst wet, spray with blue bister. Use a hairdryer over the top to create a cracked effect.

The last thing to do was to affix the treasure chest the base using transparent universal medium.

Pirate Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

I hope you’ve enjoyed my article and have been inspired to get creating a Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest. Don’t forget to share your makes with us all in the Powertex Studio Facebook group.

If you’d like to see more of my creations, please visit my website or my Curiously Contrary facebook page.

If you missed my last article on how to make a bright canvas full of textures, you can find it here.

Until next time, Abs xx

Powertex Taurus Headdress

Powertex Taurus the Bull

Designer- Shell North

In this article my chosen subject matter was short listed to ‘Taurus’. Because I really love wearable art and cosplay, so I knew sort of where I was taking this piece from the start. But with just a few bits needing inspiration. And so the Powertex Taurus Headdress was created.

So Taurus is the second sign in the zodiac, and falling between the dates of 21st April – 21st May. To the Babylonians Taurus was the heavenly Bull whose rising marked the beginning of Spring. The element associated with Taurus is Earth so because of the Earth and Spring connections, some of its many associated colours are green and earthy browns.

Taureans are known to have an eye for beauty, so often  love to dress up or then also fill their homes with lots of interesting or pretty things!

So in a nutshell we now have a design brief.  A piece of wearable art that personifies Taurus,  but incorporates earthiness and then apealing to the eye.

Of course I was going to create a horned Powertex Taurus Headdress.

MATERIALS LIST

Step 1, Creating the Powertex Taurus Headdress base.

Using foil, wrap the head band around the centre to widen the surface area, and then cover in masking tape.

Step 2, Creating the horn shape.

Using foil, create two equally sized cones shapes. use a second and third layer to lengthen and widen, cover in masking tape, twist to shape.

Step 3, adding the horns.

Securely attach the horns first with red double sided sticky tape under the horn base, then wrap and secure the rest with masking tape.

Step 4, coating the horns.

With strips of white jersey cotton, work in the bronze brown Powertex liquid hardener until completely covered. wrap around the horns from the base up.

Step 5, Dry brushing.

Using a mix of easy coat varnish and pigment powders (Green & lime green Powercolor, Bronze gold Colortricx) dry brush over horns and headband.

Step 6, Finishing touches.

Wrap silk wired flowers around headband, securing with Transparent liquid hardener. Attach split rings under base of horns, adding three differing lengths of chain.

Here’s the finished piece!

 Powertex Taurus Headdress

This Powertex Taurus Headdress project was so much fun but so easy, so suitable for even Powertex beginners ! We roped in my daughters friend to model the headdress, take a look at them being worn

Have you ever created wearable art?

Because if so, we would love you to share these on the Powertex studio page, and if you are not already on there, find the Powertex studio page by clicking here.

Why not follow me on my own page The Crafty Little Corner and see what else I get up to, and maybe join in a workshop with me too.

Did you see the mandala Triptch article I wrote last month? If not take a look here.

Designer tip…

Have left over Powertex liquid hardener? If so, mix in equal amounts of stone art powder and make stone art clay. But remember when blended, to wrap it in cling film and store in an air tight container. Don’t waste it, but instead incorporate it in mixed media or sculpture pieces because left over’s, cannot go back in the bottle.

Top tool…


Cocktail sticks.

Because this is what I used for a pokey tool so to create a hole for my split rings to go through the Powertexed fabric when it was dry but still a little soft. But do remember to use a foam or cutting mat underneath to push it through onto because you don’t want an injury! Cocktail sticks are so cheap, but eco friendly and versatile. But also they can be used for scoring texturising and decorating patterns in paints, pastes and clays, added to mixed media works and so so much more!

So thats all from me this month, until next time

Peace, love and beautiful things

Shell

Powertex DIY Lamp

Powertex DIY Lamp by Kore Sage

Designer: Kore Sage

Make a Powertex DIY lamp for lovely gifts or home decor and with Powertex you can make your own. Powertex fabric sculpture and fairy lights are an easy way to craft a lamp. I’m using battery powered LED fairy lights. Be sure to use LED lights for you project as these keep cool. Do not use a flame candle in this lamp.

I’m Kore and I want to show you how I made my own Powertex lamp using a bottle for a “mould”, simple Powertex techniques and a pack of battery LED fairy lights. Choose your own favourite embellishments to create the lamp in your own style. I’m using white fairy lights but coloured lights would be lovely too.

Powertex Lamp with LED fairy lights
Powertex DIY Lamp

Materials list

Powertex Universal Medium in Ivory

Ready Made Bister Spray in Blue

Colortricx pigment in Rich Gold

Easy Varnish

A large bottle or container for a mould

A plastic bag

Masking tape

Cotton fabric strips about 2″ – 3″ wide and a square for the bottom

MDF Dropouts

MDF Alphabet

3d Balls

Battery powered LED fairy lights

Prepare a mould

Wrap your bottle with plastic and secure with small pieces of tape. Don’t wrap too tight and ensure there are no holes.

Wrap the bottle in plastic
Step one

Wrap the bottle

Using fabric with Powertex, cover the bottom of the bottle first and apply strips in spirals upwards. Leave gaps in the wrapping for the light.

Use Powertex with fabric to wrap the bottle
Step two
Leave to dry for a few hours before removing the bottle

Decorate with embellishments

I used Powertex Ivory to add some 3d balls, mdf drop outs and letters. The structure is sturdy but avoid heavy embellishments at the top.

Add embellishments
Step three

Colour with Bister spray

Spray generously with Ready Made Bister Spray. Don’t forget the underneath, I left the inside Ivory.

Spray generously with Blue Bister
Step four

Create highlights

I used a damp cloth to wipe back some of the Bister from the raised textures.

Wipe away Bister form textures with a damp cloth
Step five

Add some shine

Metallics add a little extra shine on a lamp. I mixed Rich Gold powder pigment with Easy Varnish and dry brushed some textures.

Dry brush with Rick Gold pigment
Step six
Powertex DIY Lamp Insert LED lights for a lovely glow
Insert the LED lights for a lovely glow

I hope you have a go at making a lamp. Do share your creations with us in the Facebook group at Powertex Addicts United. If you’ve enjoyed this idea you might also want to take a look at Donna’s bottle light project too.

You can find more of my art and Powertex at Kore Sage Art but until next time, I hope you find some time to let your art out.

Powertex Dragon Easter Eggs

Designer ~Jinny Holt

Baby dragon encased in a Powertex egg

Why Powertex Dragon Easter Eggs?

Well, Easter is upon us and this year no chocolate eggs for myself. And these eggs have no calories in them. As some of you may know I do love working with Powertex. I especially love making these baby Dragon eggs. For my article I wanted to share with you some of my baby Powertex dragon Easter eggs I’ve created. I love dragons and I love how using Powertex makes these eggs one of a kind pieces of artwork. I hand sculpt my baby dragons from Polymer clay. Depending on how these look and what colour they are depends on how my Powertex egg will evolve.

As you can see each one has their own personalities. Working with Powertex has a way of bringing these creations to life. Pop on over to POWERTEX UK h to get a bottle of Powertex and start making unique pieces of artwork.

My favorite Technique

When I create these baby Dragon eggs, I almost always reach for EASY 3D FLEX as it creates beautiful textures. It adds depth and interest to every piece I create. It also makes the most wonderful cracks, if you desire the cracked effect.

Have I left you inspired?

I hope this Powertex Dragon Easter Eggs article has you inspired and wanting to go open that bottle of Powertex. If you need more inspiration or would like to showcase your finished pieces share them in THE POWERTEX STUDIO .

You can find more of my work at MUMS SHED

Did you catch any articles from last month? Click here to be really inspired by what Powertex can do.

Thank you for taking time to read my article, I really do hope you enjoyed it and if so, please feel free to leave a comment.

Live~love~Laugh~Create

Jinny