Note: One thing to consider when using transparent Powertex is how it will affect the colour of the fabric. It will considerably darken many fabrics, giving them the appearance of their colour when wet. Always test out a spare scrap first so as not to be disappointed. The printed cotton that I used here changed very little in colour so I was really pleased with the result.
Tools and Materials:
- Transparent Powertex
- Powertex Easy Structure
- Kanzashi Flower Making Starter Kit (includes instructions, fabrics and starch glue)
- 2.1mm aluminium wire (Artistic Wire – Anodized Rose)
- Ring mandrel
- Round nosed jewellery pliers and flush wire cutters
- Nylon jewellery hammer and steel block
- PVA glue (fast grab/tacky glue), Gemtac Glue (sticks glass, plastic or metal gems & beads to fabric)
- Small metal brad (for flower centre)
- Small wooden flat backed dome (or use a small disc of thick card/MDF)
- Starlight acrylic paint (or varnish to match with wire)
How it was made:
- I got the Kanzashi flower supplies from Gina-B Silkworks and used directions in her starter kit to make the seven petal rainbow flower. Basically little fabric squares are folded to make petals. The raw edges of the petals are then placed in thick Kanzashi starch to hold their shape while making up the petals and building the flower. The petals are then glued to a base piece of cotton using PVA glue and left to dry overnight. Excess fabric on the base is then snipped away. I glued a small metal brad into the centre with Gemtac glue. Sorry that I am unable to give full instructions here for the flower as the specifics of this flower design belong to Gina.
- To make the adjustable ring I wrapped the wire around a ring mandrel and tapped the wire lightly with the hammer to work harden the ring structure. A nylon hammer helps protect against stripping off the coloured coating.
- I trimmed the wire and made a small curl on one side using the round nosed pliers. On the other side I made a larger curl, big enough to sit the flower onto the front and the wooden cabochon onto the back. I worked hardened and slightly flattened the wire curls using the hammer and steel block.
- I added a coat of clear Powertex to the back/base of the flower and wooden cabochon and left until touch dry. I then added another coat of Powertex (as a glue) and used Powertex Easy Structure to fill the voids in the wire curl, attaching the wooden cabochon to the back and flower to the front of the larger wire curl, and left it to cure overnight. The Easy Structure paste makes a nice solid bridge holding everything securely onto the back and front of the wire curl. A little Stone Art Clay would also work. Note: If you don’t have a suitable wooden cabochon a thick card/board or MDF shape could be substituted. I would advise an absorbent natural material for a strong bond with the Powertex. It also needs to be smooth so as not to scratch or irritate the skin when wearing.
- I then painted the cabochon and flower with Transparent Powertex, working it well into the fabric flower and crevices with a brush. Tip: If you find that you have big blobs or pools of Powertex use a piece of cotton rag to lightly dab and mop up the excess, or it can dry giving shiny blobby areas which will spoil the natural look and texture of the fabric flower. Leave to dry.
- Finally I painted the back of my cabochon attachment and flower base using Starlight acrylic paint. The colour match was simply perfect for the metallic pink wire that I used. If you are using copper, silver or gold plated wires you could paint with Colortricx pigment and Easy Varnish instead (to coordinate with your wire).
Powertex treatment has made this delicate fabric flower ring much more robust and protected against dirt – a more functional piece of jewellery. For further protection and full waterproofing you could add a final coat of Easy Varnish.