It started with a plaque…

Annette Smyth

My journey to Powertex UK Masters certificate

This month I’d like to share my Powertex journey with you from my very first make through to my Powertex UK Masters certificate which I completed in October this year.

In early 2014 my friend had been in Australia on holiday and brought me back a craft magazine as she knew how much I loved creating. I was browsing through this when I came across some fabric sculpted figures. I instantly fell in love and knew I just had to find a class in the UK where I could learn how to do this.

Luckily for me the NEC Craft show was on the following month so I went along as usual but was a little over excited to say the least, when I came round the corner and there was Tracey Evans with a stand promoting Powertex. She must of thought I was a little bit crazy as I flew up to her wanting to know when I could do a class.

Roll forward 4 weeks and after a lot of secrets between my husband, best friend Karen and Tracey over gift vouchers for my birthday I was sitting in Tracey’s studio doing my first ever Powertex workshop.

It started with a plaque. I was instantly hooked and wanted to do more.

Powertex plaque by Annette Smyth
First ever Powertex project

Powertex training

I couldn’t believe this product could be as good as I was being told so I took the next year and completed every course possible. After that year I took all levels of tutor training and started running classes in my local area. I went on to become the Creative Team Leader for the CV postcode.

Annette Smyth Figure statue with Powertex
Powertex figure by Annette Smyth

During my journey with Powertex I have had the most amazing opportunities. I have taught workshops and provided feature exhibitions at the NEC Creative Craft Show and the Welsh assembly, written magazine articles, been on the design team for 3 years, had my work featured on Hochanda, taught workshops from 1 to 1 up to large groups, worked on the Powertex stand at Creative Craft Shows in NEC Birmingham, Exeter and Stoneleigh, Kirsty Allsops’ show at Ragley Hall and travelled to Belgium to train with Brigitte Grade the owner and creator of Powertex.

Powertex art by Annette Smyth
Echibition piece from Save our Steel at Pierhead, Cardiff
Powertex poppy exhibit by Annette Smyth
NEC Birmingham, Creative Craft Show Entrance exhibition

Earlier this year I became a Certified Powertex Training Academy where I now train new Powertex tutors in fabric sculpting/business set up and existing tutors in Stone Art and 3D Flex.

I was also invited to complete the Powertex UK Masters Certification process. In this program you have to complete 4 projects. For each piece a different theme is set by head office. For the first 3 pieces, you then develop and create your artwork at your own pace. Once finished you document the full process and submit to Powertex UK. Each one has to be assessed and approved by head office before you can move on.

The final project

For the final project, head office again set the theme however this time you create your piece in Tracey’s studio over a 2 day period. You also take along your previous 3 makes for the final assessment. Once this has all been approved you are awarded the Powertex UK Masters Certificate.

I have really enjoyed this whole process. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me really think about what I was creating, working out how I could show the technical skills I had learnt in a fluid and congruent way. There was a lot of trial and error, a lot of what if’s and a lot of coffee involved!

I decided that my first 3 pieces would each show a different skill set.

Project 1 Rebirth- 3d flex on canvas

Rebirth Powertex art by Annette Smyth
Rebirth by Annette Smyth

Project 2 Tree of Life- stone art sculpting

 tree of life sculpture by Annette Smyth
Tree of life by Annette Smyth

Project 3 – Abandonment – fabric sculpting

fabric sculpture by Annette Smyth
Abandonment fabric sculpture by Annette Smyth

Project 4 – Cubism

I wanted my final piece to encompass lots of different techniques – mixed media fabric sculpting, Stone Art texture, Stone Art clay, 3d flex clay, flex cracks, imprinting, stencilling, mark making, use of inks, pigments, wax, 3D sand and balls, Bister split. I loved making this piece the most because of the variety involved.

Cubism inspired sculpture by Annette Smyth
Cubism by Annette Smyth
Annette Smyth, Powertex tutor, trainer and Master Certification
Annette Smyth

So if you’re thinking Powertex is just about plaques, it’s so so much more.

Take a look at some of my creations here in the magazine. You can also find out more about my workshops on my Facebook page or on my website.

Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures. Axx

9 thoughts on “It started with a plaque…

  1. Congratulations so well deserved you have been a huge inspiration to me and Dave on our own Powertex journey. These are Awesome piece s of art xx

  2. Well done Annette, your work, your knowledge, your presence and your dedication to your art inspires me. Always love your displays in the art alley at NEC and look forward to seeing what new piece your showcasing each time. Well deserved accreditation xx Shell

  3. Love how different all the pieces are and how many techniques you’ve managed to incorporate. Fantastic work and congratulations on your achievement xx

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