Free Mixed Media Magazine – showcasing the work of the Powertex UK design team.
Powertex tutor, Creative team leader, Powertex Design team 2019 member.
Full time all round dabbler in arts and crafts, I love mixed media projects and immersing myself in art as much as I can. Whimsical fantasy and nature inspire me to get creative, I enjoy teaching a diverse array of students, bringing them joy when they bring a piece of art from their mind eye to life.
This month the design team were challenged to follow and complete a design team members step by step from a previous article. This came with one stipulation that we did it with our own twist. There were so many I wanted to do but in the end Abigail’s bright summer canvas caught my attention, it had a clock face! After all, the clocks go back very soon! My twist was to make it a real working Powertex clock with an autumn/fall styling.
As a tutor I’m often asked how I come up with all my ideas and what Inspires me. My first answer is everything. I’m sure we all know a Powertex crafter that is inspired by everything around them and has a list longer than their arms of inspirations.
Are you like me, someone who hoards every Powertex-able thing in sight from recyclables to a plethora of textures? The thing is all these inspirations form ideas and grow into creations. Could it be an inanimate item in a charity shop you imagine as something else. Could it be a feeling or connection in a place, maybe a vision or inspiration from another artists work?
Whatever your inspiration is, there’s usually a theme. My theme is often nature and animals or a bit of fantasy. In this month article I’m going to show and briefly talk about a few of the animals and creatures I’ve created since finding Powertex.
In the early days with Powertex fabric hardener
One of the first animals I created was this Frog. Now I thought he was ugly, even for a frog! But someone at an event fell in love and begged for me to sell her him a few days after creation, she adored him.
Inspired by moon gazey hares now, but wanting to try a stronger base to work on. I studied images to try get the shape right, without a 3D model it can be tricky to get anatomical correctness. This little guy however turned out more bunny sized than hare. I loved it all the same, as above, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Practice pays off
As time has gone on I learnt from ‘happy accidents’. They give you a learning curve, room for growth. I’ve also learnt that I do prefer to sculpt with the stone art clay as a first go to material. I find it easier for me to manipulate and build up the shape more naturally. These black bird and octopus are sculptures I’ve made with Stone art clay.
Getting a little quirky
Adding a twist of fantasy
The exciting thing about fantasy animals is that you can work on inspirations of nature’s animals and add a fantasy touch to it. Let’s face it, when you see some of natures wacky designs on many animals, birds and creatures, it does make you wonder if unicorns and dragons were actually real?! My first blog for the Powertex team was just this kind of unique style (see here).
Final fantasy animal
My last piece of inspiration is to finish with one of my all-time favorite makes, my ‘wicker basket’ dragon. Another piece that spoke to me of it’s purpose at the tutor retreat challenge.
Inspiration isn’t always easy, sometimes we need to be shown an idea through tutorials or going to a workshop. Still needing inspiration? Find your nearest tutor in the tutor directory here.
For my July article we are delving into ancient Rome and looking at incorporating Medusa and Stone Art. The Romans were renowned for their love of wine, both producing it and drinking it. So a wine Medusa jug is what I will teach you to make this time.
Medusa was a Gorgon and one of the most frequently repeated motifs in Greek and later, in Roman antiquities. The Legend has it that if you were to gaze into her eyes you would turn to stone. Or in our case…Stone art!
Large glass bottle (I used an empty cordial bottle)
TOP TIP To get even coverage with stone art, why not use a pasta machine to roll out your clay all in one equally level sheet. I have found many cheap second hand ones for £5 in charity shops! Just make sure your clay is not sticky before rolling through.
Did you see Kore’s planet canvas recently? I was hugely inspired by it so if you missed it, find it here and you too may find inspiration.
Hope you enjoyed this article? If so please comment below or share your inspiration on the Facebook Powertex Studio page.
Well that’s all for me this month,
Peace, love and a little splash of wine from my jug 😉
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 .
A Powertex octopus. The theme this month is Underwater, this is one of my favourite go to themes I love to create with as I love the sea. Living in Dorset I’m close to the sea and often find myself seeking respite on some of the peaceful secluded beach spots I know of. There are so many interesting aspects of the sea I get inspiration from, the creatures, colours, sounds and textures.
One of my favourite sea creatures are octopuses, they are such interesting creatures, incredibly intelligent and majestic.
So then, it’s decided that in this article I will be creating an octopus sculpture. I chose to work with both fabric and Stone Art clay to get the look I wanted.
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.
Did you see the mandala Triptch article I wrote last month? If not take a look here.
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.
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!
In this article I will be showing you how to create a Mindfulness Mandala Triptych. I wanted to incorporate one item as my focal point, the product of the month Easy structure paste. Wood was chosen to work on as this is something I haven’t done for a while. Easy structure works well on any flat surface that’s a natural element such as wood, metal, fabrics. This technique would also look great on an artist’s canvas, a sheet or grey board or wooden box. Even a sheet of metal, a glass pane and so much more could be used.
While looking for inspiration, mandalas came to mind. Mandala is a Sanskrit word, meaning circle. They can be used to focus attention and create a state of mindfulness. A universal symbol of wholeness and unity. The circle mirrors the universe, the movement of the stars, creation, cycle of life and the passage of time.
Mindfulness is often used as a therapeutic technique. It is being present in that moment, but being accepting of our feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations and our senses. Often what brings us into our senses is doing something, but in a mindful way.
I often find myself in a state of mindfulness while creating.
Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life.
*Because Bister spray can stain, make sure the area you work on is covered and protected.*
Step by Step
I selected a series of Mandala stencils from my personal stash and played around with the composition on my Triptych. I decided to add texture around them and a few embellishments to add depth to the piece.
February is the month of love so what better theme than ‘True Love’ could you have for this months Secret art box? So I decided to mix it up, take on a challenge and embrace my fears. So I am about to share with you some Secret Art Box Love.
In this article I show my first EVER video demo. But I have to admit I took on a more monumental task than anticipated. This is because it took far longer than expected (doesn’t it always when you learn something new). I was stalled by illness and it’s safe to say I came across more than a few technical challenges. This included loosing files so please bear with me!
When I say monumental task, there are 5 demo videos plus the box opening for you too get your teeth into. But you don’t have to watch all the videos at once. Perhaps come back again and view each video another time. Because this is a article on an online magazine you can view at anytime to suit you.
To start off I’ve decided to share opening my box. This is to show everyone a version of what theses delicious box full of goodies can contain.
The video didn’t turn the right way, so I’m off to a great start :D….However I have several video demos. And if you to bear with my first ever videos I’m sure you’ll still pick up lots of tips or cringe with me 🙂
True Love is free
My first Ever demo is called ‘True love is free’. It was my first inspiration upon opening all of the art box contents. I incorporated it with something I found in a charity shop. Unfortunately my memory card became faulty half way through filming. Because of this the parts where I made the leaves , roses, and where I rustied up the cage, cupid and the key are missing.
Heres a collage of the finished piece
My second make with February’s Secret art box goodies was a journal. I named this piece “love notes’. So if journals are your thing this video demo could be right up your street.
Please excuse the fact that the begining of the video was lost due to a corrupt memory card so this is halfway through.
I used a variation of textured wall paper and stenciled images on the MDF hearts using Easy Structure. Next all items were coated and attached using Ivory Powertex fabric hardener. After drying with a hair dryer I then painted the whole journal in Secret art loft Raspberry acrylic Ink.
Here is the finished journal.
Next on my agenda was the Pendant. I called this the ‘Love actually pendant’. Because after editing the video it became apparent that I use the word actually an awful lot (cringe!!!)
…and here is the finished piece
So I’ve been a busy bee as you can see, oh dear, I now have bees on my mind. My next creation was inspired by the other half heart and the sunflower mould that came in the box.
Once the heart was covered in sunflowers I wanted to incorporate bees for some reason?! I named this one unsuprisingly ‘Bee mine’. This took me further out of my comfort zone, can you guess why? But it may be your thing? Watch and find out!
Here’s my Bee-utiful finished ‘Bee mine’ canvas
Reflections of love
To finish off the month of love, I came to be inspired for this creation by my partner. We were discussing how busy\stressed I’ve been when I should of been resting. How maybe I need to ‘reflect’ on my needs by not taking on too much. Or taking what could have been a small task and making it a monumental one….now distracted from the said conversation by one word…..Reflect…….yes….my mind pinged with my last creation. Watch now to find out.
Here’s the finished treasure.
Well thats it from me, what a journey this article has been. Despite my reservations I’m glad I faced my fear of videoing and working out of my comfort zone. I hope I’ve inspired you to create something unique. To do something out of your comfort zone with crafting or perhaps inspired you further to order next month’s Secret art box.
If you have any questions from products to techniques. Or you would like to make something similar to the projects in this article. Please don’t hesitate to send me a message at The Crafty Little Corner.
That all from me, List of items with links used right at the end.
Stone Art Clay Birds of Powertex Paradise by Shell North
In December my first Design team blog goodie box arrived! I was so excited!!! I was given the theme of a pair of birds and these are some of the items I received to create something with stone art clay to hopefully inspire others. (eggs, molds and dies are my own)
I did some research for birds in the style of these new MDF bases. I’m usually quite inspired by nature but nothing I found tickled my imagination. So decided to create something whimsical and a little different. Something from my imagination that may represent a bird of paradise. Because sometimes we need thoughts of warmer places of tropical paradise in these colder month in the UK….
Powertex uk’s favourite product of the month is Stone Art, I decided I was going to use stone art as a clay to cover this piece. I also pulled out my bottle of Blue Powertex liquid art medium. Although I love this colour, I just don’t use it enough! Mixing equal parts of Blue Powertex to stone art powder until I couldn’t stir it anymore. I kneaded it like dough until the stone art granules could not be seen. This was wrapped in cling film and left for a few hours while I prepped everything else.
First step was to create the bird shape was cut two polystyrene eggs in half long ways and attach them to the breast areas of the MDF bases with masking tape. Molding the 3D shape of the birds with foil and covering in masking tape. Keeping the holes in the MDF bases open for the wire wings by piercing through the eggs with wooden skewers. Then threading some wire through the bottom holes, I created a wing shape. Inserting the ends of the wires back in through the top holes on both birds, covering in foil and masking tape again. I built up the rest of the birds bodies as before with foil and masking tape.
Now the birds were fully covered in tape I pushed them onto the 2 pin metal base and molded legs for the birds with foil and tape as before to secure them.
The clay I had made earlier was now ready to use, so I warmed it slightly by kneading. I took clumps and rolled it out into sheets about 5mm thick. Wet the underneath with a little water and smoothed onto the birds piece by piece. To blend the areas as one, I again used a little water my finger tips and a small pallet knife. I also made some feather molds from the clay and added to the tail area of the birds.
For the wings I used one of my favorite texture products…. paper decor, available in a variety of colours. Today I used pink because the blue Powertex is quite dark the colour of the paper decor won’t show through. I cut feather shapes out of it and worked blue Powertex liquid hardener into each piece before smoothing on both sides of the wings.
Next I took Bronze (brown) stone art clay. Made with stone art and bronze brown Powertex art medium from a recent workshop. Rolled a long thin sausage shape and molded the beak shapes smoothing them into place. I covered the legs using stone art clay with my finger tips, a little water and small pallet knife.
I created a small repetitive feather texture all over the birds body on the still wet clay. By pressing the silicone texture pad against areas I needed texture. I wanted to create webbed feet, using left over wire from the wings I shaped bird feet. And covered in masking tape before paining them black with black Powertex universal medium.
I decided to add wire crests to the birds to give extra interest. By pushing thin wire through the clay and curling them at the ends. I chose some green glass eyes and pushed them into the clay. I decided to be a little quirky with the colour of the legs, as I’m creating whimsical birds. So I painted the legs stripy using licorice twist and clotted cream acrylics.
Well the finished piece can be seen below…..Thanks for reading my first blog as part of the Powertex UK Design team. I hope you all enjoyed what I created this time. Do join me again next month when I’m back with another article.
Don’t forget all the items used are hyperlinked. Click the highlighted text and it’ll take you straight to items you require, to save you time searching. Please don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions below.
In the mean time why not look through all the new and old blogs. Provided for you by the Powertex UK Design team and guests. You can also find me at The Crafty Little Corner. Send me a message if you would like to do this workshop with me. Or find me on my Facebook page sharing new ideas, hints, tips and a whole lot of Powertex inspiration.
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