For a very long time I have wanted a vintage style pram. It goes back to when I had my own babies, living in a flat there was no room for such a majestic pram. So, children long grown up, I decided Powertex gave me the perfect opportunity to use a pram as a base for my Gothic Art.
This involved much searching online sites to find one and I finally did at an amazing cost of £45. It was found in a house clearance, looking a little tired and worn as it would at 50/60 yrs old. It was love at first sight, just to push it to the car to take made me bristle with excitement.
On arrival it was tucked up inside my Powertex storage garage where it silently waited while plans were made. The plans changed many times, the only certainty it was going to be black.
It was going to make it’s debut at The Whitby Gothic Weekend on October 25th-27th where we go twice a year to show our creations, let the work begin.
Sand it all down and give it a coat of gesso, then black Powertex, suddenly it no longer looked sad and tired it began to breath life. I left it for 48hrs to dry out while cutting up of lots of fabric.
Dave, re-upholstered the inside, deep buttoned style in black leather. It was taking on a whole new personality.
Turned upside down I started to apply the fabric cover to the base in long strips leaving it quite wrinkled to give a texture. At the handle end I attached a ceramic baby curled in a leaf, roses and skulls.
Now the sides were a whole different story as I wanted them very ornate and busy. I covered the sides with Powertexed fabric. We started to gather lots of plaster pieces then bedded the pieces into the fabric. In the centre as a focal point I added a plaster face, with wings.
This took a few days to dry out. Then I coated it all with Black Powertex. Flipped it over when it was dry and did the other side to match.
Time to start working on the hood, I coated it all over with black Powertex inside and out. I cut up lots of twine and laid out a spider web pattern, which I then filled in with skulls of different types and faces, adding scrunched up fabric coated with Powertex around them to make sure they were securely fixed. Once more the whole hood was coated with black Powertex.
So excited to reach this stage; Dry Brushing. Keeping it reasonably simple I started with silver Colourtrix, lightly brushing all over to bring out all the texture , it instantly came to life and really needed very little more. To finish off I added touches of dry brushing with white Powertex Universal Medium.
The back of the hood and the apron, they changed many times as they progressed, we wanted them to almost tell a story, of derelict buildings and overgrown trees, we used some MDF pieces for this.
So finally it was time to put her all back together and take her out for a photo shoot.
So here she is our much loved Gothic Fantasy Pram who made her debut at Whitby Goth Weekend. She met some amazing people who ooohed and aahhed over her and photographed her from every angle and she even had the pleasure of a delightful baby boy try her out for size.
Where do we go from here I asked myself as after finishing
such an intense and exciting project there is always that feeling of anti-climax,
but we have two fabulous projects on the books, so even more exciting times to
See my last project the Dark Dreamcatcher or if you would like to see more of our work head over to our Facebook page Alex Henry. Don’t forget to add your projects onto The Powertex Studio, I would love to see them and you will also find lots of inspiration there.
One thing I love about being a part of the design team is getting asked to do pieces for upcoming Hochanda shows. Being a part of such a great team keeps me focused and gives me a huge sense of purpose. Eager to get creating and inspired by the Buddha kit, I knew exactly what my mind was being inspired to bring to life. I put my whole heart and soul into creating it.
My creative process
I created a scene of tranquility, calm, love and peace with the items I had been asked to use. For this piece I sat peacefully and envisioned creating textural scenery of bamboo, blossom trees and mountains, a place I could imagine Buddha sitting in contemplation.
Use paperdecoration to cut out bamboo shapes and the main part of the blossom tree. Use mixed Stone art powder into a spreadable paste for the textural mountains and water. Utilise small and medium art balls for the blossom on the tree. Instead of using just the red Powertex universal medium as it’s stand alone colour, I mixed it with ivory Powertex to create the pink blossoms. I wanted this piece to show the unique and limitless ways you can use Powertex products.
If at first you don’t succeed, take a moment to walk away!
Sometimes, when you envision an idea in your head, it doesn’t quite come out as you imagined. Nearing the end of the piece, I actually didn’t like what I had created and had to walk away. In fact I wanted to throw it in the bin!
I cleared my head and looked at my work with a new perspective. I removed a part of the piece that wasn’t right by scraping away part of the blossom trunk and started that bit again. A clear mind was what I needed to feel more content with my piece.
and here it is…
I hope you enjoyed this this article? Please do leave a comment below so we know you love what we are doing for the love of Powertex.
Feeling inspired and want to come and create one of these with me? Look at my website to see when the next course for this is being held at The Crafty Little Corner.
With the clocks going back in a few days here’s a link to my article last month, my Powertex clock. Also please do check out other design team members blogs like this rusty letter piece by Kore.
The brief for this article was to recreate a piece by one of the other DT members. I pondered long about this looking at previous blogs. Then I was inspired by Shell North, she did a rather beautiful dream catcher. Me being me of course it was not going to be light and elegant as Shell’s oh no, we are taking a walk on the dark side.
I started by collecting all the materials and items I would need to work on my project.
I coated it all with black Powertex first and fixed the skull to the dream catcher. I sliced it in half and using Easy Structure texture paste, fixed the skull back together. Fixing it either side of the centre hole of the dreamcatcher, makes it look as if it’s pushing through. Definitely looking spooky at this stage.
Using paper decoration, I had soaked in Powertex I arranged it around the skull and pushed the skull beads in. I liked the look of this.
I added a few foam roses I had around the large centre skull and tucked some black feathers in behind. Sprinkle some sand and balls to add extra texture, we can never have to much texture can we?
I left it to dry overnight before getting onto the dry brushing. A wonderful stage where you see all of that yummy texture coming to life. I used silver Colourtrix keeping it simple, that’s the beauty of this stage you can add as much or as little colour you wish, its all personal taste.
The final touch was to add black ribbon to hang on the hearts and my remaining skull beads.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and are inspired. Create a unique dreamcatcher of your own, it could be light and delicate like Shell North’s, on the dark side or anywhere in between. I usually work on the dark side but I do also splash the colour at times.
I also used Easy Structure, Red Bister spray and White and Lilac Powercolor but these are totally optional. I added a square of corrugated card packaging, if you have it.
How to make this gothic mixed media art
Prepare your mdf frame
Use the black Powertex Universal Medium to paint and glue your frame together with the raised square in the centre.
Add texture to the frame
Scrape Easy Structure over the outer frame. Dry with a hairdryer before coating with Black Powertex.
TIP: I also sprayed with Red Bister but these steps are optional. You can use any texture you like and the stencil would also be great for this.
Corrugated card texture
I tore a square of cardboard packing for the centre. I used Black Powertex to paint this piece completely and to glue it down.
Add fabric texture
Massage some Black Powertex into some of the loose fabric until it’s completely coated but not too wet. Press it into place with Powertex.
Layer mdf pieces
Paint your mdf pieces and embellishments completely with Powertex as you stick them on. Start with larger pieces and add more until your happy with the placement.
Use a plaster skull as your focal point. I placed it in the centre of the spider’s web. Don’t worry about finger marks as we’ll fix those later!
TOP TIP: If any of your pieces aren’t sticking well, use pieces of kitchen paper in Powertex as a sticky pad to hold them in place.
Add small textures for detail. Use Powercotton threads and the medium balls in areas that look a bit empty. Coat everything with Black Powertex and leave to dry.
For this piece we mix a dry paint using the Easy Varnish and powder pigments. Use a flat paintbrush to dry brush the textures.
TOP TIPS: Put a tiny amount of varnish on a craft mat and use a flat brush to pull some to the side. Dip your brush into the powder and mix this with the varnish. Mix a little at a time.
Start with dark colours first, dragging your brush over the top of the textures. Build up colour in layers and add highlights with the Interference colour or White at the end.
Everything you need to make brilliant gothic style mixed media art is in the Secret Art Box this October. I hope you’ll have a go and share your creation in The Powertex Studio Facebook group. Use #powertexaddict on Instagram so we can find you!
Gill’s creation uses the same Powertex UK subscription box and you can find out about the Secret Art Box subscription at Powertex UK.
Until next time, make a little time to let your art out!
This month’s Secret Art Box theme was Halloween inspired and was packed full of wonderful spooky contents. Including an MDF panel, MDF elements with skulls, tombstones and spiders webs, a spooky stencil, rice paper, large balls, a texture pack, charms, skeleton leaves, plaster skull heads, pigments and varnish. A Powertex spooktacular!
I decided I would construct my panel “inside out”. Instead of a flat surface, I created an inset frame. Glue with the Black Powertex Universal Medium included in this month’s box.
With Powertex Easy Structure, which is a smooth paste, stencil the design around the outside of the panel, repeating on each corner.
Next I decided on which mdf pieces I wanted to use on this project. There are lots, so I have plenty left for more spooky projects. I painted the panel and the elements in the black Powertex.
Coat the texture fabric and draped it across the corners of the panel, allowing it to look like spiders webs. Make a pumpkin using an MDF shape and add Stone Art clay to give it the curved shape.
Everything was coated in the black Powertex and allowed to dry thoroughly.
TOP TIP: I’ve added extra MDF elements I had in my stash.
Once dry, I dry brushed the entire piece with ivory Powertex which gives definition to all the texture and starts to make everything look like its covered in cobwebs and aged.
Add colour with Plum Pudding acrylic paint in some areas. Use the Ultramarine blue pigment and the Interference lilac pigment to emphasise these.
TOP TIP: Add a touch of orange marmalade acrylic paint on the pumpkin!
Dry brushing everything gives a pop of colour. Mix powder pigments with Easy Varnish. Load your brush with colour and then wipe most of it off on a piece of kitchen roll before applying in broad flat strokes. This really does give the best effect and the colour can be built up to achieve the best results.
Here is the finished piece, it’s a very different style for me, but I loved working with the spooky elements, have lots left to create more projects. Some of these materials are also available separately at Powertex UK.
Hello, welcome to my latest article. This month the design team were invited to use a step by step article from another design team member as a source of inspiration. I chose to use the Scarecrows in September by Fiona Potter as I loved this little man as soon as I saw him. However, I wanted to put my own spin on the project so decided that instead of a scarecrow I would create a scared crow. He would make a fantastic Autumnal centrepiece for the table and I can see him surrounded by a group of ornamental gourds.
Optional embellishments – I used fallen acorn husks
How to make a Scared Crow Scarecrow
Step 1. Build the armature and head
Attach dowel to base with tape. Use foil to build head, neck and beak onto this. Cover with tape ensuring it is secure.
Step 2. Add the Arms
Gather a small bunch of twigs and secure with masking tape. Secure these to the ends of the dowel with more tape.
Step 3. Build the body
Using foil fill out arms. Tape cardboard rolls to wooden base, cut to required length and fill in the torso with more foil.
Cover everything with tape and coat with a layer of black Powertex.
Step 4. Add the feet
Use 2 more twig bunches, dip strips of gauze in Black Powertex and wrap around tape on the twigs then slide up the tube legs.
Step 5. Cover the head
Coat the hessian in Black Powertex and shape around the head and down neck. Push eyes into place.
Step 6. Dress the Crow
Using Transparent Powertex I dipped the fabric as follows
a square of fabric for the top – cut a hole in the centre to fit over the head.
rectangles for the dungaree legs
smaller rectangles for the dungaree bib
strips for the shoulder straps
a length of rope for the belt
DESIGNER TIP – You could choose your fabrics to suit your own rooms colour scheme?
Step 7. Make the Hat
The video below will show you how I made the hat. I decorated mine with Paper decoration dipped in Black Powertex.
WHY NOT try using hessian to give a straw hat effect?
Step 8. Drybrush the hat
I used Powertex Easy Varnish and Yellow Ochre Powercolor to drybrush the hat .
Watch my video here if you’re not sure how to drybrush.
Step 9. Finishing touches
Using Transparent Powertex I added fallen acorn husks to the hat, dungarees and base.
I hope you have as much fun as I did creating your very own scared crow. There is no end to the different types of scarecrows you could make. How about a scaredog or scarecat…..What scare animal would you create?
We love to see what you create so post your makes on our Facebook group – The Powertex Studio and inspire other people to have a go.
If you would like to see more of my work or join me for a workshop in my home studio then please take a look at my website – www.annettesmyth.co.uk or contact me via my Facebook page.
For this month’s articles the Powertex Design Team were asked to look back over the archives and put our own spin on a previous creation by one of our colleagues. What an inspiration it was going back over past Powertex sculptures and creations. I was spoilt for choice. However, the one creation that stopped me in my tracks was the Powertex Halloween Ghoul from October 2018, by the very talented Anna Emelia Howlett, of Rosehart Designs.
I have to admit to have never having watched a Harry Potter film in my life. I was unsure what a dementor was, but I liked the challenge of doing something so outside of my comfort zone.
However, this was not to be an exact copy of Anna’s brilliant
design. My take on it was to create a
smaller one, who could be worn on the shoulder to watch over me as Halloween
approaches. Whether he is friend or foe remains to be seen.
“Where there is no imagination there is no horror” So says Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s book A Study in Scarlet.
Anyone who has ever watched a horror film with me will testify that I have a very vivid imagination. It was still great fun creating this little Powertex dementor though
I poked some wire in the base of my skull for a neck, and then built shoulders using wire, foil and masking tape.
I added on long bony fingers with some extra wire.
I painted him in black Powertex and added kitchen roll for texture.
I soaked thin cloth in Black Powertex Fabric Hardener for his cloak.
I decided to enlarge his mouth and eyes by making holes with scissors.
Once my ghoul had dried I added the final touches of dry brushing, using Anna’s choice of pigments.
Getting it to sit upright on my jacket was a challenge.
Initially I had planned to use velcro, but decided I didn’t want his company on
a permanent basis, only on spooky nights.
I compromised by using big safety pins. As I had only used thin material I was able to push pins through his cloak, and also hook them over his bony hands. This ensured my ghoul stayed in place and looks over my shoulder as long as I want him to.
I hope you have enjoyed my take on Anna’s Powertex ghoul. Any comments you wish to leave would be greatly appreciated. You can see the original ghoul over on Anna’s blog here. We’d love to see your take on a Powertex Ghoul, over on our Facebook page The Powertex Studio.
You can see more of what I get up to over on my website or my facebook page. That’s all from me for this month. Until September take care, keep on creating, and may all your ghouls be friendly ones 🙂
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.
In this article I will show you how to recreate my interpretation of the Northern Lights using Powertex.
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis have always fascinated me. Like the ocean which was the inspiration for my last blog, they have that ethereal, slightly unworldly quality. They are a reminder of just how wonderful nature can be.
The lovely Tracey Evans at Powertex HQ asked if I could use lots of colour and texture in this article. I used the gorgeous pigments to create the fluorescent greens and pinks for the sky. Textured stone art clay was added to signify water.
One thing I hadn’t realised before doing some research for this article, is that the Northern Lights also occur during the daytime. However the human eye is unable to see them at these times as the sun is too strong for them to show up.
I roughly covered my canvas using a mixture of Sherbert Dip Pigment and White Powertex for the sky, and White and Blue Powertex for the sea.
After spraying with Black Bister I blasted with a hair dryer to create crackles, and used a palette knife to scrape back and allow the yellows to shine through.
Stone Art sea
I used segments of Stone Art clay to create the illusion of a choppy sea. Powertex pearl pigments reflect the colours in the sky.
Putting a cluster of trees fading downwards, I painted some corrugated cardboard with acrylic and used a stubby brush to indicate branches.
I liked the way the Stone Art clay waves were curling and decided to highlight this using Powercolor Titanium White Pigment.
Finally I added some extra depth to the colours in the sky using Powerwax and pigment. I dip my finger in the wax, then the pigment and gently rub on in a circular movement.
Using the Powerwax in the final stage really helped to bring the picture to life. I was able to create beautiful swirling patterns in the sky using the amazingly vibrant Pearl Pigments which gave just the ethereal atmosphere I was hoping for.
Northern Lights in Powertex
That’s all from me for this month. I hope you have enjoyed this step by step article, and would love to see any Northern Lights inspired artwork you create over on our Facebook page. Please feel free to leave any comments, (especially nice ones).
If you are in the Southampton area and fancy coming along to a workshop you can find all my upcoming events on the blog section of www.artandmurals.co.uk. My Facebook page also has my events listed.