Nature inspired Powertex painting

By Shell North

For this article I was asked to talk about my favorite artist. I have lots of things around me like nature that inspire me but rarely a well known artist.

I was inspired to push my Powertex canvas work further a couple of years ago by fellow Powertex tutor and artist Rosie Casselden. This was my first piece with Rosie in her studio with a little guidance.

I had never braved painting detail before so it was a big thing to me, but wow did it opened doors to floods of ideas. So I would say Rosie is definitely a favorite artist of mine that inspires me.

Powertex nature painting art by Shell North
‘Natures strength’ (spring edition) Powertex mixed media canvas by Shell North

I started painting fauna and flora but with a mixed media twist, using textures and random items such as shirts.

Powertex painting mixed media canvas by Shell North inspired by nature
‘The Dandy-lion’ Powertex mixed media canvas by Shell North

Upon sharing this to the Powertex studio group there was a comment “Elfie Cella does some amazingly inspirational work”. She does some textural nature art using textiles and everyday objects. Here is some of her work, which has become my inspiration.

How to make a nature inspired Powertex painting

Materials list

Step 1

Plan your scene, starting by draw a den around where the foxes go and adding a grass line, tree and moon out line. Add X’s where the very high textured area will be.

Draw out the scene fro your nature painting

Step 2

Paint around your napkin image with a paint brush and water and then tear away the excess napkin, remove top layer.

Step 3

Coat the fox den with a layer of Easy coat. Carefully place napkin image on top then coat another layer working from the middle outwards. Once dry add another coat.

Coat nature napkin scene with Easy Coat Mat

Step 4

Paint the areas that require texture thickly with Transparent Powertex, sprinkle with art balls, stone art powder and 3D flex and add fabric with Transparent Powertex.

Finally sprinkle stone art along higher ground.

Tip: Dust off any loose bits when dry. Also note that you don’t want balls in the higher ground area as it will make harder to paint any roots later.

Add textures with Powertex

Step 5

Spray all the texture with Brown and Black bister, avoiding the foxes. Dry with hair dryer.

Step 6

Using Paynes grey acrylic paint and a little water on your wash brush, paint the night sky, avoid the tree and moon. While wet, dab with a scrunched piece of tissue roll and leave to dry.

Step 7

Using a mix of different shades of white and paynes grey, create moon shades by stippling. Add very watery white around the moon for its aura. Finally using a fan brush flick white over the sky for stars.

Paint the sky with acrylics for this nature inspired painting

Step 8

Use the pre-made brown stone art clay, sculpt around the tree outline, paint the thinner branches with brown acrylic.

Use clay to create a tree on the canvas for a nature Powertex painting

Step 9

Now add all the detail such as grass in shades of green and yellow, roots shades of browns and white mixed, branches and bark in shades of browns.

To finish dry brush the dirt textured area with various shades of light brown to off white acrylic paint.

So here’s the finished piece….

Shell North nature Powertex painting on canvas
Sleeping fox cubs by moonlight’ Powertex mixed media canvas By Shell North

I hope I’ve inspired you to push your canvas work in a different direction. If you would like to have a go at this or something similar you can contact me on my website at The Crafty Little Corner or take a look at my other design team projects.

Well that’s all from me this month, see you again in the days running up to Christmas for my last blog of the year!

Peace, love and cosy fox cub cuddles

Shell x

Starry, starry night

Designed by Jinny Holt

This month we were asked to create a piece, inspired by one of our favourite artists. Not an easy task for me as I have quite a few to choose from, Georgia O’keeffe, Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, to name but a few. Then there are artists who I admire and inspire me such as Anna Emelia Howlett from Rosehart Studio, Kore Sage from Kore Sage Art and to be honest the rest of the design team, decisions, decisions!

Starry, starry night

In the end I chose Vincent Van Gogh as the piece I chose to recreate I have always loved from a child and I also love the song by Don Mclean.

I wanted to push myself and try and recreate Vincent’s famous painting “Starry night”, now it was not going to be a straight paint job, that would be too easy. So, I set about thinking how I could achieve a similar look and others knowing who I was doing.

How I created my art piece

Materials List

Painting my canvas

I started by applying a wash to a medium sized box canvas using the blue pigment powder. A few key elements to my canvas were marked out first.

I decided to use Easy 3D Flex as a texture paste, to create the look I desired. For this, mix together the Easy 3D Flex and some Ivory Powertex into a thick cream like paste. Using a palette knife, I added this to the canvas and used an embossing tool to drag through the Easy 3D texture paste to create a similar look to the famous painting.

I left the canvas to dry.

Starry night Powertex canvas by Jinny Holt

Applying the paint

Did you know that you can use Powertex pigment powders as a watercolour? especially if a piece is not going outside.

Use the bigger brush to painted the whole canvas with the blue and let it dry. With the detail brush, paint the yellow stars, mixing with a little white for highlights. I painted the bottom piece with the green for the hills and dry brushed white over the texture.

I then added blue and white tiny dash lines in the lower parts of the texture, this took a little while to do but I personally find this therapeutic. Add brown highlights to the centre part of the canvas and dry brush the whole piece with white to finish.

Starry, starry night by Jinny Holt, Powertex  art
Starry, starry night by Jinny Holt

Are you inspired?

I do hope you enjoy reading the articles of this Powertex online magazine and I do hope that myself and all the DT members inspire you to create with Powertex yourself. If you are inspired by Van Gogh too take a look at Donna’s art too. You can always come say hello over at at THE POWERTEX STUDIO on Facebook, or you can find hours of inspiration here on PINTEREST . You can get all your goodies you need over at POWERTEX.CO.UK.

If you would like to check the latest things I have made, you can also find me on Facebook at MUMS SHED and on Instagram at JINNY HOLT.

So until next time creative people,

~LIVE~LOVE~LAUGH~CREATE~

Jinny

Van Gogh Inspired Powertex

This article is about how my favourite artist influences what I create with Powertex. Gosh, making this choice was as tricky as choosing a design from one of my fellow Powertex design team members. The main three artists I whittled it down to were Vincent Van Gogh, Lucian Freud and Frida Kahlo. 

Vincent Van Gogh style Powertex
Swirly patterns reminiscent of Van Gogh often work their way into my art

“I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly’.”

Vincent Van Gogh

All three have very different styles, but each of these artists work, move’s me on an emotional level. To me their work has a kinaesthetic quality to it.  I almost want to dive right into the painting and feel the textures of paint they have layered on. Obviously I hold myself back from doing this as I’m not a fan of getting thrown out of art galleries.

Van Gogh quote with Powertex art
I incorporate some of Van Gogh’s quotes into my art using the Powertex stencils

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Vincent Van Gogh

Looking back on my Powertex work

When I looked back over my Powertex work, the style of Van Gogh seems to have influenced me the most. Maybe it is because the textural aspect of Powertex works so well for creating those swirling patterns of colour, that can carry add such emotional clout to an image.

paint brush incorporated into powertex journal
I added an old paint brush as it just felt like it belonged in this piece

A while back I did a step by step on how I created a Van Gogh inspired bottle, complete with starry starry lights which you can find here.

I had fun incorporating the twisted willow into this design

“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too.”

Vincent Van Gogh

I have also created a journal using the same techniques.

“It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.'”

Vincent Van Gogh

I stumbled across a book of Van Gogh’s letters some years ago, and was blown away by the beauty of his words. He used words just as beautifully and just as brutally honestly as he used his paint brush.

I am a doodler and a scribbler, and never keep my journals clean and tidy. They tend to get lost in the chaos of my studio, and resurface when the time is right for me to use them. But this one is precious to me. This one I never lose.

front and back of my van gogh powertex journal
The one journal I always keep safe and sound

Who inspires you?

Here at Powertex UK we love to see photos of your creations, and to find out who you have been inspired by. Please feel free to share them over on our Facebook group.

If you would like to leave any comments here, they are also very welcome. You can see more of what I get up to over on my own Facebook page.

That’s all from me for now folks, keep on Powertexing and I will see you in December.

Powertex Creature Comforts

Designer – Shell North

What inspires me?

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.

Creature Comforts

Creature comforts Powertex by Shell North
Creature Comforts by Shell North

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.

Frog sculpture in Powertex by Shell North
Ugly frog. Made from an inflated balloon base and Powertex coated cotton scraps.
Moon gazey hare bunny sculpture by Shell North
Moon gazey ‘bunny’ By Shell North. Made using Wire amateur, foil, masking tape and Powertexed hessian scraps

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.

Black bird Powertex sculpture
Black bird, by Shell North. Made from Powertex stone art clay on polystyrene egg base.
Powertex octopus by Shell North
Powertex Octopus by Shell North. Made using wire armature, foil, Powertex stone art clay and Powertexed fabric
(Find Octopus tutorial here)

Getting a little quirky

Ginger cat Powertex by Shell North
Ginger quirky cat by Shell North. Made using bottle base, Powertex ivory stone art clay mix and red bister.
Black cat sculpture in Powertex by Shell North
Black quirky cat by Shell North. Made using bottle base, lead grey Powertex stone art clay mix and black bister.

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).

Blue bird of paradise sculpture Powertex by Shell North
Powertex birds of paradise by Shell North. Made using mdf bird template, foil masking tape and blue stone art clay.

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.

Dragon Powertex by Shell North
Dishy the dragon by Shell North. Made using a wicker plant basket, foil, masking tape, Powertexed dish cloths and Powertex stone art clay.

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.

Fancy making an animal sculpture with me? Find me here at The Crafty Little Corner.

Well that’s all from me this month, I hope I have left you with plenty of animal and creature inspiration.

Peace, love and creature comforts,

Shell x

Powertex planets canvas art

Designer – Kore Sage

Powertex planets are a fun and easy canvas project to try. It doesn’t take much in the way of supplies and if you’ve used stencils or masks before you’re half way there! With Powertex you really can use basic techniques for amazing results.

Powertex planets canvas art by Kore Sage using Blue Powertex and Bister sprays
Powertex planets canvas art by Kore Sage

Materials list

  • Canvas – I used an inexpensive rectangular canvas
  • Blue and Ivory Powertex Fabric Hardener
  • Ready Made Bister sprays in Black, Red, Yellow and Green
  • Stiff cardboard to cut own circular masks
  • Hairdryer

Prepare your canvas and card circles

Prep your canvas with Blue Powertex Fabric Hardener and while it’s drying cut your circle masks. Draw around plates or lids and carefully cut out. Keep both parts.

Prepare your canvas and cut card circle masks.
Step 1 Preparing your canvas and circles

Spray the background

Arrange your circular masks. Darken the background with Black Bister Spray. Vary the amount around the canvas. Leave this to dry naturally.

Spray the background with Bister spray in Black
Spray the background with Black Bister

Paint the planets

Swap the mask for the stencil on each planet and paint the circle with a layer of Ivory Powertex, not too thin. Do one at a time!

Swap to the stencil and apply a layer of Ivory Powertex
Swap to the stencil and apply a layer of Ivory Powertex

Spray the Bister

While the Powertex is still wet, leave the stencil in place and spray generously with Bister in your chosen colour. Notice I’ve protected the canvas.

Spraying Bister onto wet Powertex
Spray Bister onto wet Powertex

Create the Bister crackles

Heat the Bister with a hairdryer until cracks start to form in the surface. A heatgun or tool can be too hot for this. Repeat these steps for all your planets.

Using a hairdryer to create Bister crackles
Heat the Bister until crackles form

Starry night

Put half a teaspoon of Ivory Powertex on a plate and use a very wet paintbrush to splatter it across the surface for stars. I had a practice on paper first!

Use a wet paintbrush to spray on stars with Ivory Fabric Hardener
Adding stars with Ivory Powertex

Finishing touches

One of my planets had smeared a lot so I tidied it up with a bit of Blue Powertex and Black Bister when it was dry. I didn’t worry too much about the others and I thought they looked pretty good. I love the blue Powertex coming through the Black Bister too!

Powertex planets canvas by Kore Sage
Powertex planets canvas by Kore Sage

Top Tips for Powertex planets

Each planet will take a while to dry so be careful when masking the rest of your canvas. I used a piece of printer paper held near my planets while I sprayed them. Using more than one colour of Bister on a planet to give it a darker side helps them look dimensional. Try Easy Structure paste or 3d balls to add texture before you add Bister.

Thanks for reading my blog today. I hope you will have a go at painting your own Powertex planets! If you do, please share your art in the Powertex Facebook group as we love to see what you make.

If you like to see more of my Powertex art, you might like my under the sea mixed media project here on the magazine or you can follow me on Facebook or on my website where I love to share my Powertex tips and art.

Until next time, make time to let your art out!

Planet in the Night Sky

A fantasy planet

Designer – Jill Cullum

Planet in the night sky in Powertex by Jill Cullum
Powertex Planet in the Night Sky by Jill Cullum

For my planet in the night sky, inspiration came from warm summer nights, sat in the garden, looking out for shooting stars. I decided to try and replicate one of the planets. Hmmm, once started though, my imagination overtook and the finished article became much more magical.

Easy 3d flex makes beautiful cracks and texture. Experiment using different mediums to add colours. Here I have used layers of inks and acrylics, with a final layer of wax.

As you will see from the photographs, things changed along the way. This is what I love about mixed media. Some layers get covered, some peak through. It’s all part of the journey of creating what you love. Just go with it!

The Secret Art Loft acrylics and inks work wonderfully for layering up. Their translucent quality makes blending easy, and the metallic inks look like molten metal.

Top tip

I find it is really important with mixed media, to let each layer dry thoroughly before moving onto the next. Not an easy one for me, as I am an impatient crafter. However, your layers will become muddy if they aren’t dry.

Materials list

Creating a base

Creating a base for the planet with Powertex
Step 1 – creating a base

Pour Powertex liquid colour onto the canvas. Spray with Bister of a different colour then dry with a hairdryer, to create the crackle effect.

Add texture by creating a heavy crackle effect

Adding more texture to your planet base with Easy 3d Flex
Step 2 – adding texture

Mix Easy 3d flex with Ivory Powertex to create a clay. Layer over half of the canvas. Dry with hair-dryer spraying lightly with blue bister during the process.

Creating further texture

Use Powertex and fabric and clay to add texture layers to your planet
Step 3 – creating further texture

Using material, coated in Ivory Powertex and small ‘craters’ made from the 3d flex clay, build the layers of your planet.

Adding colour

Add green colours to the cracked areas of the planet
Step 4 – adding colour

Start by adding green ink to the deep cracked area and violet acrylic to the green side of the planet.

Building layers

add clay craters and shapes to the surface
Step 5 – building layers

Using greens, pinks and purples, layer the craters, blending as you go. Paint the material section with black acrylic, then add layers of metallic acrylic.

Powerwax

Use Powerwax mixed with powder pigment to layer on colour to your planet textures
Step 6 – Powerwax

On the side created by 3d flex, add a layer of Powerwax, mixed with pigment. Once dry, wipe with a damp sponge to add interest.

Finishing Touches

I decided my fantasy planet needed a touch more ‘bling’ so I added a few beads, blending in with the colours I had chosen along the way. The joys of creating a fantasy planet are that you can really be free with your choice of colours and the texture that you create. It’s nice not to be too rigid in your planning, as planets evolve, then so should a piece of art.

Planet in the night sky

Powertex planet in the night sky by Jill Cullum
Powertex planet in the night sky

I am looking forward to seeing lots of new planets, so feel free to share them in the Powertex Studio.

If you would like further planet inspiration take a look at this blog from Annette Smyth. Or why not join me for a workshop to create your own planet. Bye for now, Jill x

The Northern Lights in Powertex

Aurora Borealis in Powertex
Northern Lights using Powertex

Designer: Donna Mcghie

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.

Materials List:

Cover the canvas

Powertex base for Northern Lights Blog
I mixed Sherbert Dip Pigment with White Fabric Hardener to create a luminous base

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.

Create crackles

Northern lights sky created using powertex pigments
I also added some Violet Valentine to the sky

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

Powertex Clay added to canvas for Northern Lights Blog
I had added in some trees in the background here, but they didn’t look right so I faded them out using my pigments over the top.

I used segments of Stone Art clay to create the illusion of a choppy sea. Powertex pearl pigments reflect the colours in the sky.

Tree textures

Powertex acrylic ink used to create trees on canvas
Rather than having the trees all along the shoreline, which didn’t look right, I opted to use an asymmetrical composition instead.

Putting a cluster of trees fading downwards, I painted some corrugated cardboard with acrylic and used a stubby brush to indicate branches.

Highlight waves

Powertex Power Wax to give highlights to waves on Stone Art Clay
Make Stone Art clay by mixing a small quantity of Stone Art with some Powertex until it forms a dough like substance

I liked the way the Stone Art clay waves were curling and decided to highlight this using Powercolor Titanium White Pigment.

Powerwax sky

I used Powertex Powerwax for a deep shine on the canvas
Powerwax is perfect for adding extra depth and shine.

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

My finished Northern Lights Powertex Canvas

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.

Take care, and see you next month 🙂

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 Ammonite Light

Powertex Ammonite Light

Designer:  Jill Cullum

My Inspiration for an under the sea light

This article is very much influenced by my love of the beach. I spent several years with the beach on my doorstep, where I regularly enjoyed early morning walks. And was the inspiration for my Powertex Ammonite Light.

I particularly loved the changing moods of the sea, the smells and a chance to blow away the cobwebs.  I’ve chosen fabrics and materials which resemble netting and rocks. Paper deco works very well here.

I have also used some shells which I have added extra colour to. You can always leave these natural though.  The Powertex stand gave the finished piece some weight, as well as structure and height.

TOP TIP – Have a hair-dryer ready when adding the Ammonites. You will need them to stay in place so that they have space to poke the lights through. This also gives more 3 dimension to your piece.

Materials Used

I chose my materials, cardboard, and embellishments from my stash which included sea shells. I have used sand and 3d ball to create a thick texture for my ammonites, giving them an authentic look.

Building the basic form for the Powertex Ammonite Light

Step 1

Using the stand a base add tin foil to create rocks and shape, covering with masking tape.

Adding detail

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 2

Step 2 – Added more texture using some honeycomb effect cardboard packaging. Hold in place with masking tape. Cover with fabric hardener. Creating texture for the ammonites.

Creating texture for the ammonites

Step 3

Mix black fabric hardener with sand and small 3d balls. Use this to cover the mdf ammonites. Put to one side until dry.

Bringing the ammonites to life

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 4




Step 4 – Once dry use Secret Art Loft pigments to colour the ammonites, using the dry-brushing technique.. 

Building more structure

Step 5

Add height and detail using material dipped in green fabric hardener. Blend it over the ‘rocks’ adding height to your form.

Putting the elements together

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 6

Before the fabric dries, add your ammonites (see top tip above). Add paper deco placed over the ammonites, using blue fabric hardener, for extra detail.

Powertex Ammonite Light

Finishing Touches

I decided to add colour to the sea-shells using Secret Art Loft acrylic paints, before dry-brushing to bring out the texture. Finally I added the fairy lights.

Why not take a look at my last article here, on how to create pastel shades with fabric hardener.

We love to see what you make, so please share your creativity here, at The Powertex Studio.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and that it inspires you to create your own nightlight. A garden theme using wings and flower embellishments would work well too. Looking forward to seeing your own take on how to use fairy lights, bye for now, Jill x