African Adventure Wreath

The Secret Art Box – September 2019

Designer – Gill Goldsmith

This month’s theme was Africa and the box was filled with so many amazing products. The Powertex colour this month was Terracotta and there was also a plaster head, MDF animals and trees, rice paper, paper decoration, 3d sand, stencil, tissue paper, pigment, metallic ink, varnish and yellow Bister spray. I had lots of ideas, but decided on a striking African Adventure Wreath.

Powertex UK Secret Art Box, September Africa.
Powertex Secret Art Box September

Materials

So firstly, I got out the plaster head, Africa map MDF, the rice paper, tissue paper. I also had some white paper that had black painted markings on from my stash, (I thought it looked like zebra print) and started laying out my composition.

Choosing my Powertex materials
Choosing my materials

I started by painting the polystyrene shape with Powertex Easycoat mat. Attach the rice paper and then paint a coat of Easycoat mat over the top. This helps to seal the paper and stick it to the shape without bubbles.

Covering the wreath
Covering the wreath

Continue to place your papers in this way until you are happy. I painted the areas in between with terracotta Powertex. I also painted the head and Africa map.

You will see that I chipped away a bit of the polystyrene at the bottom of the wreath shape. This is so the flat backed figure head was nestled into the wreath to help support it at the next stage.

Now I was ready to use some fabric to create texture. This also helps support the head onto the wreath. I used some dishcloths, stockinette and paper decoration. I even gave the African man a little head band and created a loop to hang the wreath by twisting the fabric into a knot.

Adding fabric texture
Adding texture

I attached the MDF Africa map and rhino. I used 3d sand, mixed into the Terracotta Powertex and applied this with a palette knife. Then allowed everything to dry thoroughly before the next stage.

Spray liberally with the yellow Bister included in the box. This creates depth to your work. Although initially scary to spray your projects, I always encourage my students to just go for it. More is more in this instance.

Spray with Bister
Spray with Bister

Allow to dry thoroughly before moving on to the fun bit of drybrushing with pigments and inks. At this stage I also attached the MDF strip, which I had painted with black Powertex and attached some paper decoration and letters to spell out Africa.

Dry brushing
Dry brushing

I used a very dry brush with some ivory Powertex to highlight the fabric texture. This just lifts it, after you have added the Bister and makes the texture really show up.

This month we have a Dark green Powercolour pigment and the introduction of a new product, Copper penny metallic acrylic ink. I used green on the raised areas of the Africa map, where the sand was, and the lettering. Then Copper penny ink, to highlight the texture on the fabric, the paper decoration on the Africa wording and the African man bust.

Powertex African Adventure Wreath by Gill Goldsmith
Powertex African Adventure Wreath by Gill Goldsmith

That’s it, the completed project. Hope you enjoy this month’s Secret Art Box and will share what you create on the Facebook page. Check out more of my ideas from past boxes and more of my work on my Facebook page The Powertex Port. Until next month, happy Powertexing XXX Gill

Powertex Art Doll Inspiration

Powertex Art Doll Inspiration

Powertex Apothecary Art Doll

What a wonderful kit this is and full of possibilities. And I am about to bring you my Powertex Art Doll Inspiration in this article. The kit comes with a choice of embellishments, wings and faces. I chose to use the skull and go over to the ‘dark side’ – a little out of my comfort zone, but loving the challenge.

How to start your Art Doll

In preparation I have covered the sides of the box and the wings with Terracotta Powertex. So I then left these to dry, so that they were ready to use later on.

Firstly, I began by coating the back of the small box with Ivory Powertex. Then I spread the Easy structure which is a texture paste, through the stencil. Once the Easy structure was dry I sprayed with red bister, which is a walnut stain spray. Then I wiped away some of the colour on the raised sections of the Easy structure.

Next I used Powertex to assemble the box, adding the edges, but at this point keeping the top edging off.

Using Powertex attach the box to the base of your Art Doll Clock. By lining it up with the hole for the clock movement to be added later.

To add more detail I have used material with Terracotta Powertex. And placing the wings in the material so that they stand out.  Putting the skull in the middle of the wings gives a great 3D effect to your ghoul.  I have added texture with some corrugated cardboard around the sides of the frame and more material underneath.

Where there is space on the corners of the clock base (not covered with material) I have created a crackle effect.  To do this you paint a liberal coat of Ivory Powertex onto the board. Then you spray with black bister (whilst the Powertex is still wet).  By using a hairdryer to speed the drying of the Powertex crackles will start to appear. 

I also added this effect to the top of the box frame. 

Now for some colour.  I dry-brushed the material with Turquoise Powercolour and Mojito Lime Pearl Powder pigment from the Secret Art Loft collection. 

For the wings I started painting them with Mojito Lime. I then went over this with Lemon meringue acrylic, adding Colortricx Gold around the edges for extra depth.  As these acrylics are beautifully translucent the Mojito Lime shows through creating a gorgeous shimmer. 

I decided to use some of the Lemon Meringue to go over the ‘crackle effect’ I created earlier with the Ivory powertex and black bister. 

Powertex Art Doll Inspiration

Now for the addition of some accessories, the final layer of detail. I had a look through my ‘stash’ of embellishments, which I am sure most crafters have! And I found some great little bottles which I thought would create the apothecary theme, along with some skulls, twigs and a piece of gauze.

I added these using the Transparent 100g Powertex which comes with a nozzle, perfect for precision use. The scrolls I made from scraps of paper, glued in place with the Transparent Powertex. However, I wanted the gauze to be fluid so it was placed again with the Transparent Powertex.

Powertex Art Doll Inspiration

I hope you have found some Powertex Art Doll Inspiration in this article. Do share your makes with us over on Facebook in The Powertex Studio. You can find my last blog here. Catch you next time Jill.

We Three Powertex Kings – Powertex Christmas – Donna Mcghie

Powertex Kings
A Blog On How To Create 3 Beautiful Powertex Kings

I did wonder when those lovely people at Powertex HQ told me I was being given ‘We Three Kings’ as my December theme, if they were indulging my love of bling.

I do tend to throw a bit of bling into most things I create, so my mind was buzzing with ideas for this one.

I had picked up some artist dolls in a sale a while ago, who were just perfect for this project.

artist dolls waiting for powertex
These three artist dolls were just begging to play the part of the three kings

I have to admit that I was surprised just how much I had forgotten about who these kings  were.  So I used the site  www.whychristmas.com   to help me out.

Balthazar was the first king I worked on:

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Balthazar – The King of Tarse and Egypt

I painted his face and hands with Black Powertex Fabric Hardener.

I then soaked some natural material in the same hardener, thoroughly wrung out and draped over his body.

I used Powercotton soaked in Powertex for his beard and hair.

Apparently he wears a purple cloak.  This got me excited because I know how wonderful the new violet valentine pigment shows up on black.

I soaked a lovely piece of silky fabric with tassles in the Black Hardener, wrung it out thoroughly and draped this over him to create his cloak.

I wanted to give the impression of Balthazar walking through a windy desert, so to get some movement in his cloak I stuck it onto a plastic bottle to dry overnight.  (I knew I was safe to do this as Powertex won’t stick permanently to plastic).

The next morning I peeled it off and it was staying in that position which was exactly what I wanted.

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He’s looking more like Shakespeare than a biblical king at the moment – but only because he’s not yet got his turban on

The next king on my list was Melchior

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Melchior King of Arabia

I went through the same process with Melchior, only this time using Lead Powertex.  Melchoir apparently had long white hair and a white beard.  I used some tassle for this that I found in a charity shop.

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The back view of Melchior’s flowing locks

Melchior wears a gold cloak, so once dry I used the gorgeous Rich Gold Pigment for dry brushing.

Last but not least, was Caspar

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Caspar, King of Sheba

Caspar has brown hair and a brown beard, so I used Terracotta Powertex Hardener mixed in with a little black as well for the first stages.

For Caspar’s beard and hair I used some synthetic fur I had got from a Scrap Store.  (I knew these figures were’nt for outside use so I decided to try the synthetic fur, and it worked ok).

His crown is simply a small piece I also picked up in the scrap store.  I think with imagination a lot of things can be made into crowns.

Caspar’s cloak is green which once dry would give me the chance to use another gorgeous, fairly new addition of Golden Olive Pigment 

Before each king was left overnight, I  added some bling to their coats.

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I used small boxes wrapped in fabric as their gifts, and also placed the kings on small tiles to give them stability.

I left them all to dry overnight, and the next morning went to down on dry brushing using a variety of gloriously royal pigments from Powertex UK

And behold, my finished Three Kings.

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We 3 Kings, setting off on an epic journey, with cloaks flowing in the wind

There are so many Christmas themed projects you can make using Powertex.  I would love to see your creations over on Powertex Addicts United page.

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas, and look forward to seeing you in the New  Year. Donna x

Winter scene with Powertex snow

Hi it’s Kore, welcome to my winter blog.  What better way to create a classic winter snow scene than with Powertex and Stone Art! Just take a look at the gorgeous golden glow through the church window!

Powertex winter scene by Kore Sage

Winter scene

Ingredients for this project are:

WinterStep2ProductsWeb2

Step 1 The sky and underpainting

WinterStep4BaseWeb

Use Powertex to put your base colours down. I used White Powertex at the top of my canvas. Use a flat brush or piece of card to drag a tiny amount of colour pigments through the wet surface. See how I dragged the colour in curves. The lower half was covered in blue Powertex. This will mostly be covered but the blue will show through in places.

Step 2 Adding Stone Art

WinterStep5TextureWeb

While the blue Powertex is still wet, use your hands to cover it with Stone Art powder and press it gently into the surface. Try to avoid any wet white Powertex at the top. Gently brush off excess powder into a spare container/plate, you can use this again. See how some of the blue Powertex shows through? These layers of Powertex and Stone Art can be repeated until you are happy with the texture.

Step 3 Cardboard buildings

WinterStep6BuildingWeb

Cut or tear some cardboard into building shapes. I made my pieces quite large and I wanted a church shape so made a triangular roof and spire piece. You can see the shapes I cut here. I covered them with white Powertex and stuck them onto the canvas. I build up the snow and hedgerow effect at the bottom so use a thicker layer of Powertex and pile on the Stone Art, including what I had left over. Notice how uneven it is.

WinterStep7SnowWeb

Step 4 Building textures

WinterStep9RoofWeb

To create the building I painted the walls and roof with Powertex Lead and Terracotta although you can use blue, black or white for the walls and roof. While the Powertex is wet, add a layer of Stone Art to create a snow effect on the roof. You could also try adding sand textures to the walls. Add more Stone Art snow where you want it, using wet Powertex and leave this to dry while you make your embellishments.

Step 5 Create the details

WinterStep12Embellish

I’ve chosen a few details to add to the landscape. The mdf gothic door was perfect for the church, painted with Lead. Paint some white card with Golden Metallic Ink to make the light in the window. Just attach the painted card to the window with a little Powertex and trim your card when dry. Tear some cardboard squares and paint with Golden Metallic Ink for the smaller windows.

WinterWindowCUWeb

Cut Hessian scraps into tall triangles, paint gently with white Powertex and then spray with green Bister. Sprinkle a little Stone Art on the tops. The hessian threads can come apart easily so use a paint brush for this.

WinterTreesCUWeb

Step 6 Pulling it together

I used some white Powertex to paint some of my snow textures to brighten them up then added my embellishments. Use Powertex to glue the pieces in place. Add any extra snow on the tops of windows with a little white Powertex. Lastly spray blue bister in the foreground and use a little on a flat brush to paint in your pathway. You could use other colours of Bister to change the mood of your scene or paint shadows.

Powertex winter scene by Kore Sage

As a finishing touch I also added some sparkle to the snow areas using some Pearl pigment and white Powercolor with some Easy Varnish to make a paint. This makes the snow glisten in the light!

I think this scene would look fantastic with a dark night sky, maybe with some iridescent pigments. If you have a go, post a picture in The Powertex Studio, I’d love to see it!

Thanks for looking at my project. If you’d like to see more of my work you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

Until then, make a little time to let your art out!

Kore x

Steampunk Jewellery Plier Stands (by Anne)

I have been meaning to decorate my jewellery plier stands for ages and finally got them finished.
I had a bit of a problem with these in that they started off as a plain varnished wood surface. I initially coated them with white Gesso with a view to painting them with acrylics. However, the Gesso did not bind well to the varnish layer – eek! All ideas were halted. These need to be fairly robust and a tonne of flaky chips after a short use was not what I wanted!
I then discovered Powertex and yay, I would be able to rescue and decorate my plier stands after all. Coating the entire surface with rice papers and torn kitchen towels would create a tough protective skin over the surface and prevent the feared chipping off of the base layers.
HOW IT WAS DONE
I first collected together lots of embellishments; die cut cogs and pipework (Sizzix dies), MDF Keyplate (Powertex), metal clock hand and chains, old light bulbs and screws.
I tore out images from Creative Rice Paper (Powertex). This particular sheet seems to be out of stock but there is a similar Victorian Steampunk Paper available. I also separated layers of kitchen paper and tore them into pieces to coat the surface. This would add texture and a protective layer.
STAGE ONE
First I applied the torn decorative papers using Easy Coat Mat Medium. Ivory Powertexwas then painted on to blend in the image edges.
STAGE TWO
Next layers of kitchen paper were bonded all over the surface. Some were glued down with Ivory and some with Terracotta Powertex. Die cut card embellishments were also coated with Powertex and glued down.
Texture was added by applying Easy Structure Pastethrough a texture stencil.
I also had a try at the rust technique. I mixed some Rusty Powder into Ivory Powertex along with a few drops of white wine vinegar. This was painted and dribbled over the surface (extra powder sprinkled on top) and spritzed with water and vinegar before leaving overnight to develop. I spritzed at intervals, several times. I avoided the areas that will be in contact with my pliers.
STAGE THREE
Next I brushed over and added colour using Acrylic Inks in Tangerine, Egg Yolk, Aqua and Metallic Gold.
STAGE FOUR
I also applied a little gold Pebeo Gilding Wax on some areas. When fully dry and cured (I left them for 3 weeks) I coated the surface with Easy Varnish to fully seal and protect.
I have included lots of images of how all the surfaces were built up.
Texture and die cut cogs have been added.
Rust and colour added.
Side finished with stronger thick greyboard embellishments. Any large embellishments protruding from edges need to be strong (thinner card would be prone to warp and bend).
I started with a larger clock image on the other side.
Die cuts and texture added plus a metal clock hand for dimension.
Finally finished with thicker embellishments and more dry brush work and gilding wax.
Love this character.
Texture and layers built up. Waiting for the rust to develop.
Building up the layers of transparent colour makes so much difference.
The second plier stand started off in the same way.
At this stage you might feel like giving up. What a mess!
Just keep going, adding layers of rust texture and colour. 

 

Just loving the gorgeous layers of texture and colour.
I used several layers of the die cut pipework together to make them thicker and stronger on this side.
Wooohooo – this is soooooo yummy (or is it just me – tee hee).
Another end panel.
I used an MDF keyplate (Powertex) to embellish this end.
The final colouring makes such a difference.
The final side had a couple of little storage wells. I won’t really be using these so a perfect place to embellish with larger items.
I had fun adding recycled light bulbs, screws and bits of chain etc. I used structure paste and Powertex treated kitchen paper as a 3D glue to hold things in place.
Initially I had added a thinner die cut cog to the end but it wasn’t really strong enough. Here I added another thick greyboard cog over the first. Much more practical. I also added a small MDF Butterfly.
Here you can see more of the Steampunk treasures added. I also added some 3D Sand and Balls.
Love this Steampunk birdie peering out.
Well I hope that all these pictures have not overwhelmed you. I wanted to show how all the stages were built up. It also shows the stages that look awful, perhaps where a beginner might give up! Remember, if it all goes wrong just keep applying colour, inks or coloured varnishes. If this fails and you are really not happy – just paint over the whole thing with a base colour of Powertex and start again.
Hugs, Anne xxx.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Excited to be joining the Powertex Team as a guest blogger

I am so excited to be joining the Powertex Team as a guest blogger and am really looking forward to sharing my new creative journey with you all.

I am an ex medical scientist now self employed in jewellery and textiles. I also enjoy mixed media and card making too and am on the Design Team of a stamp company and a textile trimmings maker, so regularly blog my projects. I really enjoy helping people along on their own creative journey.

A couple of weeks ago I ventured up to Powertex UK HQ to take my Level 1 training. Tracey, Garry and the lovely team were all so welcoming and made me feel instantly at ease. I met some lovely people on the course and we spent a wonderful couple of days creating in Tracey’s studio. There were many wonderful projects on display from Tracey and the Design Team. Amazing talent and such an inspiration.

I managed to catch a pic of myself and Tracey in the garden. Tracey is the attractive one – tee hee.

The course was very intensive and we each created a wide range of projects, ranging from mixed media canvases and journal covers right up to a figurine. We were also given masses of useful guidance and information on setting up workshops for ourselves too. I learned so much and we all had a lot of fun and plenty of laughter along the way.
I have had a busy couple of weeks on my return and still have to put the finishing touches to my Level 1 projects. I will share them soon. In the meantime I thought that I would share my first ever ventures into the world of Powertex, following one of Tracey’s shows on Hochanda.

 

 

I created a couple of 30 cm square fossil themed canvases and a covered bottle – I hope that you like them. I was really pleased with the natural organic feel. Some of my friends thought that I had used real fossils. Being my first projects I hope that you will see what a beginner can achieve.

 

 

Below I have included a materials list and the step by step of techniques used to create the canvases, including some hints and tips to get the best results. The embellished bottle was created in the same way.
Happy crafting, Anne x.

Materials used:


How they were made:

  1. The canvases were already primed with gesso so I first gave them a coat of Powertex to colour and create a good surface for adhesion.
  2. I mixed up some Powertex with sand to make a thick paste. When the canvases were dry to the touch (it doesn’t take long) I applied the paste to the background using a palette knife through the stencil to create fossil textures. I then left them overnight to dry.
  3. I mixed more sand with Poweretex, this time to make a thicker drier clay. I think that the mix was about 50:50. Basically I gradually added sand until I had a workable clay that wasn’t too wet and sticky. I then pushed the clay into the silicone moulds to create the 3D fossils. I left them to dry for several hours until they could easily be released from the moulds without distorting. Some of the bigger ones needed to be left overnight. I then placed them on a drying tray (old kitchen wire grill tray – so air could get all around) and left them overnight to dry and further harden up. I made the clay up in small manageable batches so as not to waste reagents. Any clay that wasn’t being used straight away was wrapped in cling film to stop it drying out.
  4. Next I worked the Powertex into rough strips of hessian, and some pulled threads. I did struggle a bit with this at first as I used far too much Powertex. If you overdo it, like I did, grab another strip of fabric and use it to dab and squeeze out the excess. These were then ruched and applied to the canvas using a little extra Powertex as a glue where needed.
  5. I then applied my fossils using Powertex to glue. In some of the more textured areas I dunked some of the kitchen towel in Powertex to make a 3D glue ‘gel’ in which to embed my fossil embellishments. I also used strips of kitchen paper to create more areas of texture. I found that it was best to separate the paper into a single ply (i.e. split the double layered tissue into 2 sheets) to ensure that it fully coated and soaked up the Powertex more easily.
  6. Next I drizzled Powertex onto the canvas and sprinkled with texture balls and sand, plus a few glass beads. It is best to apply the largest balls first, then work down to the smaller sizes which fill in the gaps between the larger ones. Oh so much fun. I then left them to dry overnight ready for colouring.
  7. My canvas board was a cheap cardboard type and I found that it did warp quite a bit. When dry enough I clamped it down on my rigid art board to help straighten it out while drying. A thicker strong board (MDF type) does work better. It needs to take a lot of wet media. This was obviously not an issue when working on the stretched canvas.
  8. I was then ready to start adding more colour and depth with Bister and coloured varnish. Here is where I did have a slight panic. I first sprayed over my canvases with black Bister. When dry I then used a damp sponge to lift away some of the colour from the top layers. The idea was to emphasis the deep crevices and texture. Eeek – I thought that I had ruined it! The soluble Bister did lift off some areas but it was difficult to remove from others. My texture balls soaked it up and the hessian held onto quite a lot of it too. So where I had planned my colours and light areas got covered in darkness! Oh dear I thought (me swear? Tee hee).
  9. After I had calmed down, it then came to me. I could go over some of the areas using the Powertex as a paint. In addition I had opaque white Powercolor in my stash so I could use that too at the varnish stage. I over painted some of the areas with the coloured Powertex. I also used the Powertex to dry brush over areas giving more highlights. So all was not lost after all. Some of the Bister dissolved back into the Powertex as I worked giving a lovely natural organic look. Ooooh happy again.
  10. When the Powertex was touch dry I then dry brushed with the pigments and varnish. This stage takes a little practice. You need to mix just small amounts of varnish with the pigments (just a drop on your craft mat), remove most of it from the brush (brushing off onto tissue), then apply to the top layers lightly and gradually building up the colour. I mixed a tiny bit of ochre into white pigment (so not a harsh white) to dry brush some areas. Other areas I dry brushed with copper colour.
  11. To fully seal my canvas I mixed a 50:50 mix of varnish and water and sprayed it over the canvas. Spraying enabled me to get it in and around all the crevices and 3D embellishments. I applied several coats (leaving to dry between coats). This then makes the canvas easy to clean as it can simply be run under the tap (where cleaning with a duster or cloth would be tricky). If mounting your piece behind glass this stage would not be needed. Note: Coloured Powertex is weatherproof so complete sealing with varnish is not essential unless you have used Bister (remains soluble so would wash off unless sealed with varnish).
  12. Finally I added a bit of gilding wax around the edges of my canvases (this could be done with coloured varnish).