The Powertex tutors may be taking a break but there’s plenty of tutorials to help keep you creating with your Powertex. Annette Smyth is a Master tutor based in Leamington Spa and has plenty of ideas to keep you crafting. Her blog is full of inspiration and step by step tutorials.
If you have followed the magazine for a while you might recognize some of these from her previous blogs. Annette shares her ideas on her website too along with some brilliant step by step tutorials, some with video instruction to help you.
Head over to her website to see all her tutorials including for these gorgeous clown fish.
These incredible crane sculptures were created with a Powertex UK limited edition mdf shape however Powertex can be used with many different materials so you can use what have to create an armature.
This Alice in Wonderland inspired make was even seen on Hochanda. Isn’t the texture fantastic!
Head over to her website to find out more about Annette and read her blogs.
The Spring Collection from Powertex UK is a range of mixed media art and craft supplies perfect for use with Powertex Universal Medium. Powertex is a fabric hardener, paint and adhesive and comes in a range of colours and these supplies are chosen to work brilliantly with the Powertex product range.
Choose from fabric florals, silicone moulds, printed rice papers, nature inspired textures and mdf shapes for Powertex projects to welcome in the Spring.
Remember Powertex Universal Medium and Easy Varnish make it easy to create projects for outside too. Just allow 3 weeks curing time for Powertex and use Easy Varnish to protect your colours.
Use Stone Art clay mixture or air drying clay with the silicone moulds for brilliant detail in your embellishments. The beautiful fabric flowers are perfect for use with fabric hardener, because they can be shaped before setting into position and hardening. Great for curved surfaces such as bottles or polystyrene rings.
Include bees, hares, flowers or leaves for nature inspired projects. Use fabric texture packs to create natural textures and interest.
For your base try a polystyrene ring or mdf frame such as the hexagonal art board. If you love to carve out some unusual textures and shapes give the craft foam a try.
See the full Spring Collection at Powertex UK and there’s 10% off until 22nd March for the Mother’s Day promotion.
January’s monthly Powertex challenge is Alice in Wonderland, now doesn’t that just conjure up all sorts of exciting possibilities. Dave and I put on our thinking caps and started to work around all things teapots and cups. Out of nowhere an idea popped into my head, a Queen of Hearts Bones.
I have been thinking of getting out my old sewing machine and doing a bit, this would work well with my idea. I had some perfect fabrics in my stash for this, so let the fun begin. We did have to reign in a bit here as we were getting carried away.
The first step was for Dave to make me a stand and fix a head on it or in our case a skull. Build a body using foil and masking tape, also a dress shape for draping material over.
Attach this to a rather nice shaped bottle, this of course needs to be emptied first, not difficult with having just celebrated Christmas and New year. Coat the whole thing with black Powertex Universal Medium.
Dress the figure
Use white cotton fabric and cut the front panel of the dress covered with Black Powertex and fix it in place. Wrap another piece around the waist to start to form the beginning of a bodice. Once firmly attached I left it to dry overnight.
The next rather exciting stage was to start adding the coloured fabric. I made a gathered skirt using my heart fabric which fit around the back and joined up to the black panel on the front. You don’t need to sew, it can just be fixed in place with the Powertex. For this I used transparent Powertex as I wanted to keep the lovely pattern.
Add a waist band and a matching neckline. Make a generous bustle for the back of my queen of hearts using a bold black and white check. I also used transparent Powertex for this.
Time to let it dry out again overnight, you can of course use a drying box to speed things up but I always have other things on the go for times like this.
To make her hair I used a plaster heart for this, hollowing the bottom so it fit on her head. I had some ginger curly hair which I chopped up and glued around the heart.
For the next stage make her a crown. This was a simple affair made with tin foil and masking tape then painted with black Powertex and dry brushed in rich gold pigment. (Mix the powder pigment with Easy Varnish.)
A finishing touch was to make her a collar out of three playing cards. I won these in a slot machine on holiday, I knew they would come in useful! The last final touch was the Rabbit, (that was Dave’s idea).
So ladies and gents I give you my Queen of Hearts. Why don’t you have a go at making your version? Show us on The Powertex Studio and indeed any of your makes or enter the monthly challenge by the 25th January if you have a Wonderland themed make.
If you would like to see more of my work head over to my Facebook page Alex Henry.
If this is your style, you might like our Gothic Fantasy Pram project too. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to bringing you more of my makes throughout the year.
When given the brief “A Winter’s Tale” to create a blog, there were many things that sprung to mind. However, my love of everything cute, and recent obsessions with mice, led me to create this Powertex birdhouse.
Use Fabric Hardener to attach the base to the tile and mdf square (tile at the bottom).
Cut a hole in the bottom of the birdhouse large enough to put a battery operated tealight in.
Decorating the Birdhouse
Decorate the birdhouse with fabric, embellishments and 3D balls, using black fabric hardener.
Add colour using powder Powercolor pigments of choice, mixed with Easy Varnish to highlight the texture created.
Making the Mouse
Cut a hole in the polystyrene egg and fit onto the top of the bottle. Attach wire to make ears, arms and a tail.
Use tin foil to make the arms, ears and tail fatter and cover over it all with masking tape.
Cover the mouse with ‘fur’. I used fine hessian for the fur and beads for the eyes and nose. Dry brush with powder pigments mixed with Easy Varnish.
Decorate the table
Using materials and fabric hardener, create a draped effect over the table top. Cover the stand with texture also.
When dry, add colour to the stand and use Fabric Hardener to fix your mouse in place. Sit the birdhouse on the top.
To finish I have added a tiny book made with scraps of card and also some rivets on the birdhouse stand to make it look like metal.
I really hope that you have enjoyed my blogs throughout the year. It has inspired me to be more creative and hope I have inspired you too. If you like animal projects take a look at my Powertex dog project.
I would love to see your creations. Please post them here 0n the Facebook Powertex Studio at Powertex Addicts United!
For my last blog I’m reminiscing from 4 years ago when I made my first ever Powertex Gnome ‘Amon the Shaman’. He was inspired by a supposed origins story of Santa, collecting Fly agaric, flying with his reindeer and delivering presents.
My original Powertex gnome seems to have inspired a flourish of gnome making. They are one of my most requested items to make in my workshop schedules. So I decided this, my last article of the year would be dedicated to them.
So the legend as I heard it…
*Take this tale as you please, a bit of fun or maybe something to make you think…*
The image as we know
Long before the early 20th century Coca Cola adverts, Santa was commonly depicted as more of a gnome-like little man.
As old as tales
The origins of Santa’s style, and his bag of goodies, flying reindeer, entering through a chimney to deliver gifts, Pine tree’s may link way back to the ancestral traditions of a number of indigenous arctic circle dwellers. (He may well have come from the North Pole after all!)
On the run up to solstice the village shaman would go out to gather mushrooms, they would wear a mainly red outfit with either white trim or white dots, in honor of the mushroom’s colors.
The eve of festivities
On the eve of the Winter Solstice the shaman of the village would gather Fly agaric mushrooms. They would use them to travel on a spiritual journey to the (pine) tree of life. The tree of life located by the North Star held the answer to solve all the village’s problems for the coming year.
The Shamans would feed the Fly agaric to reindeer, their digestive systems can filter out most of the toxins. This makes (dare I say it) their bodily excretion safe for humans to drink.
*Warning* Fly agaric mushrooms are seriously toxic for humans to consume. So I am in no way promoting it! Maybe this is where the saying don’t eat yellow snow comes from?!
The legend says that the shaman and reindeer would journey (fly) to the tree by the north star to retrieve the gifts of knowledge. These gifts would then be taken back to distribute to the rest of the village.
Returning home to the village yurt, for solstice. He would enter through the hole in the roof. The hole acted as a chimney with a central pole that held the yurt up over the fireplace. In gratitude for these gifts they would decorate Pine trees with offerings.
So that’s it, the story I’d heard that inspired my original gnome creation
It seems that maybe some of these traditions were carried down to the European pagans, taking on elements originating much farther north. Inevitably different cultures influenced one another due to migration and intermarriage, becoming merged with many other cultural traditions that we celebrate differently from one another today.
However you celebrate at this time of year, give thanks for any gifts, kind/wise words. Share precious times with your loved ones, and in your community (never let anyone go lonely). look towards the New year and the light that builds ever brighter from now until summer.
More about gnomes
Of course after my first gnome I loved making them, you can make them for any time of year. Here are a few of my gnomes that have developed over the years
If you fancy making one of these little guys with me, my next gnome workshop is Feb 1st, find more info here.
Well that’s all from me, thank you for taking the time to read my blogs this year.
Christmas is my favourite time of the year and I have been making Christmas creations for months now. So can you guess this months theme? Yep, you guessed correctly, the most wonderful time of the year. If I had my way I would be making these Christmas creations all year round.
Church window display
I have made numerous amounts of Powertex wreaths this year. Most I made for work to sell to raise money for the company I work for. By day I’m a support worker/ Arts & Craft coordinator and we needed to fundraise for the centre where I work. We had a stall at a local Victorian market and raised nearly £200.
Recently I was asked if I would like to decorate a couple of church windows in a village in Devon. I’ve never done a church window display before, so I jumped at the chance. The churches theme was wreaths and candles, right up my creative street!
I kept my design simple and quite traditional as it was going in a church. I did this one first and then had a eureka moment and decided to make a matching candle holder.
I was given the option of having two windows to display, go big or go home right?, so I said I would do two!
With the second set, as it was going in a church I kept my design simple and fitting for where they were going to be showcased. I had been itching for months to use this cherub embellishment and this was the perfect opportunity.
For this one I changed my techniques and used Easy 3d flex, one of my fave products to use. I chipped out some of the poly wreath to allow the cherub to sit nicely in the wreath. Once dry, I decorated around it.
Again I used the bronze Powertex with the Easy 3d Flex to make a fine paste, thin layers and let dry. I also used some air dry clay and moulds, which I thought suited my theme. I painted on Brown Bister and highlighted with White Pigment and Gold Pigment. Adding the same type leaves and berries, so yes they were different but I wanted them to tie in together.
Do you love this time of year?
I will be gutted once I have to stop making Christmas creations. The ideas for this type of theme seem to flow very easily. As this is my last blog for the year, I thought I would show you some of my other Powertex Christmas creations.
Time to say goodbye
Well it has been a year of new things and new beginnings, I am constantly learning and teaching myself new techniques and I am still in love with creating with this medium.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all
A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY AND HEALTHY AND NOT FORGETTING A CREATIVE 2020
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 and I am also on Pinterest.
Wintertime is upon us and Christmas, but not all projects have to be Christmas themed there are lots of other ways to express the beauty of Wintertime. The brief for this month’s article in the Powertex magazine is “It’s cold out there”. I am building my idea around no matter how cold it is the young will still play and maybe the not so young, after all who said fun was only for children.
Having a surplus of foam balls left over from workshops, makes it the perfect starting point, I also have a fair few stands and little plaster and resin pieces. You know the sort of thing you gather up but never seem to get around to using.
I started by pressing my foam ball onto the stand, in this case I used a black metal stand with a single spike; available on the Powertex website.
I gave it a coat of White powertex and allowed this to dry, while I cut up my fabric.
This was a a generous size square of fabric, to allow for folds and creases. I cut a small hole in the centre for the spike on my base to push through. Soak in Powertex and massage until it is completely covered. Take the ball off the stand and drape the fabric, positioning the hole at the bottom. Arrange your fabric until you are pleased with it. I left quite a bunch at the top to represent piles of snow.
While it is was wet, I settled in my centre piece (cherubs on a swing). Then around this I placed three little hares frolicking in the snow. Leave over night at this stage to make sure your pieces are secure; you can of course use a drying box to move it onto the next stage more quickly.
Time for dry brushing; simple is my choice on this piece as I love the white snowy look. I added a light brushing of white pigment on the Hares to make them look as if they have a light dusting of snow in their fur from frolicking in the snow.
A few flat backed clear gems represent a sparkle as the sun hits the snow. I really think that’s all it needs. This was a simple and quick piece to make but would make a very pretty table centre or feature piece.
Why don’t you have a go at making your own and show to us on The Powertex Studio, I would love to see your makes and of course any other projects you have done. If you would like to see more of my work, head over to my Facebook page Alex Henry or see more of my projects here in the Magazine.
Thank you for reading my blog I will see you in the New Year, so until then enjoy your festivities with family and friends.
This month’s Egyptian Secret Art Box is a stunner! The theme, inspired by Tracey’s visit to the Tutankhamen exhibition is all things Egyptian and amongst the fabulous goodies, a brand new colour of Powertex, a gorgeous mint green.
Powertex Universal Medium in White and Yellow Ochre
Pigments in Bronze gold, Blue Curcao and Ultramarine
How to make my Egyptian art
The new shape of MDF panel, lent itself so much to the theme and screams pyramid, so I used the fabulous hieroglyphics stencil and added texture to the top of the panel with EasyStructure paste. I also added a coating of Easy Structure across the pyramid and marked it with a palette knife like blocks. Once dry, I laid out my composition of the MDF pieces, I’d cast a plaster piece of the new scarab mould and also used the Nefertiti bust as a focal point.
Then using the brand new mint colour Powertex I coated the complete piece, using it to glue all the elements in place. I added some Paperdecoration to the sides and created more texture using the sand included in the box. I mixed it into the Powertex with a palette knife and spread it across the bottom of the canvas. Allow this to dry thoroughly.
Once dry, I used the palm leaf acrylic ink spray, included in the box, and liberally sprayed across the whole piece. Don’t panic at this point, it looks a lot of colour, but there’s a long way to go. Again, allowing this to dry thoroughly before starting my favourite process on any Powertex piece, the dry brushing.
I initially dry brushed the MDF elements and the plaster pieces with white Powertex and the pyramid in yellow ochre. I then added depth with darker pigments to make the pyramid stand out and used the bronze gold pigment included as well as blue Curacao and ultramarine blue to bring out the highlights on all the plaster pieces and MDF embellishments. Mix pigments with the Varnish.
My final touch was to dry brush the pyramid with more white Powertex, making sure your brush is really dry so it just highlights the texture and make it stand out…..
My prompt for this month’s Powertex article was A Winter’s Tale. The festive season is fast approaching and my mind wandered back to those seemingly halcyon days of Christmas’ past.
Obviously memory plays tricks on us all, but for me, nothing
beats a bit of nostalgia at Christmas. I fell in love with the retro look of
the Victorian Christmas Rice Papers, the style of the images really made me
However, rather than making me think of all things Victorian, for me they conjure up memories of the early seventies. Lots of gaudy tinsel and Slade blasting out Merry Christmas on Top of the Pops.
I decided to attempt to create a wall plaque that captured some of that seventies atmosphere.
So grab yourself a snowball to drink, (or something non alcoholic from the soda stream if you prefer), and let’s have a bit of festive fun with Powertex.
I deliberately chose to keep this project fairly simplistic and quick to do. The reason being is that most of us are frantically busy on the lead up to Christmas, and don’t have much time to set aside for crafting. Hopefully this little tree can slot in to the timescale somewhere though.
MDF Christmas Tree Base (I got mine from Hobbycraft)
Mix together green and white Powertex Fabric Hardener to a pale green colour. Sponge over your tree shape and allow to dry. You can use a hairdryer to speed this process.
With a flat brush apply Easy Varnish where you want to place the images. Then gently put them in position and brush over them again with the varnish to seal. Add some more hardener in various places and whilst damp gently dab on some Stone Art.
Now add more branch shapes with Easy Structure, dry and spray with the Bister.
Now mix a small amount of white pigment with easy varnish, load a flat brush, wipe off on paper towel, and gently sweep over your tree segments. Gradually building up the intensity until it looks like snow.
A final flourish of glitter and we are done 🙂 I like to use a very fine bio degradable glitter as although we’re going for a seventies vibe, it’s good to use current sensibilities about sustainability.
I decided to add a simple star on the top but obviously if you decide to make one you can bling up your tree with whatever takes your fancy.
That’s my lot for 2019 folks. I have really enjoyed sharing my makes in these articles and have equally enjoyed seeing what you share with us on our Facebook page, so please do pop over and share any of your nostalgic makes.
I’ve been making lots of other festive decorations which you can see on my own Facebook page here.
The other design team members have been busy as well. I particularly love Fiona’s Christmas star from last year.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone, and here’s hoping you get lots of Powertex goodies in those stockings 🙂
By the time you are reading this the Yuletide season should be in full swing. I’m sure, by now, you will be ready for a little escapism with your crafty stash.
Did you manage to catch Tracey Evans on Hochanda on Thursday 21st November? If not click here to watch her on Rewind.
Tracey introduced a crafting foam substrate which works beautifully with all of the Powertex product range. Available on the Powertex website in 2 sizes – 30cm x 30cm or 15cm x 15cm both 5cm deep.
Altering craft foam
This craft foam base is crying out to be altered. Using files, rasps, old carving knives, scissors and other mark making tools, you can change the shape anyway you choose. I also tried using a hot wire cutter (designed for home use). However the density of the foam made this a more difficult option.
Keep all of the bits that fall off. Mix this into your Powertex later and reapply to the base to give even more texture.
Here are a few examples of how you could use the foam …..
Here the foam would be fashioned into a more circular shape before using the files etc to breakdown the edges to give a more worn stone effect. This piece has bronze Powertex Universal Medium, Stone Art, Yellow, green and brown Bister and is finished with matt and metallic pigments and Easy Varnish. The flourish and clock face are MDF and are available here.
In this sample I drew out the shape I wanted onto scrap paper then used this as a template to draw around on the craft foam before cutting. I used white Powertex Universal Medium and Stone Art for the base and Stone Art clay in the Bee trio, Queen Bee and Ivy leaf moulds. The piece was then sprayed with yellow, brown and green Bister before being finished with pigments and Easy varnish.
In this piece, based on Picasso’s work, I again drew out a template on paper before transferring it to the foam and cutting. Use 2 pieces of 30cm x 30cm foam pieces for the elongated style.
This piece was achieved by using an extensive range of techniques and colourings across the full Powertex product range. Using White Powertex Universal Medium and the Acrylic Ink Sprays gives you a more vibrant colour scheme to work with.
Well that’s all for this year folks. I hope you have a Happy Yuletide season and look forward to creating with you again next year.
Until then please post any of your makes into the Powertex Studio group on Facebook. If you would like details of my workshops please visit my website here. Read more about my Picasso inspired art in this article.