Who or what influences my artwork?

By Jill Cullum

This month I was asked to write an article about whose art influences me. As an artist this made me think and question, am I an artist or a crafter? I have been a crafter for many years and have recently crossed the line from crafter to artist in some of my art work.

Powertex Mixed Media art by Jill Cullum

Colours and nature definitely influence my mixed media art work. I love to blend colours, create texture and experiment with different mediums and Powertex products are perfect for this. 

MIxed media textured art Powertex by Jill Cullum

I love the work of Maria Fondler-Grossbaum (Abyssimo).  Her work has such great texture and depth to it, blending colours and creating beautiful, bright pieces of art.

Mixed media art and craft with Powertex by Jill Cullum, influences by Marta Lapkowska and Kirsty Allsopp

People who inspire others to ‘give it a go’ inspire me along with those who have such great enthusiasm about art and craft. Kirsty Allsopp and Marta Lapkowska are people who I enjoy watching and learning from.

I would love to hear who influences you. What has led you to create pieces of art, maybe a photograph or even a piece of music?

Remember you can share your art in the Powertex Studio or have a look for more inspiration here in the magazine.

Bye for now, Jill x

Winter Deer Notebook

Powertex Secret Art Box – November 2019

Designed by Gill Goldsmith

This month’s box really didn’t disappoint, the theme was winter and included lots of lovely items to create with such as a polystyrene wreath and a gloriously detailed MDF snowflake cut out. Also included was a deer head MDF, rice paper, a star stencil, embellishments, Lava acrylic ink, powder pigments and white Powertex Universal Medium. I’ll be making a Winter notebook.

Powertex UK Secret Art Box November
Powertex UK Secret Art Box November

I was initially drawn to the wreath, and have made this up as a project so will share that with you in the next few days, but I wanted to create a quick make, perfect for this time of year. Make as a present for someone or keep for yourself to write all your ideas for projects down that you want to create in 2020. My idea this month is to personalise a cheap boring notebook.

Materials

Powertex UK Secret Art Box – November 2019

Also, Easy Coat Mat, Easy Structure, Easy Varnish, Bister spray and winter themed embellishments.

Step 1

I chose the winter scene rice paper and attached this to the front of my notebook. You will see that because the cover is made from kraft paper I have brushed some white Powertex on first to help keep the wintery feel of the paper. You don’t need to do this but it helps with the overall look.

Winter notebook, Apply Winter rice paper
Apply rice paper

Apply the rice paper with Powertex Easycoat Mat, which a glue and sealant. Firstly brush some into your project and then apply the paper, then apply more Easycoat over the whole picture to seal it.

Step 2

Next using the cute little stars stencil included in the kit, I stencilled some stars randomly across the front cover using Powertex Easy Structure texture paste. I also added some stencilled stars to the back cover. Allow this to dry thoroughly before you move to the next stage.

Stencil stars
Stencil stars

Step 3

Now paint the front and back covers of the notebook with the white Powertex Universal Medium. Brush up to the rice paper but don’t cover it. Add some texture with lace, fabric, paper decoration, the MDF deer head and other relatable metal trinkets and plaster pieces from your stash. Paint and glue them with Powertex Universal Medium.

Add textures with Powertex for a winter notebook
Add textures

Step 4

Once assembled and allowed to dry, I gave the cover a spray with brown Bister (from my stash) and the Lava acrylic ink included in the box. Leave this to dry, before using pigments mixed with Easy Varnish to highlight the colours.

Included in the box this month is clear gold and pearl pigments but I also used some greens and red to pick out the autumnal colours.

Bister and powder pigments
Add colour with Bister and pigments

Finishing touches

To finish the notebook, I dry brushed the whole piece with the white Powertex, added a clear sticker to the top, a touch of glitter and some ribbon embellishments down the spine, again in complimentary colours.

There you have it a Winter notebook, a quick project, perfect for a present, if you can bear to part with it. You can also see more of my Secret Art Box projects here on the Magazine. Check out my Facebook page The Powertex Port to see the other items I make with this month’s box. Please share anything you create on the Powertex Facebook pages, The Powertex Studio and the exclusive Secret Art Box Subscribers group.

Happy Powertexing, Gill xxx

Festive Powertex decorations

If you love to make seasonal decorations then this article is for you! From tree decorations to door wreaths, we’ve got ideas for your Powertex festive decorations.

Patricia Williams Powertex Wreath
Powertex Wreath by Alex Henry Mixed Media

Supply ideas for your festive decorations

Jacqueline Frances Butler Powertex Wreath
Wreath by Isalei Craft

TOP TIP: If you’d like to create something for outside like a door wreath, use Powertex Universal Medium. Remember your makes will need 3 weeks curing time before they are weatherproof.

Michele Brewer Christmas Reindeer Powertex Decorations
Reindeer by Creative Power UK

Try MDF, card or polystyrene shapes as a base

Use Powertex Universal Medium to coat fabric and embellishments to decorate an mdf or polystyrene shape or cardboard gift boxes. Create trees, baubles, wreaths and more.

Karen Hewitt Christmas Baubles Powertex
Tree baubles by Inky Escapades
Christmas tree by Jinny Holt Powertex
Christmas tree by Mums Shed
Christmas tree by LoveKnott Creations
Irene Snow globe Powertex
Snow globes by Purrfect Crafting

Festive sculptures

Donna Mcghie Three KIngs Powertex
Three kings by Donna Mcghie
Powertex clay penguins Donna Mcghie
Powertex clay penguins by Donna Mcghie
Rachel Pullen Powertex Christmas Santa Gnomes
Christmas gnomes by CraftmyDay

Crack open the Red Powertex for a bright base and use Gold pigments or inks for a festive finish.

Jinny has an article about making Christmas baubles and you can pop over to Facebook Powertex Addicts and join the group for more inspiration. Share your makes there too!

There are also two tutorials on offer, available on the website to get you started.

Enjoy making your Wintery creations.

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.

Gothic Fantasy Pram

Designed by Patricia and Dave Williams

How it all began

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.

Vintage pram to alter into Gothic fantasy pram project with Powertex

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.

How we created the Gothic Fantasy Pram

Materials used

Stage 1

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.

Stage 2

Dave, re-upholstered the inside, deep buttoned style in black leather. It was taking on a whole new personality.

reupholster vintage pram

Stage 3

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.

Using Powertex Universal Medium with fabric

Stage 4

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.

Using Black Powertex with plaster and resin pieces

Stage 5

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.

Stage 6

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.

Stage 7

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.

Powertex altered gothic fantasy pram makeover
Powertex Gothic fantasy pram by Alex Henry Mixed Media
The Hood

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 come.

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.

So until next time,

Patricia (Alex Henry)

It started with a plaque…

Annette Smyth

My journey to Powertex UK Masters certificate

This month I’d like to share my Powertex journey with you from my very first make through to my Powertex UK Masters certificate which I completed in October this year.

In early 2014 my friend had been in Australia on holiday and brought me back a craft magazine as she knew how much I loved creating. I was browsing through this when I came across some fabric sculpted figures. I instantly fell in love and knew I just had to find a class in the UK where I could learn how to do this.

Luckily for me the NEC Craft show was on the following month so I went along as usual but was a little over excited to say the least, when I came round the corner and there was Tracey Evans with a stand promoting Powertex. She must of thought I was a little bit crazy as I flew up to her wanting to know when I could do a class.

Roll forward 4 weeks and after a lot of secrets between my husband, best friend Karen and Tracey over gift vouchers for my birthday I was sitting in Tracey’s studio doing my first ever Powertex workshop.

It started with a plaque. I was instantly hooked and wanted to do more.

Powertex plaque by Annette Smyth
First ever Powertex project

Powertex training

I couldn’t believe this product could be as good as I was being told so I took the next year and completed every course possible. After that year I took all levels of tutor training and started running classes in my local area. I went on to become the Creative Team Leader for the CV postcode.

Annette Smyth Figure statue with Powertex
Powertex figure by Annette Smyth

During my journey with Powertex I have had the most amazing opportunities. I have taught workshops and provided feature exhibitions at the NEC Creative Craft Show and the Welsh assembly, written magazine articles, been on the design team for 3 years, had my work featured on Hochanda, taught workshops from 1 to 1 up to large groups, worked on the Powertex stand at Creative Craft Shows in NEC Birmingham, Exeter and Stoneleigh, Kirsty Allsops’ show at Ragley Hall and travelled to Belgium to train with Brigitte Grade the owner and creator of Powertex.

Powertex art by Annette Smyth
Echibition piece from Save our Steel at Pierhead, Cardiff
Powertex poppy exhibit by Annette Smyth
NEC Birmingham, Creative Craft Show Entrance exhibition

Earlier this year I became a Certified Powertex Training Academy where I now train new Powertex tutors in fabric sculpting/business set up and existing tutors in Stone Art and 3D Flex.

I was also invited to complete the Powertex UK Masters Certification process. In this program you have to complete 4 projects. For each piece a different theme is set by head office. For the first 3 pieces, you then develop and create your artwork at your own pace. Once finished you document the full process and submit to Powertex UK. Each one has to be assessed and approved by head office before you can move on.

The final project

For the final project, head office again set the theme however this time you create your piece in Tracey’s studio over a 2 day period. You also take along your previous 3 makes for the final assessment. Once this has all been approved you are awarded the Powertex UK Masters Certificate.

I have really enjoyed this whole process. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me really think about what I was creating, working out how I could show the technical skills I had learnt in a fluid and congruent way. There was a lot of trial and error, a lot of what if’s and a lot of coffee involved!

I decided that my first 3 pieces would each show a different skill set.

Project 1 Rebirth- 3d flex on canvas

Rebirth Powertex art by Annette Smyth
Rebirth by Annette Smyth

Project 2 Tree of Life- stone art sculpting

 tree of life sculpture by Annette Smyth
Tree of life by Annette Smyth

Project 3 – Abandonment – fabric sculpting

fabric sculpture by Annette Smyth
Abandonment fabric sculpture by Annette Smyth

Project 4 – Cubism

I wanted my final piece to encompass lots of different techniques – mixed media fabric sculpting, Stone Art texture, Stone Art clay, 3d flex clay, flex cracks, imprinting, stencilling, mark making, use of inks, pigments, wax, 3D sand and balls, Bister split. I loved making this piece the most because of the variety involved.

Cubism inspired sculpture by Annette Smyth
Cubism by Annette Smyth
Annette Smyth, Powertex tutor, trainer and Master Certification
Annette Smyth

So if you’re thinking Powertex is just about plaques, it’s so so much more.

Take a look at some of my creations here in the magazine. You can also find out more about my workshops on my Facebook page or on my website.

Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures. Axx

My Favourite Artist? …Nature!

Designer: Abigail Lagden

This month, I was asked to write about my favourite artist and how their style inspires/influences my work. Surely this should be quite easy, except the more I thought about it, the more I realised I don’t have a favourite ‘artist’ or even any one particular style I like more than another.

I see art in so many different things, made by many different creative people who may be makers, designers or artists, but may also be architects, engineers or builders. In fact I’m often more impressed by a dry stone wall, a knotted rope or a window display than by traditional art.

However, more often than not, the things that truly amaze and intrigue me, the things that make me stop and think are the things created by Nature. These are the things I feel the need to surround myself with, the things that make me smile and the things that feed my imagination.

I love all things magical and whimsical, and who does magic and whimsy better than Nature? Twisted tree roots and holes in tree trunks; magical waterfalls and still pools of water; mysterious caves that can only be reached by sea…

Hardraw Force, nr Hawes

Texture, pattern and colour

I love textures and who does texture better than nature? Velvety soft catkins; smooth, rounded pebbles; jagged, grooved tree barks…

I love patterns and who does patterns better than nature? The symmetry of snowflakes; the perfect spirals of shells; honeycomb made by bees, the scales on a snake…

I love colours and who does colour better than nature? The bright, fun colours of flowers; the warm fiery colours of autumn; the endless hues, shades and tones of green, the magic of a rainbow…

I love smells and nature does some of the best smells (although it does some of the worst too). The smell of rain after a long dry spell; the smell of wild garlic in the woods; the wonderful fresh smell of honeysuckle…

So, after a great deal of thought, I have to admit that my favourite artist is simply Nature.

Nature feeds my imagination. It makes me think of secret, hidden worlds with mysterious creatures and strange plants. These magical, secret worlds are where my creations come from and I hope this is where they will take people.

See my creations in the Magazine, or come and join me in my Curiously Contrary world of creativity.

Until next time,

Abs xx

Inspired by Buddha?

Designed by – Shell North

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.

Being unique

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…

Powertex temple inspired by Buddha project pack by Shell North
Powertex Buddha temple by Shell North

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.

Anyway that’s all from me,

Peace, love and tranquil crafting.

Shell x

Cow skull and copper art

Designed by – Kore Sage

Hi, it’s Kore here. I love the new mdf frame and cow skull mould that were featured on the Hochanda tv shows in September. I had Easy Structure, Aqua and Egg Yolk acrylic inks and Copper Penny metallic ink in my kit to make my sample. The Copper Penny ink is absolutely gorgeous! Here’s how I made my Cow skull and Copper art.

Cow skull and Copper art by Kore Sage
Cow skull and copper art

If you bought these products you can follow along or get inspired to create your own art.

Materials List

How to make my Cow skull and Copper art

Prepare your frame

Slot the pieces together using Ivory Powertex as glue. Then paint the whole thing with Ivory.

Put the mdf frame together with Ivory Powertex
Prepare the frame

Create texture

Use the Easy Structure to create a rough texture over the frame. I used a plastic palette knife to scrape it down the surfaces.

TOP TIP: An old credit card works well but don’t smooth out the paste too much.

Easy Structure texture on the frame
Apply Easy Structure

Prepare your pieces

Make some clay with Ivory Powertex and Stone Art to use in the mould and make your skull and flowers. Coat pieces of paperdecoration with Ivory and dry on a craft mat or plastic bag.

TOP TIP: I turned the horns on my skull forwards while the clay was wet.

Prepare clay pieces and paperdecoration with Ivory Powertex
Prepare clay piece and paperdecoration

Spray with inks

Generously spray the inks onto the frame. I sprayed the wet inks into each other which is why my frame looks more green and blue.

Spray acrylic inks onto the texture
Spray on acrylic inks

Add more texture

Next Paperdecoration adds more texture. I took the small pieces and glued these into place with Ivory Powertex. Then gave another spritz with the inks. Leave to dry.

Add pieces of paperdecoration
Add paperdecoration

Copper ink

Paint your dry paperdecoration and flowers with Copper Penny acrylic ink. I used Aqua ink to colour the cow skull piece but you could use the copper ink for that too.

TOP TIP: Make sure both sides are coated.

Paint with Copper Penny acrylic ink
Paint with Copper Penny metallic ink

Layer up

Add your layers when the inks are dry. Glue your pieces into place with Ivory Powertex.

TOP TIP: If your pieces aren’t connecting very well, use pieces of tissue in Powertex to fill the gaps.

Layer up paperdecoration and clay pieces, cow skull and copper pieces.
Layer up

Finishing touches

When your pieces are glued into place with Powertex you can add any details with the Copper Ink. I painted the horns on the skull and added some Copper splashes on the frame with a paintbrush. I later added Copper ink on the edge of the frame too.

Cow skull and copper art in Powertex by Kore Sage
Cow skull and copper art by Kore Sage
Close up of cow skull and copper paperdecoration

Thank you for taking a look at my Powertex Cow skull and copper art. Donna has also used this mould for her art but with very different results.

Did you order these products? We’d love to see what you make, so join us in the Powertex Studio group on Facebook. You can also follow me on Facebook at Kore Sage Art or on my website koresageart.com.

I hope you can make some time to let your art out!

Kore x

Dreamcatcher on The Darkside

Designed by – Patricia Williams

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.

Dark side dreamcatcher with Powertex by Patricia Williams
Dark dream catcher by Patricia Williams

I started by collecting all the materials and items I would need to work on my project.

From my stash:

  • Mdf dream Catcher
  • A plaster skull
  • Feathers
  • Skull beads & Roses

How to create my dark dream catcher

DRea catcher mdf

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.

dream catcher mdf

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?

Dark dream catcher with skull and feathers by Patricia Williams

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.

Dark dream catcher with Powertex by Patricia Williams
Dark dream catcher by Patricia Williams

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.

You can see more of my work at Alex Henry Mixed Media Artist on FB or see my roses project on the magazine. Don’t forget to post your makes on The Powertex Studio. Till the next time xx