Powertex Steampunk Flying Machine

The Secret Art Box June 2019

Designer: Abigail Lagden

Powertex steampunk flying machine by Abigail Lagden
Steampunk Flying Machine by Abigail Lagden

There is nothing better than getting a surprise parcel is the post – especially when it is full of Powertex goodies. So I was super excited to receive and have the chance to play with June’s Secret Art Box. The box didn’t disappoint as you can see from my Powertex steampunk flying machine!

This month’s theme is steampunk and as many of you will know, I am a regular at the Whitby Steampunk Weekends, so this was the perfect kit for me.

Powertex UK Secret Art Ox Subscription box contents June 2019
Secret Art Box June 2019

The first thing that struck me was just how much was in the kit, here are the contents in and out of the box. If you have been getting these each month, you will be building up a pretty good stash of products, embellishments and reusables like the moulds and stamp.

In case this is your first box or even your first foray into Powertex, I wanted to create a project that could be completed with very little extras than the contents of the box. So here is my Powertex Steampunk Flying Machine.

Materials used from June’s Secret Art Box:

Additional materials used:

  • Foil
  • Masking tape
  • Cotton fabric
  • A zip
  • Wallpaper
  • Jute string
  • Air drying clay (or Stone Art clay)

How to create your Steampunk Flying Machine

Step 1

To turn the flat MDF balloon into something three dimensional, scrunch up pieces of tin foil to form the sides of a rough balloon shape. Cover the foil shapes in masking tape to give a better surface for the Powertex to adhere to and cut a piece of textured wallpaper to fit in the gap in the middle of the foil.

Adding dimension to mdf with foil
Step 1

Step 2

Paint the front of the MDF balloon shape with yellow Powertex. Use the yellow Powertex to stick the wallpaper and MDF wings in place and then paint the top surfaces. Attach and paint the foil shapes and the cogs using yellow Powertex.

Using Yellow Powertex Universal Medium
Step 2

Step 3

Coat the zip with Powertex and position in the middle of the balloon with the sides of the zip sitting on the foil shapes on either side. Then use strips of cotton fabric coated in Powertex to cover the foil shapes and create some ruffled texture.

Also cut the grey cord into pieces, coat with powertex and lay onto the basket element of the balloon. Mould a switch using one of the switch moulds and affix to basket. (I used some stone art clay I had laying about, but you can use any air drying clay).

Adding embellishments and textures with Powertex
Step 3

Step 4

Spray the whole piece with Mahogany Bister spray.

Using Mahogany Bister spray for colour
Step 4

Step 5

Once the bister has had a chance to dry a little, use a damp sponge to clean some of it back off the upper surfaces of the fabric.

Highlight textures by wiping away Bister
Step 5

Step 6

Time to add highlights and pigments. Use a little bit of the yellow Powertex to dry brush over the fabric to add highlights. Use the Black Magic and Silver pigments mixed with the easy varnish to colour the cogs and the teeth of the zip.

Adding metallic pigments
Step 6

The last thing is to attach the basket to the balloon of my flying machine using some jute string.

Powertex Steampunk Flying Machine by Abigail Lagden
Powertex steampunk flying machine

A little extra Powertex steampunk bonus…

As I had so much left from the kit, I couldn’t help having a little play with some of the other bits and created this little piece.

Powertex steampunk heart by Abigail Lagden

Here I used some Stone Art to make a clay with the yellow Powertex and pressed this onto an MDF heart template. I used the clock stamp and one of the small wooden angel wings to impress designs into the clay.

I added parts of the large MDF clockfaces, the rest of the cogs and a stone art clay switch using the yellow Powertex before spraying it all with the mahogany bister. Once dry I cleaned back the bister and highlighted with copper, bronze gold, rich gold and silver colortricx pigments.

And I’ve still got all this left, along with around three quarters of the Powertex, Bister and Easy varnish, plus loads of the two pigments! What shall I create next?

Pieces left from Powertex UK Steampunk Secret Art Box after 2 projects

I hope you’ve enjoyed my projects and hopefully been inspired to get creating yourself. If you’ve got this month’s Secret Art Box, have fun. We’d love to see what you’ve created with it – please come and share your work in the Powertex Studio Facebook group.

If you’d like a surprise package full of Powertex goodies, check out the subscription options for The Secret Art Box here.

Thank you for reading my article. To see more of my creations to you can visit my Curiously Contrary facebook page, instagram or website.

If you’re a fan of a bit of steampunk, you can read about my Steampunk Top Hat, here (you’ll see I like my zips and cogs!).

Or why not come and visit me at the next Whitby Steampunk Weekend – Friday 26th – Sunday 28th July. Everyone is welcome, including those who are just a little bit steam curious…

Until next time, Abs xx

Powertex Moulds

Fossil Mixed Media canvas art by Anna Emelia Howlett

In May the Product of the Month is silicon moulds. Powertex UK have a range of highly detailed silicon moulds for adding dimension to your mixed media art and crafts. Use with a Powertex and Stone Art mix for easy air drying clay. From tiny ammonite fossils, to flowers and leaves to extra large egyptian heads, take a look at the full range here. Don’t forget, when used with Powertex or Easy Varnish your pieces are also weatherproof and suitable for outdoor projects!

Powertex UK Fossil Ammonite mould

The Design Team using Powertex Moulds

Here are some examples of work using Powertex UK moulds by the design team.

Mixed media canvas with fossil ammonite mould and textures by Anna Howlett
Mixed media canvas with ammonites by Anna Emelia Howlett
Mixed media canvas with fossil ammonite mould and textures by Anna Howlett
Textured fossil canvas by Anna Emelia Howlett
Layered flower and leaves from Powertex UK moulds by Annette Smyth
Layered flowers and leaves sculpture by Annette Smyth
MDF plaque with Powertex and embellishments by Annette Smyth
Powertex plaque with flower embellishments by Annette Smyth
Mirror frame with Powertex and fossil ammonite embellishments by Donna Mcghie
Mirror frame with fossil detail by Donna Mcghie
Wonderland inspired mdf Powertex project by Donna Mcghie
Stone Art flower details by Donna Mcghie
Seascape with Stone Art Clay ammonite fossils by Jinny Holt
Seascape with Stone Art ammonites by Jinny Holt
Bottle vase with Stone Art embellishments by Jinny Holt
Curved bottle vase with Stone Art clay flowers by Jinny Holt
Ocean inspired journal with fossil ammonites from Stone Art Clay by Shell North
Journal cover with ammonite fossils from Stone Art clay by Shell North
Decorated picture frame with Powertex stone art clay flowers by Shell North
Picture frame with flower details in Stone Art clay by Shell North

Using moulds is a lovely way to use embellishments in your project. Because you have the mould you can make as few or as many pieces as you need and you can apply them while soft to curve around your surface like on Jinny’s bottle. You can also change the colour easily and Stone Art clay is very easy to work with.

If you like the look of the flower moulds you might want to take a look at this beautiful flower girl project by Anne. You can find the whole range of Powertex UK moulds here. Don’t forget to pick up some Stone Art while your there!

Powertex Flower lady with flower detail by Anne Waller
Detail of Flower Girl by Anne Waller

Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest

Designer: Abigail Lagden

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Whenever I think of the open sea and what might be underneath, it always conjures up stories of pirates, shipwrecks and treasure. So for this month’s article I wanted to share a project to create a Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest, bursting with gold, coins and jewels. To give it a personal touch and a bit of bling, I used ‘jewels’ rescued from some broken jewellery which I think gives it some extra sparkle.

Materials Used:

How to create a Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest

Step 1: Paint the wooden box all over with bronze Powertex. Add some details using die cut shapes and metal embellishments and some straps using fabric.

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Step 2: Before adding the contents, scrunch up a piece tin foil to use to fill about two thirds of the chest. Covered with a piece of fabric coated in bronze Powertex. Add a piece of netting over the corner of the box.

Top tip: Work on a plastic surface. Powertex will not stick to plastic, I worked on a piece of laminated paper so that I could peel the finished piece off to add it cleanly to the base.

Step 3: I filled my treasure chest by coating 1p coins and medium 3D balls with bronze Powertex and placing them over the fabric. Fragments of abalone shell were added for magical iridescence.

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Step 4: Dry brush chest with bronze gold colortricx pigment. Rich gold colortricx pigment to colour the contents. To give some iridescence, I also added touches of the following pearl pigments to the contents – violet valentine, green ginger, sherbet dip and pink flamingo.

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Step 5: Once all of the pigments had been applied, I then used transparent Powertex to stick the ‘jewels’ into the chest.

Step 6: Create an interesting base by coating a wooden disc with a good layer of ivory Powertex. Sprinkle on some small 3D balls and whilst wet, spray with blue bister. Use a hairdryer over the top to create a cracked effect.

The last thing to do was to affix the treasure chest the base using transparent universal medium.

Pirate Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

I hope you’ve enjoyed my article and have been inspired to get creating a Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest. Don’t forget to share your makes with us all in the Powertex Studio Facebook group.

If you’d like to see more of my creations, please visit my website or my Curiously Contrary facebook page.

If you missed my last article on how to make a bright canvas full of textures, you can find it here.

Until next time, Abs xx

Summer Bright Powertex Canvas

Designer: Abigail Lagden

Create a summer bright powertex canvas

To celebrate the clocks going forward, and the lengthening days, I wanted to create something bright and colourful. So this summer bright powertex canvas uses the gorgeous Secret Art Loft acrylic paints to add some fabulous colour and also incorporates some clock elements.

However, when I came to design and create my project I was half way through the Open Studio event and the vast majority of my art materials were at the event location and not at home where I needed them. So, this project was also a lesson in making the best of what you have available.

People are often surprised to see the journey that my pieces take and how much they can change from start to finish, and this project is no exception. Who’d have thought it started out black?

Materials Used:

Top tip: As most of my students will know, I really don’t like flat surfaces in my work, so my first thought was to stencil some texture onto the canvas as a base. However, my easy structure paste was at my open studio so I needed to improvise. Rather than turn to wallpaper, I raided my stash of die cut card shapes instead…

How the canvas was created

Step one:

Paint the canvas with black Powertex, position the die cut shapes onto the canvas and paint over with the black Powertex.

Step two:

Add the wooden numbers and MDF shapes and paint over with black Powertex

Step three:

Mix Easy 3D Flex with white Powertex to make a thick paste and apply thickly to the corners and more thinly across other areas. Leave to crack.

Step four:

To give the project a good base for the acrylic paints, paint the black areas with the white Powertex and allow to dry.

Step five:

Add the Secret Art Loft acrylic paints using a sponge. Build up the colours, layering them to get a blended effect.

Step six:

Dry the acrylic paint before gently dry brushing highlights using white Powertex to make all the textures pop.

summer bright powertex canvas

To help the numbers stand out a little more, I gave them a little coat of colortricx rich gold pigment mixed with easy varnish.

summer bright powertex canvas
summer bright powertex canvas
summer bright powertex canvas

I hope this summer bright powertex canvas has brought some colour to your day. Don’t forget to share your makes with us all in the Powertex Studio Facebook group.

If you’d like to see more of my creations, please visit my website or my Curiously Contrary facebook page.

If you missed my last article on how to make a pretty hanging heart plaque, you can find it here.

Until next time, Abs xx

Pretty Powertex Hanging Heart

Pretty Powertex Hanging Heart by Abigail Lagden

Pretty Powertex Hanging Heart by Abigail Lagden

It’s lovely to start seeing the signs of spring outside, so this month I have been inspired to share a nice pretty piece inspired by flowers, with a touch of belated Valentine’s romance. So you will know how to make your own pretty Powertex hanging heart.

It is a nice a simple project, using basic techniques, that I hope anyone will feel they can attempt.

To complete this project I used the following:

I started by mixing the different coloured Powertex together. I wanted a pale purple so I mixed the red and blue together first and then slowly added some white to lighten it. You can achieve almost any colour by mixing the different colours – just make sure you mix enough for your project as it can be difficult to get the exact same colour twice. You can also store any leftovers in an airtight container to use on another project. Also remember that it will always dry a shade or two darker than it appears when wet.

Red and blue mixed
With white added

I then drew around the heart onto some wallpaper embossed with leaves and cut it out. I used my purple Powertex like a glue to attach the cut out wallpaper heart to the MDF heart, before painting it over the front of the wallpaper.

I coated some pieces of cotton lace with the purple Powertex and added them to the heart. I always recommend cutting the lace longer than you need as it has a habit of shrinking when it gets coated. The ends can then be trimmed off with scissors.

I coated a piece of t-shirt fabric and some ruffled lace and arranged them down one side of the heart before coating and arranging various metal filigree embellishments down the other side. Finally I added metal leaves and three mulberry paper flowers onto the fabric, all coated with my purple Powertex.

This little project didn’t use very much purple Powertex at all, maybe just 50ml total. So I have plenty left over and another perfect project in mind already.

The heart was left to dry before dry brushing with lilac, orange, yellow and white powercolor pigments mixed with varnish. Once coloured I finished it off with a piece of lilac ribbon through the holes to hang it from.

Pretty Powertex Hanging Heart by Abigail Lagden
Pretty Powertex Hanging Heart by Abigail Lagden
Pretty Powertex Hanging Heart by Abigail Lagden

I hope you have enjoyed this simple little project and that it may just inspire you to crack open your bottle of Powertex. We’d love to see what you create so please do share your makes in our Powertex Studio facebook group.

If you’d like to see more of my creations, please pop over to my Curiously Contrary facebook page or visit my website www.curiously-contrary.co.uk

Did you catch my article last month? If not why not pop over and take a look here.

Until next time, Abs xx

Powertex Medium Art Doll

mixed media powertex medium art doll tutorial

Powertex Medium Art doll – Goddess of Mystery – by Abigail Lagden

Hello and welcome to my latest project! For this one I have used the Powertex medium Art Doll kit with the contents shown below.

Kit contents

I love working with the project kits from Powertex UK. They provide the perfect level of structure to work with and stimulate ideas. But also have the flexibility to put your own style into them. By how you construct them, which other products and embellishments you use and finally how you add colour to them.

As usual, I started by playing with the MDF kit pieces and arranging them in different ways. The picture below shows my initial guide design. As you can see it evolved and changed a fair bit as the project progressed. This always happens to some degree with my creations. So don’t worry that you have to stick rigidly to your first design. It helps to have an idea of where you are going at the start. I find the best results happen when you just go with the creative flow once you start building your piece.

Original design

As well as the Medium MDF Art Doll Kit, I used the following for this project:

First I used Easy Structure through the ‘arty quotes’ stencil to add the words ‘mystery’ and ‘wonder’ to the wings. The thing I love about this stencil is that not only do you have the lovely quotes in their entirety. But you can also just use specific words or phrases from within the quotes. To keep the stencilling clean for single words, I use masking tape to cover the words. Placing around the ones that I want to use before using Easy Structure paste through it.

Stencil masking

I wanted there to be lots of texture in this project. I mixed three different pastes using yellow Powertex with Easy 3D Flex, 3D sand/small balls and Stone Art.

Three pastes

First, I covered the base of the shadow box with the Easy 3D Flex paste. Before using yellow Powertex to attach and paint the sides of the box. I applied the sand and balls paste to the ‘crown’ pieces and pushed them into the 3D flex paste. Then I painted the plaster face with yellow Powertex. Pushed it into the 3D flex paste and sprinkled a few small balls into the box.

Box frame

Next, I worked on the back piece of MDF. Randomly adding areas of the three different pastes I mixed earlier. Creating lots of textures and submerging the MDF row of hooks at the bottom. Then I sprinkled some medium 3D balls onto a few areas followed by some small balls to fill the gaps. Whilst the background piece was still wet, I attached the box frame and the other MDF shape into the pastes.

I smeared a little left over 3D Flex paste onto the princess’ face and onto parts of the crown piece.

Pre-bister

The top piece of the shadow box was painted just with yellow Powertex. The wings were covered with the sand and balls paste.

Wings 1

All of the pieces were then left to dry and/or crack before they were sprayed with brown bister.

Bistered piece

Bistered bits

This was dried and then the bister cleaned back using a damp sponge. Leaving the stronger colour in the depressions, giving more depth to the textures and lightening the uppermost parts.

Cleaned back bister

Cleaned back bister wings

Now for the fun part… adding a little bit of extra colour to bring the piece to life. I wanted this piece to have quite an earthy, rustic, natural quality. I used different blends of light blue, moss green, yellow ochre, lilac and white powercolor pigments. Mixed with easy varnish and applied using a dry brush technique.

Close up 2

Close up 1

The final step was to secure the wings to the front of the frame with powertex. Then the front of the frame to the main piece. I also hung a little metal key charm through the hole at the bottom of the frame.

Close up 3

Powertex Princess Art Doll - Abigail Lagden

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing how I made this piece. Please do share your own creations on the Powertex Studio facebook page. Where you will find lots of inspiration as well as support from our fabulous Powertexing community.

You can also see more of my work on my Curiously Contrary facebook page and on my website. If you didn’t catch my blog last month take a look here.

Until next time, Abs xx

Powertex Stone Art Clay Pendant – Abigail Lagden

Powertex Stone Art jewellery pendant

Well, Happy New Year and I hope you had a lovely Christmas.

For my first blog of 2019 I thought I would take a festive left over and re-purpose it into something fun and funky for the new year.

So for this project, I started with an MDF bauble shape, some red Powertex, Stone Art, macrame cord and some texture mats.

Starting point

I began by mixing some stone art clay using the red Powertex and the Stone Art. When mixing small amounts of stone art clay I pour a little Powertex into a yogurt pot, then using an old paintbrush handle, I gradually mix in small handfuls of stone art. I keep adding stone art until the mixture thickens up and starts to pull away quite cleanly from the sides of the pot rather like a dough. It can then be turned out and a little more stone art worked in by hand to get a  consistency a little like polymer clay.

Part mixed clay
Part-mixed clay

Mixed clay
Clay ready to turn out

Once the clay was the right consistency, I rolled it out using an acrylic rolling pin to a thickness of approximately 3mm and a little larger than the size of the bauble. Then I positioned one of the texture mats on top and rolled the rolling pin over the top to impress the pattern into the clay.

Next I placed the bauble on top of the impressed clay and carefully cut around the edge using a craft knife to make a perfect circle of clay.

Bauble cut clay

I have recently acquired some macrame cord and love the simple texture of it when rolled into a coil, so I wanted to incorporate this into my project. To make it sit within the clay I needed to cut a circle out of it, so I used the lid of a fabric conditioner bottle like a pastry cutter to remove a circle of the clay.

Cut out circle

To attach the clay, I painted the bauble with Powertex before placing the clay on top.

Macrame cord was then coated in red Powertex and coiled to fit in the circular hole and also to create a border around the edge. The piece was then left to dry overnight.

Macrame cord added

Once dry, I sprayed brown bister over the clay to enhance the impressed texture and once this was dry I gently used a damp sponge to remove the bister from the uppermost surfaces and reveal the red colour again.

Bistered
Sprayed with brown bister

Cleaned Bister
Bister wiped back

Finally, I added colour by mixing Powerwax with yellow ochre, orange and moss green powercolor pigments and applying with a sponge.

The last step was to add a piece of ribbon through the hanging hole to make this piece into a beautiful wearable pendant.

Pendant

Pendant on driftwood

I hope you have enjoyed this project and you have been inspired to get creative this year. Please do share your makes with us through the Powertex Studio facebook group and let others know about the Powertex blog and the fabulous inspiration you can find here.

You can see more of my curious creations and the Powertex workshops I am running in County Durham, by popping by my Curiously Contrary facebook page or my website.

Until next time, here’s to an awesome 2019,

Abs xx

January – Product of the month – Stone Art Powder

Turquoise Powertex Stone Art Clay unicorn

Stone Art Powder – Find on the Powertex UK website.

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Use Stone Art to make self-hardening clay, coarse and fine structures and stone effects.

Be inspired by more makes over on the Powertex UK Pinterest board.

Our Design Team and guests have shared some of their favourite makes with Stone Art Powder:

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Sam Butler created these stunning Stone Art clay garden ornaments.sam2.jpg

This cute little chap is a wonderful hare created from Stone Art clay by Annette Smyth. 3.jpg

A wonderful bowl inspired by nature from Shell North.

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Stone Art effect used on the side of this vase and on the clay flowers makes this piece a one of a kind treasure by Jill Cullum.5.jpg

Stone Art is just made for texture! Look at this amazing inter galactic work of art by Fi Potter.

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Stone Art can be used to sculpt adorable animals full of character as you can see with these fabulous owls by Donna Mcghie.

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Why not use Stone Art on your magical and practical ideas as Abigail Lagden has done with her works of art below.

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Stone art works well as a clay and gives a stone effect will go on mdf bases and will cover Easy Structure and patterned wall paper for extra textural effects as seen on this hare was created by Anna Emelia Howlett.

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Tracey Evans created this beautiful unicorn to teach as a project for the Powertex Garden Party and her portfolio workshops. Stamping into Stone art clay is another effective technique to create lots of detail in your work.

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Kore Sage brings us a piece of practical art with this stunning brush pot holder. With Powertex the possibilities really are endless.

StoneArtVase

We hope you have been inspired to get the Stone Art out and have a go! Do share your makes with us over in the Powertex Studio. See you next month with more Inspiration!

Introducing the Powertex UK Design Team and Guests 2019

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You will notice some familiar faces to the Powertex UK Design Team 2019 and some new ones too.

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Abigail Lagden – Back for her second year.

I am a self taught artist based on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland, County Durham. I absolutely adore the rich, intense colours and the amazing depth and textures that you can create with Powertex. I love all things magical, mystical and fantastical, and find this influence has a tendency to creep into most of my creations!

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Annette Smyth – Back for her third year

‘I live in Leamington Spa with my husband and three dogs. I’ve created all my life and love the flexibility Powertex gives me to use my existing skills and develop new ones. Every day is a creative adventure. ‘

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Donna Mcghie – Back for her second year

I am a level 4 Powertex tutor and continue to be inspired and amazed by the variety of ways this medium can be used both for my individual art projects, and also for my art 4 a heart workshops. £5 from each booking under the Art 4 A Heart banner gets donated to the brilliant Papworth Hospital Charity who saved my husbands life with an emergency heart transplant a few years ago.

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Fiona Potter – Back for her third year

Hi Fi Potter here and boy I am so excited to be back for a third year on the Powertex DT. I am basedin north Warwickshire a stones throw from the NEC. I’m a lifelong crafter working with textiles,mixed media and found objects. I enjoy creating everything from delicate to chunky jewellery, wall art and home decor and this coming year I’m challenging myself to be more sculptural and push myself out of my comfort zone. Join me for the ride and lets see where 2019 takes us!

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Jill Cullum – New to the Team

I live in North Lincolnshire with my partner Karl and guinea pig, Toffee. I have always been creative so discovering Powertex was the icing on the cake! I am a mother and Nanny as well as having a busy, stressful ‘day’ job. I love using my creativity to switch off from day to day stresses, finding it therapeutic and rewarding. My favourite Powertex products? Difficult one, but Rusty Powder along with 3D Sand Balls would be at the top of my list.

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Jinny Holt – Back for her second year

Hi I’m Jinny Holt.
I live in Scotland, wife, mother, nanny.
During the day I am a support worker for adults with additional needs.
Creativity is my life misson and therapy!
I love working with Powertex, love Stone art and Easy 3D, more texture the better. I tend to do darker pieces but enjoy pretty sometimes.

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Kore Sage – Back for her second year

I’m a mixed media artist living in Brighton. I love walks on the beach, to paint, journal, create, share my process and live a creative life with an 80s soundtrack. Before art I had a dining room table. I really enjoy canvases that are very layered. My favourite products to use are Easy Structure and Rusty Powder because I can combine these with other products for so many different effects.

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Shell North – New to the team

Mum of 3 grown children, Nanny to 2, Yorkshire born but living in Dorset with my Partner. I’m a full time artist with qualifications in substance counselling and special needs care so the importance of art therapy is a huge part of my artistic journey. I love immersing myself in mix media and sculpting. Whimsical, magical, and fantasy as well as nature inspire me artistically.

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Anna Emelia Howlett –  Back for her third year

Based in Maidstone , Kent. I work in mixed media and I’m inspired by most things magical. I think in this day and age we never seem to make enough time for ourselves. I truly believe art can give us the space our bodies need to breathe. Being creative is continuing to improve my well-being, and I love sharing that and helping others make that time to enhance their creative side. I love EVERYTHING about Powertex I can’t chose a favourite product it’s way too hard!

And please welcome the Powertex UK 2019 guest bloggers.

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Anne Waller – Back again for her 3rd year

My favourite product has to be the Transparent Powertex. It has so many uses in my textile work. Often it is the ‘unseen hero’ stabilising and securing thread work on the back of a piece. When it comes to mixed media, then it has to be the Bronze Powertex. It provides the perfect base for yummy shimmering pearlescent and metallic pigments. I just love a bit of bling!

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Patricia Williams – Powertex tutor

I am a Mixed Media Artist using the name Alex Henry.  Specialising in Powertex products, creating sculptures and running workshops. I have worked with children in local youth groups and recently exhibited at the Jinney Ring Sculpture Trail. Many hours of my time is spent experimenting with Powertex.

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Sam Butler – I love to play, dabble and experiment and will give anything a go!! My favourite colour is green, however I do love the black Powertex! But my most, most favourite product at the moment is StoneArt, I can’t get enough of it.

Do sign  up to the blog so that you are able to receive all the latest tutorials and blogs brought to you by the design team!received_327395237855903

‘Gonzo the Great’ – A Powertex Christmas tale – Abigail Lagden

Muppet Christmas Carol by Abigail Lagden

As a Powertex Tutor, I am lucky to run a number of my workshops in a gorgeous little home & gift shop in Sedgefield, County Durham called From Loft to Loved. The shop is owned and run by Sarah and Kim, two lovely ladies who share my passion for recycling, upcycling and repurposing and this is reflected in their creative work and the ethos of the shop.

So, when they asked if I would create a bauble for their tree as part of the annual Sedgefield Christmas Tree Festival, I was only too happy to oblige (not that I need much encouragement to get creating). The overall theme for this year’s festival is ‘A Carol for Christmas’ and so the girls decided to go with the less traditional (but so much more fun) idea of ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’.

As soon as they said this, I knew what I had to make. Whenever I think of this film I always think of The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens, so that is what my bauble was inspired by.

I started with a polystyrene egg, some cardboard, bronze Stone Art clay and some dishcloth and muslin.

Starting Materials

First I cut a wedge out of one end of the polystyrene egg for the mouth. I then sculpted his nose using tin foil and secured it in place using masking tape.

Egg with nose

Next I covered the whole thing with a layer of Stone Art clay, made using bronze Powertex mixed with Stone Art. (I would have used blue Powertex but I had quite a bit of bronze clay left over from something I was making back in the summer).

I made two eyeballs from white air drying paper clay and attached them using a little Powertex before adding eyelids made from stone art clay.

Head without fur

Little pieces of dishcloth were then coated with bronze Powertex and added to the top and sides of the head for his fur.

Gonzo head

Now for the hat..

This was constructed using cardboard – a ring for the brim of the hat, a strip of card for the sides and a circle to fill in the top. This was painted using bronze Powertex and then covered using Powertex coated muslin. Some t-shirt yarn was used for the band.

Wrapped hat

The hat was then attached to ‘Gonzo’s’ head using Powertex and the piece was left to dry for a couple of days.

Gonzo Before Colouring - Curiously Contrary

Now to bring him to life with colour…

I used ultramarine blue, red and white Powercolor pigments for the head and orange and bronze gold for the hat. The eyes were finished off using a black permanent marker to draw the pupils.

Gonzo the Great by Abigail Lagden

Gonzo on a tree - Curiously Contrary

My Gonzo inspired bauble will be appearing on From Loft to Loved’s Christmas Tree as part of the Christmas Tree Festival in St Edmund’s Church, Sedgefield from Saturday 1st – Thursday 6th December. Here is a sneaky peek at him on setting up day.

From Loft to Loved Christmas Tree

Gonzo in St Edmunds

Hopefully ‘Gonzo’ will make a few people smile while he is there. Then after the 6th he will move into the From Loft to Loved shop just around the corner to bring more Christmas cheer from their Christmas tree.

Don’t forget to make all of us smile and get us in the festive mood by sharing your own makes in The Powertex Studio facebook group.

If you’d like to see what else I’m getting up to over the festive season, you can check out my Curiously Contrary facebook page and my website.

Until next year, Merry Christmas

Abs xx