The acrylic inks are on special offer in October with 10% off to celebrate Tracey’s birthday. The gorgeous colours available are Raspberry, Aqua, Palm, Viola, Egg yolk, Tangerine, Deep sea, Lava and Damson. There’s also 5 metallic inks in Aqua, Golden, Copper penny, Silver sixpence and Coral pearl.
Shop now to take advantage of this offer. If you have any questions about using the acrylic inks you can always head to the Powertex Studio Facebook group for advice.
This month the design team were challenged to follow and complete a design team members step by step from a previous article. This came with one stipulation that we did it with our own twist. There were so many I wanted to do but in the end Abigail’s bright summer canvas caught my attention, it had a clock face! After all, the clocks go back very soon! My twist was to make it a real working Powertex clock with an autumn/fall styling.
As a tutor I’m often asked how I come up with all my ideas and what Inspires me. My first answer is everything. I’m sure we all know a Powertex crafter that is inspired by everything around them and has a list longer than their arms of inspirations.
Are you like me, someone who hoards every Powertex-able thing in sight from recyclables to a plethora of textures? The thing is all these inspirations form ideas and grow into creations. Could it be an inanimate item in a charity shop you imagine as something else. Could it be a feeling or connection in a place, maybe a vision or inspiration from another artists work?
Whatever your inspiration is, there’s usually a theme. My theme is often nature and animals or a bit of fantasy. In this month article I’m going to show and briefly talk about a few of the animals and creatures I’ve created since finding Powertex.
In the early days with Powertex fabric hardener
One of the first animals I created was this Frog. Now I thought he was ugly, even for a frog! But someone at an event fell in love and begged for me to sell her him a few days after creation, she adored him.
Inspired by moon gazey hares now, but wanting to try a stronger base to work on. I studied images to try get the shape right, without a 3D model it can be tricky to get anatomical correctness. This little guy however turned out more bunny sized than hare. I loved it all the same, as above, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Practice pays off
As time has gone on I learnt from ‘happy accidents’. They give you a learning curve, room for growth. I’ve also learnt that I do prefer to sculpt with the stone art clay as a first go to material. I find it easier for me to manipulate and build up the shape more naturally. These black bird and octopus are sculptures I’ve made with Stone art clay.
Getting a little quirky
Adding a twist of fantasy
The exciting thing about fantasy animals is that you can work on inspirations of nature’s animals and add a fantasy touch to it. Let’s face it, when you see some of natures wacky designs on many animals, birds and creatures, it does make you wonder if unicorns and dragons were actually real?! My first blog for the Powertex team was just this kind of unique style (see here).
Final fantasy animal
My last piece of inspiration is to finish with one of my all-time favorite makes, my ‘wicker basket’ dragon. Another piece that spoke to me of it’s purpose at the tutor retreat challenge.
Inspiration isn’t always easy, sometimes we need to be shown an idea through tutorials or going to a workshop. Still needing inspiration? Find your nearest tutor in the tutor directory here.
For my July article we are delving into ancient Rome and looking at incorporating Medusa and Stone Art. The Romans were renowned for their love of wine, both producing it and drinking it. So a wine Medusa jug is what I will teach you to make this time.
Medusa was a Gorgon and one of the most frequently repeated motifs in Greek and later, in Roman antiquities. The Legend has it that if you were to gaze into her eyes you would turn to stone. Or in our case…Stone art!
Large glass bottle (I used an empty cordial bottle)
TOP TIP To get even coverage with stone art, why not use a pasta machine to roll out your clay all in one equally level sheet. I have found many cheap second hand ones for £5 in charity shops! Just make sure your clay is not sticky before rolling through.
Did you see Kore’s planet canvas recently? I was hugely inspired by it so if you missed it, find it here and you too may find inspiration.
Hope you enjoyed this article? If so please comment below or share your inspiration on the Facebook Powertex Studio page.
Well that’s all for me this month,
Peace, love and a little splash of wine from my jug 😉
Easy 3D comes as a heavy powder that is mixed with Powertex Fabric Hardener to create a clay. The clay is like dough and can be applied to canvas art as well as sculpture. It’s designed to crack as it dries which can leave deep cracked textures in the surface.
If you would like to try some Easy 3D Flex for yourself you can find it at Powertex UK. Need a little help to make up the clay? Just go to the instruction sheet at the bottom.
Powertex Design Team examples
The Design Team love to use this clay. Here’s some examples of how they’ve used it in their creations.
This planet art project by Jill has a tutorial in the Magazine, click on the image to open.
Shell’s beautiful Mandala art also has a tutorial, click on the image to see her step by step blog.
This art doll kit is highly textured. You can see how Abigail puts this together in her tutorial, click on the image.
I love the simplicity of using something like string or twine and knots to create something magical and unique. Wanting to step away from the full circle dream catcher I drafted a moon with star idea for sweet dreams.
I wanted to use techniques to create vegan feathers with twine. A lot of my past customers have been vegan and dislike the use of animal products so creating an ethical dream catcher was up there on my to do list. Created with a ‘boho’ style making from twine, a recycled lampshade ring, recycled jewellery (charity shop) and Ivory Powertex to make weatherproof for outdoor use.
What are dream catchers exactly?
Sometimes referred to as “Sacred Hoops”, Ojibwe dream catchers were traditionally used as talismans to protect sleeping people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares. Native Americans believe that the night air is filled with dreams, both good and bad.
When hung above the bed in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dream catcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day.
Make as a soothing tool for kids! I made dream catchers for my children when they were young. Explaining how these would help ease their nightmares, quite handy indeed.
Call it a placebo effect for non-believers but my children believed what I said and they worked at soothing their nightmares, happy days!
Note – Use real feathers with children however as the twine ones will be slightly shape and pointy when hardened.
Putting it all together
I made the twine feathers first, using a knotting technique around a length of twine, next I wrapped the lampshade hoop with twine. Using the standard catcher webbing but didn’t go all the way around so I could create the moon shape. I added a hanging beach wood cut star and then covered everything in Ivory Powertex hardener.
Finally once dry I finished by attaching the junk jewellery and beads I have collected from car boot sales, donations or charity shops. I don’t think I’m going to colour this, I like the simplicity of it. I enjoyed this so much I think I’m going to re-purpose some more broken lamp shades though and create different colours!
Why not try create one of your own sweet dreams and share on our Powertex studio group page on Facebook? We always love to see what you create that’s inspired by our blogs. Also don’t forget to comment below. What would you have done differently? Does this inspire you to create your own? Share your inspired dream catcher in the Facebook group.
Did you like my charity shop upcycles here? Catch my February blog where I used a lot of recycled items along with the Secret Art Box subscription box.
The subscription boxes are exciting boxes of exclusive Powertex goodies that are delivered to your door each month! Don’t miss out on the fun, get yours today HERE .
A Powertex octopus. The theme this month is Underwater, this is one of my favourite go to themes I love to create with as I love the sea. Living in Dorset I’m close to the sea and often find myself seeking respite on some of the peaceful secluded beach spots I know of. There are so many interesting aspects of the sea I get inspiration from, the creatures, colours, sounds and textures.
One of my favourite sea creatures are octopuses, they are such interesting creatures, incredibly intelligent and majestic.
So then, it’s decided that in this article I will be creating an octopus sculpture. I chose to work with both fabric and Stone Art clay to get the look I wanted.
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!
The Design Team using Powertex Moulds
Here are some examples of work using Powertex UK moulds by the design team.
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!
In this article my chosen subject matter was short listed to ‘Taurus’. Because I really love wearable art and cosplay, so I knew sort of where I was taking this piece from the start. But with just a few bits needing inspiration. And so the Powertex Taurus Headdress was created.
So Taurus is the second sign in the zodiac, and falling between the dates of 21st April – 21st May. To the Babylonians Taurus was the heavenly Bull whose rising marked the beginning of Spring. The element associated with Taurus is Earth so because of the Earth and Spring connections, some of its many associated colours are green and earthy browns.
Taureans are known to have an eye for beauty, so often love to dress up or then also fill their homes with lots of interesting or pretty things!
So in a nutshell we now have a design brief. A piece of wearable art that personifies Taurus, but incorporates earthiness and then apealing to the eye.
Of course I was going to create a horned Powertex Taurus Headdress.
Did you see the mandala Triptch article I wrote last month? If not take a look here.
Have left over Powertex liquid hardener? If so, mix in equal amounts of stone art powder and make stone art clay. But remember when blended, to wrap it in cling film and store in an air tight container. Don’t waste it, but instead incorporate it in mixed media or sculpture pieces because left over’s, cannot go back in the bottle.
Because this is what I used for a pokey tool so to create a hole for my split rings to go through the Powertexed fabric when it was dry but still a little soft. But do remember to use a foam or cutting mat underneath to push it through onto because you don’t want an injury! Cocktail sticks are so cheap, but eco friendly and versatile. But also they can be used for scoring texturising and decorating patterns in paints, pastes and clays, added to mixed media works and so so much more!
In this article I will be showing you how to create a Mindfulness Mandala Triptych. I wanted to incorporate one item as my focal point, the product of the month Easy structure paste. Wood was chosen to work on as this is something I haven’t done for a while. Easy structure works well on any flat surface that’s a natural element such as wood, metal, fabrics. This technique would also look great on an artist’s canvas, a sheet or grey board or wooden box. Even a sheet of metal, a glass pane and so much more could be used.
While looking for inspiration, mandalas came to mind. Mandala is a Sanskrit word, meaning circle. They can be used to focus attention and create a state of mindfulness. A universal symbol of wholeness and unity. The circle mirrors the universe, the movement of the stars, creation, cycle of life and the passage of time.
Mindfulness is often used as a therapeutic technique. It is being present in that moment, but being accepting of our feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations and our senses. Often what brings us into our senses is doing something, but in a mindful way.
I often find myself in a state of mindfulness while creating.
Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life.
*Because Bister spray can stain, make sure the area you work on is covered and protected.*
Step by Step
I selected a series of Mandala stencils from my personal stash and played around with the composition on my Triptych. I decided to add texture around them and a few embellishments to add depth to the piece.