The Secret Art Box – May

A Home Under the Sea

Designer – Jill Cullum

A home under the sea Powertex canvas by Jill Cullum
A home under the sea by Jill Cullum

I was so excited to receive my first ‘Secret Art Box’, and I was not disappointed when I opened it.  Full of possibilities to create this article with.  It’s a challenge of being given a box of ‘goodies’ and then creating out of my comfort zone.

Materials List

Inside the art box was a cute fish. I was in my element as my last article was based around my love of the beach. I wanted a different style this time, so with several possibilities in mind, I chose a canvas as my base.

Detail of Powertex canvas

The secret art box fish

Not content with one super cute fish, I wanted two!  With a sharp knife and careful cutting, I sliced the fish in half.  Using the reverse of the canvas I covered the top half with the nautical paper, using Easycoat Matt.  The bottom half cried out for some stone art and brown Bister. 

Powertex Secret Art Box May fish under the sea theme
Fish and clay details

The sea bed was created by adding texture with stone balls, material and clay pieces. The adorable mini ammonite moulds as well as the shell mould in the ‘Secret Art Box’ made the clay shapes.  The fish needed lots of lovely texture, you can really go to town with this, especially when adding colour.  Terragreen pigment works a treat for this theme. 

I love the way things develop as your creative piece comes together and I didn’t really have a picture of the finished piece in mind. It just happened along the way.  I hope you like it and feel inspired to create your own ‘home in the sea’.

Secret Art Box May is a Home under the sea Powertex canvas
Home under the sea detail

For more sea themed inspiration take a look at my last blog here.

I am looking forward to seeing your pieces of art, using the May ‘Secret Art Box’. Please share them at The Powertex Studio on Facebook.

Secret Art Box May Powertex project by Jill Cullum
Finished mixed media canvas by Jill Cullum

A little teaser of my next blog, which will take us from the sea, into the sky! Bye for now, Jill x

Under The Sea Powertex Sculptures

Powertex shark by Donna Mcgghie

By Donna Mcghie

What lies under the sea can be both beautiful and terrifying in equal measure.

I decided to make my own homage to the 1970’s film Jaws for my first underwater sculpture for this article. Thanks to this film I always feel a primeval sense of unease when swimming in deep water, and that music hovers around at the back of my brain. However at the same time I also have an exhilarating rush of adrenaline. My senses feel alert and vibrant. 

Under the sea, Powertex shark by Donna Mcghie
Although I am scared of sharks, I have grown rather fond of this gnarly old Powertex king of the seas

Powertex Stone art mixed with black Powertex fabric hardener was the perfect medium for this gnarled, battle scarred shark.

Powertex zip mouth on shark
An old zip works perfectly for his pointy little teeth
Powertex shark on base
The black metal base makes the perfect base for this powertex sculpture

The sea bed can be an eerily beautiful setting. Mixed media was used to create this under water 3D canvas.

The eerily beautiful seabed that is home to my shark

The illusion of the sea was created by using a mixture of blue and white Powertex Fabric Hardener sprayed with blue bister. I created the spiky coral by soaking Powercotton in transparent Powertex fabric hardener. Shells that are not conventionally pretty added the finishing touch.

Beware of Beautiful Powertex Mermaids

Powertex mermaid by Donna Mcghie
I used bits of lace and paperdecoration to add texture

Many legends and myths are connected to the sea. One of the most enduring myths is that of the mermaid.

My mermaid canvas was created by swirling blue and white Powertex fabric hardener onto a canvas. Bister was then added and blasted with a hair dryer.

My mermaid started to take shape when I poured green Powertex fabric hardener to create the shape of a tail.

I mixed Powertex terracotta and white fabric hardeners together to create a flesh tone, whilst Yellow ochre fabric hardener worked well for the hair.

Davy Jones’s Locker

There are many versions of who Davy Jones was, and just as many theories as to just how he ended up lurking at the bottom of the sea.

Maybe he was seduced by the beauty of a passing mermaid. Her beauty having lured him down to the murky depths below.

Powertex under the sea
My Davy Jones sports a jacket I spied in a charity shop, soaked in Bronze Powertex Fabric Hardener

Our facebook page The Powertex Studio is a great place for ideas and motivation. You can also inspire others by sharing your own makes.

You can also see more of my work and find out about my workshops on my website www.artandmurals.co.uk.

My last month’s blog was inspired by the artist Vincent Van Gogh

That’s all for now. As this is an inspiration blog I have not done step by steps, but if you would like more detailed instructions I am happy to provide them. Please leave me a comment below if you like what you see, and remember to take care, especially when swimming in deep water.

After all, you never know what is lurking beneath.

Powertex Ammonite Light

Powertex Ammonite Light

Designer:  Jill Cullum

My Inspiration for an under the sea light

This article is very much influenced by my love of the beach. I spent several years with the beach on my doorstep, where I regularly enjoyed early morning walks. And was the inspiration for my Powertex Ammonite Light.

I particularly loved the changing moods of the sea, the smells and a chance to blow away the cobwebs.  I’ve chosen fabrics and materials which resemble netting and rocks. Paper deco works very well here.

I have also used some shells which I have added extra colour to. You can always leave these natural though.  The Powertex stand gave the finished piece some weight, as well as structure and height.

TOP TIP – Have a hair-dryer ready when adding the Ammonites. You will need them to stay in place so that they have space to poke the lights through. This also gives more 3 dimension to your piece.

Materials Used

I chose my materials, cardboard, and embellishments from my stash which included sea shells. I have used sand and 3d ball to create a thick texture for my ammonites, giving them an authentic look.

Building the basic form for the Powertex Ammonite Light

Step 1

Using the stand a base add tin foil to create rocks and shape, covering with masking tape.

Adding detail

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 2

Step 2 – Added more texture using some honeycomb effect cardboard packaging. Hold in place with masking tape. Cover with fabric hardener. Creating texture for the ammonites.

Creating texture for the ammonites

Step 3

Mix black fabric hardener with sand and small 3d balls. Use this to cover the mdf ammonites. Put to one side until dry.

Bringing the ammonites to life

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 4




Step 4 – Once dry use Secret Art Loft pigments to colour the ammonites, using the dry-brushing technique.. 

Building more structure

Step 5

Add height and detail using material dipped in green fabric hardener. Blend it over the ‘rocks’ adding height to your form.

Putting the elements together

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 6

Before the fabric dries, add your ammonites (see top tip above). Add paper deco placed over the ammonites, using blue fabric hardener, for extra detail.

Powertex Ammonite Light

Finishing Touches

I decided to add colour to the sea-shells using Secret Art Loft acrylic paints, before dry-brushing to bring out the texture. Finally I added the fairy lights.

Why not take a look at my last article here, on how to create pastel shades with fabric hardener.

We love to see what you make, so please share your creativity here, at The Powertex Studio.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and that it inspires you to create your own nightlight. A garden theme using wings and flower embellishments would work well too. Looking forward to seeing your own take on how to use fairy lights, bye for now, Jill x


Powertex family project

A Tryptich with a Twist – by Annette Smyth

Powertex family project, sea theme

Hello,

This month I thought I would show you a Powertex family project. This is one that you could share with the children during the Easter holidays. So this article shows you how to make a piece of family art suitable for indoor use. It breaks down nicely into mini projects which all come together towards the end.

Why not let each family member decorate their own hoop, making this a real Powertex family project to treasure.

There is no limit to the number of hoops you can connect. Just ensure the whole structure is stable and check for balance when connecting them all together.

Powertex family project, sea theme

Here’s the twist, the hoops can be worked on either side (flat or recessed) and hung either way. So if your base fabric is fine you get a lovely silhouette if hung in a window with the decorated side facing outside. You could even suspend it and let it gently twist in the breeze getting the best of both worlds.

Or why not mix it up and have hoops facing in different directions?

Heres are the products that I used

– Set of 3 unvarnished wooden embroidery hoops
– muslin fabric
Powertex translucent acrylic inks
Powertex transparent
Powertex Stone Art
KatySue Seahorse Mould
Powertex Paperdecoration
Powertex Sand and Balls Sample pack

-pipettes/waterproof cupcake cases/glass mat/small paintbrush/plastic covering for table/gloves/water spray bottle

Mini project 1 – Making the Jellyfish

Pour approximately 5mm of transparent Powertex into a cupcake case and leave to dry (this can take 2-3 days to dry completely).

When dry remove and cut in half using scissors to give you 2 half moon shapes. Take some of the white paperdecoration and pull it into fine strips. Dip one end into some transparent Powertex and stick it to the underside of the half moon. Leaving the tails of the paperdecoration uncovered gives them a soft floaty look. Leave to dry

You can move on to some of the other mini projects at this time.

Mini project 2 – Making the Seahorses.

Make a small quantity of stone art clay (see the video here for instructions) place in moulds pressing down firmly, release and set aside to dry.

Once dry, use a nail file to remove any uneven edges and paint with the translucent inks. You may need to do several layers to get a bright colour and don’t be afraid to mix the inks to make new colours.

Mini project 3 – Colouring the fabric/paperdecoration and stones

See the video below for how to colour your fabric. If you want all of your hoops to have the same background. You need to layout the hoops on the dry fabric first allowing enough space between them, to be able to cut out with a wide margin. You will need this to pull them taut on the frame later.

Alternatively let each person work on their own fabric with colours of their choice.

How to colour fabric with Powertex Acrylic Inks

To colour the paperdecoration, take a strip and spray with water. Then fold it up and dip it into the inks. If you want the colour to run spray with more water after you have dipped it. You can take out some of the inks and place them on your glass mat to allow the colours to run together and roll the paper dec in this if you prefer.

Whilst you have the inks out, place some of the balls into a cupcake cases, mix in a small amount of ink to colour the balls and tip onto a piece of plastic to dry.

Now leave all of the ink covered pieces to dry completely.

Mini Project 4 – Attaching the fabric to the frame.

When your fabric is dry, dip it into the transparent Powertex. Then work this well to ensure you have covered all areas. The Powertex will look white but dries clear.

Now lay this fabric over the solid part of the embroidery frame, place the split hoop on top and slightly tighten the screw. Work around the frame pulling the fabric taut then tighten the screen further. Next leave this to dry then paint hoop with ink to blend in with your colour scheme.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER.

Using the dried paperdecoration which you previously coloured. You need to dip this into transparent Powertex and wrap it around the edges of the hoops. Ensuring that where the hoops meet you reinforce this area with more paperdecoration. Let this dry then turn over and reinforce all joins from back.

If each person is decorating their own hoop, you can leave this step to last and join them once decorated.

Powerex family project, sea theme

I opted to work on the back of the hoop, the side with a recess so that the embellishments sat inside. I added my seahorses, jellyfish and stones using transparent Powertex to attach them.

I then added additional ink covered paperdecoration to cover the rings and drape over the hoops on both the front and the back.

If you are going to hang your piece, make sure that you use some paperdecoration to create a secure loop on your project.


Powertex family project, sea theme

I hope you enjoy making this Powertex family project and we would love to see your creations. Please feel free to post them in our facebook group – The Powertex Studio.

If you would like to take a workshop with me then details of these can be found on my website page – Annnette Smyth Art and Craft Workshops.

Did you catch my last article. Click here to be inspired.

For a tutor in your local area, take a look at the Powertex Tutor Directory

Until next time , happy creative adventures…………..Axx

Tropical Powertex Art Doll

Tropical Powertex Art Doll – Mixed Media project by Anne

I have never tried making an Art Doll before and I had so much fun making this Tropical Powertex Art Doll. I wanted to make her really bright and cheerful with a tropical feel – the fabulous zingy cocktail colours from The Secret Art Loft Pigments, Inks, and Acrylics range were perfect.

AW Art Doll 2

Materials Used 

Extras used on the canvas: A4 canvas board, White Paper Decoration, 3D Sand and Balls, Assorted Lace Strips, dried beech nut outer shells and pine cone, small paper clay flowers, old key, gold glitter plus mix blue & green seed beads.

How to create a Tropical Powertex Art Doll

AW Art Doll 1

Firstly I popped out the MDF components from the sheet and coated with Ivory or Bronze Powertex Fabric Hardener and left to dry. The box frame was constructed and hanger section attached (the Powertex acts as a glue too). I also coated one of the ‘waste pieces’ because I thought would make a great bird shape to insert into the box frame.

AW Art Doll 4

Then I cut a background panel for the box frame from the FAB images on the packaging sheet. And glued in place using Easycoat decoupage medium. Using Acrylic Inks in order to add a tint of colour.

I applied Easy Structure paste through a texture stencil onto the large background panel and to sections of the frame. Then used the Art Quotes Stencil to apply text to the frame, and to random sections of text on the wings.

When dry, I used translucent inks to tint the text on the frame. Colouring the outer background panel with Lemon Meringue and Orange Marmalade acrylics. Also brushing over with some Metallic Golden Ink to highlight the texture, before sticking down the box frame.

I coloured the birdy shaped waste MDF piece with acrylic paints. And stuck down into the box in layers using Transparent Powertex. I used Ivory Powertex to coat and stick the metallic embellishment. Bronze Powertex coated the beak and eyes created with seed beads ( I drizzled Bronze Powertex into the bead hole using a cocktail stick, which created dark centres).

The fabric flowers were coated with Transparent Powertex and massaged into the aqua cotton fibres. To embed the seed beads I drizzled some around the sides. Transparent Powertex was mixed with sand to make a 3D glue paste to help hold the flower stems in place.

More acrylic paints were used to colour, and to brush over textured surfaces. Easy Varnish was used to stick down sequins, and to embed glitter which was brushed over sections for extra sparkle. Pearl Pigments in Varnish were also applied with dry brushing to add shimmer. I just love a bit of bling.

Powertex Art Doll

The headdress and face were dry brushed with Pink Flamingo and Limoncello Gold Pigments mixed with Easy Varnish. Sequins and beads were also added for more texture and bling. 1mm wire was used to make a hanging loop.

The wings were coloured with Acrylic Paints and Gold Ink and …  yes I had to add some glitter sparkle too.

Fabric strips and ribbon were treated with Transparent Powertex and used to wrap sections of plastic tubing to create beads for the upper arms and legs. The upper arms were attached with 1mm wire, through the holes in the box frame, in such a way that they were held in place (i.e. not dangling). This enabled the lower arm dangles to hang each side of the body.

AW Art Doll 5

I attached the upper leg sections so that they hung freely at the base giving movement. And dry brushed the lower arm and leg shapes with Varnish and Pearl Pigments, sticking beads down with Transparent Powertex. These were hung from the upper arm and leg beads using wire loops so they dangled freely. Next leaf and flower bead dangles were also added to the frame base and legs using 0.8mm wire (1mm was too thick to fit the bead holes).

The floral MDF shape was painted with acrylics, embellished with a metal filigree shapes and seed beads before gluing to the main background panel.

AW Art Doll 3

My finished Art Doll just makes me so happy. I love her bright happy colours. Plenty of bling and dangles too – cannot help but smile.

Having used the provided shapes to create her I looked at the pile of waste MDF bits left behind – they inspired me to create a canvas. I never waste anything – ha ha.

mixed media powertex canvas

I coloured the background canvas with Bronze Powertex. Texture and the text was then applied using Easy Structure paste through the stencils. I just love this sentiment from the Art Quotes Stencil.

All the waste bits were coated with Ivory Powertex and applied down. But I tried not to think about it too much – as I can spend hours procrastinating on positioning stuff! I just wanted to be free and ‘go for it’ and see what happened.

mixed media powertex canvas

I then started coating some of the embellishments and building up the scene. Sand & Balls were added into wet Powertex and then coloured with inks and by dropping in some pigment powders.

Then I built up a sort of tree on the left hand side using Paper Decoration and lace, adding the Beech nuts and pine cone to embellish.

mixed media powertex canvas

I then added more acrylic colour, and stuck the beads by embedding in wet Transparent Powertex. Pearl Pigments were mixed with varnish for dry brushing over some of the textures. Finally I just couldn’t help myself but had to add some gold glitter mixed into the varnish. More yummy bling.

The finished piece is fairly crazy and abstract but I was pleased with it. I thought that it looked like a foreground beach with water, sand and trees, then rising up in the background were buildings positioned up a hillside. A kind of tropical paradise I thought. You may see something completely different. That is the joy of abstract art. I had to pop in the key to ‘unlock the mystery’. I hope that you like my mad idea for using up all the scrap MDF bits.

Looking for inspiration? Find more projects on the Powertex UK Mixed Media Magazine. Please do share your makes with us in the Powertex Studio and leave and comments or questions in the section below this article.

Bye for now, Anne x.

Stone Art Clay Powertex Birds

Mixed media Blue Powertex bird Stone Art clay sculptures

Stone Art Clay Birds of Powertex Paradise by Shell North

In December my first Design team blog goodie box arrived! I was so excited!!! I was given the theme of a pair of birds and these are some of the items I received to create something with stone art clay to hopefully inspire others. (eggs, molds and dies are my own)

I did some research for birds in the style of these new MDF bases. I’m usually quite inspired by nature but nothing I found tickled my imagination. So decided to create something whimsical and a little different. Something from my imagination that may represent a bird of paradise. Because sometimes we need thoughts of warmer places of tropical paradise in these colder month in the UK….

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Powertex uk’s favourite product of the month is Stone Art, I decided I was going to use stone art as a clay to cover this piece. I also pulled out my bottle of Blue Powertex liquid art medium. Although I love this colour, I just don’t use it enough! Mixing equal parts of Blue Powertex to stone art powder until I couldn’t stir it anymore. I kneaded it like dough until the stone art granules could not be seen. This was wrapped in cling film and left for a few hours while I prepped everything else.

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First step was to create the bird shape was cut two polystyrene eggs in half long ways and attach them to the breast areas of the MDF bases with masking tape. Molding the 3D shape of the birds with foil and covering in masking tape. Keeping the holes in the MDF bases open for the wire wings by piercing through the eggs with wooden skewers.  Then threading some wire through the bottom holes, I created a wing shape. Inserting the ends of the wires back in through the top holes on both birds, covering in foil and masking tape again. I built up the rest of the birds bodies as before with foil and masking tape.

Now the birds were fully covered in tape I pushed them onto the 2 pin metal base and molded legs for the birds with foil and tape as before to secure them.

The clay I had made earlier was now ready to use, so I warmed it slightly by kneading. I took clumps and rolled it out into sheets about 5mm thick. Wet the underneath with a little water and smoothed onto the birds piece by piece. To blend the areas as one, I again used a little water my finger tips and a small pallet knife. I also made some feather molds from the clay and added to the tail area of the birds.

For the wings I used one of my favorite texture products…. paper decor, available in a variety of colours. Today I used pink because the blue Powertex is quite dark the colour of the paper decor won’t show through. I cut feather shapes out of it and worked blue Powertex liquid hardener into each piece before smoothing on both sides of the wings.

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Next I took Bronze (brown) stone art clay. Made with stone art and bronze brown Powertex art medium from a recent workshop. Rolled a long thin sausage shape and molded the beak shapes smoothing them into place. I covered the legs using stone art clay with my finger tips, a little water and small pallet knife.

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I created a small repetitive feather texture all over the birds body on the still wet clay. By pressing the silicone texture pad against areas I needed texture. I wanted to create webbed feet, using left over wire from the wings I shaped bird feet. And covered in masking tape before paining them black with black Powertex universal medium.

I decided to add wire crests to the birds to give extra interest. By pushing thin wire through the clay and curling them at the ends. I chose some green glass eyes and pushed them into the clay. I decided to be a little quirky with the colour of the legs, as I’m creating whimsical birds. So I painted the legs stripy using licorice twist and clotted cream acrylics.

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I left them to dry for a few hours so the clay would harden a little. So it was now time to bring them to life, by dry brushing with colours. For this I used Powertex powercolor and colortrix powder pigments mixed with easy coat varnish. I used orange and then faded yellow ochre in onto the beaks. I used ultramarine blue, then turquoise mixed with a little white. This makes the turquoise pop on the body and wings. Finishing by lightly dusting rich gold over the body and terra-green on the wings.

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Well the finished piece can be seen below…..Thanks for reading my first blog as part of the Powertex UK Design team. I hope you all enjoyed what I created this time. Do join me again next month when I’m back with another article.

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Don’t forget all the items used are hyperlinked. Click the highlighted text and it’ll take you straight to items you require, to save you time searching. Please don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions below.

In the mean time why not look through all the new and old blogs. Provided for you by the Powertex UK Design team and guests. You can also find me at The Crafty Little Corner. Send me a message if you would like to do this workshop with me. Or find me on my Facebook page sharing new ideas, hints, tips and a whole lot of Powertex inspiration.

Please spread the love and share this and other blogs.

Peace, love and Paradise 😉

Shell x