African Adventure Wreath

The Secret Art Box – September 2019

Designer – Gill Goldsmith

This month’s theme was Africa and the box was filled with so many amazing products. The Powertex colour this month was Terracotta and there was also a plaster head, MDF animals and trees, rice paper, paper decoration, 3d sand, stencil, tissue paper, pigment, metallic ink, varnish and yellow Bister spray. I had lots of ideas, but decided on a striking African Adventure Wreath.

Powertex UK Secret Art Box, September Africa.
Powertex Secret Art Box September

Materials

So firstly, I got out the plaster head, Africa map MDF, the rice paper, tissue paper. I also had some white paper that had black painted markings on from my stash, (I thought it looked like zebra print) and started laying out my composition.

Choosing my Powertex materials
Choosing my materials

I started by painting the polystyrene shape with Powertex Easycoat mat. Attach the rice paper and then paint a coat of Easycoat mat over the top. This helps to seal the paper and stick it to the shape without bubbles.

Covering the wreath
Covering the wreath

Continue to place your papers in this way until you are happy. I painted the areas in between with terracotta Powertex. I also painted the head and Africa map.

You will see that I chipped away a bit of the polystyrene at the bottom of the wreath shape. This is so the flat backed figure head was nestled into the wreath to help support it at the next stage.

Now I was ready to use some fabric to create texture. This also helps support the head onto the wreath. I used some dishcloths, stockinette and paper decoration. I even gave the African man a little head band and created a loop to hang the wreath by twisting the fabric into a knot.

Adding fabric texture
Adding texture

I attached the MDF Africa map and rhino. I used 3d sand, mixed into the Terracotta Powertex and applied this with a palette knife. Then allowed everything to dry thoroughly before the next stage.

Spray liberally with the yellow Bister included in the box. This creates depth to your work. Although initially scary to spray your projects, I always encourage my students to just go for it. More is more in this instance.

Spray with Bister
Spray with Bister

Allow to dry thoroughly before moving on to the fun bit of drybrushing with pigments and inks. At this stage I also attached the MDF strip, which I had painted with black Powertex and attached some paper decoration and letters to spell out Africa.

Dry brushing
Dry brushing

I used a very dry brush with some ivory Powertex to highlight the fabric texture. This just lifts it, after you have added the Bister and makes the texture really show up.

This month we have a Dark green Powercolour pigment and the introduction of a new product, Copper penny metallic acrylic ink. I used green on the raised areas of the Africa map, where the sand was, and the lettering. Then Copper penny ink, to highlight the texture on the fabric, the paper decoration on the Africa wording and the African man bust.

Powertex African Adventure Wreath by Gill Goldsmith
Powertex African Adventure Wreath by Gill Goldsmith

That’s it, the completed project. Hope you enjoy this month’s Secret Art Box and will share what you create on the Facebook page. Check out more of my ideas from past boxes and more of my work on my Facebook page The Powertex Port. Until next month, happy Powertexing XXX Gill

Masai Collection

In August our product of the month is the Masai Collection. This is a collection of plaster head/busts that can be used to create stunning figurines and statues. You may have seen “Agnes” recently on our Hochanda tv shows.

The plaster pieces can be painted with Powertex Fabric Hardener and attached to a stand with foil and masking tape. Use Powertex Fabric Hardener to paint, glue and dress your statues.

Powertex Masai figure by Annette Smyth
Figures by Annette Smyth

Fabric sculpting with Powertex is easy on these figures because Powertex and gravity do all the work for you. The fabric will fall into beautiful folds and you can pinch and press the fabric into shape to fit the figure as you like. You can also use Transparent Powertex if you have a fabric that you love, just test a little first!

Tutor samples

Some of our tutors have been busy creating beautiful figure sculptures for their workshops, just take a look at these.

Mala by Joanne Connelly
Mala by Joanne Connelly
Powertex Masai Figures by Eve Warden
Masai figures by Eve Warden
Masai figure by Gill Goldsmith
Agnes by Gill Goldsmith
Masai figure Mala by Jill Cullum
Mala by Jill Cullum
Masai figure by Kim McKelvie
Nola by Kim McKelvie
Mala by Jinny Holt
Masai figure by Jinny Holt
Masai figures by Annette Smyth
Figures by Annette Smyth

Get supplies

If you would like to try your own figure sculpture you can find all you need at Powertex UK. The Masai collection are available to buy individually and the range extends to other styles so take a look at the whole range. The busts are approximately 10 cm high so they fit the wooden stands perfectly.

Anne has created a flower girl figure if this theme isn’t your style. We love to see what you create so if you have a figure to share, hop over to the Facebook group at Powertex Addicts United and join our community group, The Powertex Studio.

If you’d like to hear more about Powertex products and how to use them, follow us on Facebook at Powertex UK.