Powertex UK Monthly Challenge

The Powertex UK Design Team have created some gorgeous art and craft projects that you find here in the magazine. However, we know that Powertex Addicts everywhere are also being very creative, making some beautiful projects and having brilliant ideas for their Powertex supplies.

So while the design team are taking a break from their blogs it’s time for you to share your creations in the Powertex UK Monthly Challenge!

The Powertex UK Monthly Challenge is back in 2020 and we’d love you to join us!

Every month, Tracey will post a new theme or prompt for us to use and this month it’s an all time favourite! There’s a prize to be won each month too, all the details are below.

January’s theme – Alice in Wonderland

Powertex Monthly Challenge Tracey Evans Wonderland Hat
Powertex Alice in Wonderland Hat
by Tracey Evans

Claire from Powertex UK HQ wrote a short verse to inspire you:

“Drink me! Pots of tea all around

‘I’m late,’ said Rabbit diving into the ground

The Cheshire Cat smiled down at Alice

Roses painted red in the Queen of Hearts palace.”

Claire Ivins

There’s a project for everyone in this popular theme so what will you choose?

Beginners welcome, any style you like

Beginners and more experienced Powertex artists and crafters are all welcome. Just show the team how you create with Powertex and the theme. Be as creative as you like, in any style you like!

A 5% Off voucher for www.powertex.co.uk will be given to a winner each month! Entries will also appear on here in the magazine as a feature in a monthly themed blog to showcase your creative projects.

You can find all the details you need about entering below.

To enter:

  • On the 5th of each month a new prompt will be posted in The Powertex Studio Facebook group.
  • A photo album in the group will be opened on the same day for you to post your entries.
  • Entries need to be posted in the album by 25th of the month when the album will be closed.
  • Entries can be old or new Powertex projects and can be in any style you choose. Please use the theme of the month.
  • Post a good photo of your entry with a description of what Powertex products you’ve used.
  • Winners will be chosen by the Powertex UK team. Please note, prize vouchers can only be given to UK entries.
  • Winners will be notified at the end of the month.
  • Photos of your projects may be shared in a Powertex UK Mixed Media Magazine article about the Challenge.*

If you’d like a bit more inspiration, these Alice inspired creations are by the design team of 2018.

Grab your Powertex and create something from Wonderland! See you in The Powertex Studio with your entry.

*All shared entries will be shared with the creator’s Facebook account name. Magazine articles will be shared on Powertex UK social media channels. If you do not wish your projects to be shared in this way, please do not enter them into the challenge.

There’s snow place like gnome

Designed by Shell North

For my last blog I’m reminiscing from 4 years ago when I made my first ever Powertex Gnome ‘Amon the Shaman’. He was inspired by a supposed origins story of Santa, collecting Fly agaric, flying with his reindeer and delivering presents.

My original Powertex gnome seems to have inspired a flourish of gnome making. They are one of my most requested items to make in my workshop schedules. So I decided this, my last article of the year would be dedicated to them.

Powertex gnome by Shell North
‘Amon the Shaman’ First Powertex gnome by Shell North inspired by the legends.

So the legend as I heard it…

*Take this tale as you please, a bit of fun or maybe something to make you think…*

The image as we know

Long before the early 20th century Coca Cola adverts, Santa was commonly depicted as more of a gnome-like little man.

Gnome Santa

As old as tales

The origins of Santa’s style, and his bag of goodies, flying reindeer, entering through a chimney to deliver gifts, Pine tree’s may link way back to the ancestral traditions of a number of indigenous arctic circle dwellers. (He may well have come from the North Pole after all!)

On the run up to solstice the village shaman would go out to gather mushrooms, they would wear a mainly red outfit with either white trim or white dots, in honor of the mushroom’s colors.

The eve of festivities

On the eve of the Winter Solstice the shaman of the village would gather Fly agaric mushrooms. They would use them to travel on a spiritual journey to the (pine) tree of life. The tree of life located by the North Star held the answer to solve all the village’s problems for the coming year.

The Shamans would feed the Fly agaric to reindeer, their digestive systems can filter out most of the toxins. This makes (dare I say it) their bodily excretion safe for humans to drink.

*Warning* Fly agaric mushrooms are seriously toxic for humans to consume. So I am in no way promoting it! Maybe this is where the saying don’t eat yellow snow comes from?!

Solstice celebrations

The legend says that the shaman and reindeer would journey (fly) to the tree by the north star to retrieve the gifts of knowledge. These gifts would then be taken back to distribute to the rest of the village.

Returning home to the village yurt, for solstice. He would enter through the hole in the roof. The hole acted as a chimney with a central pole that held the yurt up over the fireplace. In gratitude for these gifts they would decorate Pine trees with offerings.

So that’s it, the story I’d heard that inspired my original gnome creation

Modern celebrations

It seems that maybe some of these traditions were carried down to the European pagans, taking on elements originating much farther north. Inevitably different cultures influenced one another due to migration and intermarriage, becoming merged with many other cultural traditions that we celebrate differently from one another today.

However you celebrate at this time of year, give thanks for any gifts, kind/wise words. Share precious times with your loved ones, and in your community (never let anyone go lonely). look towards the New year and the light that builds ever brighter from now until summer.

More about gnomes

Of course after my first gnome I loved making them, you can make them for any time of year. Here are a few of my gnomes that have developed over the years

Powertex gnomes by Shell North
Gnomes from top right to left: Amon the Shaman, Dumbledor, Norma,
Bottom right to left: Oakley, Noel, Nose-stradamus.
By Shell North
Powertex gnome by Shell North
‘Nose-stradamus’ the gnome.
My latest up graded gnome with new nose design made from Powertex stone art clay
– He predicts gnome domination 🙂

If you fancy making one of these little guys with me, my next gnome workshop is Feb 1st, find more info here.

Well that’s all from me, thank you for taking the time to read my blogs this year.

I hope you all have many festive blessings.

Peace, love and cheeky gnomes,

Shell x

Walk like an Egyptian

Powertex UK Secret Art Box – December 2019

Designed by Gill Goldsmith

This month’s Egyptian Secret Art Box is a stunner! The theme, inspired by Tracey’s visit to the Tutankhamen exhibition is all things Egyptian and amongst the fabulous goodies, a brand new colour of Powertex, a gorgeous mint green.

Powertex Art by Gill Goldsmith Secret Art Box December 2019
Powertex art by Gill Goldsmith

Materials List

  • Secret Art Box December 2019
  • Nefertiti mould from Powertex UK
  • Plaster or air drying clay such as Stone Art clay
  • Easy Structure and Paperdecoration for texture
  • Powertex Universal Medium in White and Yellow Ochre
  • Pigments in Bronze gold, Blue Curcao and Ultramarine
Powertex UK Secret Art Box December 2019 Egyptian
Powertex UK Secret Art Box December 2019

How to make my Egyptian art

Step 1

Mdf frame and Easy Structure through stencil

The new shape of MDF panel, lent itself so much to the theme and screams pyramid, so I used the fabulous hieroglyphics stencil and added texture to the top of the panel with EasyStructure paste.
I also added a coating of Easy Structure across the pyramid and marked it with a palette knife like blocks.
Once dry, I laid out my composition of the MDF pieces, I’d cast a plaster piece of the new scarab mould and also used the Nefertiti bust as a focal point.

Step 2

Fresh mint Powertex from the Secret Art Box Egyptian

Then using the brand new mint colour Powertex I coated the complete piece, using it to glue all the elements in place.
I added some Paperdecoration to the sides and created more texture using the sand included in the box. I mixed it into the Powertex with a palette knife and spread it across the bottom of the canvas.
Allow this to dry thoroughly.

Step 3

Spray with Palm green acrylic ink

Once dry, I used the palm leaf acrylic ink spray, included in the box, and liberally sprayed across the whole piece.
Don’t panic at this point, it looks a lot of colour, but there’s a long way to go.
Again, allowing this to dry thoroughly before starting my favourite process on any Powertex piece, the dry brushing.

Step 4

Dry brush with Powertex

I initially dry brushed the MDF elements and the plaster pieces with white Powertex and the pyramid in yellow ochre.
I then added depth with darker pigments to make the pyramid stand out and used the bronze gold pigment included as well as blue Curacao and ultramarine blue to bring out the highlights on all the plaster pieces and MDF embellishments.
Mix pigments with the Varnish.

Powertex Secret Art Box by Gill Goldsmith

Finishing touches

My final touch was to dry brush the pyramid with more white Powertex, making sure your brush is really dry so it just highlights the texture and make it stand out…..

Powertex Art by Gill Goldsmith from the Egyptian Secret Art Box
Egyptian art by Gill Goldsmith

I hope this inspires you to have a go at creating something magical with this month’s Egyptian Secret Art Box, and that you will share your finished makes on The Powertex Studio and Secret Art Box Subscribers Facebook pages. You can also read other Secret Art Box tutorials.

Thanks for reading and do please follow my Powertex adventures on my Facebook page The Powertex Port,
Happy Powertexing XXX Gill

A Winter’s Tale – Nostalgic Powertex

By Donna Mcghie

My prompt for this month’s Powertex article was A Winter’s Tale.  The festive season is fast approaching and my mind wandered back to those seemingly halcyon days of Christmas’ past.

Nostalgic Powertex Christmas tree by Donna Mcghie tells A Winter's Tale
I just love the retro look of these Christmas Rice Papers

Obviously memory plays tricks on us all, but for me, nothing beats a bit of nostalgia at Christmas. I fell in love with the retro look of the Victorian Christmas Rice Papers, the style of the images really made me smile. 

However, rather than making me think of all things Victorian, for me they conjure up memories of the early seventies.  Lots of gaudy tinsel and Slade blasting out Merry Christmas on Top of the Pops.

I decided to attempt to create a wall plaque that captured some of that seventies atmosphere. 

So grab yourself a snowball to drink, (or something non alcoholic from the soda stream if you prefer), and let’s  have a bit of festive fun with Powertex.

I deliberately chose to keep this project fairly simplistic and quick to do.  The reason being is that most of us are frantically busy on the lead up to Christmas, and don’t have much time to set aside for crafting.  Hopefully this little tree can slot in to the timescale somewhere though.

Materials List:

Step 1

Powertex nostalgic Christmas tree by Donna Mcghie - A Winter's Tale
I use a sponge to apply the colour as I find it quicker

Mix together green and white Powertex Fabric Hardener to a pale green colour. Sponge over your tree shape and allow to dry. You can use a hairdryer to speed this process.

Step 2

Nostalgic Christmas tree, Donna tells a Winter's Tale
By adding stone art we are starting to build some texture

With a flat brush apply Easy Varnish where you want to place the images. Then gently put them in position and brush over them again with the varnish to seal. Add some more hardener in various places and whilst damp gently dab on some Stone Art.

Step 3

A nostalgic WInters Tale with Powertex by Donna Mcghie
When adding the ink, protect your images with paper.

Using a small pallet knife scrape some Easy Structure downwards to give the impression of branches. Blast with a dryer, and then add some Acrylic Spray Ink.

Step 4

Powertex nostalgic A Winter's Tale by Donna Mcghie
The darker Bister adds some depth

Now add more branch shapes with Easy Structure, dry and spray with the Bister.

Step 5

If the pigment does not show up enough, you can add white fabric hardener as well

Now mix a small amount of white pigment with easy varnish, load a flat brush, wipe off on paper towel, and gently sweep over your tree segments. Gradually building up the intensity until it looks like snow.

Step 6

A Winter's Tale Powertex project by Donna Mcghie
A sprinkle of glitter, and we are done

A final flourish of glitter and we are done 🙂 I like to use a very fine bio degradable glitter as although we’re going for a seventies vibe, it’s good to use current sensibilities about sustainability.

I decided to add a simple star on the top but obviously if you decide to make one you can bling up your tree with whatever takes your fancy.

That’s my lot for 2019 folks. I have really enjoyed sharing my makes in these articles and have equally enjoyed seeing what you share with us on our Facebook page, so please do pop over and share any of your nostalgic makes.

I’ve been making lots of other festive decorations which you can see on my own Facebook page here.

The other design team members have been busy as well. I particularly love Fiona’s Christmas star from last year.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone, and here’s hoping you get lots of Powertex goodies in those stockings 🙂

Powertex Christmas decorations

If you’re looking for Powertex craft and mixed media projects for Christmas or Winter home decorations then we’ve got what you need. These projects have all been featured in the Powertex UK Magazine with step by step tutorials to show you how to make them.

The Design Team have created some beautiful projects for you to make at home, from tree decorations to Winter wall art. Take your pick from these inspirational Powertex Christmas creations and crack open the Powertex this weekend!

Mixed media Christmas by the Powertex UK design team

Star decorations by Fiona

These simple star tree ornaments are a classic and pretty handmade addition to your tree this year. Use Stone Art for a soft snowy texture.

Powertex and Stone art star by Fiona Potter
Powertex star by Fiona Potter

Textured Baubles by Jinny

Tree ornaments can be as simple or detailed as you like and Jinny has some great tips for creating your own. Fabrics and texture products alter polystyrene balls.

Powertex textured Christmas Bauble by Jinny Holt
Textured baubles by Jinny Holt

Reindeer, robin and pudding baubles by Anna

These fun Powertex baubles can even be made with the kids. Reindeer, robin and Christmas pudding baubles make adorable gifts too. Anna mixes some Stone Art clay for these.

Reindeer, robin and Christmas pudding baubles by Anna Howlett
Reindeer, robin and pudding by Anna Howlett

Mixed media ornaments by Anna

Mini trees and baubles are a fun and easy craft and Anna shows you how with cones, balls and fabric scraps. Choose your favourite colours for the perfect Christmas display.

Powertex Christmas tree by Anna Howlett
Powertex ornaments by Anna Howlett

Three kings by Donna

These three kings by Donna could inspire a stunning Nativity scene. Donna dresses her figures with Powertex as a fabric hardener.

Three kings by Donna
Three kings by Donna McGhie

Shimmering Wreath

Do you hang a wreath on your door at Christmas? A Powertex wreath can be made weatherproof for outdoors. Add plenty of sparkle with pearl or your favourite metallic Colortricx pigments and Easy Varnish.

Shimmering Powertex Christmas wreath by Kore Sage
Shimmering wreath by Kore Sage

Winter scene by Jill

If you’re looking to create a Winter wall art with your Powertex, Jill uses her craft supplies with Powertex to make a beautiful mixed media Winter scene.

Winter scene Powertex art by Jill Cullum

Gonzo baubles by Abigail

More fun tree ornaments and this time, Abigail uses a favourite festive character to inspire her decorations. If you’d like to try out your sculpture skills, this will be fun for you.

Gonzo Powertex bauble by Abigail Lagden
Gonzo bauble by Abigail Lagden

Get more ideas, inspiration and tips

We hope these ideas have inspired you to try some handmade Christmas decorations this year. They can become treasured crafts that you bring out every year.

All the supplies for these design team projects were from Powertex UK, the UK distributor of Powertex products.

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest from Powertex Addicts you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Nature inspired Powertex painting

By Shell North

For this article I was asked to talk about my favorite artist. I have lots of things around me like nature that inspire me but rarely a well known artist.

I was inspired to push my Powertex canvas work further a couple of years ago by fellow Powertex tutor and artist Rosie Casselden. This was my first piece with Rosie in her studio with a little guidance.

I had never braved painting detail before so it was a big thing to me, but wow did it opened doors to floods of ideas. So I would say Rosie is definitely a favorite artist of mine that inspires me.

Powertex nature painting art by Shell North
‘Natures strength’ (spring edition) Powertex mixed media canvas by Shell North

I started painting fauna and flora but with a mixed media twist, using textures and random items such as shirts.

Powertex painting mixed media canvas by Shell North inspired by nature
‘The Dandy-lion’ Powertex mixed media canvas by Shell North

Upon sharing this to the Powertex studio group there was a comment “Elfie Cella does some amazingly inspirational work”. She does some textural nature art using textiles and everyday objects. Here is some of her work, which has become my inspiration.

How to make a nature inspired Powertex painting

Materials list

Step 1

Plan your scene, starting by draw a den around where the foxes go and adding a grass line, tree and moon out line. Add X’s where the very high textured area will be.

Draw out the scene fro your nature painting

Step 2

Paint around your napkin image with a paint brush and water and then tear away the excess napkin, remove top layer.

Step 3

Coat the fox den with a layer of Easy coat. Carefully place napkin image on top then coat another layer working from the middle outwards. Once dry add another coat.

Coat nature napkin scene with Easy Coat Mat

Step 4

Paint the areas that require texture thickly with Transparent Powertex, sprinkle with art balls, stone art powder and 3D flex and add fabric with Transparent Powertex.

Finally sprinkle stone art along higher ground.

Tip: Dust off any loose bits when dry. Also note that you don’t want balls in the higher ground area as it will make harder to paint any roots later.

Add textures with Powertex

Step 5

Spray all the texture with Brown and Black bister, avoiding the foxes. Dry with hair dryer.

Step 6

Using Paynes grey acrylic paint and a little water on your wash brush, paint the night sky, avoid the tree and moon. While wet, dab with a scrunched piece of tissue roll and leave to dry.

Step 7

Using a mix of different shades of white and paynes grey, create moon shades by stippling. Add very watery white around the moon for its aura. Finally using a fan brush flick white over the sky for stars.

Paint the sky with acrylics for this nature inspired painting

Step 8

Use the pre-made brown stone art clay, sculpt around the tree outline, paint the thinner branches with brown acrylic.

Use clay to create a tree on the canvas for a nature Powertex painting

Step 9

Now add all the detail such as grass in shades of green and yellow, roots shades of browns and white mixed, branches and bark in shades of browns.

To finish dry brush the dirt textured area with various shades of light brown to off white acrylic paint.

So here’s the finished piece….

Shell North nature Powertex painting on canvas
Sleeping fox cubs by moonlight’ Powertex mixed media canvas By Shell North

I hope I’ve inspired you to push your canvas work in a different direction. If you would like to have a go at this or something similar you can contact me on my website at The Crafty Little Corner or take a look at my other design team projects.

Well that’s all from me this month, see you again in the days running up to Christmas for my last blog of the year!

Peace, love and cosy fox cub cuddles

Shell x

Shimmering Powertex Wreath

The Secret Art Box – November 2019

Designed by Kore Sage

The Secret Art Box for November was full of festive pieces to create a Winter wreath. Contents included a polystyrene ring, mdf, Ivory Powertex Universal Medium, rice paper, stencil, Lava acrylic ink, embellishments and pigments in pearl and clear gold and more! The perfect ingredients for a shimmering Powertex Christmas wreath.

Shimmering Powertex Wreath Christmas by Kore Sage
Shimmering Powertex Wreath by Kore Sage

Materials List

  • Secret Art Box November
  • Assorted cotton fabric strips, tshirt yarn and string
  • Optional Easy Structure and ribbon
  • or use polystyrene wreath, Lava acrylic ink, Easy Varnish, Clear gold and Pearl Colortricx pigments.
Powertex Secret Art Box November
Secret Art Box November

Making the wreath

I primed my polystyrene with Ivory Powertex before wrapping the shape with papers and fabric strips, creating lots of texture on the base. Using pieces of t-shirt yarn and string spiralled around, adds even more texture. If you have it, using Easy Structure with the star stencil creates more texture in some areas. Add any of the embellishments you want to use, gluing them into place with Powertex.

Leave to dry naturally or you can use a hairdryer to speed up the drying.

Adding colour with acrylic ink

Adding colour is always amazing with Powertex because watching the textures come alive happens almost instantly! I sprayed Lava acrylic ink all over the base very generously, letting the ink run around the surface. Leave this to dry.

Ivory Powertex and Lava Acrylic ink
Ivory Powertex and Lava acrylic ink

The red was looking great but I wanted to create a darker edge so tried some Aqua ink. I was not happy with this at all! I repainted with Ivory Powertex and a quick respray of the Lava ink when it was dry! Dry brushing some Ivory Powertex onto the textures added some definition.

Pearl pigments

Mixing a dry paint with Easy Varnish and the powder pigments is done with a flat brush, excess is wiped off on kitchen paper and the pearl pigments brushed over the surface. I layered the pearl pigment and clear gold until I was happy with the rose gold colour and shine.

To get the darker edge that I hadn’t got with the Aqua ink, I used a little Rich Gold pigment around the inner and outer edges.

These pigments are full of shimmer and look wonderful under lights! Keep layering your pigments up all over the wreath for maximum shine!

Powertex Shimmering Wreath with Lava ink and Clear gold pigment

This wreath would look stunning on a dark front door. A good coat of Easy Varnish to protect your colours for outside use. I used a ribbon to hang my wreath but you could also use Powertex and a strip of fabric to make a “hook” for the back!

Powertex Shimmering Wreath by Kore Sage
Powertex Shimmering Christmas Wreath

If you have the November Secret Art Box, I hope you’ve had a chance to play with the gorgeous contents. You can always share your creation in the subscribers Facebook group or in The Powertex Studio.

If this box inspires you, Gill shares her Winter Deer Notebook created from the same box. If you’d like to see more of my Powertex creations, head over to Kore Sage Art where I share my top tips.

Until then, make some time to let your art out!

Kore x

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.

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