Planet in the Night Sky

A fantasy planet

Designer – Jill Cullum

Planet in the night sky in Powertex by Jill Cullum
Powertex Planet in the Night Sky by Jill Cullum

For my planet in the night sky, inspiration came from warm summer nights, sat in the garden, looking out for shooting stars. I decided to try and replicate one of the planets. Hmmm, once started though, my imagination overtook and the finished article became much more magical.

Easy 3d flex makes beautiful cracks and texture. Experiment using different mediums to add colours. Here I have used layers of inks and acrylics, with a final layer of wax.

As you will see from the photographs, things changed along the way. This is what I love about mixed media. Some layers get covered, some peak through. It’s all part of the journey of creating what you love. Just go with it!

The Secret Art Loft acrylics and inks work wonderfully for layering up. Their translucent quality makes blending easy, and the metallic inks look like molten metal.

Top tip

I find it is really important with mixed media, to let each layer dry thoroughly before moving onto the next. Not an easy one for me, as I am an impatient crafter. However, your layers will become muddy if they aren’t dry.

Materials list

Creating a base

Creating a base for the planet with Powertex
Step 1 – creating a base

Pour Powertex liquid colour onto the canvas. Spray with Bister of a different colour then dry with a hairdryer, to create the crackle effect.

Add texture by creating a heavy crackle effect

Adding more texture to your planet base with Easy 3d Flex
Step 2 – adding texture

Mix Easy 3d flex with Ivory Powertex to create a clay. Layer over half of the canvas. Dry with hair-dryer spraying lightly with blue bister during the process.

Creating further texture

Use Powertex and fabric and clay to add texture layers to your planet
Step 3 – creating further texture

Using material, coated in Ivory Powertex and small ‘craters’ made from the 3d flex clay, build the layers of your planet.

Adding colour

Add green colours to the cracked areas of the planet
Step 4 – adding colour

Start by adding green ink to the deep cracked area and violet acrylic to the green side of the planet.

Building layers

add clay craters and shapes to the surface
Step 5 – building layers

Using greens, pinks and purples, layer the craters, blending as you go. Paint the material section with black acrylic, then add layers of metallic acrylic.

Powerwax

Use Powerwax mixed with powder pigment to layer on colour to your planet textures
Step 6 – Powerwax

On the side created by 3d flex, add a layer of Powerwax, mixed with pigment. Once dry, wipe with a damp sponge to add interest.

Finishing Touches

I decided my fantasy planet needed a touch more ‘bling’ so I added a few beads, blending in with the colours I had chosen along the way. The joys of creating a fantasy planet are that you can really be free with your choice of colours and the texture that you create. It’s nice not to be too rigid in your planning, as planets evolve, then so should a piece of art.

Planet in the night sky

Powertex planet in the night sky by Jill Cullum
Powertex planet in the night sky

I am looking forward to seeing lots of new planets, so feel free to share them in the Powertex Studio.

If you would like further planet inspiration take a look at this blog from Annette Smyth. Or why not join me for a workshop to create your own planet. Bye for now, Jill x

A kelp forest – under the sea

Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter

It was a beautiful, clear blue sky morning in the glorious heat of Summer 2018 we arrived at Porthgwarra Beach in far west Cornwall just as the tide was receding.  It’s such a beautiful cove and we kept spotting something in the water around the rocks and went to investigate.  It was a whole area of kelp – a Kelp Forest! Wandering through the pools left by the tide there were beautiful shells, stones and shiny pebbles.  This was my inspiration for this Under the Sea piece.

Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter
Under the sea: Kelp Forest

Supplies

How to make a Powertex kelp forest

Step 1: The ingredients
Step 2 - Setting in the wires

Step 1: Use either Stone Art or other air dry clay to push into moulds, leave to dry. Cut 9 or 10 lengths of wire and randomly drill holes into the mdf base.

Tip: I had a tennis ball size piece of Stone Art clay left over from a previous project that I kept. Spray water lightly over a piece of clingfilm which I wrapped tightly around the clay. I sealed it in a reusable plastic bag.

Step 2: Push wires into holes, secure with masking tape then rip lengths of masking tape sticking it the full length of both sides of the wire to create lengths of kelp.

The base

Step 3: Building the composition

Decorate the base

Step 3: Build a thick random layer of Easy Structure on the base, push shells, moulded sea shapes etc into the easy structure. Spray with bisters, set aside to dry.

Tip: If you use a large central shell like I did, it is worth masking off with some cling film or paper before you spray with bister

Step 4: Washing back and adding a top layer

The kelp

Step 4: Wash back the bister from shells and shapes. Use red ochre to colour some of the coral like shapes. Add a generous layer of transparent Powertex fabric harder on the base and drop in mixed art stones.

Step5: Adding the Kelp

Metallic colours

Step 6: Bringing out the colour

Step 5: Rip up lengths of pale green tissue paper and paste onto the kelp using transparent Powertex. Leave to dry. Transparent Powertex helps to keep the transparency.

Tips: Paint the transparent Powertex onto the masking tape and press the tissue onto it with a Powertex soaked brush.

Step 6: Using the blues and greens metallic pigments bring out the highlights of the bottom of the sea.  Brush Mojito Lime and Golden Olive, Limoncello Gold randomly on the kelp. If you leave lighter patches the sun will shine through enhancing the kelp.

Leave it in a place where you get the sun. Watch it at various times of the day to see where the sun lands and where you might want to add further metallics and maybe a pearl or crystal.

I hope this easy but interesting focal piece inspires you to create your own under the sea project. You might also like this lovely fish sculpture project by Annette.

Don’t forget to share your makes in The Powertex Studio and if you can give me a shout out that would be awesome.

That’s me for now, check back in June when I’m upcycling one of my early Angels that has been keeping watch in my garden for the last couple of years.

Bye for now

Fi

Powertex Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter
Powertex Kelp Forest by Fiona Potter

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


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