When given the brief “A Winter’s Tale” to create a blog, there were many things that sprung to mind. However, my love of everything cute, and recent obsessions with mice, led me to create this Powertex birdhouse.
Use Fabric Hardener to attach the base to the tile and mdf square (tile at the bottom).
Cut a hole in the bottom of the birdhouse large enough to put a battery operated tealight in.
Decorating the Birdhouse
Decorate the birdhouse with fabric, embellishments and 3D balls, using black fabric hardener.
Add colour using powder Powercolor pigments of choice, mixed with Easy Varnish to highlight the texture created.
Making the Mouse
Cut a hole in the polystyrene egg and fit onto the top of the bottle. Attach wire to make ears, arms and a tail.
Use tin foil to make the arms, ears and tail fatter and cover over it all with masking tape.
Cover the mouse with ‘fur’. I used fine hessian for the fur and beads for the eyes and nose. Dry brush with powder pigments mixed with Easy Varnish.
Decorate the table
Using materials and fabric hardener, create a draped effect over the table top. Cover the stand with texture also.
When dry, add colour to the stand and use Fabric Hardener to fix your mouse in place. Sit the birdhouse on the top.
To finish I have added a tiny book made with scraps of card and also some rivets on the birdhouse stand to make it look like metal.
I really hope that you have enjoyed my blogs throughout the year. It has inspired me to be more creative and hope I have inspired you too. If you like animal projects take a look at my Powertex dog project.
I would love to see your creations. Please post them here 0n the Facebook Powertex Studio at Powertex Addicts United!
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.
I started painting fauna and flora but with a mixed media twist, using textures and random items such as shirts.
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
Large canvas mine was 40 x 40 cm
Nature napkins, I will be using a napkin image of foxes
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.
Spray all the texture with Brown and Black bister, avoiding the foxes. Dry with hair dryer.
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.
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.
Use the pre-made brown stone art clay, sculpt around the tree outline, paint the thinner branches with brown acrylic.
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….
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!
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.
Powertex is a fab medium for creating sculptures, for example Powertex animal sculptures, especially with recyclable material. I love working with Powertex because recyclable material can be used in one way or another. We can also help to save our planet by using what would otherwise be thrown away into landfill.
My animal sculptures
This little fellow was given to me by a work colleague. They all know at work what I love to do so I quite often get stuff given to me that no one wants.
For his head of spikes I used cotton buds and he got a new paint job using the PIGMENT POWDERS. For the pockets I used some old denim material. I used a marker pen to add the faux stitching and to finish off a pair of googly eyes.
Wise old owl
I used a polystyrene ball for the base of this wise owl. I added EASY 3D FLEX over his body to create a texture. Old cardboard creates the wings. I used some left over air dry clay for the feet.
Metal embellishments from my stash became the eyes. I often collect little logs and branches in the winter and dry them out. I used these for him to sit on.
You don’t need to break the bank
This owl is a ball of foil that I covered with masking tape, (masking tape is your friend). I made the texture using kitchen roll. I ripped it up into pieces, soaked in Powertex and kind of swirled it onto the ball.
The beak and ears are made by making a tin foil shape, masking tape and adding more tissue paper for texture. On the ears I added some pieces of material I found in my stash and his eyes are jewellery findings. I used Powertex pigments and varnish to finish.
How many animals/birds could we make with one polystyrene ball?
For this little frog, the base is a large polystyrene ball. I made some STONE ART clay for the back part and added a large piece of lace on his belly. The jewellery findings make the eyes and I made the feet with Stone Art clay. I used some green micro beads as a filler.
You don’t really need lots of stuff to create. One bottle of Powertex goes a long way and you can recycle objects from your home.
Are you inspired?
I hope myself and my fellow design team members have left you feeling inspired. Crack open that bottle of Powertex that you keep thinking about opening. Go on, open it and just do it!
Have you been inspired by these Powertex animal sculptures? Then come and say hello in the THE POWERTEX STUDIO. Don’t be shy to upload any photos of projects you have created too.
Powertex is at it’s best when used to upcycle/recycle items we would normally pop in the bin. It is perfect for transforming everyday objects into a sculpture, either for the house or garden.
When I was asked to make a 3d animal from recycled materials, I began saving all sorts of items that would normally have been thrown out. Unfortunately when I came to start the project Karl had tidied up and thrown it all out! A visit to the loft was called for where I found an old hearth brush. Perfect for a tail – and just the job for a dog.
Animals are not something I make very often, but once started I enjoyed the process. As usual, I learnt quite a lot whilst making this project and am already looking forward to making more.
For this article I was asked to create a 3D animal using Powertex and recycled materials. As anyone who is familiar with Powertex will know, the possibilities for this are endless. My brain was buzzing with ideas. However, it was when I was sorting out stuff to take to the dump, that inspiration hit for a Powertex giraffe.
I was loading a broken floor mop into my van that I settled on what I was going to create. The mop was speaking to me, and what it was saying was one word. Giraffe. As I turned it round in my hands, a picture started to form in my mind. I even had a ready made pose, with the head lifted high, as though nibbling on leaves. Yes I thought, I’m going to make you into a giraffe’s head sticking out of a plant pot in my garden.
A strange thing to think? Maybe, but I’m willing to guess that anyone who is into Powertex will have had similar thoughts on a regular basis.
We have a plant that overhangs our fence and I decided to turn this into a feature by placing my giraffe so that it can decoratively nibble on the leaves. I opted to only make the neck as I thought it would look quirky sticking out amongst my plants.
I soaked some of this fringing in Bronze Powertex to create the hair for my giraffe’s neck, and left the whole thing to dry off completely.
The finishing touches
The final step was to dry brush the whole thing in Bronze Gold Pigment. This create a contrast to the Rich Gold that was on the Clay underneath the 3D Flex patches.
I wanted to be sure that anything I used apart from Powertex was recycled. Hence the stones for eyes, and the toothbrushes for horns. I had thought of using old corks for the horns, and toyed with using hessian for the patches, but my love for Easy 3D flex won out.
If you decide create something similar, to ensure it is weather resistant please be aware that Stone Art Clay needs to be kept indoors for 6 months initially.
Gerald will stay safely inside until next year. Just before putting him outside I will give another couple of coats of Easy Varnish, especially on the Easy 3D Flex patches.
Obviously if you choose to make your own Giraffe you can do it on as big, or as small a scale as you wish – using anything that is available to you at home. If you decide to make one please do post a photo over on our Facebook page as we love to see what people are inspired to create.
If you are unsure about how to create Stone Art Clay, my fellow design team member Annette has great instructions in this blog.
One of the great things I love about working with the Powertex product range is the ability to recycle and upcycle everyday objects into something completely different.
I love to create 3D sculptures, especially animals and birds. I often walk around car boots and local charity shops dreaming of all the things I could create from the weird and wonderful items on offer.
Sometimes I find an object that just attracts me but I don’t have an immediate project in mind. In cases like this, I sit the item in my studio and wait until I get that lightbulb moment.
Powertex sculptures from recycled items
Here are a few of my upcycled sculpts.
Lamp bases make great legs!
These beautiful lamps were no longer working and were gifted to me by my good friend Jacqui Mexson. Jacqui knows me so well that she knew I would be over the moon and brimming with ideas with their beautiful shape.
I removed all the electrical gubbins and the lampshades (I’ve reserved these for another project!!). Along with some polystyrene, pipe lagging, foil and masking tape, they were then ready for their transformation into…
This candle holder was a pleasant find at the local tip shop for the grand price of £1. Candle holders are often solid forms with a decent weight so lend themselves perfectly as armatures. The flowing curves of this treble clef shape immediately called out for a sea themed project. I removed the top flat plate and built up the shape with tin foil to create…
My rabbits and dogs are created from 4pt plastic milk containers for the bodies. The cardboard tubes from the centre of rolls of tinfoil are the perfect for shape for legs. Foil enables me to add bulk and shape for the head, ears and paws.
Before being covered with fabric or Stone Art clay.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing a few of my Powertex sculptures from recycled items and that I have inspired you to have a go yourself. If you would like an easy start into sculpting check out my previous article on sculpting penguins.
Every now and then I have to grudgingly accept that a brush has gone past it’s usable life as a brush. The clue is usually when only the top 2mm of the bristles bend! However, I hate to throw things away, so I have almost three years worth of dud brushes hoarded away, awaiting a purpose. Well, that purpose has finally arrived and here is Leo the Lion to give a few of them a new life.
Leo the Lion
One of my favourite animals has to be the beautiful and majestic lion. Not really very surprising as my star sign is Leo. So when I was asked to create an animal sculpture using recycled materials, it just had to be a lion using my dud brushes.
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.
The sea bed can be an eerily beautiful setting. Mixed media was used to create this under water 3D canvas.
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
Many legends and myths are connected to the sea. One of the most enduring myths is that of the mermaid.
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.
“The March hares danced and leapt around as the moonlight shone golden on the lush Spring ground” by Claire Ivins
I started off with the two solid wooden hare shapes from out of The Secret Art box. The new craft subscription box from Powertex Uk.
Next I took some household items, garden wire, masking, tape, a small glass drink bottle, wire cutters and strong catering foil.
Using the tinfoil and the wire I created a pair of arms and legs. I also covered the bottle in tinfoil and padded it out at the front.
I created a head and some ears, also using tinfoil. Then covered everything in masking tape and taped the arms and legs onto the bottle. The head and ears are not yet attached to the body.
So here are my trio of Powertex March hares ready to be coated.
Firstly I painted the two wooden shapes with bronze Powertex. Then I cut manageable lengths of yarn, which I dipped in Powertex. And wrapped around the hare shape, starting from the base. I decided to leave the heads plain. On the right, taller one I wrapped the ears with t-shirt yarn, but on the left one I covered the ears in Stone Art.
Close up of how I’ve wrapped and covered the wooden hares. The right one looks white as I blew off the excess Stone Art from the ears!
Once dried, I coloured the left hare with rich gold pigment and the right hare with white. I gave the ears on the right a coat of varnish, over the Stone Art.
Next step for the big hare
Next I covered my bigger hare completely with bronze Powertex and pressed on the Stone Art powder. I kept pressing it on until all of the Powertex was covered. The head/ears and body are still not attached yet as it was easier to do this process in two halves.
After a few minutes I took a clean paint brush and lightly brushed off all the excess Stone Art powder. I repeated the process until I liked the look of what I had. Once I was happy I attached the head just by painting powertex on the top of the bottle neck and base of the head, Powertex can be used as a glue too.
I sprayed it with brown Bister to blend colour of the Stone Art into the bronze.
The Stone Art has absorbed it, it’s still made it slightly darker. However, it’s hard to tell from the photo.
So here are my family of Powertex March hares all finished.
I can’t wait to see what you do with the contents of your Secret Art box. Don’t forget to share on The Powertex Studio Facebook page. Please leave a comment below the article and press the star if you like what you see. Did you catch my blog last month? Click here to be inspired. Happy crafting. Sam x