The sea is my heart, a Powertex octopus

Designer – Shell North

A Powertex octopus. The theme this month is Underwater, this is one of my favourite go to themes I love to create with as I love the sea. Living in Dorset I’m close to the sea and often find myself seeking respite on some of the peaceful secluded beach spots I know of. There are so many interesting aspects of the sea I get inspiration from, the creatures, colours, sounds and textures.

One of my favourite sea creatures are octopuses, they are such interesting creatures, incredibly intelligent and majestic.

So then, it’s decided that in this article I will be creating an octopus sculpture. I chose to work with both fabric and Stone Art clay to get the look I wanted.

Powertex Octopus sculpture by Shell North
Powertex Octopus Sculpture by Shell North

Materials used in my Powertex octopus

Supplies for Powertex octopus
Supplies

Tools

Skill level

Intermediate due to size

Creating the body shape

  • Using wire mesh, create a balloon shape with a skirt, stuff with waste materials (like used gloves) then cover in foil, then cover in masking tape.
Create the body shape
Step 1 Create the body shape

Making the tentacles

  • Wrap 8 lengths of wire in foil until the right thickness for tentacles and then place around main body. Cover and secure with masking tape and curl into shape.
Adding tentacles with wire and foil
Step 2 Add tentacles

Making the eyes

  • Cut the polystyrene ball to make the shape of an octopus eye, attach the eye with hot glue and again to attach to the body.
Craft octopus eyes with polystyrene and plastic craft eyes
Step 3 Add eyes

Covering with stone art clay

  • Roll out the Stone Art clay to 5mm thick, dampen with water and firm in place over the sculpture. Use a pallet knife and a little water to blend any joins.

Adding fabric for the web area

  • Using strips of jersey cotton, work in the Powertex Universal Medium and attach the fabric like a skirt around the mantle. Blend the edges.
Blend the edges of the fabric with the clay
Blend the edges of fabric and clay

To finish the project

While the clay is still wet use the texture sponge to create a texture on the surface of the clay.

Dry brushing

Leave to dry a few hours, then mix powder pigments of your choice with easy varnish and dry brush colour onto your sculpture.

Powertex Octopus sculpture by Shell North
And here’s the finished Powertex Octopus by Shell North

I will probably add suckers on the underneath of the tentacles at a later time, but due to its size over ran with the time allocated (1.5 days).

Top tip

When shaping the tentacles I sat the octopus sculpture on top of the up-turned 250g stone art tub so I could give the tentacles more movement instead of them being flat.

Did you know?

Octopuses have 3 hearts? Really does make them the heart of the sea!

Well I hope you enjoyed my article this month. If you’re inspired to sculpt with Stone Art clay, catch my Powertex bird sculpture article from Jan.

Well that’s all from me until next month,

Peace, love and octopus hugs,

Shell x

Ugly Ocean Fish Sculpture

Powertex Fish Sculpture by Jinny Holt

Designer: Jinny Holt

For this months article my theme was Fish Sculpture. So this got me thinking about the ocean and all the plastic that is killing off all the fish and other sea life in our waters.

Plastics and Powertex

Right now it’s estimated that over 12 million tonnes of plastic – everything from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads – end up in our oceans each year. That’s a lorry load of rubbish a minute.

Traveling on ocean currents this plastic is now turning up in every corner of our planet – from Cornish beaches to uninhabited Pacific islands. It is even being found trapped in Arctic ice.

So I executed my article on these facts above and this is a reason why I love using Powertex as my art medium of choice. We can slowly, one piece of plastic at a time reduce our plastic waste by turning it into art.

Supplies

Items needed

Ivory Powertex Universal Medium

Stone Art

Powercolor Pigments in Brown and Green

Polystyrene egg

Kitchen paper, plastic bottle, cardboard strips, textures from stash

Craft wire

Small canvas base

Step 1

For this article, I started by placing some cut wire lengths into the medium-sized polystyrene egg to create a basic fish shape. Some kitchen roll (which is tucked behind the other fibers) and painted it with the IVORY POWERTEX.

Basic fish shape

Step 2

It needed a nose, so I made up some clay by mixing STONE ART and the Ivory Powertex together. I then proceeded to cover the rest of the fish shape in kitchen roll and Powertex.

I added lace for the fins and dried these with a hair dryer to add movement to them.

Powertex fish by Jinny Holt
Added lace for the fins

Step 3

I then set about painting my fish with the PIGMENT POWDERS and Powertex varnish and I put this aside to dry.

I next got the canvas as this is going to be my base for the sculpture. Create the texture by painting on the Ivory Powertex and sprinkling on some sand, kitchen roll and textures from my stash. I set this aside to dry.

Powertex textured canvas
canvas as base

Step 4

I took the plastic bottle and cut a slit up one side of it, so I could add in my painted fish.

Powertex fish sculpture
Slit in plastic bottle

Now the best bit

I then painted the canvas in yellow and green Powertex pigment. I cut the bottle at an angle at the bottom and then adhered it to the canvas. To help hold up the bottle I used some dried moss and shells I had in my stash.

I dry brushed on the complete sculpture with brown pigment and added colour to some of the moss to depict coral. The seaweed is cardboard strips soaked in Ivory Powertex and painted with green pigment. Add them behind the bottle to create the scene.

Ugly ocean fish sculpture
Ugly Ocean Fish Sculpture

Food for thought

So I aim to use as much recycled plastic as I can in my artwork at least I know I am doing my bit to help save our planet.

If I am the rest of the Powertex Design team have left you inspired, we would love to see some of your creations at THE POWERTEX STUDIO over on Facebook. You can also get loads of Powertex inspiration over on Pinterest and Instagram.

Find me sharing my latest makes over on MUMS SHED.

Thank you for reading my article for this month. Did you catch my dragon eggs article from last month?

Live~Love~Laugh~Create

Jinny

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.

Clowning around with Powertex Clownfish

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth

By Annette Smyth

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth
Clown Fish

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest article.  I was so excited when I found out the theme for this month was UNDER THE SEA.  I love anything connected with the ocean.  So much so that I think I could have been a mermaid in another lifetime. In fact my dream home is next to the sea with an airy, light cliff top studio looking over the waves and beach – I did say it was dream!

My inspiration for my creation came from old photographs I had taken during a diving holiday.  Whilst flipping through the album these cute little clownfish kept appearing time and time again. Obviously they were crying out to be made into a sculpture.

I like to use StoneArt clay for my Powertex clownfish sculptures.  Making my clay up and giving it time to rest before using it, I find gives me the best results.  Resting it overnight double wrapped in clingfilm in my usual method.

DID YOU KNOW –  Stone Art clay will keep for at least two weeks if kept in an airtight wrapping.  

Materials List
Kitchen foil
Masking tape
Ivory Powertex Universal Medium
Powertex Stone Art
Powercolor pigments – White, Orange, black
Powertex Easy Varnish
2 black glass eyes on metal wire

You will also need 
Plastic gloves
Paintbrush
Plastic container to pour Powertex into and mix Stone Art clay in

Create Clownfish Armature

  1. Using the foil, form a teardrop shape with slightly pointed ends and flat bottom approximately 10cm long and 2cm thick – don’t worry about fins, they come at the clay stage

2.  Cover the shape with masking tape

3. Paint with a layer of Ivory Powertex Universal Medium

Adding Stone Art clay

Powertex Clownfish Stone Art clay

4. Make Stone Art clay using Ivory Powertex – see the “how to” video from my previous article here.

5. Cover your fish with clay.  Blend the joins together with a slightly damp finger.  Pinch the clay away from the body to create the fins and tail.  

6. Place the eyes in position and push through the clay into the underlying tape and foil.  Leave aside to dry.

TOP TIP – Use a pointy tool or cocktail stick to make the hole for the eyes as this will go through the tape more easily.

Adding colour

7. Using the easy varnish and orange pigment dry brush the stripes onto the fish. See “how to” video here.

8.  Now repeat with the white pigment filling in the gaps between the orange stripes.

9. Finally using the black pigment paint thin lines where the orange and white stripes meet and dry brush black around the fins and tail.

I decide to create a soft coral for my fish to sit in using an old cotton mop head and Ivory Powertex.  

Powertex Clownfish by Annette Smyth
Clown fish in coral

Just think of all the other fish and sea creatures you could create. Have you seen the amazing Powertex Ammonite Light article by Jill Cullum. Your sea babies would look fantastic nestled into this.

I would love to see what you come up with.  Why not leave your comments on this article below and share your makes in the Powertex Studio group on Facebook.  

Until next time Happy Creative Adventures and remember you can always find me on my Facebook page and on my website.

Axx

Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest

Designer: Abigail Lagden

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Whenever I think of the open sea and what might be underneath, it always conjures up stories of pirates, shipwrecks and treasure. So for this month’s article I wanted to share a project to create a Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest, bursting with gold, coins and jewels. To give it a personal touch and a bit of bling, I used ‘jewels’ rescued from some broken jewellery which I think gives it some extra sparkle.

Materials Used:

How to create a Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest

Step 1: Paint the wooden box all over with bronze Powertex. Add some details using die cut shapes and metal embellishments and some straps using fabric.

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Step 2: Before adding the contents, scrunch up a piece tin foil to use to fill about two thirds of the chest. Covered with a piece of fabric coated in bronze Powertex. Add a piece of netting over the corner of the box.

Top tip: Work on a plastic surface. Powertex will not stick to plastic, I worked on a piece of laminated paper so that I could peel the finished piece off to add it cleanly to the base.

Step 3: I filled my treasure chest by coating 1p coins and medium 3D balls with bronze Powertex and placing them over the fabric. Fragments of abalone shell were added for magical iridescence.

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Step 4: Dry brush chest with bronze gold colortricx pigment. Rich gold colortricx pigment to colour the contents. To give some iridescence, I also added touches of the following pearl pigments to the contents – violet valentine, green ginger, sherbet dip and pink flamingo.

Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

Step 5: Once all of the pigments had been applied, I then used transparent Powertex to stick the ‘jewels’ into the chest.

Step 6: Create an interesting base by coating a wooden disc with a good layer of ivory Powertex. Sprinkle on some small 3D balls and whilst wet, spray with blue bister. Use a hairdryer over the top to create a cracked effect.

The last thing to do was to affix the treasure chest the base using transparent universal medium.

Pirate Treasure Chest by Abigail Lagden

I hope you’ve enjoyed my article and have been inspired to get creating a Pirate’s Powertex Treasure Chest. 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 bright canvas full of textures, you can find it here.

Until next time, Abs xx

Powertex Stone Art Hares

Powertex Stone Art Hares – Some bunny loves you

Designer: Anna Emelia Howlett

powertex stone art hares

“The March hares danced and leapt around as the moonlight shone golden on the lush Spring ground” by Claire Ivins

The Secret Art Box – March

I feel very privileged to be able to get my hands on a Secret Art Box. Who doesn’t love opening up a box of Powertex arting and crafting goodies and getting a complete surprise? I believe part of the excitement and challenge lies in that surprise. And I got super excited by the idea of Powertex Stone art hares.

I sometimes look at the box and really wrack my brain as to how I am going to deliver an end result I am happy with. Because of this I tend to sit and procrastinate a bit. Yes, I am an over analyser, who likes to think before I get to an end result.

Don’t think just do

Don’t get me wrong! Sometimes I dive straight in, I’ve been practising for a while now to just get on and keep it simple. But if you ever feel like you hang back a bit, know you’re not the only one. You’ve got this. And I’ve created a project here to help you find that inspiration. So the most important thing is to get that Powertex out and have a go! Don’t think, just do.. join in and create your own Powertex stone art hares.

Marchs The Secret Art Box

Idea behind the design

I really like the idea of a mumma and baby hare here. So I thought this would make a great mothers day present. So that’s where I drew my inspiration for my project. Because I couldn’t think of a better way to say I love you than with a homemade Powertex Project. So why not set aside some time to make some one special a little present. I know I’d love to receive these Powertex stone art hares. Wouldn’t you?

powertex stone art hares

Materials list

Step one

Gather together your items. I’ve taken the base for the moon to use in this project. You will also need moulds and stamps.

Step two

Using the bronze Powertex as a primer or paint. Coat the moon base, large and small hare in one layer of Powertex.

Step three

Pour out ¼ of Powertex from your 100ml bottle. Mix a couple of spoonfuls of stone art powder in and create a bread dough consistency clay.

Step four

Paint Powertex on, pat in stone art. Repeat to build layers. Spray with brown bister. Place clay on hare, stamp and use medium heart plunger.

Step five

Use small heart plunger in clay. Place nose on with dab of Powertex. Use remainder clay in moulds and glue in place with Powertex.

powertex stone art hares
Step Six

Dry brush with pigments and varnish. Pigments used are Mocha, white, coral, yellow ochre, lilac and rich gold.

powertex stone art hares
Step seven

Finishing touches

After putting all the elements together and letting dry for a couple of hours. I then dry brushed my piece. In order to get a shabby chic, chalk finish on this piece, I was very light handed and made sure there was less varnish to pigment ratio. However, if you prefer a more gloss finish, simply use more varnish.

powertex stone art hares

Do share your makes in the Facebook group The Powertex Studio. If you like what you see press the star or let me know in the comments box below.

Did you catch my other Secret Art box article ‘moon gazing hare’, if not find it here. If you would like to see more of what I do you can find me at Rosehart Studio. Toodles Anna xXx

Powertex Flower Girl

Powertex Flower Girl Figurine Garden Sculpture with Powertex (by Anne)

This is my first attempt at a Powertex flower girl figurine. She took me a long time to finally get finished, having started her over a year ago at my Level 1 Powertex Tutor Training! Now that she is finally done I love my Flower Girl – and I call her ‘Bestower of Beauty’.

Powertex flower girl

She stands approx. 49cm high.

Materials used:

How it was done:

The body was shaped over the wooden pole using the card inner tube stuffed and wrapped with foil and covered with masking tape. The plaster head was taped onto the top.

T shirt yarn was then wound tightly around the torso and down to the base of the pole. I made a bit of a decorative wrap over the torso to create the dress bodice. The whole thing was then given a coat of Bronze Powertex, working it well into the fabric.

Powertex flower girl

Fabrics were then coated with Powertex and draped over the body to create the clothing. I used a knitted fabric (Stockinette) to create the illusion of arms by allowing the knit to curl around on itself to give dimension.

A small amount of Power Cotton was added to make small hair plaits draped over her shoulder, and fine lace added to make a headdress. Another piece of T shirt yarn was used to create a tie belt and helped to hold the skirt securely in place. The crochet skirt was draped down and over the base.

During the training course I started the dry brushing technique, mixing pigments into Easy Varnish, to add some colour and bring out the different textures. I used Bronze Colortricx to colour the face, shoulders and hair, plus to add colour around the base. Blue and green Powercolors were used (mixed with a little white) to dry brush and highlight clothing texture.

I was delighted with what I had achieved but came home with my figurine always intending to add more colour (you know how I LOVE colour) and floral embellishments to turn her into a gorgeous flower girl. Sadly she sat in the corner for around a year before I finally pulled her back onto my work bench!

Powertex flower girl

I began by adding much more colour, intense in places, to colour her clothing using the new colours from The Secret Art Loft. I tried to keep most of this colour to the top layers of texture so as to keep depth in the fabric folds. I also added more colour to her face and lips, plus a little shading over the eye lids.

Powertex flower girl

Flower and leaf embellishments were created using Art Stone mixed with Powertex to make a clay which was pressed into silicone moulds. When dry they were coloured with Secret Art Loft Pigments mixed with Easy Varnish and glued in place with Powertex. I also created a suggestion of arms and hands using Stone Art clay. The bad modelling was disguised by carefully placing the bouquet of flowers in her arms – ha ha.

Powertex flower girl

The flowers were also applied onto her dress and down around the base. More texture was added to the base by sprinkling 3D Sand & Balls into wet Powertex.

Powertex flower girl

I spiralled the flowers down and around the hem of her skirt.

Powertex flower girl

Here you can see lots of textures in her outfit, and pretty coloured flowers in her hair.

AW Flower Lady 9

Another view showing her back.

AW Flower Lady 10

She looks beautiful standing in the garden. Although she is weather proof I would definitely have to add extra weight (e.g. a concrete base) or add a small garden spike to the base, as she is very vulnerable to toppling over in the wind. I am going to be keeping her indoors so she will be ok as she is.

AW Unicorn and Lady 2

However, she does look gorgeous alongside my unicorn! I might change my mind and adapt the base for outdoors – sure that I have a bit of broken paving slab somewhere – that would do the trick.

I hope that you like my Powertex flower girl figurine ‘Bestower of Beauty’. You can view my last blog here

 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