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.
“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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
For a very long time I have wanted a vintage style pram. It goes back to when I had my own babies, living in a flat there was no room for such a majestic pram. So, children long grown up, I decided Powertex gave me the perfect opportunity to use a pram as a base for my Gothic Art.
This involved much searching online sites to find one and I finally did at an amazing cost of £45. It was found in a house clearance, looking a little tired and worn as it would at 50/60 yrs old. It was love at first sight, just to push it to the car to take made me bristle with excitement.
On arrival it was tucked up inside my Powertex storage garage where it silently waited while plans were made. The plans changed many times, the only certainty it was going to be black.
It was going to make it’s debut at The Whitby Gothic Weekend on October 25th-27th where we go twice a year to show our creations, let the work begin.
Sand it all down and give it a coat of gesso, then black Powertex, suddenly it no longer looked sad and tired it began to breath life. I left it for 48hrs to dry out while cutting up of lots of fabric.
Dave, re-upholstered the inside, deep buttoned style in black leather. It was taking on a whole new personality.
Turned upside down I started to apply the fabric cover to the base in long strips leaving it quite wrinkled to give a texture. At the handle end I attached a ceramic baby curled in a leaf, roses and skulls.
Now the sides were a whole different story as I wanted them very ornate and busy. I covered the sides with Powertexed fabric. We started to gather lots of plaster pieces then bedded the pieces into the fabric. In the centre as a focal point I added a plaster face, with wings.
This took a few days to dry out. Then I coated it all with Black Powertex. Flipped it over when it was dry and did the other side to match.
Time to start working on the hood, I coated it all over with black Powertex inside and out. I cut up lots of twine and laid out a spider web pattern, which I then filled in with skulls of different types and faces, adding scrunched up fabric coated with Powertex around them to make sure they were securely fixed. Once more the whole hood was coated with black Powertex.
So excited to reach this stage; Dry Brushing. Keeping it reasonably simple I started with silver Colourtrix, lightly brushing all over to bring out all the texture , it instantly came to life and really needed very little more. To finish off I added touches of dry brushing with white Powertex Universal Medium.
The back of the hood and the apron, they changed many times as they progressed, we wanted them to almost tell a story, of derelict buildings and overgrown trees, we used some MDF pieces for this.
So finally it was time to put her all back together and take her out for a photo shoot.
So here she is our much loved Gothic Fantasy Pram who made her debut at Whitby Goth Weekend. She met some amazing people who ooohed and aahhed over her and photographed her from every angle and she even had the pleasure of a delightful baby boy try her out for size.
Where do we go from here I asked myself as after finishing
such an intense and exciting project there is always that feeling of anti-climax,
but we have two fabulous projects on the books, so even more exciting times to
See my last project the Dark Dreamcatcher or if you would like to see more of our work head over to our Facebook page Alex Henry. Don’t forget to add your projects onto The Powertex Studio, I would love to see them and you will also find lots of inspiration there.
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.
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.
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.
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
Project 2 Tree of Life- stone art sculpting
Project 3 – Abandonment – fabric sculpting
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.
So if you’re thinking Powertex is just about plaques, it’s so so much more.
One thing I love about being a part of the design team is getting asked to do pieces for upcoming Hochanda shows. Being a part of such a great team keeps me focused and gives me a huge sense of purpose. Eager to get creating and inspired by the Buddha kit, I knew exactly what my mind was being inspired to bring to life. I put my whole heart and soul into creating it.
My creative process
I created a scene of tranquility, calm, love and peace with the items I had been asked to use. For this piece I sat peacefully and envisioned creating textural scenery of bamboo, blossom trees and mountains, a place I could imagine Buddha sitting in contemplation.
Use paperdecoration to cut out bamboo shapes and the main part of the blossom tree. Use mixed Stone art powder into a spreadable paste for the textural mountains and water. Utilise small and medium art balls for the blossom on the tree. Instead of using just the red Powertex universal medium as it’s stand alone colour, I mixed it with ivory Powertex to create the pink blossoms. I wanted this piece to show the unique and limitless ways you can use Powertex products.
If at first you don’t succeed, take a moment to walk away!
Sometimes, when you envision an idea in your head, it doesn’t quite come out as you imagined. Nearing the end of the piece, I actually didn’t like what I had created and had to walk away. In fact I wanted to throw it in the bin!
I cleared my head and looked at my work with a new perspective. I removed a part of the piece that wasn’t right by scraping away part of the blossom trunk and started that bit again. A clear mind was what I needed to feel more content with my piece.
and here it is…
I hope you enjoyed this this article? Please do leave a comment below so we know you love what we are doing for the love of Powertex.
Feeling inspired and want to come and create one of these with me? Look at my website to see when the next course for this is being held at The Crafty Little Corner.
With the clocks going back in a few days here’s a link to my article last month, my Powertex clock. Also please do check out other design team members blogs like this rusty letter piece by Kore.
Hi, it’s Kore here. I love the new mdf frame and cow skull mould that were featured on the Hochanda tv shows in September. I had Easy Structure, Aqua and Egg Yolk acrylic inks and Copper Penny metallic ink in my kit to make my sample. The Copper Penny ink is absolutely gorgeous! Here’s how I made my Cow skull and Copper art.
If you bought these products you can follow along or get inspired to create your own art.
Slot the pieces together using Ivory Powertex as glue. Then paint the whole thing with Ivory.
Use the Easy Structure to create a rough texture over the frame. I used a plastic palette knife to scrape it down the surfaces.
TOP TIP: An old credit card works well but don’t smooth out the paste too much.
Prepare your pieces
Make some clay with Ivory Powertex and Stone Art to use in the mould and make your skull and flowers. Coat pieces of paperdecoration with Ivory and dry on a craft mat or plastic bag.
TOP TIP: I turned the horns on my skull forwards while the clay was wet.
Spray with inks
Generously spray the inks onto the frame. I sprayed the wet inks into each other which is why my frame looks more green and blue.
Add more texture
Next Paperdecoration adds more texture. I took the small pieces and glued these into place with Ivory Powertex. Then gave another spritz with the inks. Leave to dry.
Paint your dry paperdecoration and flowers with Copper Penny acrylic ink. I used Aqua ink to colour the cow skull piece but you could use the copper ink for that too.
TOP TIP: Make sure both sides are coated.
Add your layers when the inks are dry. Glue your pieces into place with Ivory Powertex.
TOP TIP: If your pieces aren’t connecting very well, use pieces of tissue in Powertex to fill the gaps.
When your pieces are glued into place with Powertex you can add any details with the Copper Ink. I painted the horns on the skull and added some Copper splashes on the frame with a paintbrush. I later added Copper ink on the edge of the frame too.
Thank you for taking a look at my Powertex Cow skull and copper art. Donna has also used this mould for her art but with very different results.
The brief for this article was to recreate a piece by one of the other DT members. I pondered long about this looking at previous blogs. Then I was inspired by Shell North, she did a rather beautiful dream catcher. Me being me of course it was not going to be light and elegant as Shell’s oh no, we are taking a walk on the dark side.
I started by collecting all the materials and items I would need to work on my project.
I coated it all with black Powertex first and fixed the skull to the dream catcher. I sliced it in half and using Easy Structure texture paste, fixed the skull back together. Fixing it either side of the centre hole of the dreamcatcher, makes it look as if it’s pushing through. Definitely looking spooky at this stage.
Using paper decoration, I had soaked in Powertex I arranged it around the skull and pushed the skull beads in. I liked the look of this.
I added a few foam roses I had around the large centre skull and tucked some black feathers in behind. Sprinkle some sand and balls to add extra texture, we can never have to much texture can we?
I left it to dry overnight before getting onto the dry brushing. A wonderful stage where you see all of that yummy texture coming to life. I used silver Colourtrix keeping it simple, that’s the beauty of this stage you can add as much or as little colour you wish, its all personal taste.
The final touch was to add black ribbon to hang on the hearts and my remaining skull beads.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and are inspired. Create a unique dreamcatcher of your own, it could be light and delicate like Shell North’s, on the dark side or anywhere in between. I usually work on the dark side but I do also splash the colour at times.
I love being on the Design team as every so often we get asked to do samples for the Hochanda TV shows. As soon as I saw the goodies I had to play with, I knew what I wanted to do. So this is a step by step of the shrine to Buddha that I created for the latest show.
I started by building up my kit and giving it a coat of the Red Powertex and leaving it to dry, although you could force dry with a hairdryer if desired.
Adding texture with Easy 3d Flex
I decided to add some texture, one of my favourite products to use is Easy 3d Flex. I added the Easy 3d Flex and patted it down and then rubbed it gently into the Powertex, then left to dry overnight.
Add more texture
I had some black glass stones in my stash and decided I would glue them using the Transparent Powertex. The white in the photo is the Transparent that’s not dry.
I decided to add texture to my Buddha by coating it with Powertex and then pressing in Stone Art powder, to give him an aged feel.
Black and gold Buddha
Once the Stone Art powder was dry, I re-painted my Buddha in black Powertex. When dry, dry-brush on some gold and set him in the centre. I used Transparent Powertex to adhere him.
I used the Paperdecoration, thoroughly soaked in Red Powertex and draped and pulled into pleasing shapes across the boxed canvas.
When working with Paperdecoration material, I find it easier to use if I mist water on to it first as it helps to make the edges softer quicker.
Once I was happy with how I had laid out the texture, and whilst the Powertex was still wet, I rubbed in some Easy 3d Flex to add even more texture to my piece.
Using Black pigment and Easy Varnish
Using Easy varnish mixed with black pigment powder, I painted my piece and then wiped away, to add some depth and to highlight all the texture.
Use mdf shapes
In this step I chose a couple of the MDF pieces that came with the pack and decided only on using 2 of them. To these pieces I mixed in a sand texture with Black Powertex and then dry brushed gold over them when completely dry.
I love the finished piece. These colours are my own favourite colour combination and I also love the theme.
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 this shrine to Buddha? Then come and say hello in the THE POWERTEX STUDIO. Don’t be shy to upload any photos of projects you have created too.
I also used Easy Structure, Red Bister spray and White and Lilac Powercolor but these are totally optional. I added a square of corrugated card packaging, if you have it.
How to make this gothic mixed media art
Prepare your mdf frame
Use the black Powertex Universal Medium to paint and glue your frame together with the raised square in the centre.
Add texture to the frame
Scrape Easy Structure over the outer frame. Dry with a hairdryer before coating with Black Powertex.
TIP: I also sprayed with Red Bister but these steps are optional. You can use any texture you like and the stencil would also be great for this.
Corrugated card texture
I tore a square of cardboard packing for the centre. I used Black Powertex to paint this piece completely and to glue it down.
Add fabric texture
Massage some Black Powertex into some of the loose fabric until it’s completely coated but not too wet. Press it into place with Powertex.
Layer mdf pieces
Paint your mdf pieces and embellishments completely with Powertex as you stick them on. Start with larger pieces and add more until your happy with the placement.
Use a plaster skull as your focal point. I placed it in the centre of the spider’s web. Don’t worry about finger marks as we’ll fix those later!
TOP TIP: If any of your pieces aren’t sticking well, use pieces of kitchen paper in Powertex as a sticky pad to hold them in place.
Add small textures for detail. Use Powercotton threads and the medium balls in areas that look a bit empty. Coat everything with Black Powertex and leave to dry.
For this piece we mix a dry paint using the Easy Varnish and powder pigments. Use a flat paintbrush to dry brush the textures.
TOP TIPS: Put a tiny amount of varnish on a craft mat and use a flat brush to pull some to the side. Dip your brush into the powder and mix this with the varnish. Mix a little at a time.
Start with dark colours first, dragging your brush over the top of the textures. Build up colour in layers and add highlights with the Interference colour or White at the end.
Everything you need to make brilliant gothic style mixed media art is in the Secret Art Box this October. I hope you’ll have a go and share your creation in The Powertex Studio Facebook group. Use #powertexaddict on Instagram so we can find you!
Gill’s creation uses the same Powertex UK subscription box and you can find out about the Secret Art Box subscription at Powertex UK.
Until next time, make a little time to let your art out!
When I received the mould for the Cow Skull and Flowers I was immediately drawn to a Native American reservation. Speaking to a friend she told me it reminded her of the Navajo tribe. When I searched this I found the colours used in their art and pottery were beautifully vibrant. What better than to have a lovely wall hanging with a nod to the Navajo art culture.
Using Stone Art Clay and the Cow Skull and Flowers Mould, make a cow and several flowers. Put to one side to dry.
Add texture to 3 of the rings – 2 using Paper Decoration, Light Pink and one with string. Leave to dry.
Using 2 of the solid circles create a background texture of your choice, with Ivory Fabric Hardener.
MDF Frame and Panel
Use Stone Art Clay and Texture Paste to add interest background. For the front use Paper Decoration Natural with Ivory Fabric Hardener.
Hanger – Make a Branch
Use twisted cardboard tubing and tinfoil, adding texture with more Paperdecoration. At the same time secure string in place to use later.
Feathers and Colouring
Using Acrylic Ink, add colour to the feathers and the pre-prepared rings.
Use Brown Bister to add colour to the Cow Skull and the flowers. Also do this to the centre panel of the MDF frame and branch.
Use the Acrylic inks to add colour to the outer section of the MDF frame.
Using the solid ring from the dreamcatcher kit, fix the skull and flowers using Transparent Powertex.
Putting it all together
Attach the Skull circle to the centre panel on the mdf frame. Attach more string to the circles and the MDF panel (I used Transparent Fabric Hardener). Finally fix the feathers in place to create your beautiful Navajo Indian Wall hanging.
I really hope you enjoyed this article and it has inspired you to use the MDF, Cow Skull and Flower mould in a different way.
Show us your ‘makes’ here in the The Powertex Studio. We love to see what Powertex Addicts create. If you need more inspiration take a look at this beautiful wall art with a Venetian feel, by Gill Goldsmith.
Get making, be creative, but most of all have fun 🙂 Bye for now, Jill x