Something fishy by Gill Goldsmith

Powertex UK Secret Art Box

Gill is demonstrating the May Secret Art Box and it’s got a watery theme! She’s diving in to the contents and using the unique and mystical Terragreen pigment to create something fishy! Read on for the details.

So I opened the May Secret Art Box from Powertex and WOW! Look at all the goodies that I received and in my perfect theme… nautical.

May 2019 Secret Art Box from Powertex UK

Something fishy

My first make had to be using the fish and I had the idea of making him with a fish bowl. (I’d seen the clear plastic bowls in a well known shop where everything is £1!) So I first covered the fish in black gesso and extended his fins, tail and mouth with air dry clay. I used the ammonite mould, included in the kit, to create his eyes.

Create the fish shape

Tail and fins

Next I covered him in fabric, using the black Powertex in the kit to give the effect of scales and fins and added fringing to his tail.

Create the fins and tail

Seaweed and shells

I created some rocks for the base of the fish bowl, recycling old gloves that I had used to Powertex in. I created texture with the balls in the kit and made shells with the cutter from air dry clay.  Then I used fabric to create the seaweed and left it drying on tin foil. These create movement in the finished pieces. I also used a piece of wire covered in fabric to attach Mr Fish to the bowl.

Leaving pieces to dry

Dry brushing

When all my pieces were dry I’m ready for the exciting bit. The dry brushing with the pearl pigment included in the kit (this month was Terragreen) and some Interference Blue from my stash. I placed the seaweed and rocks into the fish bowl and secured them with Easy Coat Mat, which is a great varnish and strong glue. 

Something Fishy Powertex project by Gill Goldsmith

Final touches

Mr Fish was dry brushed in Terragreen and Gold pigments. I used the fabric covered wire to attach him to the bowl and brushed this with Curacao Blue.  He was also attached to the bowl with Easy Coat Mat varnish. The final touch was using the tiny message from the glass bottle in the kit, which read “Make it Happen” to the top inside of the bowl and this project was complete.

Something fishy by Gill Goldsmith

Mr Fish Secret Art Box Project by Gill Goldsmith. Gill is a Powertex tutor at The Powertex Port in Chatham in Kent. You can see other Secret Art Box projects here and here. If you’d like receive a Secret Art Box, full of Powertex and mixed media goodies, you can subscribe here at Powertex UK.

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