The Powertex tutors may be taking a break but there’s plenty of tutorials to help keep you creating with your Powertex. Annette Smyth is a Master tutor based in Leamington Spa and has plenty of ideas to keep you crafting. Her blog is full of inspiration and step by step tutorials.
If you have followed the magazine for a while you might recognize some of these from her previous blogs. Annette shares her ideas on her website too along with some brilliant step by step tutorials, some with video instruction to help you.
Head over to her website to see all her tutorials including for these gorgeous clown fish.
These incredible crane sculptures were created with a Powertex UK limited edition mdf shape however Powertex can be used with many different materials so you can use what have to create an armature.
This Alice in Wonderland inspired make was even seen on Hochanda. Isn’t the texture fantastic!
Head over to her website to find out more about Annette and read her blogs.
By the time you are reading this the Yuletide season should be in full swing. I’m sure, by now, you will be ready for a little escapism with your crafty stash.
Did you manage to catch Tracey Evans on Hochanda on Thursday 21st November? If not click here to watch her on Rewind.
Tracey introduced a crafting foam substrate which works beautifully with all of the Powertex product range. Available on the Powertex website in 2 sizes – 30cm x 30cm or 15cm x 15cm both 5cm deep.
Altering craft foam
This craft foam base is crying out to be altered. Using files, rasps, old carving knives, scissors and other mark making tools, you can change the shape anyway you choose. I also tried using a hot wire cutter (designed for home use). However the density of the foam made this a more difficult option.
Keep all of the bits that fall off. Mix this into your Powertex later and reapply to the base to give even more texture.
Here are a few examples of how you could use the foam …..
Here the foam would be fashioned into a more circular shape before using the files etc to breakdown the edges to give a more worn stone effect. This piece has bronze Powertex Universal Medium, Stone Art, Yellow, green and brown Bister and is finished with matt and metallic pigments and Easy Varnish. The flourish and clock face are MDF and are available here.
In this sample I drew out the shape I wanted onto scrap paper then used this as a template to draw around on the craft foam before cutting. I used white Powertex Universal Medium and Stone Art for the base and Stone Art clay in the Bee trio, Queen Bee and Ivy leaf moulds. The piece was then sprayed with yellow, brown and green Bister before being finished with pigments and Easy varnish.
In this piece, based on Picasso’s work, I again drew out a template on paper before transferring it to the foam and cutting. Use 2 pieces of 30cm x 30cm foam pieces for the elongated style.
This piece was achieved by using an extensive range of techniques and colourings across the full Powertex product range. Using White Powertex Universal Medium and the Acrylic Ink Sprays gives you a more vibrant colour scheme to work with.
Well that’s all for this year folks. I hope you have a Happy Yuletide season and look forward to creating with you again next year.
Until then please post any of your makes into the Powertex Studio group on Facebook. If you would like details of my workshops please visit my website here. Read more about my Picasso inspired art in this article.
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.
Did you catch Tracey Evans on Hochanda on 27th September? if not click here to go to the Hochanda site and watch the shows on rewind at 11am and 3pm. If you did then you will have seen the amazing frames and panels now available from Powertex UK.
The frames are constructed from MDF and provide a beautifully stable base to apply all the lovely Powertex textures onto.
They come in 2 options.
I fell in love with these beauties when I saw them and have been creating like crazy with them. Here are a few of my makes.
Secret Art Loft acrylic inks were then sprayed on to give the base colours and enhanced with the Secret Art Loft acrylic paints as the colours match perfectly. A little bit of bling was added with gems and silver leaf.
The whole piece was then drybrushed with Powercolour pigments using Easy Varnish and the same pigments mixed with Powerwax were used to give the depth of colour on the frame area.
Cow Skull Dreaming
For this piece I used the same frame but combined it with the Dreamcatcher MDF set which I stencilled onto using Easy structure. I used StoneArt clay in the new Cow Skull mould to create the focal point and added lots of extra flowers.
The base was Ivory Powertex and the additional texture is from cardboard, Powercotton, dishcloth, Paperdecoration and 3D Sand and Balls.
Again I used the Secret Art Loft acrylic inks and paints for colouring.
For the Eastern themed pieces I chose to use the MDF Inset Frame and Panel. The plaster Buddha sits beautifully inside the opening with lots of room around the edges to add texture and colour and the lovely MDF symbols.
The top panel uses Black Powertex, Easy Structure, Hessian and 3D Sand and Balls. Once dry I used Easy Varnish and Rich Gold pigment to add the highlights.
The lower piece used Ivory Powertex, stencilling and texture with Easy Structure. The acrylic inks and paints provide the intense colour and Easy Varnish with Rich Gold pigment was used for the highlights.
Keep an eye out on this Powertex Magazine for some fantastic step by step articles from my design team colleagues. They will show you other amazing projects you can create using these frames.
We love to see what you create so please post your makes on our Facebook group, The Powertex Studio. Inspire others to have a go.
Hello, welcome to my latest article. This month the design team were invited to use a step by step article from another design team member as a source of inspiration. I chose to use the Scarecrows in September by Fiona Potter as I loved this little man as soon as I saw him. However, I wanted to put my own spin on the project so decided that instead of a scarecrow I would create a scared crow. He would make a fantastic Autumnal centrepiece for the table and I can see him surrounded by a group of ornamental gourds.
Optional embellishments – I used fallen acorn husks
How to make a Scared Crow Scarecrow
Step 1. Build the armature and head
Attach dowel to base with tape. Use foil to build head, neck and beak onto this. Cover with tape ensuring it is secure.
Step 2. Add the Arms
Gather a small bunch of twigs and secure with masking tape. Secure these to the ends of the dowel with more tape.
Step 3. Build the body
Using foil fill out arms. Tape cardboard rolls to wooden base, cut to required length and fill in the torso with more foil.
Cover everything with tape and coat with a layer of black Powertex.
Step 4. Add the feet
Use 2 more twig bunches, dip strips of gauze in Black Powertex and wrap around tape on the twigs then slide up the tube legs.
Step 5. Cover the head
Coat the hessian in Black Powertex and shape around the head and down neck. Push eyes into place.
Step 6. Dress the Crow
Using Transparent Powertex I dipped the fabric as follows
a square of fabric for the top – cut a hole in the centre to fit over the head.
rectangles for the dungaree legs
smaller rectangles for the dungaree bib
strips for the shoulder straps
a length of rope for the belt
DESIGNER TIP – You could choose your fabrics to suit your own rooms colour scheme?
Step 7. Make the Hat
The video below will show you how I made the hat. I decorated mine with Paper decoration dipped in Black Powertex.
WHY NOT try using hessian to give a straw hat effect?
Step 8. Drybrush the hat
I used Powertex Easy Varnish and Yellow Ochre Powercolor to drybrush the hat .
Watch my video here if you’re not sure how to drybrush.
Step 9. Finishing touches
Using Transparent Powertex I added fallen acorn husks to the hat, dungarees and base.
I hope you have as much fun as I did creating your very own scared crow. There is no end to the different types of scarecrows you could make. How about a scaredog or scarecat…..What scare animal would you create?
We love to see what you create so post your makes on our Facebook group – The Powertex Studio and inspire other people to have a go.
If you would like to see more of my work or join me for a workshop in my home studio then please take a look at my website – www.annettesmyth.co.uk or contact me via my Facebook page.
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.
Hello Everyone, this month’s theme of Ancient Rome has got me really excited.
Why I hear you ask?…….Well, my Dad was born in the village of North Leigh in Oxfordshire. It is here that the remains of one of the largest Roman villas can be found. At its height, around the early 4th century it had 4 bath suites, 16 mosaic floors and 11 rooms with underfloor heating. I expect the inhabitants found our climate a little cool!
It was the mosaic floors that really grabbed my imagination and so I did a bit more digging into their symbolic meaning. I found that homes often had a mosaic with medusa in. This was considered a lucky talisman as it was thought to ward off evil, as her stare would turn the viewer to stone.
I immediately thought of using stone art to create the tiles and rather than Medusa I chose to use the Green man plaster , a more gentle image. The piece needed to be rustic and aged so bister was the perfect choice and having missing and misplaced tiles around the edge also gives it a timeworn feel.
If you would like to read more about the history of the villa please click here.
Hello everyone. I wonder, is there such a thing as star dreaming?
I hope you are having lots of adventures in this lovely weather we are currently experiencing. One of the things I love at this time of year is being able to sit out in the warm evenings under clear skies and let my mind wander.
When we look upwards with the naked eye, we can only see spots of light on a dark background. But what is really out there? Thanks to a very talented member of our family, I was able to get access to some amazing shots using astrophotography. This allowed me to get a more detailed view.
Barry Porteous has kindly allowed me to share some of his amazing work with you here. I think these images are just perfect inspiration for Powertex canvas projects. See the images below with my suggestions for the products you could use to recreate them as wall art.
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.
Do you find that sometimes your head can be so full of ideas that you have trouble choosing which one to start first. Then there are those times when you just cannot get going no matter what and it is easy to sit in that void. Just think how much more fun it would be to have creative adventures again. Let me show you how to find some Powertex inspiration.
So how do you find inspiration ??
I always find that getting out into nature kick starts my creative flow.
Walking across the local fields not only makes me feel better physically but it also clears my head of all the “shoulds” that are going on in there. You know the ones……I should be doing the housework, I should tackle that pile of ironing. It also makes space for ideas to take shape again.
Taking photographs of interesting textures often makes me think of new projects. I work out if I could utilise fabric or clay to recreate the texture.
Here are a few of my recent photographs and the ideas that initially came from them
1. Terry the Cormorant. He has recently taken up residence in the tree at the bottom of the garden. He’s just a sculpture waiting to happen
2. Buds and blossoms. The colours in nature encourage me to step away from my trusted favourites and try new colour ways.