Mixed media unicorn sculpture – Powertex – Anna Emelia Howlett

If unicorns could fly

So I was super excited when Tracey told me about the new animal shapes available from Powertex Uk. Especially when she said I could create a unicorn! I was so green with envy when I saw the beautiful unicorns created by everyone at the Powertex Garden Party (limited spaces are available to book for next year!Don’t miss out it was an amazing weekend of relaxing, crafty fun!). I created mine with a little difference. Yes she can fly! The unicorn project pack has been put together by Tracey giving you all you need to create this. If you wish to add wings you will need wire in addition.
Now I’d love to say I also did this bit but I was lucky enough to get a pre-made base from Tracey. As you can see from the photo you need to cover both sides of the mdf base with Powertex. Allow to dry, then use masking tape to adhere to the base.
 Then start wrapping foil around the base from the bottom up around the whole shape and use masking tape to keep in place.
 Paint Powertex over the masking tape to seal it and keep everything in place. We used Bronze.
You can choose to place the wings higher up if you wish. I used a really sharp pointed carving tool to make a hole through the tape, foil and mdf. You could use a bradle if you had one. Just make sure you watch your fingers!
I then thredded some wire through the hole and crossed ti over the back of the body and taped in place. The wire was measured at just over 50cm, you could make them smaller or larger if you wish. Wrap the wire with masking tape and paint with Powertex.
 From approx 1kg of Powertex and 250g Stone art tub I made up some clay. Then gradually added piece by piece. And stamped into the clay as I went. It’s important to stamp the clay as you go because as it drys in the air it becomes harder to make an impression in.
I was lucky enough to have to hand an aray of these fabulous wooden block stamps. I love being at hq, I might move into our Traceys studio soon!
 I covered the whole body on both sides and stamped in different patterns.
I then tool my clay and pushed it into the daisy, pansy and rose moulds. It seems I didn’t take a picture of the placement of these, but they ended up on the horses bottom. You can chose to place them anywhere.
I then coated a handful of Powercotton to create the texture on the mane and tail.
And dipped some paper dec in Powertex and covered the wire wings.
 I allowed everything to thoroughly dry and then dry brushed with some White Powertex. Just to allow the colours to come through brighter when I dry brushed them. But allowing the bronze Powertex to create the shadow for depth.
I used Burgundy powercolor into coral powercolor  on the mane.
 Rich gold colourtricx on the horn and the wings and flowers.
 I sprayed the body with brown bister to take the edge off the white. And added a mix of coral and white and layered up the colour on the body through dry brushing.
Turns out unicorns can fly! Hope you enjoyed this project. Of course if you feel as though you could use some guidance with this type of project just contact your local tutor through the directory to book on and have a go! It really makes a difference having an expert to hand. Toodles Anna xXx Follow me on my Instagram or Facebook if you like what I do.
Don’t forget to share your projects on Powertex Addicts United or The Powertex Studio on Facebook. Keep up to date with the latest at Powertex UK.

Do You Look Like A Powertexer?

So what exactly does a Powertexer look like? How can I best describe a group of Powertexers?

Can you spot a fellow Powertexer out in the wild? I’m not showing off when I say “I can!”, though I’m not sure this could be listed as a separate skill on my CV……

Does it say more about me or the guests when I tell you that I was able to guess who was a Powertex Garden Party Guest, just by looking at them! Most of the guests attending the Garden Party stayed overnight at a nearby hotel. I went to the hotel to meet everyone there and ensure they made it on to the coach on time. Even though I had never met or seen any of the guests before, I was confident I could spot a ‘Powertexer’ a mile off. And I was correct! I had wanted a to wear a crown or a tiara or at least a golden sash with POWERTEX GARDEN PARTY embossed on it so people would know who I was when approaching them in the hotel grounds but alas, I only had these thoughts on the way to the hotel so it was too late and I would have to rely on intuition.

Well, I say intuition but in reality it is a trained eye. I can spot a Powertexer at 50 paces. Maybe it is a certain glint in their eye, a splodge of Powertex on their shoes, nails that can’t quite be polished to perfection because they’ve been dipped in Powertex for too long. I’m not sure exactly, it could be a combination of all those things. Powertexers come in all shapes and sizes and ages. They blow the traditional crafter stereotype out the window because we sure as hell can’t be squashed into many conformity boxes, I think we are somewhat notorious in the arts and crafts world for being non-conformists! Powertexers are fun, they’re friendly, they give off a certain vibe, they do not ‘fit the mould’ in any conventional sense.

Maybe it’s because with Powertex, there are no limits and this reaches into other areas of your life too. I like to think there’s lots of us out there, giving a nod to fellow Powertexers, enjoying this amazing art and craft skill set whilst sharing and spreading the joy because quite simply, it is so much fun!

Powertex Garden Party – Day 2

I hope your ready for part two of Sams fabulous blog. If you’ve loved seeing all we got up to at the Powertex garden party you can now book your place for next year. Tickets are selling out fast though. Book now here. If you fancy taking a look at more fabulous photos we have a video created of the weekend. See the video here. Toodles Anna xXx

So before we start todays adventure, I thought I’d start by showing you what we got in our purple bags and also what we got to drink our bubbly out of at the end of yesterday.
 
 
Close up of the glass that Tracey made for each of us. Every one was different.

 

This is what my canvas looked like this morning after being left to dry and crack over night.

 

Close up of the mucky mess corner including the balls.

 

Close up of the cracks using the 3d flex.

 

And the frame and skull.
 
Whilst I was outside, I took the opportunity to take a close up photo of the communal totem pole.
 
So then, to today’s activities. First up we needed to retrieve out brushes which had been kindly washed for us. The fairies must have done it!

 

Aprons on………
 
 
Teas and coffees on the go.
 
For about the first hour or so we got the chance to titivate and add stuffs to our horses / unicorns, which most people took advantage of.

 

 

 

 

The unicorns were put outside to dry off.
 
 
My horse found himself in a field.
 

 

 
At this point I went for a little wander around the grounds and as promised a photo of the wigwam tent with the message tree inside.
 
 
Then we made a start on our canvas’s.
 
After a quick demo from Tracey, everyone started to add some colour.

 

 

I managed to get a smile from all of our table!!
 
 
This one is Tracey’s and something like what we were going for, but in fairness, she had used hers to show people what different colours looked like.
 
 
This is how mine went, and yes, before you all start, there is pink in there!
 
And this was what I ended up with once I’d decided I was finished.
 
Everyone just adding their finishing touches before we broke off for lunch.
 
 
Lunch today was a jacket potato with a choice of various lush fillings, I just had cheese.
 
Another wander around the garden and some close ups of the fab sculptures made by David and Patricia Williams who are Powertex tutors. Patricia has given me permission to show you these close ups so please enjoy the next few photos.

 

 

 

 

 

Then back inside and into the shop area where there are lots more beautiful pieces. I’ve just selected a few of my favourites.

 

 

 

 

I put my finished canvas outside just to see if the pigments shimmered in the lovely sun.

 

And Tracey just happened to be walking past when Kerry was taking a photo of me and my canvas.
 
So after lunch we went back to our horses / unicorns as they needed some colour. 

 

People down at the front choosing their colours.

 

This is Shelagh. We had a great laugh and loads of good old fashioned banter was had on our table.

 

Kerry went for a rich red, Shelagh a denim blue and Yvonne a lovely green.

 

Michelle and Gary having a leisurely walk through the tent to see what everyone had been up to.
 
I went for a purpley colour with silver and gold hi-lights.

 

And then on the other side, I went for an orangey colour with copper and gold hi-lights.

 

And this is what he looks like from the front! Split personality!
 
Throughout the day I was in and out of the dressing up booth, so when I come across the photos, I will add them to the bottom of this post.
 
***Here’s the first one – in disguise!
 
Me, Janice (from Hochanda), Amanda (chocolate maker) and Anna (powertex tutor).

Powertex Garden Party – Day 1

Here is a glimpse from one of our attendees to the garden party Powertex UK held recently at Tracey’s studio at the Secret Art Loft. Everyone had an amazing time and it was such as success we are doing it all again next year. Book your place now, as spaces are filling up fast! Thank you Sam for such beautiful words and photos and for letting us share them here with everyone. Sam has a fab blog should you wish to follow her directly. Part 2 coming soon. Toodles Anna xXx

When we arrived there was a goodie bag on every chair. There was a number on one side of the bag and two raffle tickets on the other side of the bag. Inside the bag were loads of goodies.
Here we all are delving into the goodies for our first project and opening the canvas and bag of bits that went with it.
Tracey explaining what we were going to be doing.
Anna on hand to help out.
The sides of the tent came off as it was sooooo warm.
Tea, coffee and water available as and when you wanted it.
I went for a walk around the gardens and came across this fabulous pair made by Patricia and David Williams, Powertex tutors. They’ve made them for an exhibition, but ‘lent’ them to Tracey for the garden party. I’ve seen photos of them, but they are so much better in the flesh.
More makes by other Powertex tutors dotted all around the grounds.
I just love this dog, he may be my next project!!
This piece was taken to shows for people to add bits to.
She has the most fabulous eyes!!!
This was the eating area set up next to the house, but with yet more exhibits scattered around for us to see.
I love this table, and I’ve just made some fossils out of moulds!!
Now remember the number that was on our bags, well we had to find everyone else with the same number and then go into the dressing up booth and have a photo taken. I did do it but haven’t got a photo of it yet!! I think Michelle took one though.
 
 
Found it, here we go. This one is actually of our table!
Back to the tent and to the canvas to add 3d flex to get some crackles going on.
Tracey giving us a demo of what to do with it after creating our mucky mess and slapping that on the canvas too, along with some clay made with sand.
There was also Hayley who was giving fabulous hand massages. This is Jan having one, I had one later in the afternoon after we’d been reviving clay!
There was also a hammock swing attached to a tree.
And this is inside the wigwam tent. I’ll get a photo of the outside of it tomorrow.
There is also a totem type pole for everyone who visits to add something too. When it’s all covered and finished Tracey said they would possibly donate it to a local school. So of course, I added my pieces to that too.
Here we are just helping the 3d flex to start to crack by using the hairdryer on them.
After they’d started to crack we left them outside in the sun whilst we all went off for a lovely buffet lunch and sat in the area next to the house that I showed you earlier with the blue marquee.
After lunch our project was a horse. We covered it in clay over the masking tape and stamped into it as we were going along.
Making clay shapes from the moulds to put on the horses. Unfortunately they were all flower related apart from the small fossil, so mine ended up quite bare compared to everyone elses!!
This one is mine, and now having seen the photo I have realised that I’ve put his eyes way too high, but hey ho, it’s too late now, they will be rock solid by tomorrow morning!!
These are the creations of the ladies on the table opposite us.
This is Tracey’s finished one which we should end up with tomorrow, once its been dry brushed.
After we’d finished we all went back down to the house for a glass of bubbly served in our very own unique handmade glass. 
Anyone for another……………..
 
And then back to the hotel, for a shower and evening meal.

This Boot Was Made With Memories

How Powertex Can Be Used To Create A Beautiful Memorial Boot

 

One of the things I love most about being a Powertex Tutor are the wonderful stories that unfold as people get totally absorbed in creating something beautiful and meaningful.

I have been priviliged to hear many really moving accounts of why people are making their sculptures, and who they are making them for, or, as is often the case, who they are making them  in memory of.

Obviously these are very personal stories, and I think the very fact that people feel comfortable to open up and talk, either within a group, or on a one to one basis speaks volumes about the therapeutic nature of creating with Powertex.

I have been given permission by one lady to share her story here.

S’s dad had passed away recently.  He was a keen gardener, and she contacted me to ask if I would be able to do a Powertex Workshop using an old boot, which she could use to keep his ashes in.

Of course I said yes. It would be an absolute honour.

I love doing boot workshops anyway, but knew that this one was going to be something rather special.

We wanted to be sure that there was a suitable place within the boot for S’s father’s ashes, and we did this by covering a small plastic seedling pot with masking tape, before lodging it into the opening of the boot, and then putting a covering of powertex soaked material over this.  Ensuring that there was a good sized place for the ashes to sit in, but also ensuring it would be weatherproof as S thought she might want the boot to sit outside in the garden.  One of her father’s favourite places.

Once we had done this, under my guidance, S covered the whole boot with powertex soaked fabric, scrunching it up to give lots of interesting texture and character.  S added a few appropriate bits and pieces from my ever ready stash of goodies I collect from charity shops etc, such as little material roses, and a heart taken from a piece of jewellery.

Then she added the piece, that I think makes the boot really stunning.  A small ornamental bird that she had brought along, to symbolise her father’s love of birds.

We left the boot overnight to dry completely, before dry brushing, which really makes it pop as a work of art.

Although I had been keen to help S make her memorial boot, if I’m honest a part of me was also really nervous, about whether it would be a sad experience for her.  As it turned out the opposite was true.  It was a joyous workshop, with lots of laughter and memories recounted about a man who was obviously someone who lived life to the full.  And I although I didn’t know him, I do think I got a feel for the man’s character from S’s fond and happy recollections over the weekend.

I think, I hope, that his boot is a fitting memorial of a man with a real  joie de vivre.

S tells me it caputres him perfectly, and that she smiles every time she looks at her boot.  Which in turn makes me smile as well.

If you would like to contact a tutor to help with making your own memorial for someone special get in touch with the guys at Powertex UK, or head over to our facebook pages powertex addicts united and the powertex studio

You can find out more about my Powertex workshops on my facebook page   or my website www.artandmurals.co.uk

 

Barny the Owl

I went for a bit of a different look for my owl!
Firstly I used Easy Coat Mat to apply some music paper onto the chest.
I then used bronze Powertex and Stone Art to give it a downy look and then applied
Easy 3D Flex onto the wings to get that lovely 3 dimensional crackle effect.
I didn’t use much from my project pack apart from the owl template and the bronze Powertex 
so keep your eyes peeled for some of the other elements being used on other projects!
Tracey x

 

Improving Mental Well Being the Arty Way


Whether you feel you have any artistic talent or not, we were all born with the need to express ourselves in whatever form that may take. I believe that creative expression benefits our brains and our mental health, making us happier, healthier people. Read these 5 ways art makes a difference: 

1. Stress Relief
Creating artwork provides a distraction that gives our brain a break from the norm. Activities like painting, sculpting and drawing are relaxing and rewarding – lowering stress levels and leaving us feeling mentally clearer and calmer.
We’ve all been in ‘the zone’ when we get totally immersed in a creative project? This focuses our mind and pushes aside all worries, we’re concentrating on the art and don’t have time to think about the bills, it acts like meditation.

2. Creative Thinking
Art enhances our problem-solving skills, encouraging creative thinking so that we come up with our own solutions. This alternative thinking also stimulates our brain to grow new neurons. We can use art to stimulate the brain, like exercises that use our senses in new and novel ways.

3. Boost Self-Esteem
We all proudly display our children’s artwork on the fridge and we should do the same for our own artwork too! The ‘happy hormone’ dopamine has been shown to stimulate the creation of new neurons and prepare our brain for learning. Craft hobbies like knitting, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography, sculpture, woodwork, gardening and even home DIY all increase our levels of dopamine, ward off depression and protect our brain from aging.

4. Quality of Life for Dementia Patients
I’m a firm believer that music and art can enhance cognitive abilities and memory for people with dementia. Dementia is not just about memory loss, patients also experience agitation, aggression, anxiety, depression and insomnia. When dementia patients are encouraged to create visual art, sing or make music, their pleasure is clear to see and it can improve their social behaviour and reduce their symptoms.

5. Chronic Health Conditions
Millions of people deal with chronic health conditions, along with the stress and anxiety that accompanies them. Studies have found that music and visual arts have a positive effect on chronic illnesses:
  • It lets patients forget about their illness for a while, focussing on a positive experience
  • It enables people to rediscover their identity from before their illness took over
  • It gives sufferers a sense of achievement
  • It helps people to express their feelings
  • It reduces stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol

So if you’re suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, there are many ways that art can help. Whether it’s picking up a colouring book in your lunch hour or joining a week-long sculpture retreat, you can express your emotions and overcome some of those negative feelings.

Product developement day at Powertex UK

It is very important to us at Powertex UK hq that we make sure we use the products to the best of our knowledge and what better way to do this than having a product development and experiment day!
This was no way at all, just a jolly and play day! It takes hard work and tons of dedication and effort to push the boundaries of products and ideas, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it! ha, ha, ha.
We did have a fabulous amount of fun, pushing the products in every direction so that we can learn and pass on that knowledge to our tutors and Powertex addicts.
Here’s some of the new inks in use, they come in a fabulous variety of colours.

 

 

 

 
 It would have been rude not to have tried out the new rice papers and on a big canvas too! We were really going for it and learning new techniques.

 

 We can’t wait to see what you create. Toodles Anna xXx

 

 

United we stand!

Here’s the thing. So it’s a pretty fair assumption that Powertex has changed my life. I actually find it hard to remember a time when I didn’t have it in my life.

 

So for all those potential addicts I have chatted to at the shows over the years and have told me they bought a kit and still haven’t used it this is for you. Do it, do it, do it!

*clears throat and puts on best mummy voice* (no not the bandaged up, been in a tomb for a couple of years mummy. The ‘you’ve been told’, mummy is always right but you don’t accept it until your 20’s, ok late 30’s)

 

Yes I am giving you permission to make some time for you. No, I don’t want to hear you’re too busy. Do it, do it, do it!!! Yes, it will be ok still.

Give your bottle a shake and crack it open. Can you hear the world full of wonders that awaits you burst out of the bottle. Grab it by the hand, jump in and get creating, invite a friend over, heck get the kids and all the family joining in!

Once you have done this I want to see all those makes over on the Powertex addicts united page on facebook.

And yes, you can do it there is no right or wrong. Just let go….feels good doesn’t it?  Look at all these lovely pictures scattered through this blog. hmmmmm…yummy right?  Do it, do it, do it!

And if you need a little guidance or inspiration booster, cause to be honest Powertex UK hq is my favourite place as I get to pick Tracey’s brain, not quite sure she feels the same, I think I may tire her out lol. Anyhow, I do like to deviate!

Find a tutor in your area if you need guidance because joining our club is the best decision you could EVER make. Welcome to the Powertex addicts family! Toodle pip Anna xXx