Powertex sculptures from recycled items

Designer – Annette Smyth

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!

Lamp base

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…

Powertex flamigoes by Annette Smyth.  from recycled items.

The flamingoes

Using Powertex Universal Medium, Stone Art and packaging from an Amazon delivery, these birds just came into being.

Candle holders are perfect armatures

Candle holder as a sculpture base

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…

Sea horse by Annette Smyth

A fabric draped seahorse

Again I used Powertex Universal Medium along with pigments and 3D sand and balls for the base.

Empty tape rolls make perfect circles

Powertex fish sculpture by Annette Smyth. from recycled items.

Here I have used the empty masking tape roll to create a perfect circle to build on.

Powertex fish by Annette Smyth

Some foil, masking tape, Easy3D flex and pigments made this fish a fun project.

Plastic milk containers as animal bodies

Powertex rabbit from milk container

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.

Powertex dog from container Annette Smyth from recycled items

Once formed these are covered in masking tape and painted with a layer of Powertex Universal Medium.

Powertex rabbit from milk container by Annette Smyth

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.

Don’t forget we would love to see your makes by posting them on the Powertex Studio Facebook group or into the Powertex Addicts Facebook page.

If you would like to join me for a workshop at my home studio then please take a look at the workshops page on my website.

Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures…..Axx

A Brace of Powertex Herons – Fiona Potter

Powertex herons

Well here we are at the start of a new year and for me a new challenge. I am thrilled to be back on the Powertex Design Team for a third year and this year I want to push my own boundaries further. I’ve never been comfortable with sculpting but have always admired my team mates and other artists who are and whose work leaves me in awe. We all have to start somewhere and this is my beginning and I would love you to join me on this journey.

I’m not alone in the concerns about the damage our environment is experiencing and the struggle much of our wildlife has in continually adapting. The Heron is an ancient bird that was around in fossil times, you can find more information here.

The photos follow my written steps left to right.

Step 1 РI have used a variety of materials, mainly cheap foil and masking tape to fill out the body of the Powertex bird mdf templates. These were to be mounted onto the large 2 pin metal base so I played around with both templates to get my layout. You will notice that I did make a change ending up with both birds facing forward. I removed the smaller bird so that I could work freely on the larger one.

Step 2 – I made up some Stone Art Clay starting with equal quantities of Grey Powertex and Stone Art powder. As I have quite arthritic hands, I find it easier to work in small quantities and I made a total of 5 batches of clay each starting with around 200ml of powertex liquid. I wrapped each batch in cling film to stop it drying out.

Step 3 – Once I had covered the armature including the leg I covered the wings with masking tape.

Step 4 – I pulled lilac Paperdec into strips that would be long enough to drape over both sides of the wings. I brushed Powertex over the wing area and worked Powertex into the pieces of Paperdec one strip at a time until both wings were well covered and looked reasonably symmetric. I also re-positioned the wings slightly.

Step 5 – Before starting in this bird, I pushed the leg of the stand up into the armature to ensure there was a cavity without risking squashing the clay. I then worked the clay onto the smaller bird. As with the first bird, I painted a little Powertex onto the base before I worked the Stone Art Clay started with the far side i.e. the side that would be nearest the first bird.

Step 6 – Spread a generous amount of Powertex liquid onto the base and then press dry Stone Art powder into it. Repeat in patches until you get a nicely covered base. I also added some Paperdec onto the body to give an indication of the wing area.

Step 7 – Spray the base with blue Bister. Then spray the black Bister to create areas of shade. Leave the sculpture to dry overnight or until the clay is firm. I left mine for 2 days.

Step 8 – Using Secret Art Loft Clotted Cream and Secret Art Loft Liquorice Twist acrylic paint and a 1″ Powertex Flat Brush I started to give the birds character with a close nod to their true colours. I started by dry brushing the Liquorice Twist onto the lower wings on both sides. I then added some Clotted Cream into the black and continued over the top sections. Lightening several times until the wings had an ombre effect. At the same time I worked on the body of the birds. I also dry brushed some of the colour onto the base to bring out the detail.

Step 9 – Finally I added Colortricx Bronze Gold and a mix of Colortricx Silver with Powercolor dark Blue to tint the top outer edges of the wings and the legs. I also used Secret Art Loft Clotted Cream and Secret Art Loft Liquorice Twist acrylic paint and a Powertex No.4 round brush to add the eye detail.

I hope you like my interpretation of both the fabulous template and the Heron bird. If you are inspired by my blog to create your own, please acknowledge me. It’s great if we can help each other in the continuation of our craft. If you would like to learn this project with me please do get in touch.

Don’t forget to share your work n the Powertex Studio on Facebook. Find more of my work on Facebook. Bye for now, Fi