Remember, Remember, the 5th of November…

 

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November. Gunpowder, Treason and Plot!

I love this time of year as the autumn moves towards cosy winter nights. Halloween has passed and bonfire night awaits before the count down to Christmas. And a cup of hot soup in front of a big bonfire takes me straight back to my childhood and my childhood bonfire nights wouldn’t be complete without a Catherine Wheel – the inspiration for this project.
I started with a 20cm square canvas and painted it with black Powertex. I then used Easy Structure to stencil a swirl design onto the canvas and once dry painted over this with black Powertex.
Although very little of this pattern would be visible on the final pieces it also provided me with a basic shape to follow when adding the paperdecoration.
First I used small pieces of white paperdecoration which I laid slightly randomly but following the swirl pattern and painted over it with black Powertex. (You could use any colour paperdecoration for this part as it is completely covered with the black)
Once this was dry, I mixed rich gold colortricx pigment with Powerwax and gently applied it over the raised parts with a sponge.
To add some extra depth and texture to the corners of the canvas, I mixed some red Powertex with Easy 3D Flex to make a paste and applied this roughly to the corners and left it overnight to crack.
I then carefully painted the top surface of the cracked area with black Powertex. Using the red Powertex with the Easy 3D Flex made sure that there would be nice bright red colour in the cracks.
Next, it was time to add the gorgeous coloured paperdecoration – burgundy, light pink, red wine and red.
I tore off long thin pieces of paperdecoration and fanned it out towards the end. I laid these onto the canvas following the swirl pattern and painted over them with a good coating of transparent Powertex. Although this goes on a milky white, it dries clear allowing the original colours of the paper dec to show through.
Once I had added enough paperdecoration I left it to dry overnight.
The final part was to add some gold and copper tones to give it the warmth of fire. I did this by mixing colortricx pigments (copper, bronze gold and rich gold) with Powerwax and applying it over the tops of the texture with a sponge.
I am still undecided if I need to add anything into the centre. I am keeping my eyes open for a nice bit of fiery bling…
Until next time, Abs xx

 

From Special to Steampunk Extra Special by Abigail Lagden

From Special to Steampunk Extra Special by Abigail Lagden

One of the many things I love about Powertex is how easy it is to take old and unwanted items and turn them into something spectacular. But it doesn’t have to be unwanted items, you can also take cherished, sentimental items and preserve them by incorporating them into a piece of art . We all have pieces of clothing or jewellery, even toys or other keepsakes that are safely hidden away in boxes, cupboards and drawers. With Powertex you can find a way to display them.
In this blog I will show you how I transformed an old hat into a fabulous piece of wearable art, incorporating all kinds of special trinkets and fabrics into the design.

The idea grew from a few events that I had planned over June and July this year. At the end of July I will be selling my creations at the Whitby Steampunk Weekend and anyone who has been will know how spectacular some of the outfits and costumes are. So, I wanted to create something a bit special to wear myself, that would also demonstrate how Powertex can be used.

 

In June, I also participated in a couple of events where I was demonstrating Powertex and allowing visitors to have a go. So, I decided to create a piece of art that visitors could add to throughout the two events. What better than a hat, which once complete, could double up as something I could wear at the Steampunk Weekend!
Original hat
Converted hat
The old hat I started with was a fedora style hat, so first I needed to make this a bit more Victorian and convert it into a top hat. I did this by just using cardboard to make the desired shape. (The lace band and flower on the original hat was removed and is waiting in my stash for another project)
The whole base hat and cardboard was then painted with bronze Powertex and the cardboard secured onto the hat using a strip of fabric coated in Powertex. It was now ready to be transformed. Over the two events, a variety of embellishments and trinkets that I had stashed away were added to the hat, sitting in scrunched up pieces of different textured fabrics all coated with bronze Powertex.
After the first event, Make in Durham
After the second event – Clervaux Fair
By the end of the second event the hat was approximately two thirds covered, so I didn’t have too much left to do myself other than add the unzipped cogs and cover the top and brim.
Back of hat
For the final colour I wanted it to have a Victorian feel so I opted for burgundy powercolor pigment over the fabric elements and copper, bronze and gold colortricx over the embellishments. I couldn’t resist a rainbow in there somewhere though, so the unzipped cogs got that honour!
Front of hat
I can’t wait to proudly wear my hat in Whitby at the end of July – watch out on my Curiously Contrary facebook page for photos from the weekend.
Until next time, Abs xx