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

Mosaic Madness

Designer – Annette Smyth

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!  

Mosaic madness

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.

Powertex Mosaic Madness by Annette Smyth

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.

Materials List

Mdf circle or old hardboard place mat – mine was 28cm wide
Ivory Powertex Universal Medium
Stone Art
Green Man Plaster face
Brown Bister
Colortricx pigments – Red Ochre, Yellow Ochre, White, Mocha, Ultramarine blue
Easy Varnish
Powerwax (can be replaced with Stone Art see step 12)

You will also need
Non stick rolling pin
2 pieces of wood to be used as guides for rolling out your clay in step 2 – mine were just under 1cm thick 

1 Make Stone Art clay

Make the Stone Art clay by mixing the Ivory Powertex with the Stone Art.

2 Roll out the clay

Using the wooden guides, roll out the clay on a non stick surface.

Using guides allows you to roll to the same depth each time.

Texture added with sponge

3 Adding texture

Using a texture sponge, press into the clay to create texture then cut up into 1cm squares with scissors.

4 Dry enough tiles

Place these tiles to one side to start to dry.  I used 122 on my piece.

Designer tip – make spare tiles to test dry brushing colours on later.

5 Paint the base

Paint both sides of your base with Ivory Powertex and dry.

Place the plaster face on the base and roughly draw around it.

6 Make up your “grout”

Make up a paste of Stone Art powder and Ivory Powertex.  Think of this as your grout.

7 Attach the plaster face

Place some paste inside the line for your plaster face, paint the back of the plaster with Ivory Powertex and then place onto the base.

8 Place your tiles

Spread out more of paste, in a thickish layer, around the face and start placing your tiles in your chosen pattern.  

Mosaic sprayed with Bister

9 Spray with Bister

Spray with a light misting of brown bister and leave to dry overnight.

10 Add colour to the face

With a damp sponge, remove excess bister.

Using the Red and Yellow Ochre pigments mixed with Easy Varnish colour the plaster face.

Add Ultramarine Blue to the eyes.

Dry brushing the tiles

11 Colour the tiles

Using the Red Ochre, Yellow Ochre and Mocha pigments with Easy Varnish I coloured the outside 2 circles of tiles.

12 Colour the grout

Using Powerwax mixed with Yellow Ochre I created a paste to fill in the gaps between the tiles and up to the plaster.  Remove excess with a damp sponge.

Allow to dry overnight and polish with a soft cloth.

Top tip

Why not try using the Stone Art paste mixed with Yellow Ochre if you don’t have any Powerwax.

I have really enjoyed creating this piece and can see so many more projects that would work well with this technique. How about making your own plaque with your house number on?

I would love to know what you create following this article. Why not share your creations on the Powertex Studio Facebook group.

If you would like to see more inspiration ideas why not have a look at my previous article or join me for a workshop at my home studio.

Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures………Axx

Star dreaming inspiration

By Annette Smyth

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.

Star dreaming

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.

Inspiration

Lunar eclipse

Lunar eclipse Powertex inspiration
Lunar eclipse by Barry Porteous

For this Powertex project – A canvas covered in Black Powertex Universal Medium with a White Powertex circle. Add Stone Art in a circle to give texture. Use Mahogany bister, Easy Varnish and white and red Powercolor to create the deep red colours.

3 day old moon

3 day old moon Powertex inspiration
3 day old moon by Barry Porteous

This Powertex project use Black Powertex Univeral Medium for the background and Ivory for the moon. Mix 3D Sand into a paste for texture. Yellow bister, White and Yellow Ochre Powercolor can be used to create these yellow colours. Mix your pigments with Easy Varnish to make a paint.

Constellation of Cygnus – The Crescent Nebula (5000 light years away)

Star dreaming inspiration
Constellation of Cygnus – the crescent nebula by Barry Porteous

Horsehead and flame nebula and the Leo triplet of galaxies

Star dreaming inspiration

Horsehead and flame nebula by Barry Porteous

Constellation of Cygnus – North American Nebula

Powertex canvas inspiration
Constellation of Cygnus – North American Nebula by Barry Porteous

Recreating Nebula images with Powertex

These Nebula images could all be recreated with Black Powertex Universal Medium for the background. Use Easy Varnish, White and Red Powercolor (dry brushed, splattered and painted for different effects.

I hope you have enjoyed these images and that you are inspired to create your own starscapes. Why not share your creations on the Powertex Studio Facebook group.

If you would like to see more inspiration ideas why not have a look at my previous article or join me for a workshop at my home studio.

Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures………Axx

Clowning around with Powertex Clownfish

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth

By Annette Smyth

Powertex Clownfish sculptures by Annette Smyth
Clown Fish

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.  

Materials List
Kitchen foil
Masking tape
Ivory Powertex Universal Medium
Powertex Stone Art
Powercolor pigments – White, Orange, black
Powertex Easy Varnish
2 black glass eyes on metal wire

You will also need 
Plastic gloves
Paintbrush
Plastic container to pour Powertex into and mix Stone Art clay in

Create Clownfish Armature

  1. Using the foil, form a teardrop shape with slightly pointed ends and flat bottom approximately 10cm long and 2cm thick – don’t worry about fins, they come at the clay stage

2.  Cover the shape with masking tape

3. Paint with a layer of Ivory Powertex Universal Medium

Adding Stone Art clay

Powertex Clownfish Stone Art clay

4. Make Stone Art clay using Ivory Powertex – see the “how to” video from my previous article here.

5. Cover your fish with clay.  Blend the joins together with a slightly damp finger.  Pinch the clay away from the body to create the fins and tail.  

6. Place the eyes in position and push through the clay into the underlying tape and foil.  Leave aside to dry.

TOP TIP – Use a pointy tool or cocktail stick to make the hole for the eyes as this will go through the tape more easily.

Adding colour

7. Using the easy varnish and orange pigment dry brush the stripes onto the fish. See “how to” video here.

8.  Now repeat with the white pigment filling in the gaps between the orange stripes.

9. Finally using the black pigment paint thin lines where the orange and white stripes meet and dry brush black around the fins and tail.

I decide to create a soft coral for my fish to sit in using an old cotton mop head and Ivory Powertex.  

Powertex Clownfish by Annette Smyth
Clown fish in coral

Just think of all the other fish and sea creatures you could create. Have you seen the amazing Powertex Ammonite Light article by Jill Cullum. Your sea babies would look fantastic nestled into this.

I would love to see what you come up with.  Why not leave your comments on this article below and share your makes in the Powertex Studio group on Facebook.  

Until next time Happy Creative Adventures and remember you can always find me on my Facebook page and on my website.

Axx

Powertex Inspiration

Tree bark

Where do you find Powertex inspiration?

by Annette Smyth

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

cormorant

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

Buds and blossoms - powertex inspiration

2. Buds and blossoms. The colours in nature encourage me to step away from my trusted favourites and try new colour ways.

Tree bark - powertex inspiration

3.Tree bark. Crying out to be recreated in Stone Art clay and Easy3D Flex. See my previous blog on mixing stone art clay.

Landscapes

4.Landscapes. These help me to get balance in canvas work. I study what about the image makes it pleasing to me.

Trees - powertex inspiration

5. Trees. These make me want to trail Powertex on a canvas to recreate the tree. I would then build up a mixed media piece on top 

Inspiration from children

6 Izzy – OK, I didn’t find her in the fields but she does inspire me. Her enthusiasm is infectious and the way she works without any thought for right or wrong makes me look at things differently

These photos will sit in my inspiration folder until the time is right for them to be used in a creation.

So how do you find inspiration?  

Why not comment on this blog or leave a photo of one of your inspired makes on the Powertex Studio facebook page.

Until next time, happy creative adventures and don’t forget you can find me and my workshops at www.annettesmyth.co.uk

Axx

Powertex family project

A Tryptich with a Twist – by Annette Smyth

Powertex family project, sea theme

Hello,

This month I thought I would show you a Powertex family project. This is one that you could share with the children during the Easter holidays. So this article shows you how to make a piece of family art suitable for indoor use. It breaks down nicely into mini projects which all come together towards the end.

Why not let each family member decorate their own hoop, making this a real Powertex family project to treasure.

There is no limit to the number of hoops you can connect. Just ensure the whole structure is stable and check for balance when connecting them all together.

Powertex family project, sea theme

Here’s the twist, the hoops can be worked on either side (flat or recessed) and hung either way. So if your base fabric is fine you get a lovely silhouette if hung in a window with the decorated side facing outside. You could even suspend it and let it gently twist in the breeze getting the best of both worlds.

Or why not mix it up and have hoops facing in different directions?

Heres are the products that I used

– Set of 3 unvarnished wooden embroidery hoops
– muslin fabric
Powertex translucent acrylic inks
Powertex transparent
Powertex Stone Art
KatySue Seahorse Mould
Powertex Paperdecoration
Powertex Sand and Balls Sample pack

-pipettes/waterproof cupcake cases/glass mat/small paintbrush/plastic covering for table/gloves/water spray bottle

Mini project 1 – Making the Jellyfish

Pour approximately 5mm of transparent Powertex into a cupcake case and leave to dry (this can take 2-3 days to dry completely).

When dry remove and cut in half using scissors to give you 2 half moon shapes. Take some of the white paperdecoration and pull it into fine strips. Dip one end into some transparent Powertex and stick it to the underside of the half moon. Leaving the tails of the paperdecoration uncovered gives them a soft floaty look. Leave to dry

You can move on to some of the other mini projects at this time.

Mini project 2 – Making the Seahorses.

Make a small quantity of stone art clay (see the video here for instructions) place in moulds pressing down firmly, release and set aside to dry.

Once dry, use a nail file to remove any uneven edges and paint with the translucent inks. You may need to do several layers to get a bright colour and don’t be afraid to mix the inks to make new colours.

Mini project 3 – Colouring the fabric/paperdecoration and stones

See the video below for how to colour your fabric. If you want all of your hoops to have the same background. You need to layout the hoops on the dry fabric first allowing enough space between them, to be able to cut out with a wide margin. You will need this to pull them taut on the frame later.

Alternatively let each person work on their own fabric with colours of their choice.

How to colour fabric with Powertex Acrylic Inks

To colour the paperdecoration, take a strip and spray with water. Then fold it up and dip it into the inks. If you want the colour to run spray with more water after you have dipped it. You can take out some of the inks and place them on your glass mat to allow the colours to run together and roll the paper dec in this if you prefer.

Whilst you have the inks out, place some of the balls into a cupcake cases, mix in a small amount of ink to colour the balls and tip onto a piece of plastic to dry.

Now leave all of the ink covered pieces to dry completely.

Mini Project 4 – Attaching the fabric to the frame.

When your fabric is dry, dip it into the transparent Powertex. Then work this well to ensure you have covered all areas. The Powertex will look white but dries clear.

Now lay this fabric over the solid part of the embroidery frame, place the split hoop on top and slightly tighten the screw. Work around the frame pulling the fabric taut then tighten the screen further. Next leave this to dry then paint hoop with ink to blend in with your colour scheme.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER.

Using the dried paperdecoration which you previously coloured. You need to dip this into transparent Powertex and wrap it around the edges of the hoops. Ensuring that where the hoops meet you reinforce this area with more paperdecoration. Let this dry then turn over and reinforce all joins from back.

If each person is decorating their own hoop, you can leave this step to last and join them once decorated.

Powerex family project, sea theme

I opted to work on the back of the hoop, the side with a recess so that the embellishments sat inside. I added my seahorses, jellyfish and stones using transparent Powertex to attach them.

I then added additional ink covered paperdecoration to cover the rings and drape over the hoops on both the front and the back.

If you are going to hang your piece, make sure that you use some paperdecoration to create a secure loop on your project.


Powertex family project, sea theme

I hope you enjoy making this Powertex family project and we would love to see your creations. Please feel free to post them in our facebook group – The Powertex Studio.

If you would like to take a workshop with me then details of these can be found on my website page – Annnette Smyth Art and Craft Workshops.

Did you catch my last article. Click here to be inspired.

For a tutor in your local area, take a look at the Powertex Tutor Directory

Until next time , happy creative adventures…………..Axx

Powertex Small Art Doll

Loving the Powertex Art Dolls by Annette Smyth

Powertex small art doll
Art doll

There are times in your life when you get so excited about starting a new art project that everything else just gets put on the back boiler. That’s exactly what happened when I got my hands on one of the new Powertex small art doll Template. These three new projects are launched on Hochanda on 1st February. They are going to be very popular as they offer a basis for so many styles of work.

I had the Powertex small art doll and straight away knew my girl had to be vintage and full of lovely Powertexture (ooh new word)!

So here’s a closer look at some of the elements in my project

Powertex small art doll
Tree bark effect

The backboard of my piece has a tree bark effect. To get this I used Easy 3D Flex and sprayed it with yellow bister then left it to dry overnight. The next day I used a damp sponge to remove some of the bister. Then drybrushed with Powercolor black and white.

Powertex small art doll
3D faces – plaster and rice paper
Powertex small art doll
Powertex small art doll

I wanted my girl to have a 3D face so I took one of the Powertex medium plaster faces and matched it (by size) to a face on the Victorian rice paper.

I carefully cut out the rice paper face. Applied Easy Coat Matt varnish to both the plaster and the back of the rice paper then carefully married the 2 together. Using a soft clean paintbrush to help push the eyes into the right place. Go very carefully as it is a delicate process.


Powertex small art doll
pigments and wax

On the limbs I used the Secret Art Loft Pearl pigments mixed into the Powerwax. This gives a beautiful blended finish with a soft sheen. The Powerwax is a really great way of adding layers of colour to any of your work.

I took the Powertex quote stencil and used the top quote by Robert Henri. By cutting this down into individual words and phrases I was able to place the words onto the individual areas more easily.

Powertex texture
Structure Paste words and texture

Along with the words, the texture on the wings and headdress were all created with Easy Structure Paste. It holds its shape brilliantly and takes colour really well.

Share you Powertex makes with us

Well I’m off now to have more fun with these gorgeous girlies, but can’t wait to see what you create with these wonderful templates. Don’t forget to post your makes on our facebook page.

Also checkout the blog posts from the other Design Team members – they’re amazing.

Find your local Powertex tutor

And if you’d like to attend an Art Doll workshop get in touch with your local tutor.

Catch my Powertex sculpture project from last month

Did you catch my article for last month, follow the hyperlink for another chance to have a look here. Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures……

Annette

Top Ten Tips for a Powertex Christmas – Annette Smyth

Hello Everyone

I don’t know about you but I just love this time of year.  I have Christmas movies and music playing in the background from the beginning of November!!

So in the spirit of the season,  I wanted to share some ideas with you on how to get a wintery festive feel into your projects.  So here are my top ten tips for Christmas crafting along with some festive musical titles (how many can you recognise?)………..

1. LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW………

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In my opinion you can never have enough snow!

Mix small 3D Balls and 3D Sand into White Powertex to get a textured snow effect. Experiment with different amounts of each until you get the consistency you need for your project.

Dry brushing with Powerpearl pigment makes the snow glisten.

2.  OH CHRISTMAS TREE, OH CHRISTMAS TREE ………

fullsizeoutput_15aa.jpegIcelandic/Reindeer moss coated in Transparent Powertex makes a lovely textured Christmas tree.  Be sure you give it enough time to dry – I left mine overnight, be careful if you use a hairdryer to speed up the process as you can burn the moss.

Here I have used moss that has been dyed bright green. The Powertex makes the dye bleed very slightly, so be aware of that when placing onto your project.

As the Powertex dried and became stickier,  I used a skewer to push the tree into shape.

3. (Christmas) PRETTY LIGHTS ON THE TREE……..

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Coat the large 3D Balls in Powertex and then dry brush with the pigments of your choice to make beautiful Christmas lights. To get a real shine coat with Easycoat Glossy. 

These can then be placed onto your tree and for a stringed light effect use Powercotton coated in transparent Powertex to connect the lights together.

4. DECORATIONS OF RED ON A GREEN CHRISTMAS TREE……

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Well actually the decorations can be any colour you like.

Use Stoneart clay and your favourite silicon moulds to create decorations for your tree. Attach to your project using Transparent Powertex .

Watch the video in the Penguin blog to see how to make Stoneart clay.

Dry brush with pigments to complement your chosen colour scheme

5. MERRY CHRISTMAS MR BUBLE……

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Ok so I cheated on this title as I couldn’t think of any song with baubles in it……but you can’t have Christmas without a bit of Mr Buble.

Take a ball of Stoneart clay, insert a loop of cotton then coat with Easy Varnish.

Dip into glitter for a sparkly look or coat with your snow mix to look like a snowball.

6. WITH AN EVERGREEN WREATH ON A RED FRONT DOOR……..

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You can make a great Christmas wreath by using a mdf cog.  Coat with a layer of Powertex Green.  Dip strips of Paperdec into the Powertex and lay around the cog in a circular shape.

Dry brush with Colortricx Terragreen pigment and sprinkle on a little snow to finish your wreath.

7. DECK THE HALLS WITH BOUGHS OF HOLLY…………

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Use your Stoneart clay with any cutters you have to create embellishments.  Here I’ve used a sugarcraft holly leaf cutter with green clay.  Remember to keep these cutters for non food use only.

The holly berries are 3d Balls dipped  in Powertex and drybrushed with red pigment then coated with Easycoat Glossy.

8. WITH THOSE HOLIDAY GREETINGS AND GAY HAPPY MEETINGS……

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You can add any greetings you like into your project by using the mdf letters .

I coated mine in the base colour then placed them onto my project.  Using white Powertex I then painted over the top to make them stand out.

9. THE PRETTIEST PICTURE YOU’VE EVER SEEN IS CHRISTMAS IN KILLARNEY……

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You can add a focal point into your project by using the Powertex rice papers.  

Select the image you want to use and draw around it (leaving a small margin) using a wet paintbrush.  Now gently pull away the excess paper keeping your hand on the image, this way if you tear by mistake it will be the waste that you rip into and not your picture.

Attach to your project using Easycoat Matt.

10. RAISE A CUP OF CHRISTMAS CHEER………..

close up of beer glass against black background
After all your hardwork treat yourself to a little of what you like
Merry Christmas and Happy Creative Adventures…..see you all in the New Year
Axx

Penguins – Mini Makes for you and the little ones

Hi Everyone

Well we’re at that time of year again where time just flies by and everything you wanted to get done somehow doesn’t.  So I thought I’d show you a nice easy make that you can do on your own, with friends and with the little ones.

We are going to make penguins and I have to admit they are a little addictive so you may well end up with your own little waddle  – that’s one name for a group of penguins on land, they can also be called a colony or a rookery whereas when they are in water they are called a raft (thanks Google!!).

So lets waddle away and get creating…….

You will need

Powertex Black (approx 75ml)
Powertex Stone Art (approx 20g)
6cm Polystyrene egg
2-3 cm Polystyrene egg
2 x 2-3mm animal eyes
Cocktail Stick
Masking Tape
Plastic container to mix clay in
Brush
Pigments (I opted for orange, white and yellow ochre)
Apron
Disposable Gloves
Optional – Pokey tool
Start by covering your work area with a protective layer.  This could be an waterproof tablecloth, oil cloth or even newspaper.
Break the cocktail stick in 2.  Using one piece connect the 2 eggs together to form a body and head
Place the head at an angle for a more realistic look
Using the masking tape cover the whole shape ensuring that the the transition from the head to the body forms a neck. Place the other piece of cocktail stick on the small egg where the beak will be.  Now coat with a layer of Black Powertex and set aside.
Place approximately 75 ml of Black Powertex into a suitable container (you are going to be mixing this so make sure the sides are high enough) and begin adding the Stone Art, using the non bristle end of your paintbrush begin to stir the mixture.  Add the Stone Art slowly and mix well between each addition.  Keep going until the mixture pulls away from the sides.  Now go in with your gloved hands and knead the mixture bringing together into a firmer clay consistency.  Keep adding more stone art until the clay doesn’t stick to your gloves and there are no white flecks showing.  Make sure you pull the clay apart to check that there are no white flecks inside.
Make sure that the clay isn’t too dry otherwise you will have difficulty covering your penguin. If it is just dip it in a small amount of Powertex and knead it thoroughly.
You can now use the clay or double wrap it in cling film for use later.  So long as you keep it airtight the clay will be useable for several weeks.  This is a bonus as you can make the clay ahead of time and have fun sculpting it later with the children.

 

Take approximately 2/3rds of the clay and roll it into a ball then flatten it into a disc approximately 1/2 cm thick.
Lay it over the beak and onto the head, then using your fingers push it down onto the body thinning it as you go.  Make sure it meets underneath to form a base.  Stand the penguin on your work surface and give it a little wiggle to make sure it will sit without toppling.  If it doesn’t sit properly use a little of the remaining clay to make some feet and/or a tail to support it.
                                      
With the remaining 1/3 clay split it into 2 and form rolls.  Flatten them to around 2mm and shape to form wings.  Attach to the body on the sides.  If your clay has dried, paint on some fresh powertex to stick the wings to. Shape the wings to give your penguin character.
Now make any final adjustments, make sure the beak is a nice shape and push the eyes through the clay into the underlying egg.  You may need to use a pokey tool to make the hole first.
Using the Easy Varnish and pigments dry brush on the colour to complete your penguin.  I opted to colour mine in different ways to make a real mixed waddle.

 

 

Don’t forget, you can always scale it up by using larger eggs to make bigger penguins just remember to increase the amount of clay you make.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this project and look forward to seeing your makes.  Don’t forget to post photos of them over on the Powertex Studio facebook page
Until next time happy creative adventures

 

 

Warwick Poppies and Powertex

 

Hello there

As many of you are aware, in November this year we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the the First World War (The Great War).

Our county church, St Mary’s Warwick, has a history of involvement with the military and is home to the Royal Warwickshire Regimental Chapel and so they have organised a memorial exhibition of handmade poppies to be displayed throughout October and November.

These will be created and donated by the local community and beyond.

The aim is to display over 11,000 poppies to represent the number of men lost from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.  Each poppy will be unique just like the men who gave their lives.

I contacted the organisers to see if I could help in any way.  They asked if I could work with the Warwickshire Young Carers to help them create their own poppies for this project. A big thank you to  The Art Society – Leamington Spa, who covered the cost of materials.

We decided that creating larger poppies made from individual petals would allow the children to work on their own individual piece but when they then came together as a whole flower, they could see how working as a team created something bigger.  This could then be reflected back on how the soldiers had worked together during the conflict.

For the petals we created a wire form using reclaimed wire, covered this in masking tape, then applied gauze from the local scrap store which had been coated in red Powertex.

A large bag of potpourri, that had been found in a local recycling centre, provided seed heads.  These coated in black Powertex became the poppy centres.

The poppies will be on display during October and November at

Collegiate Church of St Mary, Old Square, Warwick CV34 4RA


To find more details about the Warwick exhibition please click here

 

Click here to find out more about the Warwick fallen of World War I at

Until next time

Happy Creative Adventures

Axx