A Window on Jurassic

A Window into Jurassic

One of our many “favourite” locations on the English South Coast is the cliffs along Burton Brandstock and eastward to Lyme Regis.  I love the contrast between the types of rock and their the colours and the little secrets of the past they reveal.  I remember one of our visits to Burton Bradstock not long after a cliff fall.  I was in awe of the rock formation, the layering and the little windows the fall had opened up in to the past.

So with that in mind and having also loved working with Tracey Evans on our Jurassic themed shows on HOCHANDA TV where my focus was on Powertex jewellery, I decided to create a piece of wall art using the Stencils and Ammonite Moulds and remembering that fabulous holiday and location.
Before starting with the frame, I got out my Powertex Ammonite Moulds (they come in three sizes) and mixed various colours of powertex with 3D sand to make a collection of ammonites.
For this piece I used Powertex Yellow fabric hardener to paint over the frame which was from my own stash, we all have stashes don’t we?
I then added some 3D sand and more yellow Powertex to make a fairly stiff paste.
Using a palette knife I spread the paste onto the painted frame in a vague linear pattern until the whole frame was covered.  I then painted some more yellow Powertex loosely into the linear grooves and dropped on some 3D small balls for added texture.
Next I mixed more sand into yellow Powertex to make a fairly sloppy mix, rather like wet plaster.   I poured this into the cavity and then arranged my pre-prepared powertex ammonites.
Some I laid flat and others i places a varying angles, as they may have done naturally.  I dropped in some more of the 3D small balls.
I then took some Powertex Easy Structure – boy I love the texture of this stuff!!!
I used the three sizes of ammonite stencils from Powertex Jurassic Stencil.
I laid large one in one corner and carefully pressed through the East Structure.  Then in the opposite diaganal corner I did the same but using the small and medium stencils.
Next I used some Green Bister (mixed into a fluid with water) and sprayed across diagonally to add some weathering as seen in the image to the right.  I also added a few squirts of Red Bister.
As well as spraying evenly, I did a few short squirts to leave some blobs of bister randomly.  I felt this added to the natural weathering and formation of my cliff seen.
I then left the piece to dry naturally overnight.
Once the piece was dry, I dry brushed over the non stenciled corners with a little more yellow Powertex that I had slightly lightened with Ivory Powertex, to give the impression of a shaft of sunlight passing over the shadows of the cliff as it revealed it’s secrets.
Finally I used Powercolor Red OchreColortrix Bronze Gold and Colortrix Power Pearl Red  Pigments with Easy Varnish to bring out the highlights and features.
I hope, if you got the ammonite moulds and the jurassic stencil from our Hochanda shows, that you have had fun using them and that maybe this project will inspire you to create some more.
Don’t forget to share them with us on our Powertex Addicts Facebook page! We love to see what you create!
Bye for now…
Fi

Wire Wrapping a Powertex Ammonite

Wow what a busy start to the new year and what a fun one too!

 

Did you see Tracey and I sharing some of our Powertex ideas on HOCHANDA on 5th/6th April?  Did you get the fabulous one day special and Jurassic Jewels kits? If so then maybe you were tempted to make yourself some Powertex Ammonites using Tracey’s new sand technique and some of my jewellery.

So as promised, here are the steps and they are really simple and you don’t need to have any previous experience to get started.  Here goes…

Step 1

Gather together a finished Powertex Ammonite, 0.9 and 0.5 wire and beads from the Jurassic Jewels kit.
Tools: flush cutters, round nose and chain or flat nose pliers and some medium grade sand paper.

In thise project I am using a medium ammonite.  I have also created it in ivory and not added pigment. If you do want colour add it before wrapping.


Step 2

Use the sandpaper to gently rub off any sharp areas and smooth the back and sides of the ammonite.

Pull of 5 x 30 cm lengths of the 0.9mm wire making sure you follow the direction of the wire (this is your structural wire). Cut 1mtr of the 0.5mm (this is your wrapping wire).  Use the natural cure of the coils to your advantage.

Hold all wires in your non dominant hand and keeping the wires side by side, leave approximately a 4-5cm tail and in the centre of the wires make 7 wraps on the wire bundle, keeping some tension and keeping the wire flat.

Once the wrap is complete and with both end to the inside curve of the wire, trim the ends and firmly squeeze with the chain or flat nose pliers.

Moving 22mm along from the end of the first wrap, repeat making a second 2-wraps and then repeat on the other side of the central wrap.

These measurements are for the medium sized ammonite and you will need to adjust if you are wrapping either the small or large ammonites.

The wire now look like this one on the right.

Step 4

Hold the ammonite and gently coax the wire around the shape of the ammonite with the central wrap opposite the outer edge as shown here.

Holding the ammonite and wire wrap firmly with your non dominant hand, use your pliers to push the wires into the right angle of the ammonite.

Step 5

Gently pull forward the front wire of the anti-clockwise wires and encourage it to work into a curve stroking your fingers along its lenght, the warmth and direction from your fingers will help with this.  Add 3 off the little beads and then turn a neat loop and continue to curve following the inner curves of the ammonote.

Use the front wire of the clockwise wires to make 2-3 wraps around all wires to secure.

nb: DON’T CUT ANY OF THE STRUCTURE WIRES

Step 6

With your fingers or flat nose pliers and from the middle, gently pull the top outer wire just over the front endge of the ammonite on each side of the wire wrapped groupings, repeating on the back.

Try to make them as even as you can but work with the shape of the ammonite. Press firmly on the outer edges so the wires lie flat. repeat so all 4 sections are wrapped and the ammonite sits firmly within.

Step 7

Next you need to bend the wires comping anti clockwise so they fit closely along the back from top edge to bottom edge where the centre wires.

Tip: I find it easier to use my flat nose pliers to turn the wire and then use the back of the plier to press down so the wire sits nice and flat.

Step 8

Use some of the 0.5mm wrapping wire to secure the structure wires either side of the bottom central wrap.  These structure wires will become the bale on which you will thread your cord.

I continued up the length of the wire after I had bent the bale into shape so I suggest you leave the wire attached in case you choose to do the same.

Using your flat nose pliers to hold the structural wires bend the wires forwards 1cm up from the base.

Then holding the wires together bend down approx 8mm from the first bend and so that all wires are sitting over the front of the ammonite.

Leave as they are while we work on the tail wires.

Step 9

The wire coming clock wise of the bottom of the ammonitte now need gently curving, these are the tail wires. Do this with your fingers, gently stroking them all together between your thumb and forefinger and in a clockwise direction.

Trim the wires so that the front wire is shortest and back wire is longest.  I made mine around 8mm shorter than the one it was next to.

On the short front wire add 5 beads. Turn a loop so they don’t drop off.  Continue the coil trapping a bead in the coil and leaving the others to find their own level.

Repeat this on each wire, adding 7 beads to wire 2, 9 beads to wire 3 and 11 beads to the longest wire.  Trapping a few beads in the tighter coils as shown in the photo below.

Step 10

Hold the wrapped ammonite in your no dominant hand and use your flat nose pliers to make a couple of bend in the rear wires, this helps give strength and tension.

You can see here where I have done a basket weave wrap on the back of the bale.

Turning to the front, trim the bale wire so the centre wire is a little longer than the other two.  Turn a loop on the four outer wires.

Thread 3 beads on the centre wire and turn a loop to secure them

And that’s it!

Here is the finished Powertex Ammonite Wire Wrapped Pendant.

 

 

All you need to do now is make a corded necklace that you can hang it from.
This is a very basic wrap and there are lots of ways you can change the bale, or even leave off the bale and using powertex and a little bit of kitchen paper or fabric add a brooch back.
Look out for more tips soon on finishing your Powertex circles jewellery pieces.
Have fun and make sure your share your creations with us over on Powertex Addicts United we love to see your makes!
Unitl next time… Fi xx