Mosaic Madness

Powertex project by Annette Smyth

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

Moonlit sea with Powertex

Designer – Kore Sage

I’m lucky enough to live a short walk from the sea. I love to visit under the moonlight and listen to the waves. The colours of the water and the beach are so magical under a full moon. The nautical themed mdf was perfect for creating moonlit sea scenes.

The lighthouse had a lovely message in this piece. That no matter how deep the water gets, trust that you will find your way. I hope my plaques inspire you to create your own underwater scenes.

Moonlit sea scene with Powertex and metallic pigments by Kore Sage
Moonlit sea scene by Kore Sage

Metallic pigments for a moonlit night

Metallic pigments are perfect for creating a moonlit glow on my scenes. For the base colour I used Black Powertex on one design and White Powertex on the other.

On this first plaque, I used Black Powertex to paint and adhere layers of mdf with a nautical theme. Stone Art clay was used in the tiny ammonite mould for the little fossils. I also used lumps of the clay for rocks, building dimension and lifting the mdf shapes.

Powertex mixed media detail by Kore Sage
Texture details

Tiny fabric scraps, 3d balls and Powercotton completed the underwater look. I left it to dry before adding the colours.

Pigments were mixed with Easy Varnish and dry brushed over the textures. I use Golden Olive, Violet Valentine and Blue Curacao which made a beautiful moonlit glow.

Powertex moonlit sea plaque by Kore Sage
Moonlit scene

Ivory Powertex and Bister

Powertex Moonlit sea scene
Under the sea scene

My second scene used Ivory Powertex to paint the pieces and adhere it all together. I used tissue paper and cardboard for the back ground. Stone Art clay built up the scene with the mdf shapes. Small, medium 3d balls and sand added extra texture.

Wite Powertex base
White Powertex

When dry I sprayed it heavily with Blue and Black Bister sprays. I used a strong Rust mix and poured this over some of the textures. I sprayed this with a vinegar and water mix.

When that was all dry I chose Aqua Metallic ink and Copper pigment to highlight my textures.

Copper details on Powertex scene
Copper highlights

These watery moonlit sea scenes were really fun to create and will look great hanging in my home. Be inspired and have a try yourself. Do share your makes over on the Facebook group too, we love to see your creations. Or you can tag us on Instagram with #powertexaddict

Powertex mixed media plaques by Kore Sage

If you like the watery theme you might also like this project. You can also find more of my Powertex art at Kore Sage Art. Until next time, find some time to let your art out.

The Secret Art Box – February

The Secret Art box, Powertex, love projects

This months article brings you inspiration and projects to create using February’s The Secret Art Box. The new craft subscription box from Powertex UK.

“The love of my life opened my heart the warmth it let loose poured into my art” by Claire Ivins

*** You may not get an exact replica of this box, but similar items will be included ***

Powertex Secret Art Box Project One

I also gathered a few more supplies, wire, paper tape, tinfoil and a larger mdf heart shape.

I used the mdf heart shape to mould another from wire.

I used tinfoil to pad it out and create the shape I wanted.

Next came the making of the arrow. This is a thicker wire as I wanted it strong and sturdy.

I covered everything in masking tape.

Then I started to play around with some of the contents in the box.

I wanted to make a recess in the polystyrene heart for the plaster heart to sit in, so I drew round it.

And using a craft knife and a small pair of scissors, I dug out the shape.

I placed the plaster heart in the hole to try it for size.

 I painted it with a coat of red Powertex. Whilst still wet I pressed Stone Art powder onto it and rubbed it in, letting the excess fall off. The Stone Art creates a stone like effect.

Then I sprayed it with red Bister. This red is more of a mahogany colour, ie a deep red.

The Secret Art box powertex

I painted the heart and arrow shapes with the red Powertex and stuck the arrow on with it too. I cut out some of the polystyrene heart so it sat on the frame. I added the gold sequins from the January box. And also used rich gold pigment from my stash over some of the heart shaped frame.

And to finish I mounted it on one of the Powertex metal stands.

      

Some more close ups.

Powertex Project Two

I did the same for my next project and started off by creating a layout. This time I wanted to show different shades of red and different textures.

I sprayed the plaster cherub with the red Bister.

I used the red ochre and varnish to create a paste and painted the wings, and did the same with the rich gold on the hair.

I painted the large heart from my stash, and from the Secret Art box, the set of four hearts (including the one out of the middle of the biggest one), the smaller starburst shape, mini hearts and the wooden love word, all in the red Powertex.

This one I added strands of Power Cotton to the wet Powertex, painted over it and added the key whilst still wet. Once dried, I dry brushed with green olive pigment, which if you were lucky enough, was in the January subs box.

This one I sprinkled some of the small Powertex sand balls into the wet Powertex and dry brushed with rich gold pigment.

And for this one I added pieces of tissue to create some texture and to dry brush I mixed some of the blueberry pie with the red velvet acrylic paint and a touch of lipstick fizz pigment (for the shimmer) to create a deep purply colour.

The Secret Art box Powertex

Next I layered everything up and put it all together. I used the Powertex as a glue once I was happy with the placement.

           

Some more close ups.

For my next project I wanted to section off parts of the sheet of rice paper included in the box.

Instead of cutting it, I like to get a rough edge as I find it blends in better and isn’t such a harsh line. If you take a wet paintbrush and mark out where you want to tear, if it’s wet enough it should just pull apart. If it rips then the paper isn’t wet enough.

It should just pull apart and creates a lovely edge.

This is what I ended up with. Don’t you think they look much nicer than straight cut edges.

I also cut a piece to size and fitted it inside one of the metal embellishments I got in my box.

Then I completely filled it with transparent Powertex and left it for several days to dry. It is cloudy when a liquid, but dries clear.

I wanted to create a pink colour to combine with the images, so I mixed red and white Powertex until I achieved the colour I wanted.

I found a suitable glass bottle and completely painted it with my new hot pink colour and left it to totally dry before the next step.

Using transparent Powertex I glued on the pieces I’d torn out. I smoothed them out and also added a layer over the top. Now this looks really messy and you might think, oh no, what have I done. But, don’t panic, stick with it, the transparent goes on cloudy, but dries brilliantly clear. I also added some of the fancy yarn I had left from my Bluebird (January) box around the top.

And this is what I ended up with once it was all dry.

The Secret Art box Powertex

I added some chain and a couple of metal charms, the hand and heart from the box. The transparent Powertex has now completely dried that I put in the heart shape, so it has now sealed the image.

And a decorated bottle makes a great candle holder. Should you wish to light the candle the dripping wax won’t be a problem when it meets the Powertex. However, don’t let a naked flame come into contact with any fabric, as Powertex is not a flame retardant. As with all naked flames, do not leave it unattended, we won’t be held responsible for your house burning down!!

The Secret Art Box Powertex

All three makes together.

I hope that you have gained some inspiration for your own, The Secret Art box, Powertex craft subscription box. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. Don’t forget to share your makes on the Powertex Studio Facebook page as we love to see what you’ve been up to.

Did you catch my article last month find it here. Thanks for stopping by Sam

Powertex Tutor Training Days

The last blog Sam shared with us was about her Garden Party experience. (We still have a few spaces left for next years Garden party, it’s an event not to be missed!)
Now Sam is sharing her thoughts on her tutor training at Powertex UK HQ with Creative Director Tracey Evans. Read on to find out more. If you feel inspired to become a Powertex tutor for your area please send an email to info@powertex.co.uk.
Fancy learning from a tutor? Find your nearest in the new tutor directory at Powertex UK. 

So guess where I’ve been the last couple of days? Yes, on my Powertex tutor training course, along with three other lovely ladies all set to become tutors for their designated areas.


First of all we played with the ivory Powertex.


The mdf shape that I was given was an owl and there was a huge box of embellies to choose from, so as you can see I went off piste with mine (what’s new there then!) and went down the skull, cog and Halloween route.


We then started working on the next piece.


This was the next piece, either an angel or a fairy, I chose an angel and the others made fairies.


Here at the end of day one are my three pieces all ready for their colour tomorrow.


Back again for day two and today the sun was shining.


We played with different colouring and layering techniques firstly on the bottle.


Everyone is on a roll now.


Michele popped down to see how we were all doing.


I went for the blue for my angel.


This is a photo of the projects I made taken outside this morning in my garden – love them all.


This is a snippet of my certificate, so it’s now official!!


And my absolute special favourite is my fabulous apron which I shall wear with pride – thank you sooooo much.

Can’t wait to also share my other news with you, but that will have to wait until nearer the end of the year!!

So what do you do with your spare Powertex??

Hello there

I hope you are well and have enjoyed this lovely Summer.

So here’s the question……..

What do you create with the spare Powertex left in your tub?

You know that little bit you have left when you’ve been slightly too generous with yourself when you’ve been pouring out….

Here are a few of the things I use it for.

1. Coat a spare piece of fabric and a plaster embellishment and create a brooch.

These can either be coloured or left as the base colour so that you can colour them to fit into your future project.

2. Coat a spare piece of fabric, scrunch it up and let it dry.  You now have somewhere to try out your dry brushing colours before going onto a finished piece.  This is great if you want to try something a little different to your normal colour choices.

3. Take a strip of fabric, coat it with the Powertex and roll it into a flower.  Once dry these can be added into a future project.  Again these can be dry brushed at a later date to fit in with your project.

4. Mix it with Stone Art and create a clay,  double wrap this in clingfilm and store in a sealable bag or box and this will last for several weeks.  Alternatively sculpt it into a freeform shape or use it in the moulds to create embellishments.  Again these can be kept until you need them.

 

5. Create a Powertex mask.
Either let the Powertex set in the container or pour it out onto a non stick mat creating a more controlled design.  Leave to set then peel off.


These can be added into projects to give even more layers and textures.

Here the Powertex was left in a round tub and gave a lovely curved effect to sit the skull into.

6.  Take some of your MDF embellishments, coat them with Powertex and apply Rusty Powder, spray with vinegar mix and leave to dry.  You then have ready rusted embellishments at your disposal


I bet you have other ways of using your Powertex,  why not hop onto the Powertex Studio facebook page and share your ideas with everyone.

Until next time happy Creative Adventures

Annette  x

Ghekko, gekko or geko?

This is how my ghekko started out, I simply used the square block to join the two parts.
I used yellow ochre Powertex as my glue for this job, well it is the best glue I know!
I turned it over, painted the whole thing with yellow ochre Powertex. I sprayed with blue bister and heated with a hairdryer until my fabulous crackles appeared. 
I used some of the MDF alphabet letters to give him a name, this became a point of discussion as to how it should be spelt and after ‘googling’ it I realised that it seems to be one of those words that has various spellings, I liked the version with the ‘H’, what do you think? 

Just to finish him off I fixed some twinkly flat backed crystals that I had left over 
from my jewellery making days onto his toes and in the centre of the letter ‘O’
I can’t wait to see yours! Tracey x