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 Stone Art Clay Pendant – Abigail Lagden

Powertex Stone Art jewellery pendant

Well, Happy New Year and I hope you had a lovely Christmas.

For my first blog of 2019 I thought I would take a festive left over and re-purpose it into something fun and funky for the new year.

So for this project, I started with an MDF bauble shape, some red Powertex, Stone Art, macrame cord and some texture mats.

Starting point

I began by mixing some stone art clay using the red Powertex and the Stone Art. When mixing small amounts of stone art clay I pour a little Powertex into a yogurt pot, then using an old paintbrush handle, I gradually mix in small handfuls of stone art. I keep adding stone art until the mixture thickens up and starts to pull away quite cleanly from the sides of the pot rather like a dough. It can then be turned out and a little more stone art worked in by hand to get a  consistency a little like polymer clay.

Part mixed clay
Part-mixed clay

Mixed clay
Clay ready to turn out

Once the clay was the right consistency, I rolled it out using an acrylic rolling pin to a thickness of approximately 3mm and a little larger than the size of the bauble. Then I positioned one of the texture mats on top and rolled the rolling pin over the top to impress the pattern into the clay.

Next I placed the bauble on top of the impressed clay and carefully cut around the edge using a craft knife to make a perfect circle of clay.

Bauble cut clay

I have recently acquired some macrame cord and love the simple texture of it when rolled into a coil, so I wanted to incorporate this into my project. To make it sit within the clay I needed to cut a circle out of it, so I used the lid of a fabric conditioner bottle like a pastry cutter to remove a circle of the clay.

Cut out circle

To attach the clay, I painted the bauble with Powertex before placing the clay on top.

Macrame cord was then coated in red Powertex and coiled to fit in the circular hole and also to create a border around the edge. The piece was then left to dry overnight.

Macrame cord added

Once dry, I sprayed brown bister over the clay to enhance the impressed texture and once this was dry I gently used a damp sponge to remove the bister from the uppermost surfaces and reveal the red colour again.

Bistered
Sprayed with brown bister

Cleaned Bister
Bister wiped back

Finally, I added colour by mixing Powerwax with yellow ochre, orange and moss green powercolor pigments and applying with a sponge.

The last step was to add a piece of ribbon through the hanging hole to make this piece into a beautiful wearable pendant.

Pendant

Pendant on driftwood

I hope you have enjoyed this project and you have been inspired to get creative this year. Please do share your makes with us through the Powertex Studio facebook group and let others know about the Powertex blog and the fabulous inspiration you can find here.

You can see more of my curious creations and the Powertex workshops I am running in County Durham, by popping by my Curiously Contrary facebook page or my website.

Until next time, here’s to an awesome 2019,

Abs xx

What a hoot!

What a Hoot! – by Abigail Lagden
I have loved the owl templates since Powertex first introduced them, so imagine my delight when I opened my design team parcel to find not just the owl, but lots of extra embellishments and shapes too in the Project Pack Owl. Here they all are:

 

I wanted my owl to have lots of texture and ruffles, so I also used the following bits I had lying around (very little gets thrown away in our house if it is deemed to be powertexable and I judge just about everything on a texture rating) :
  • Some part-shredded cardboard packaging (courtesy of my Powertex parcel!)
  • Some zig-zag corrugated cardboard which had been protective packaging around a plant pot
  • Some embroidered, stretchy peach fabric which those of you who have been to one of my workshops will know I affectionately call my ‘hideous fabric’ – I hate all skin coloured clothing and also know this would be a nightmare to sew with.
  • Some t-shirt material
  • Some flat cotton yarn
  • Some cotton lace with a circle design
  • Some elasticated, ruffled, cotton lace

This is how my owl was created:

1.   I used the wings as templates to draw around and cut the embossed paper to size. These were coated with bronze powertex and stuck onto the mdf wings and the top surface painted over.
2.  The owl shaped mdf base was fully painted with bronze powertex
3.  The ruffled lace was used in strips for the tail and the shredded cardboard laid across this to form the branch.
4.  One of the mdf rings was wrapped with the flat cotton yarn. One of the circles from the lace was cut out and attached to the other mdf ring.
5.  The corrugated cardboard was cut to make a shape to cover the owl’s belly. This was attached using powertex and painted over.
6.  The ‘hideous fabric’ was used to add some ruffled texture around the corrugated cardboard.
7.  T-shirt fabric was used on the face and ruffled around the two mdf rings which became its eyes.
8.  The feet, beak, button and butterflies were then positioned, and finally the gorgeous eye.

 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… so I guess a video must be worth at least a thousand more. To prove that point (and also because it easier than stopping to take photos when ‘in the zone’) I have included a couple of time-lapse videos in this blog to show you my project’s emergence.
This one shows the owl being ‘built’.

And this video shows the colour being dry brushed onto the owl. I used different blends of burgundy, red ochre, yellow ochre, orange and white powercolor pigments, followed by some rich gold and bronze gold colortricx.

 

 

I hope you found the videos useful. You can see more of what I have been up to on my facebook page.

Take care. Until next time, Abs xx