Take a look at these Steampunk Powertex projects from UK tutors to inspire your own crafting. It’s the theme for the Monthly Challenge in The Powertex Studio in February. Put your own Steampunk spin on these ideas or create something unique and join us!
Claire from Powertex UK has written a poem to inspire you too.
For the Love of Steampunk
“Wise old owl; his lucks come in Lucky sixpence gets him a win! Steampunk funk the cogs just spin My heart is black but full within”
Think cogs and gears, clock parts, copper pipes, metal textures and corsetry or lace to give your creations a steampunk twist. Steampunk is all about mixing up Victorian steam age with the future so go wild with old meets new.
Steampunk crafting by Powertex tutors
Layer up a mixed media style art with mdf cogs and metal textures like Sylvia Blackshaw.
Use moulds to add pipework like Samantha Thompson.
Use Powertex fabric hardener to create Victorian ruffles like Sarah Jayne Ambrose.
Julie gives her owl a mechanical makeover.
Suzanne gets creative with cogs and gears in her sculpture.
Add clockwork parts to a hat for a steampunk costume or prop like Liz Dixon.
Use moulds, mdf and metal embellishments like Gill Goldsmith.
Add a touch of Victoriana to a sculpture like Wendy Reed.
Everyone is welcome to join in and you might see a lot of tutor makes in the photo album to inspire you.
Last month’s theme was Alice in Wonderland and Elisa Miles was the lucky prize winner. We’d love to see your Powertex steampunk creations in the challenge photo album too! The challenge is open until the 25th February.
The December Secret Art Box had an Egyptian theme and there was a limited edition Fresh Mint colour Powertex too! Other materials included: Large stencil, Printed rice paper, Scarab mould, 3D Sand, Varnish, Bronze Gold Colortricx pigment. In my Egyptian art I wanted to use the Eye of Horus as the focal point as this is one of my favourite symbols.
Prime the MDF base with the gorgeous Fresh Mint Powertex Universal Medium. Create background texture with Easy Structure through the hieroglyphs stencil.
TOP TIP: While this dries, make your scarab piece with Stone Art clay. Mix up your clay 50/50 Powertex and Stone Art powder and press into the mould. Remove immediately and leave to dry.
When structure paste is dry, brush over with Powertex and assemble the pieces using Powertex as your glue. Use the printed letters on the mdf as a guide.
Mix 3D sand from the box into some Fresh Mint Powertex until you have a textured paste. Apply to the surface using your fingers and fix into place.
TOP TIP: You can fit the triangle in place before adding the sand paste.
Add scraps of fabric coated with Powertex to the surface. Coat your chosen clay and mdf embellishments with Powertex and lay them out. Glue into place with Powertex.
When dry, spray with Palm green acrylic ink spray from the box. Leave to dry and repeat if needed.
Spray the base with Bister to “age” the surface. I used Yellow but you can use Brown Bister for this.
Leave to dry and wipe away with a cloth, any excess Bister and ink from the surface to keep the aged look.
Add colours to highlight your embellishments. I used Blueberry Pie acrylic paint to darken some elements and painted on some more Bister to darken the triangle shape.
Bronze Gold pigment mixed with Easy Varnish makes a gorgeous metallic paint to add highlights to the Scarab and the sand textures.
I was struggling to get contrast at the centre of the triangle so I tried using Fresh Mint Powertex to colour the central piece instead. I liked the result but took it a step further.
Eventually I chose to cut a circle of card and harden it with Fresh Mint Powertex. I was unable to remove the Eye of Horus piece from the centre but I had another in my stash so I used this, painted with Bronze Gold Colortricx mixed with Easy Varnish. I layered these in the centre.
Brush Fresh Mint Powertex for highlights on the embellishments. I wanted the circle to look like it was illuminating these parts.
I hope you like my Egyptian art. There were so many gorgeous elements in the box it was hard not to throw them all in! If you like the look of the Egyptian Secret Art Box you might be lucky to get one of these limited edition boxes on the Powertex UK Website.
You can also find more projects using the Secret Art Box on the magazine.
Whatever you’re making with your Powertex supplies, we love to see, so join us in the Powertex Studio on Facebook.
This month’s Egyptian Secret Art Box is a stunner! The theme, inspired by Tracey’s visit to the Tutankhamen exhibition is all things Egyptian and amongst the fabulous goodies, a brand new colour of Powertex, a gorgeous mint green.
Powertex Universal Medium in White and Yellow Ochre
Pigments in Bronze gold, Blue Curcao and Ultramarine
How to make my Egyptian art
The new shape of MDF panel, lent itself so much to the theme and screams pyramid, so I used the fabulous hieroglyphics stencil and added texture to the top of the panel with EasyStructure paste. I also added a coating of Easy Structure across the pyramid and marked it with a palette knife like blocks. Once dry, I laid out my composition of the MDF pieces, I’d cast a plaster piece of the new scarab mould and also used the Nefertiti bust as a focal point.
Then using the brand new mint colour Powertex I coated the complete piece, using it to glue all the elements in place. I added some Paperdecoration to the sides and created more texture using the sand included in the box. I mixed it into the Powertex with a palette knife and spread it across the bottom of the canvas. Allow this to dry thoroughly.
Once dry, I used the palm leaf acrylic ink spray, included in the box, and liberally sprayed across the whole piece. Don’t panic at this point, it looks a lot of colour, but there’s a long way to go. Again, allowing this to dry thoroughly before starting my favourite process on any Powertex piece, the dry brushing.
I initially dry brushed the MDF elements and the plaster pieces with white Powertex and the pyramid in yellow ochre. I then added depth with darker pigments to make the pyramid stand out and used the bronze gold pigment included as well as blue Curacao and ultramarine blue to bring out the highlights on all the plaster pieces and MDF embellishments. Mix pigments with the Varnish.
My final touch was to dry brush the pyramid with more white Powertex, making sure your brush is really dry so it just highlights the texture and make it stand out…..
For this article I was asked to talk about my favorite artist. I have lots of things around me like nature that inspire me but rarely a well known artist.
I was inspired to push my Powertex canvas work further a couple of years ago by fellow Powertex tutor and artist Rosie Casselden. This was my first piece with Rosie in her studio with a little guidance.
I had never braved painting detail before so it was a big thing to me, but wow did it opened doors to floods of ideas. So I would say Rosie is definitely a favorite artist of mine that inspires me.
I started painting fauna and flora but with a mixed media twist, using textures and random items such as shirts.
Upon sharing this to the Powertex studio group there was a comment “Elfie Cella does some amazingly inspirational work”. She does some textural nature art using textiles and everyday objects. Here is some of her work, which has become my inspiration.
How to make a nature inspired Powertex painting
Large canvas mine was 40 x 40 cm
Nature napkins, I will be using a napkin image of foxes
Tip: Dust off any loose bits when dry. Also note that you don’t want balls in the higher ground area as it will make harder to paint any roots later.
Spray all the texture with Brown and Black bister, avoiding the foxes. Dry with hair dryer.
Using Paynes grey acrylic paint and a little water on your wash brush, paint the night sky, avoid the tree and moon. While wet, dab with a scrunched piece of tissue roll and leave to dry.
Using a mix of different shades of white and paynes grey, create moon shades by stippling. Add very watery white around the moon for its aura. Finally using a fan brush flick white over the sky for stars.
Use the pre-made brown stone art clay, sculpt around the tree outline, paint the thinner branches with brown acrylic.
Now add all the detail such as grass in shades of green and yellow, roots shades of browns and white mixed, branches and bark in shades of browns.
To finish dry brush the dirt textured area with various shades of light brown to off white acrylic paint.
So here’s the finished piece….
I hope I’ve inspired you to push your canvas work in a different direction. If you would like to have a go at this or something similar you can contact me on my website at The Crafty Little Corner or take a look at my other design team projects.
Well that’s all from me this month, see you again in the days running up to Christmas for my last blog of the year!
This month we were asked to create a piece, inspired by one of our favourite artists. Not an easy task for me as I have quite a few to choose from, Georgia O’keeffe, Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, to name but a few. Then there are artists who I admire and inspire me such as Anna Emelia Howlett from Rosehart Studio, Kore Sage from Kore Sage Art and to be honest the rest of the design team, decisions, decisions!
Starry, starry night
In the end I chose Vincent Van Gogh as the piece I chose to recreate I have always loved from a child and I also love the song by Don Mclean.
I wanted to push myself and try and recreate Vincent’s famous painting “Starry night”, now it was not going to be a straight paint job, that would be too easy. So, I set about thinking how I could achieve a similar look and others knowing who I was doing.
I started by applying a wash to a medium sized box canvas using the blue pigment powder. A few key elements to my canvas were marked out first.
I decided to use Easy 3D Flex as a texture paste, to create the look I desired. For this, mix together the Easy 3D Flex and some Ivory Powertex into a thick cream like paste. Using a palette knife, I added this to the canvas and used an embossing tool to drag through the Easy 3D texture paste to create a similar look to the famous painting.
I left the canvas to dry.
Applying the paint
Did you know that you can use Powertex pigment powders as a watercolour? especially if a piece is not going outside.
Use the bigger brush to painted the whole canvas with the blue and let it dry. With the detail brush, paint the yellow stars, mixing with a little white for highlights. I painted the bottom piece with the green for the hills and dry brushed white over the texture.
I then added blue and white tiny dash lines in the lower parts of the texture, this took a little while to do but I personally find this therapeutic. Add brown highlights to the centre part of the canvas and dry brush the whole piece with white to finish.
Are you inspired?
I do hope you enjoy reading the articles of this Powertex online magazine and I do hope that myself and all the DT members inspire you to create with Powertex yourself. If you are inspired by Van Gogh too take a look at Donna’s art too. You can always come say hello over at at THE POWERTEX STUDIO on Facebook, or you can find hours of inspiration here on PINTEREST . You can get all your goodies you need over at POWERTEX.CO.UK.
If you would like to check the latest things I have made, you can also find me on Facebook at MUMS SHED and on Instagram at JINNY HOLT.
This month I was asked to write an article about whose art influences me. As an artist this made me think and question, am I an artist or a crafter? I have been a crafter for many years and have recently crossed the line from crafter to artist in some of my art work.
Colours and nature definitely influence my mixed media art work. I love to blend colours, create texture and experiment with different mediums and Powertex products are perfect for this.
I love the work of Maria Fondler-Grossbaum (Abyssimo). Her work has such great texture and depth to it, blending colours and creating beautiful, bright pieces of art.
People who inspire others to ‘give it a go’ inspire me along with those who have such great enthusiasm about art and craft. Kirsty Allsopp and Marta Lapkowska are people who I enjoy watching and learning from.
I would love to hear who influences you. What has led you to create pieces of art, maybe a photograph or even a piece of music?
Remember you can share your art in the Powertex Studio or have a look for more inspiration here in the magazine.
Hi, it’s Kore here. I love the new mdf frame and cow skull mould that were featured on the Hochanda tv shows in September. I had Easy Structure, Aqua and Egg Yolk acrylic inks and Copper Penny metallic ink in my kit to make my sample. The Copper Penny ink is absolutely gorgeous! Here’s how I made my Cow skull and Copper art.
If you bought these products you can follow along or get inspired to create your own art.
Slot the pieces together using Ivory Powertex as glue. Then paint the whole thing with Ivory.
Use the Easy Structure to create a rough texture over the frame. I used a plastic palette knife to scrape it down the surfaces.
TOP TIP: An old credit card works well but don’t smooth out the paste too much.
Prepare your pieces
Make some clay with Ivory Powertex and Stone Art to use in the mould and make your skull and flowers. Coat pieces of paperdecoration with Ivory and dry on a craft mat or plastic bag.
TOP TIP: I turned the horns on my skull forwards while the clay was wet.
Spray with inks
Generously spray the inks onto the frame. I sprayed the wet inks into each other which is why my frame looks more green and blue.
Add more texture
Next Paperdecoration adds more texture. I took the small pieces and glued these into place with Ivory Powertex. Then gave another spritz with the inks. Leave to dry.
Paint your dry paperdecoration and flowers with Copper Penny acrylic ink. I used Aqua ink to colour the cow skull piece but you could use the copper ink for that too.
TOP TIP: Make sure both sides are coated.
Add your layers when the inks are dry. Glue your pieces into place with Ivory Powertex.
TOP TIP: If your pieces aren’t connecting very well, use pieces of tissue in Powertex to fill the gaps.
When your pieces are glued into place with Powertex you can add any details with the Copper Ink. I painted the horns on the skull and added some Copper splashes on the frame with a paintbrush. I later added Copper ink on the edge of the frame too.
Thank you for taking a look at my Powertex Cow skull and copper art. Donna has also used this mould for her art but with very different results.
This month’s theme was Africa and the box was filled with so many amazing products. The Powertex colour this month was Terracotta and there was also a plaster head, MDF animals and trees, rice paper, paper decoration, 3d sand, stencil, tissue paper, pigment, metallic ink, varnish and yellow Bister spray. I had lots of ideas, but decided on a striking African Adventure Wreath.
So firstly, I got out the plaster head, Africa map MDF, the rice paper, tissue paper. I also had some white paper that had black painted markings on from my stash, (I thought it looked like zebra print) and started laying out my composition.
I started by painting the polystyrene shape with Powertex Easycoat mat. Attach the rice paper and then paint a coat of Easycoat mat over the top. This helps to seal the paper and stick it to the shape without bubbles.
Continue to place your papers in this way until you are happy. I painted the areas in between with terracotta Powertex. I also painted the head and Africa map.
You will see that I chipped away a bit of the polystyrene at the bottom of the wreath shape. This is so the flat backed figure head was nestled into the wreath to help support it at the next stage.
Now I was ready to use some fabric to create texture. This also helps support the head onto the wreath. I used some dishcloths, stockinette and paper decoration. I even gave the African man a little head band and created a loop to hang the wreath by twisting the fabric into a knot.
I attached the MDF Africa map and rhino. I used 3d sand, mixed into the Terracotta Powertex and applied this with a palette knife. Then allowed everything to dry thoroughly before the next stage.
Spray liberally with the yellow Bister included in the box. This creates depth to your work. Although initially scary to spray your projects, I always encourage my students to just go for it. More is more in this instance.
Allow to dry thoroughly before moving on to the fun bit of drybrushing with pigments and inks. At this stage I also attached the MDF strip, which I had painted with black Powertex and attached some paper decoration and letters to spell out Africa.
I used a very dry brush with some ivory Powertex to highlight the fabric texture. This just lifts it, after you have added the Bister and makes the texture really show up.
This month we have a Dark green Powercolour pigment and the introduction of a new product, Copper penny metallic acrylic ink. I used green on the raised areas of the Africa map, where the sand was, and the lettering. Then Copper penny ink, to highlight the texture on the fabric, the paper decoration on the Africa wording and the African man bust.
That’s it, the completed project. Hope you enjoy this month’s Secret Art Box and will share what you create on the Facebook page. Check out more of my ideas from past boxes and more of my work on my Facebook page The Powertex Port. Until next month, happy Powertexing XXX Gill
For this article I was asked to create a 3D animal using Powertex and recycled materials. As anyone who is familiar with Powertex will know, the possibilities for this are endless. My brain was buzzing with ideas. However, it was when I was sorting out stuff to take to the dump, that inspiration hit for a Powertex giraffe.
I was loading a broken floor mop into my van that I settled on what I was going to create. The mop was speaking to me, and what it was saying was one word. Giraffe. As I turned it round in my hands, a picture started to form in my mind. I even had a ready made pose, with the head lifted high, as though nibbling on leaves. Yes I thought, I’m going to make you into a giraffe’s head sticking out of a plant pot in my garden.
A strange thing to think? Maybe, but I’m willing to guess that anyone who is into Powertex will have had similar thoughts on a regular basis.
We have a plant that overhangs our fence and I decided to turn this into a feature by placing my giraffe so that it can decoratively nibble on the leaves. I opted to only make the neck as I thought it would look quirky sticking out amongst my plants.
I soaked some of this fringing in Bronze Powertex to create the hair for my giraffe’s neck, and left the whole thing to dry off completely.
The finishing touches
The final step was to dry brush the whole thing in Bronze Gold Pigment. This create a contrast to the Rich Gold that was on the Clay underneath the 3D Flex patches.
I wanted to be sure that anything I used apart from Powertex was recycled. Hence the stones for eyes, and the toothbrushes for horns. I had thought of using old corks for the horns, and toyed with using hessian for the patches, but my love for Easy 3D flex won out.
If you decide create something similar, to ensure it is weather resistant please be aware that Stone Art Clay needs to be kept indoors for 6 months initially.
Gerald will stay safely inside until next year. Just before putting him outside I will give another couple of coats of Easy Varnish, especially on the Easy 3D Flex patches.
Obviously if you choose to make your own Giraffe you can do it on as big, or as small a scale as you wish – using anything that is available to you at home. If you decide to make one please do post a photo over on our Facebook page as we love to see what people are inspired to create.
If you are unsure about how to create Stone Art Clay, my fellow design team member Annette has great instructions in this blog.
Powertex planets are a fun and easy canvas project to try. It doesn’t take much in the way of supplies and if you’ve used stencils or masks before you’re half way there! With Powertex you really can use basic techniques for amazing results.
Prep your canvas with Blue Powertex Fabric Hardener and while it’s drying cut your circle masks. Draw around plates or lids and carefully cut out. Keep both parts.
Spray the background
Arrange your circular masks. Darken the background with Black Bister Spray. Vary the amount around the canvas. Leave this to dry naturally.
Paint the planets
Swap the mask for the stencil on each planet and paint the circle with a layer of Ivory Powertex, not too thin. Do one at a time!
Spray the Bister
While the Powertex is still wet, leave the stencil in place and spray generously with Bister in your chosen colour. Notice I’ve protected the canvas.
Create the Bister crackles
Heat the Bister with a hairdryer until cracks start to form in the surface. A heatgun or tool can be too hot for this. Repeat these steps for all your planets.
Put half a teaspoon of Ivory Powertex on a plate and use a very wet paintbrush to splatter it across the surface for stars. I had a practice on paper first!
One of my planets had smeared a lot so I tidied it up with a bit of Blue Powertex and Black Bister when it was dry. I didn’t worry too much about the others and I thought they looked pretty good. I love the blue Powertex coming through the Black Bister too!
Top Tips for Powertex planets
Each planet will take a while to dry so be careful when masking the rest of your canvas. I used a piece of printer paper held near my planets while I sprayed them. Using more than one colour of Bister on a planet to give it a darker side helps them look dimensional. Try Easy Structure paste or 3d balls to add texture before you add Bister.
Thanks for reading my blog today. I hope you will have a go at painting your own Powertex planets! If you do, please share your art in the Powertex Facebook group as we love to see what you make.