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

How to decorate a Mirror Tile

Hi all here I am again with another idea for using Powertex Fabric Hardener and the fabulous new flower and leaf moulds, exclusive to Powertex . I have also used Stone Art to create an attractive border.
This time I am sharing something quite different, very simple but effective. I really love the idea of transforming something I already have but do not use, into  something very special.
For a few years there lay in my stash of ‘stuff’ a pack of large mirror tiles. This is what I did with one of them.
I have a constant companion whilst creating in the form of a very nosey black cat called Salt.

You will need:
Powertex Ivory & Transparent

A mirror tile

Powertex Stone Art

Powertex Daisy & Leaf Moulds

Green, Yellow, Lilac Colour Pigments

Brown Bister

Powertex Varnish

A Scrap of Lace and some Jute

Large and small Paintbrushes

Masking Tape & Scissors


A length of wire that is strong but bendable.

(You don’t need a nosy cat though.)

 
Paint the back of the mirror with a layer of Ivory Powertex. Place the jute over the Powertex and use the brush again to add a little more until the whole surface is well covered. The jute should be about 2 inches bigger all round than the mirror.

Use pliers to cut a length of wire and curl it at the ends to form a loop. Next use a paintbrush and saturate 2 lengths of cotton material thoroughly with Ivory Powertex.

Loop the material through the wire and press down to ensure the Powertex has soaked right through. Dry the back of the mirror using a hair dryer. When touch dry turn the mirror over and add masking tape to the centre to keep the mirror surface clean. Remember to use a plastic sheet to work on. I found this table cloth in that certain shop that has everything for a pound! 


Use a paintbrush to coat one side of the jute with the Ivory Powertex then turn it over and press it down firmly. Dry with a hair dryer. Ensure it has adhered all round. Before removing the tape.


Once the Powertex is dry, remove the masking tape. It was late at night when I reached this stage so I decided to prop the mirror up against the wall on another of my plastic table cloths to dry for the night. Nosey cat had to have a sniff. He sometimes gets a little too close to where I am working and ends up with Powertex on his fur. It wears off eventually.



I had already created the flowers from Stone Art clay which was made using the Ivory Powertex and the Stone Art powder mixing equal amounts together until I had a clay that had a pastry like consistency. I kept mixing it until my gloves did not stick to the clay.  You can use your fingers too as the clay is water based and can be easily washed off. I had stored my ready mixed Powertex Clay in a plastic bag so was ready for the next stage. That was to create a border within the surrounding jute. The whole thing had dried out nicely overnight. The next stage was to create 4 long sausages the width and length of the inside of the overlapping jute.


These need to be adhered so I poured a little transparent onto a paper plate. This is where the whole design idea begins to take shape.




I coated the Transparent Powertex along the whole length  where the border was to be placed. This acts as a glue. Once it had all been flattened then pressed on I used a nice piece of lace with a deep texture to press firmly over the surface. I do apologise for the photography but it is not easy working with sticky stuff and taking pics in between.


Once everything was in place I used Brown Bister mixed with water to add depth all over and a lovely warm shade of brown. I used a paintbrush to apply it.


The Bister really brings out the texture but it does require varnishing when completely dry. Use Powertex Easy Varnish for this.

Black, nosy cats also require having their tummies rubbed after the tiring work of watching me create. I love that cat!
I hope you have been inspired.



I am from East Sussex and a qualified Powertex Tutor Levels 1 and 2 and I hold workshops from my home in Wadhurst. One of my specialities is to create figurines and I love sharing my techniques with others. Due to illness I have not been able to attend and demonstrate at all the big shows for a while so I am happy with one to ones or workshops with up to 4 students.
Email birdsdragons@gmail.com

Please check out my workshop page for details or join me on Facebook where I share many of my Powertex Creations.

LOVE THE STUFF







Something in the style of an artist I admire

‘Something in the style of an artist I admire.’


Hi Birdy Heywood here again with another Blog.

As a member of the Powertex Design Team 2017 we were asked to pick 4 subjects to cover for our blogs. One option I chose was ‘something in the style of an artist I admire.’

There are many, but 2 artists appeal to me the most. Those are both Gaudi and Dali. Probably because my own style is more surrealistic rather than realistic. I love all things organic.  Gaudi’s art simply oozes with a connection to growth, movement and to the earth itself.

Creating helps me to bring to the fore, my deepest feelings. Some are happy and others are more thought provoking, both allow me to release them and set me free.

Art is all about expression. I see it as a language. A language that can be interpreted in several ways according to the person who creates it and those who observe it.

 
Gaudi’s buildings grow out of the landscape
as if they had been there for hundreds of years.

Dali, well I just love his work too. He dared to leave reality behind
and express himself in the most peculiar of ways.

 

Now to my own particular work of art


First of all I want to tell you how this came about.
Many years ago, an ex partner of mine was jealous that he had not been part of my past. He showed dislike for my much treasured paintings and drawings dating back from the time I was a teenager. I dreamed then of becoming and artist. Stupidly, as a token of my affection, I made a fire and threw all of my paintings and sketches on it to be consumed by the flames. 

This picture is the only one that survived. I sketched it with a ball point pen on a scrap of paper when I was 13 years old whist on a visit to Germany.  A relative scanned it and sent it to me a few years ago.  Seeing it again bought back all sorts of emotions.
Teenage years as we know, are difficult. As a victim of abuse when I was seven I often felt trapped, dirty and useless. Drawing helped me to express myself and I drew many such heads growing out of the ground. Heads with no arms, no bodies. The surrounding landscape was hostile and barren. Somehow these bodiless heads survived, silently observing the destruction of what had once been a beautiful world.  My family called me ‘weird.’
I see now that what I was expressing, was that feeling of being helpless and trapped.
As I took this idea further my POWERTEX Creation released me.

‘The Release’

Dali created, heads growing out of the ground, strange creatures with long spindly legs, melting clocks that defied space and time. Gaudi erected the strangest but also the most beautiful of buildings, each with a life of its own and a message with each of them.
I decided to use my strange bodiless heads from childhood to set me free.

One of the heads had to break free and I felt it was to be me.
I knew that with Powertex this would be possible, more effective and enjoyable than just a drawing.  Besides, each month all Powertex Trainers have a challenge set. This is just for enjoyment so no pressure.  During the month where a ‘Collage’ was the subject, I decided it was my chance to tackle the subject of letting go.
As with everything created from the heart and deep subconscious, I was very emotionally charged.
Apart from the heads themselves which I created out of polymer clay using my own moulds, the rest of the creation was made using only Powertex products.

The heads trapped on the ground were rooted on the rocks.
I created the rocks using natural fabric soaked in Bronze Powertex.
The background was created using Easy 3D Flex. 
This is great as it cracks whilst drying revealing crevices.
I created the heads out of polymer clay

I used an old t-shirt for the rocks, then when dried I used lighter colours and
dry brushed it to bring out the texture. (More on dry brushing later.)
Easy 3D Flex  is great for creating the texture of the dry, cracked, earth

Gaudi’s style influence me whilst creating the rocks with strange shapes. For these I used torn up egg  cartons. The foliage was created using Paper Dec and the little berries using Sand and Balls. Both Powertex products.  I used Powertex Hardener Green for the foliage and Bronze Hardener for the rocks.

I love the texture of egg cartons. Hah, Hah, little things please little minds

​and I am easy to please.

I mixed a tiny bit of Bronze  Powertex with some Ivory to create a clay like shade then added Stone Art to create a clay that I could form. With this I created little rock formations.

Powertex Stone Art

Dry brushing really brings out the texture. The egg cartons have a natural stone like surface.
I began first of all to brush a lighter shade of brown over the surface gradually mixing lighter
and lighter  shades until I ended up with just the Ivory.

Once I have finished a canvas using the Powertex
I find such wonderful textures to play with
in a photo editing programme called Picassa. (
A free programme)

Anything is possible
CREATE YOUR DREAM

Powertex UK
have a wonderful range
So take a look to see who is
from your area.

Dotty about you!

Well, I know we’ve only just got through Easter but summer will soon be knocking on the door and reminding me of the days when as a child we would spend our summer holidays in Devon at my Nans. I think my favourite outing aside walking along the river Otter to Otterton Mill for cream teas and yummy swizz roll was the Ladram bay beach trips.

We would pack up the picnic basket and set off early. The whole day was filled with beach fun! Playing in the rubber dingy with my sisters and shrimping in the rock pools. Looking for the crabs, starfish and wonderful fishy creatures lurking under the rocks.

I have to say I never did manage to spot a sea horse. But they are rather lovely don’t you think?

Which leads in nicely to my latest project that I am happy to share with you all, you lucky things! I decided to go a little crazy and use two colours on this piece. I was going to use some ivory too but I thought better off it and tried to keep it a little simpler.
Top tip: Always give yourself an idea of layout and where you are going to place your items. I always take a picture of  the layout on my phone as a reminder. However, this is not mandatory and set in stone, sometimes I completely change my mind on layout once I get going.
 
I wanted to make sure I added some kind of texture underneath the circles. So I gathered together all sorts of lace, corrugated card, wall paper, scrim to name but a few and started putting them in place to have an idea of where I wanted them.
Next I removed all circles and got the base prepped with texture and colour. Blue Powertex for the top half and green for the bottom half.
So you may be able to spot on his belly I used my circle stencil and structure paste. I also used the arty quotes stencil in places but got a bit excited with some other texture and covered most of it up. But I’m ok with that. There really are no rights or wrongs or mistakes with Powertex, it’s all about play, fun and going with the flow.
Next I put all the circles and flowers back into place and gave them a coat of Powertex.

Top Tip: If you mix a little sand in with your powertex and gently brush over certain areas of the raised circles it adds a little texture and extra detail when dry brushing.

Then it was dry brushing time. I used yellow ochre powercolor along the neck, back and tail.Then popped on a little gold colortrix. For the front I mixed dark blue and pale yellow powercolour and added white for highlights with a touch of pearl colortrix for a little shimmer. And voila!
The mdf seahorse bases are available to buy at http://www.powertex.co.uk. However, I am afraid you are going to have to wait for the circles to be released on Hochanda on the 9th June. Sorry about that. But it’s sure to be a great show I promise! I know what a tease, right. On the plus side you get to watch me on my Powertex tv debut! I know exciting right. Eeekkkk…not long now! Lucky I will be with our Tracey. Have we got some cracking stuff to show you!
Toodle pip Anna xXx

Jurassic Tool Time

Jurassic Stencil

 
With less than a week to go before Powertex UK is back on Hochanda (Tracey launches a super duper ODS 8pm on Wednesday 5th April) I just had to give the brand new rather gorgeous and highly detailed Powertex Jurassic stencil a try.  Honestly you seriously need this stencil in your life!
 
Now while I will be back on air demonstrating some more jewellery ideas on Thursday 6th using the same products as Tracey, I thought I’d decorate a rather nifty wooden tool rack that a very dear friend gifted me a while a go.
 
The result of my crafty bit of playtime is this twin look piece. 
 
Hope you like it..
 
Fi x

Mixed Media Steampunk Book Box

I have been looking for an excuse to make a steampunk-inspired project for a while & the perfect opportunity came up a few weeks ago in the form of a friend’s 40th birthday fancy dress party. The theme was ‘school uniform’, but instead of the obvious St. Trinians outfit, I opted for a Steam Punk School Mistress, complete with book (which doubled as a handbag for the evening).

Of course, being part of the Powertex UK Design Team 2017, it was much more fun to create my own steampunk book box/handbag than to try to find one to buy!  Here’s a brief explanation of how I did it…

I started with a paper mache book box, a selection of steam punk embellishments, corrugated cardboard, cotton lace, teabag papers & of course, some of our lovely Powertex products – Powertex transparent and ivory , Silk Paper Mechanisms, Easy Coat Mat & brown bister.

The spine of the book was decoupaged in pieces of tea bag paper sprayed in bister.  The Easy Coat Mat was used to fix them in place before applying a 2nd coat to seal. Then the ‘Mechanism’ silk paper was applied to the front & back covers.  I love how the teabag papers look like old leather!

The ‘pages’ of the book were made using the corrugated card.  Cut to size, paint with a mix of ivory Powertex & brown bister, & spray with more bister to ‘age’ the pages.  Leave to dry before attaching.

Finally the cover design.  Arrange your embellishments & lace, then attach using Powertex transparent.

I finished the whole thing off with a little sprinkle of Powertex Rusty Powder, sprayed with a water/vinegar mix & left overnight to react before sealing with Easy Varnish.  Great fun to make & perfect to complete my outfit for the fancy dress event.

To find out more about Powertex art supplies, find a certified tutor near you or ready other blogs by Powertex UK & the Design Team, visit www.powertex.co.uk & don’t forget to share your makes on our Powertex Addicts facebook page.

Powertex Jewellery Hochanda Followup

Powertex Jewellery Hochanda Follow Up

Hope you have got your Powertex out and been creating.  If anyone was inspired by the jewellery designs on our last shows on Hochanda, then this follow up is for you.

I have completed the pendant I demo’ed and thought I would show you the finishing stages.

First I checked over the back and sides of the bezel. Even 10 days after the show I was able to clean this up. I gently rubbed with a baby wipe until the dried Powertex was soft then gently scraped with an old bank card then wiped clean.

I checked the piece all over to see if there were any sharp edges, this is essential so that it is comfortable to wear.  I gently rubbed sharp areas with an emery board.

Next I added a layer of Powertex red ochre pigment blended with some Powertex Easy Varnish colouring most of the peiece.

Then I added a tiny bit of Powertex white pigment to the red ochre and dry brushed to add highlights.  I then cleaned my brush before adding even fewer highlights with plain white pigment.
Finally I added one of the cords.
And that’s it finished and ready to wear!
Share your Powertex Jewellery with us on Powertex Addicts or on my Facebook page
See you next time….
Fi