Powertex Steampunk Flying Machine

The Secret Art Box June 2019

Designer: Abigail Lagden

Powertex steampunk flying machine by Abigail Lagden
Steampunk Flying Machine by Abigail Lagden

There is nothing better than getting a surprise parcel is the post – especially when it is full of Powertex goodies. So I was super excited to receive and have the chance to play with June’s Secret Art Box. The box didn’t disappoint as you can see from my Powertex steampunk flying machine!

This month’s theme is steampunk and as many of you will know, I am a regular at the Whitby Steampunk Weekends, so this was the perfect kit for me.

Powertex UK Secret Art Ox Subscription box contents June 2019
Secret Art Box June 2019

The first thing that struck me was just how much was in the kit, here are the contents in and out of the box. If you have been getting these each month, you will be building up a pretty good stash of products, embellishments and reusables like the moulds and stamp.

In case this is your first box or even your first foray into Powertex, I wanted to create a project that could be completed with very little extras than the contents of the box. So here is my Powertex Steampunk Flying Machine.

Materials used from June’s Secret Art Box:

Additional materials used:

  • Foil
  • Masking tape
  • Cotton fabric
  • A zip
  • Wallpaper
  • Jute string
  • Air drying clay (or Stone Art clay)

How to create your Steampunk Flying Machine

Step 1

To turn the flat MDF balloon into something three dimensional, scrunch up pieces of tin foil to form the sides of a rough balloon shape. Cover the foil shapes in masking tape to give a better surface for the Powertex to adhere to and cut a piece of textured wallpaper to fit in the gap in the middle of the foil.

Adding dimension to mdf with foil
Step 1

Step 2

Paint the front of the MDF balloon shape with yellow Powertex. Use the yellow Powertex to stick the wallpaper and MDF wings in place and then paint the top surfaces. Attach and paint the foil shapes and the cogs using yellow Powertex.

Using Yellow Powertex Universal Medium
Step 2

Step 3

Coat the zip with Powertex and position in the middle of the balloon with the sides of the zip sitting on the foil shapes on either side. Then use strips of cotton fabric coated in Powertex to cover the foil shapes and create some ruffled texture.

Also cut the grey cord into pieces, coat with powertex and lay onto the basket element of the balloon. Mould a switch using one of the switch moulds and affix to basket. (I used some stone art clay I had laying about, but you can use any air drying clay).

Adding embellishments and textures with Powertex
Step 3

Step 4

Spray the whole piece with Mahogany Bister spray.

Using Mahogany Bister spray for colour
Step 4

Step 5

Once the bister has had a chance to dry a little, use a damp sponge to clean some of it back off the upper surfaces of the fabric.

Highlight textures by wiping away Bister
Step 5

Step 6

Time to add highlights and pigments. Use a little bit of the yellow Powertex to dry brush over the fabric to add highlights. Use the Black Magic and Silver pigments mixed with the easy varnish to colour the cogs and the teeth of the zip.

Adding metallic pigments
Step 6

The last thing is to attach the basket to the balloon of my flying machine using some jute string.

Powertex Steampunk Flying Machine by Abigail Lagden
Powertex steampunk flying machine

A little extra Powertex steampunk bonus…

As I had so much left from the kit, I couldn’t help having a little play with some of the other bits and created this little piece.

Powertex steampunk heart by Abigail Lagden

Here I used some Stone Art to make a clay with the yellow Powertex and pressed this onto an MDF heart template. I used the clock stamp and one of the small wooden angel wings to impress designs into the clay.

I added parts of the large MDF clockfaces, the rest of the cogs and a stone art clay switch using the yellow Powertex before spraying it all with the mahogany bister. Once dry I cleaned back the bister and highlighted with copper, bronze gold, rich gold and silver colortricx pigments.

And I’ve still got all this left, along with around three quarters of the Powertex, Bister and Easy varnish, plus loads of the two pigments! What shall I create next?

Pieces left from Powertex UK Steampunk Secret Art Box after 2 projects

I hope you’ve enjoyed my projects and hopefully been inspired to get creating yourself. If you’ve got this month’s Secret Art Box, have fun. We’d love to see what you’ve created with it – please come and share your work in the Powertex Studio Facebook group.

If you’d like a surprise package full of Powertex goodies, check out the subscription options for The Secret Art Box here.

Thank you for reading my article. To see more of my creations to you can visit my Curiously Contrary facebook page, instagram or website.

If you’re a fan of a bit of steampunk, you can read about my Steampunk Top Hat, here (you’ll see I like my zips and cogs!).

Or why not come and visit me at the next Whitby Steampunk Weekend – Friday 26th – Sunday 28th July. Everyone is welcome, including those who are just a little bit steam curious…

Until next time, Abs xx

Step by step to techniques used to create a Powertex Box – Donna Mcghie

Hello and a very Happy New Year to everyone.

One of my resolutions for 2019 is to try and catch up with the modern age by getting to grips with videos in my blogs.   As you can also see, my daughter has been very helpful in getting them onto my computer for me, hence the titles of the videos.

What you will need to create your button tin:

Step by Step Instructions and Techniques:

1) As the box I was using was plastic I covered the base section with masking tape and then painted over this with Powertex Hardener so that the material would have something to adhere to.

2) I painted the lid with white gesso

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I painted the lid with white gesso so that my art deco image would show up

3) Once the bottom section was dry enough,  I turned it upside down and proceeded to soak strips of material in the Powertex Fabric Hardener and after squeezing out thoroughly placed them over the base.  At this point I was keeping the material nice and smooth as I laid it on as I wanted a flat bottom for my tin to rest on.

4) I dried this with a hair dryer and once dry enough, turned it over and started to work on my sides.  I wanted more texture on the sides, so scrunched up my fabric and added buttons as well.

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This is  a photo of the side once it has been dry brushed

If you want to you can also do this on the inside of your box.

5) Whilst this was drying off, I started to work on my lid.  I gently tore around the image I wanted to use from the Powertex Art Nouveau Rice Papers.  Then, using a good quality brush I brushed a little of the varnish onto the dried gesso, before carefully placing my image where I wanted it to go.  I then secured this in place by brushing over with a couple of more layers of varnish.  (NB: It is worth using a good quality brush for this as you want the image to be nice and smooth, the Powertex Brushes are perfectly designed for the job).

5) Once my image was in place, I carefully built up a pattern around it.  I wanted the most texture on my lid, so have done a short video to demonstrate how I did this.

6) Once the lid was covered, I added pieces of jewellery from my junk stash.  I also liked the idea of adding a frame, so used a small mdf one, and then, in memory of my nan and her tin, added some more buttons as well.

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I couldn’t resist adding a choker to my lady

7)  I left my box to dry off completely overnight

8) The next day it was time for my favourite part, dry brushing.  I wanted to give the impression of a bronze tin, whilst also subtly incorporating some of the colours on the Art Nouveau image, so I opted to use pigments in Bronze Gold, interference Blue and Interference Red.  Dry brushing is simple once you get used to the technique which is this:

  • Dip your flat brush into a small amount of Powertex Easy Varnish
  • Then dip the same brush into a small amount of whichever Powertex Pigment you have chosen
  • Now wipe the brush off on a sheet of paper towel.  This may counter productive, but it really is worth doing as you will get the best results when the brush is quite dry and will only pick out highlights, rather than smothering your design with thick colour.
  • Now you are ready to very gently, sweep your brush over your design.  Being sure to keep it flat.  You will be amazed at how quickly your design starts to come to life.

My best tip for dry brushing would be to start off gently and gradually build up to the depth of colour you want.

9) I did this over the whole of my tin.

10) And voila!! A rather bog standard plastic chocolate box that was destined to be added to landfill is now a  beautiful button box, in memory of a lovely lady.

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My finished box

I really enjoyed making this, and obviously similar boxes can be transformed in so many different ways – to reflect the personality of whoever you are making it for, or in memory of.

I hope you enjoyed this blog (please excuse the amateur video techniques, I will get better, I promise).  If you create your own version of one of these I would love to see it, and you can post photos on the Powertex Addicts Facebook Page

If you would like to see more about what I do, and why I do it my website page is www.artandmurals.co.uk

Take time to do what makes your soul happy – Pocket Watch project

When I first caught glimpse of this project pack I was super excited. This was one fun project to make. And I thoroughly enjoyed creating this pocket watch. It was even more exciting because I got to use our Tracey’s studio at hq to create mine. There is no feeling like being in a big studio with every Powertex product imaginable to hand. Oh its heaven…….

So without further a do here is my design for this months project pack.

As usual I made a layout of the items I was going to use. I just had to use some of the rose and daisy embellishments. I made some stone art clay with the stone art powder and Powertex and pushed the  clay into the daisy and rose mould.
Top tip: If you layout your composition for the design you wish to achieve before you start, its a lot less messy.

 Next I took my Ivory Powertex and coated all the mdf and embellishments. The only thing you need here is Powertex. It’s magic formula glues, sticks and paints your works of art.

Top tip: I didn’t use all of the mdf shapes in the pack. This means I have them leftover for any other projects I wish to use them on. You can chose to use them all or save some for other projects you have in mind.

Top tip: Your items won’t be instantly stuck so if you want to relocate them you can pick them up easily and move them to another part of your design.

To add some extra texture to the piece I took some sand and balls and mixed them into some Ivory Powertex I had poured out. I then used a plastic palette knife to apply the mixture on various areas of the piece.

 I then sprayed blue bister on the left side, green in the middle and black on the right side. I accidentally used brown and only have the photo with brown. But I just sprayed the black on over the top. Bister is a walnut stain so it covered the brown perfectly.

Top tip: I like to mix my bister granules in a small bowl with hot water, this enables them to dissolve better. I use the back of a teaspoon to crush any granules that haven’t fully dissolved. You can pop them in a spritz bottle and shake them, it completely personal preference.
I then dry brushed red ochre, yellow ochre and turquoise powercolor over the black stained side, to give a faux rust effect. And turquoise, moss green and yellow ochre on the blue side.
I think you can tell I loved creating this one and I had some left overs that I can use for other projects. I hope you all enjoy the project pack and find some inspiration in our blogs. Do share your makes with us at Powertex addicts united on Facebook or join our new group. We love to see what you are making. Toodles Anna xXx You can find more of my work on @ Rosehart Studio.