Powertex sculptures from recycled items

Designer – Annette Smyth

One of the great things I love about working with the Powertex product range is the ability to recycle and upcycle everyday objects into something completely different.

I love to create 3D sculptures, especially animals and birds. I often walk around car boots and local charity shops dreaming of all the things I could create from the weird and wonderful items on offer.

Sometimes I find an object that just attracts me but I don’t have an immediate project in mind. In cases like this, I sit the item in my studio and wait until I get that lightbulb moment.

Powertex sculptures from recycled items

Here are a few of my upcycled sculpts.

Lamp bases make great legs!

Lamp base

These beautiful lamps were no longer working and were gifted to me by my good friend Jacqui Mexson. Jacqui knows me so well that she knew I would be over the moon and brimming with ideas with their beautiful shape.

I removed all the electrical gubbins and the lampshades (I’ve reserved these for another project!!). Along with some polystyrene, pipe lagging, foil and masking tape, they were then ready for their transformation into…

Powertex flamigoes by Annette Smyth.  from recycled items.

The flamingoes

Using Powertex Universal Medium, Stone Art and packaging from an Amazon delivery, these birds just came into being.

Candle holders are perfect armatures

Candle holder as a sculpture base

This candle holder was a pleasant find at the local tip shop for the grand price of £1. Candle holders are often solid forms with a decent weight so lend themselves perfectly as armatures. The flowing curves of this treble clef shape immediately called out for a sea themed project. I removed the top flat plate and built up the shape with tin foil to create…

Sea horse by Annette Smyth

A fabric draped seahorse

Again I used Powertex Universal Medium along with pigments and 3D sand and balls for the base.

Empty tape rolls make perfect circles

Powertex fish sculpture by Annette Smyth. from recycled items.

Here I have used the empty masking tape roll to create a perfect circle to build on.

Powertex fish by Annette Smyth

Some foil, masking tape, Easy3D flex and pigments made this fish a fun project.

Plastic milk containers as animal bodies

Powertex rabbit from milk container

My rabbits and dogs are created from 4pt plastic milk containers for the bodies. The cardboard tubes from the centre of rolls of tinfoil are the perfect for shape for legs. Foil enables me to add bulk and shape for the head, ears and paws.

Powertex dog from container Annette Smyth from recycled items

Once formed these are covered in masking tape and painted with a layer of Powertex Universal Medium.

Powertex rabbit from milk container by Annette Smyth

Before being covered with fabric or Stone Art clay.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a few of my Powertex sculptures from recycled items and that I have inspired you to have a go yourself. If you would like an easy start into sculpting check out my previous article on sculpting penguins.

Don’t forget we would love to see your makes by posting them on the Powertex Studio Facebook group or into the Powertex Addicts Facebook page.

If you would like to join me for a workshop at my home studio then please take a look at the workshops page on my website.

Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures…..Axx

Under The Sea Powertex Sculptures

Powertex shark by Donna Mcgghie

By Donna Mcghie

What lies under the sea can be both beautiful and terrifying in equal measure.

I decided to make my own homage to the 1970’s film Jaws for my first underwater sculpture for this article. Thanks to this film I always feel a primeval sense of unease when swimming in deep water, and that music hovers around at the back of my brain. However at the same time I also have an exhilarating rush of adrenaline. My senses feel alert and vibrant. 

Under the sea, Powertex shark by Donna Mcghie
Although I am scared of sharks, I have grown rather fond of this gnarly old Powertex king of the seas

Powertex Stone art mixed with black Powertex fabric hardener was the perfect medium for this gnarled, battle scarred shark.

Powertex zip mouth on shark
An old zip works perfectly for his pointy little teeth
Powertex shark on base
The black metal base makes the perfect base for this powertex sculpture

The sea bed can be an eerily beautiful setting. Mixed media was used to create this under water 3D canvas.

The eerily beautiful seabed that is home to my shark

The illusion of the sea was created by using a mixture of blue and white Powertex Fabric Hardener sprayed with blue bister. I created the spiky coral by soaking Powercotton in transparent Powertex fabric hardener. Shells that are not conventionally pretty added the finishing touch.

Beware of Beautiful Powertex Mermaids

Powertex mermaid by Donna Mcghie
I used bits of lace and paperdecoration to add texture

Many legends and myths are connected to the sea. One of the most enduring myths is that of the mermaid.

My mermaid canvas was created by swirling blue and white Powertex fabric hardener onto a canvas. Bister was then added and blasted with a hair dryer.

My mermaid started to take shape when I poured green Powertex fabric hardener to create the shape of a tail.

I mixed Powertex terracotta and white fabric hardeners together to create a flesh tone, whilst Yellow ochre fabric hardener worked well for the hair.

Davy Jones’s Locker

There are many versions of who Davy Jones was, and just as many theories as to just how he ended up lurking at the bottom of the sea.

Maybe he was seduced by the beauty of a passing mermaid. Her beauty having lured him down to the murky depths below.

Powertex under the sea
My Davy Jones sports a jacket I spied in a charity shop, soaked in Bronze Powertex Fabric Hardener

Our facebook page The Powertex Studio is a great place for ideas and motivation. You can also inspire others by sharing your own makes.

You can also see more of my work and find out about my workshops on my website www.artandmurals.co.uk.

My last month’s blog was inspired by the artist Vincent Van Gogh

That’s all for now. As this is an inspiration blog I have not done step by steps, but if you would like more detailed instructions I am happy to provide them. Please leave me a comment below if you like what you see, and remember to take care, especially when swimming in deep water.

After all, you never know what is lurking beneath.

A Brace of Powertex Herons – Fiona Potter

Powertex herons

Well here we are at the start of a new year and for me a new challenge. I am thrilled to be back on the Powertex Design Team for a third year and this year I want to push my own boundaries further. I’ve never been comfortable with sculpting but have always admired my team mates and other artists who are and whose work leaves me in awe. We all have to start somewhere and this is my beginning and I would love you to join me on this journey.

I’m not alone in the concerns about the damage our environment is experiencing and the struggle much of our wildlife has in continually adapting. The Heron is an ancient bird that was around in fossil times, you can find more information here.

The photos follow my written steps left to right.

Step 1 – I have used a variety of materials, mainly cheap foil and masking tape to fill out the body of the Powertex bird mdf templates. These were to be mounted onto the large 2 pin metal base so I played around with both templates to get my layout. You will notice that I did make a change ending up with both birds facing forward. I removed the smaller bird so that I could work freely on the larger one.

Step 2 – I made up some Stone Art Clay starting with equal quantities of Grey Powertex and Stone Art powder. As I have quite arthritic hands, I find it easier to work in small quantities and I made a total of 5 batches of clay each starting with around 200ml of powertex liquid. I wrapped each batch in cling film to stop it drying out.

Step 3 – Once I had covered the armature including the leg I covered the wings with masking tape.

Step 4 – I pulled lilac Paperdec into strips that would be long enough to drape over both sides of the wings. I brushed Powertex over the wing area and worked Powertex into the pieces of Paperdec one strip at a time until both wings were well covered and looked reasonably symmetric. I also re-positioned the wings slightly.

Step 5 – Before starting in this bird, I pushed the leg of the stand up into the armature to ensure there was a cavity without risking squashing the clay. I then worked the clay onto the smaller bird. As with the first bird, I painted a little Powertex onto the base before I worked the Stone Art Clay started with the far side i.e. the side that would be nearest the first bird.

Step 6 – Spread a generous amount of Powertex liquid onto the base and then press dry Stone Art powder into it. Repeat in patches until you get a nicely covered base. I also added some Paperdec onto the body to give an indication of the wing area.

Step 7 – Spray the base with blue Bister. Then spray the black Bister to create areas of shade. Leave the sculpture to dry overnight or until the clay is firm. I left mine for 2 days.

Step 8 – Using Secret Art Loft Clotted Cream and Secret Art Loft Liquorice Twist acrylic paint and a 1″ Powertex Flat Brush I started to give the birds character with a close nod to their true colours. I started by dry brushing the Liquorice Twist onto the lower wings on both sides. I then added some Clotted Cream into the black and continued over the top sections. Lightening several times until the wings had an ombre effect. At the same time I worked on the body of the birds. I also dry brushed some of the colour onto the base to bring out the detail.

Step 9 – Finally I added Colortricx Bronze Gold and a mix of Colortricx Silver with Powercolor dark Blue to tint the top outer edges of the wings and the legs. I also used Secret Art Loft Clotted Cream and Secret Art Loft Liquorice Twist acrylic paint and a Powertex No.4 round brush to add the eye detail.

I hope you like my interpretation of both the fabulous template and the Heron bird. If you are inspired by my blog to create your own, please acknowledge me. It’s great if we can help each other in the continuation of our craft. If you would like to learn this project with me please do get in touch.

Don’t forget to share your work n the Powertex Studio on Facebook. Find more of my work on Facebook. Bye for now, Fi

Powertex Japanese Cranes – Annette Smyth

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a peaceful Christmas and Santa brought you everything you need.

So here we go with a whole new year of creative adventures and to kick it off , I got to use these beautiful bird templates. They have so much potential and I have loads of ideas flying around my head for future projects.

In this blog I’d like to share my step by step instructions for how I made the templates into Japanese Cranes – with a little bit of artistic licence. I recommend you read through the instructions before starting.

For this project you will need

You will also need 2 deep sided plastic containers, a small container (the foil base from a mince pie works well), cling film, brush and something to stir the clay mixture with ( I use the handle end of an old wooden spoon). Apron, gloves and plastic cover for your work area are also a good idea.

Building the armature

I started by using the foil to build up a more rounded shape on the head, neck and body of the bird templates. Keep checking the shape from all angles and compare the birds side by side to get the proportions right.

I built the wings separately and then taped them into place on the birds however you can build the into the body as you go.

When you are happy with the shapes slide them onto the metal spikes to check that they fit side by side. Make any necessary adjustments.

I attached the larger bird to the spike, at this stage, by securing with masking tape then building the leg shape with foil. Next I covered the whole bird with masking tape,

The smaller bird, I choose to work off the spike so that it would be easier to get around all sides of both birds with the clay. To enable you to attach the bird to the stand later, leave the legs of the smaller bird uncovered but cover the rest of the bird with masking tape. Make sure the hole for the spike does not get covered.

I then painted both birds with a coat of White Powertex.

Adding the clay

In one of the deep plastic containers, I mixed the White Powertex with the Stone Art to create clay (see the ‘how to video’ in my Penguin blog). Mix the clay to a soft dough consistency so that it is easier to apply to the birds. Once mixed wrap in clingfilm to stop it from drying out.

When you’re ready to start the sculpting, warm up your clay by kneading it thoroughly, then start applying to the birds in manageable pieces . I started at the beaks and worked down the neck and bodies. Smooth the clay out with your fingers making sure you thin it out where pieces lay over one another so that there is no bulky areas. Keep some clay for use on the small birds legs later on.

There is no need to put clay over the wings as these will be covered later.

I used approximately 250g of clay on the larger bird and 150g on the smaller bird. Don’t worry as any spare clay can be kept wrapped in clingfilm for a couple of weeks and will still be workable.

Shaping the wings

I then took strips of the white Paperdecoration and dipped it into the white Powertex. Work the Powertex through the paperdec and squeeze out any excess. It should be covered but not dripping.

Lay these strips over the wings working down towards the tail. To get thin wispy feather effects pull the paperdec apart once you have covered it in Powertex. 

Next, I placed the small bird onto the base, attached it with masking tape, painted the legs with white powertex then covered with the spare white stoneart clay. I chose not to cover these with foil as they would have been too bulky.

Leave overnight to fully dry.

Adding colour

Mix a 10p amount of Easy varnish with each pigment to a single cream consistency. Use this to paint the beak (yellow ochre) head (red), eye and neck (black). Varnish dries very quickly so you will need to remix more as required.

Mix a dry brush blend of easy varnish and black pigment to make a thick paste. (see video below) Wipe off excess colour then use this to dry brush the wings. Make up a similar paste with black and a touch of white (grey), again wipe off the excess and use this mix to dry brush the legs.

https://youtu.be/RcPNuHFeVIE

Dry Brushing

Final Touch

Finally, I added some large 3d balls to a small container, sprayed generously with yellow bister then added enough transparent powertex to make the balls clump. I placed this onto the metal base and patted down. I repeated this until I had a nice covering on the base. I then dripped the remaining mixture into any gaps to help bond the balls. Leave overnight to dry

I hope you have enjoyed this project as much as I did.

I will be running full day workshops at my studio in Leamington Spa, on the following dates if you would like to join me to create a crane.

  • Tuesday 29th January 2019
  • Wednesday 13th February 2019
  • Sunday 3rd March

For further details, please see the workshop section on my website www.annettesmyth.co.uk .

Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures

Annette x

 

Harvest Goddess

 

Well, yet another month has passed and boy has this one gone by so quickly before we know it Christmas will be here!! YES, I said it, the C word… oops

So this month the Powertex Design team were given keywords for creative ideas and I chose Harvest. I started thinking about Harvest, did some research and found a lovely goddess called “Demeter”
She is  the goddess of the grain, agriculture, harvest, growth, and nourishment, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth, I have set about recreating her in my own way.

I had some barbie type dolls and decided it was time to use one of those as my Goddess. I made a base from wood and used an old knife to make her sturdy and wrapped tape to add her to the knife and wood base. I have used BRONZE POWERTEX as my base colour. I then picked out some STOCKINETTE material for her dress and set about making some flowers and leaves from clay to add as embellishments 
I soaked the material in the Powertex and started dressing my Goddess.  I pinned up her hair and have cut it, as I plan to add embellishments to her head later.

 

 

And with the magic of COLORTRICX and a bit of a paint job, she is now looking like this.

 

 

 

 

Meet Demeter, my version of the Goddess of Harvest
I hope you have enjoyed this blog and maybe even get inspired to try out Powertex yourself.,
If you fancy ago but need some guidance why not try looking here for a tutor near you
Until next time, be happy and give that Powertex bottle a shake!!!
~Jinny~
DAYLIGHT PHOTOS

 

 

 

Halloween Powertex winner is……

I was absolutely blown away by the amazing response to our Halloween challenge from all our Powertex addicts.
The decision was very tough and there were two in particular that came in very close together near the end.
However there can only be one WINNER!!!
So the team at hq have put their heads together and come to a joint decision.
So without further a do…….
The winner is…… Cate Wilshaw! Big congrats Cate, And thank you for everyone who entered. I love seeing all of your creations. Keep them coming. Toodles Anna xXx

Augusts Star of the month for our tutors goes to……….

Every month a Powertex UK tutor who has added an extra bit of sparkle to their step receives a reward. August’s star of the month award was very special as it went to Patricia and David Williams. And we are about to show you why with their story…..
 We were left in anticipation for the build-up which was quite frankly the worst tease, but it was definitely worth the wait. Come on you guys let us know what’s under the blue tarp!

And then we were all blown away after 2 months of hard work and weeks of teasing. We were introduced to the ‘Bride of the Forest’ .
Patricia said ‘She was created for The Brinklow Scarecrow Festival this weekend to promote the wonderful uses of Powertex. We will be having a stand on the village green as well as our bride on the Scarecrow Trail’.

She was treated with Powertex and painted using Powertex colours. Cher our mannequin was procured with the help of our Team leader and mentor Annette Smyth. The cheeky Pixie peeping out from her dress was made by Dave. The Shy Boy (Thomas Oliver) I made from clothes worn by our grandsons. Robyn and Rose the cute little bears are wearing our Granddaughters first Babygro’s. All other things came from our crafty Stash.

I think you will agree that the prize was well deserved after all the hard work that Patricia and Dave put in. Well done guys she is absolutely stunning! What a fantastic project and more proof of the versatility of the Powertex the universal medium we love! 

Dave and his wife Patricia are Level One Certified Tutors for CV21-CV23. And they produce some stunning work as you can see.You can find details of all Powertex tutors across the uk at Powertex UK Toodle pip Anna xXx