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

From Special to Steampunk Extra Special by Abigail Lagden

From Special to Steampunk Extra Special by Abigail Lagden

One of the many things I love about Powertex is how easy it is to take old and unwanted items and turn them into something spectacular. But it doesn’t have to be unwanted items, you can also take cherished, sentimental items and preserve them by incorporating them into a piece of art . We all have pieces of clothing or jewellery, even toys or other keepsakes that are safely hidden away in boxes, cupboards and drawers. With Powertex you can find a way to display them.
In this blog I will show you how I transformed an old hat into a fabulous piece of wearable art, incorporating all kinds of special trinkets and fabrics into the design.

The idea grew from a few events that I had planned over June and July this year. At the end of July I will be selling my creations at the Whitby Steampunk Weekend and anyone who has been will know how spectacular some of the outfits and costumes are. So, I wanted to create something a bit special to wear myself, that would also demonstrate how Powertex can be used.

 

In June, I also participated in a couple of events where I was demonstrating Powertex and allowing visitors to have a go. So, I decided to create a piece of art that visitors could add to throughout the two events. What better than a hat, which once complete, could double up as something I could wear at the Steampunk Weekend!
Original hat
Converted hat
The old hat I started with was a fedora style hat, so first I needed to make this a bit more Victorian and convert it into a top hat. I did this by just using cardboard to make the desired shape. (The lace band and flower on the original hat was removed and is waiting in my stash for another project)
The whole base hat and cardboard was then painted with bronze Powertex and the cardboard secured onto the hat using a strip of fabric coated in Powertex. It was now ready to be transformed. Over the two events, a variety of embellishments and trinkets that I had stashed away were added to the hat, sitting in scrunched up pieces of different textured fabrics all coated with bronze Powertex.
After the first event, Make in Durham
After the second event – Clervaux Fair
By the end of the second event the hat was approximately two thirds covered, so I didn’t have too much left to do myself other than add the unzipped cogs and cover the top and brim.
Back of hat
For the final colour I wanted it to have a Victorian feel so I opted for burgundy powercolor pigment over the fabric elements and copper, bronze and gold colortricx over the embellishments. I couldn’t resist a rainbow in there somewhere though, so the unzipped cogs got that honour!
Front of hat
I can’t wait to proudly wear my hat in Whitby at the end of July – watch out on my Curiously Contrary facebook page for photos from the weekend.
Until next time, Abs xx

 

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 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

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.