Penguins – Mini Makes for you and the little ones

Hi Everyone

Well we’re at that time of year again where time just flies by and everything you wanted to get done somehow doesn’t.  So I thought I’d show you a nice easy make that you can do on your own, with friends and with the little ones.

We are going to make penguins and I have to admit they are a little addictive so you may well end up with your own little waddle  – that’s one name for a group of penguins on land, they can also be called a colony or a rookery whereas when they are in water they are called a raft (thanks Google!!).

So lets waddle away and get creating…….

You will need

Powertex Black (approx 75ml)
Powertex Stone Art (approx 20g)
6cm Polystyrene egg
2-3 cm Polystyrene egg
2 x 2-3mm animal eyes
Cocktail Stick
Masking Tape
Plastic container to mix clay in
Brush
Pigments (I opted for orange, white and yellow ochre)
Apron
Disposable Gloves
Optional – Pokey tool
Start by covering your work area with a protective layer.  This could be an waterproof tablecloth, oil cloth or even newspaper.
Break the cocktail stick in 2.  Using one piece connect the 2 eggs together to form a body and head
Place the head at an angle for a more realistic look
Using the masking tape cover the whole shape ensuring that the the transition from the head to the body forms a neck. Place the other piece of cocktail stick on the small egg where the beak will be.  Now coat with a layer of Black Powertex and set aside.
Place approximately 75 ml of Black Powertex into a suitable container (you are going to be mixing this so make sure the sides are high enough) and begin adding the Stone Art, using the non bristle end of your paintbrush begin to stir the mixture.  Add the Stone Art slowly and mix well between each addition.  Keep going until the mixture pulls away from the sides.  Now go in with your gloved hands and knead the mixture bringing together into a firmer clay consistency.  Keep adding more stone art until the clay doesn’t stick to your gloves and there are no white flecks showing.  Make sure you pull the clay apart to check that there are no white flecks inside.
Make sure that the clay isn’t too dry otherwise you will have difficulty covering your penguin. If it is just dip it in a small amount of Powertex and knead it thoroughly.
You can now use the clay or double wrap it in cling film for use later.  So long as you keep it airtight the clay will be useable for several weeks.  This is a bonus as you can make the clay ahead of time and have fun sculpting it later with the children.

 

Take approximately 2/3rds of the clay and roll it into a ball then flatten it into a disc approximately 1/2 cm thick.
Lay it over the beak and onto the head, then using your fingers push it down onto the body thinning it as you go.  Make sure it meets underneath to form a base.  Stand the penguin on your work surface and give it a little wiggle to make sure it will sit without toppling.  If it doesn’t sit properly use a little of the remaining clay to make some feet and/or a tail to support it.
                                      
With the remaining 1/3 clay split it into 2 and form rolls.  Flatten them to around 2mm and shape to form wings.  Attach to the body on the sides.  If your clay has dried, paint on some fresh powertex to stick the wings to. Shape the wings to give your penguin character.
Now make any final adjustments, make sure the beak is a nice shape and push the eyes through the clay into the underlying egg.  You may need to use a pokey tool to make the hole first.
Using the Easy Varnish and pigments dry brush on the colour to complete your penguin.  I opted to colour mine in different ways to make a real mixed waddle.

 

 

Don’t forget, you can always scale it up by using larger eggs to make bigger penguins just remember to increase the amount of clay you make.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this project and look forward to seeing your makes.  Don’t forget to post photos of them over on the Powertex Studio facebook page
Until next time happy creative adventures

 

 

Scarecrows in September

Wow, it’s September already! I love September the start of autumn and all those fabulously rich warm colours.  As a farmers daughter the harvest was always such a special time, I loved helping dad bring in the harvest when the whole countryside appeared to turn rich rusty gold, snuggly nippy nights, warm mellow days…oh and scarecrow trails!

Did you know that scarecrows have been around for over 3000 years? The Egyptians were the first to use Scarecrows along the Nile River to protect wheat fields from flocks of quail (see link to a great source The  History of Scarecrows). The Greeks, Romans and Japanese all had a form of scarecrows.  I think the scariest story of scarecorws was from medieval Britain who use living Scarecrows!!! 9-year old boys and older patrolled wheat fields carrying bags of stones to pelt the crows if they landed in the fields.

I hope you find my interpretation a lot friendlier!

To get started I needed to make an armature, now forgive me here because I was doing it all in a rush and didn’t remember photographs until it was made ready to StoneArt.  I will try to explain…
First I used a wooden base and some 2mm aluminium wire.  I pulled off around about a meter and starting from the centre I made a circle for the head by wrapping the wire around a jam jar. I extended out each side to made shoulders and arms and then wrapped the tail of each around the pole on the wooden stand.
Once this was done I used masking tape to secure it in place and padded out the body, arms and head with a lot of cheap kitchen foil.  I then masked the whole thing with masking tape.
I then made up a quantity of StoneArt Clay – around 150ml of Ivory Powertex – once this was made I painted Powertex onto the masking tape to give the StoneArt clay something to key onto and then added pieces of clay that I had flatted between my fingers.  Once it was covered I used the end of a paintbrush to mark out eyes, mouth and nostrils.  I then painted a thin layer of Powertex over the clay and gently rubbed in more dry StoneArt Powder.  I left this quite rough as I wanted a rough weather work finish. I then set aside to dry.
Now it was time to dress the Scarecrow.  I used Transparent Powertex which I worked into some ivory paperdec to cover the the arms and head to give the impression of being stuffed with straw.   Next I used two similar sized pieces of natural paperdec and worked transparent Powertex in. Tip: it uses a lot more than you think but once dried it is clear and hard.  I draped them over the shoulders and about two thirds of the way down on both front and back.
I used additional pieces to cover the wooden pole and base to give the effect of a tree trunk.  I also covered a little mdf mouse that was left over from another Powertex MDF kit. Finally I added some more ivory paperdec to make a scarf.  I then left it to fully dry, it took about 3 days!
Now to add colour! I could fill the whole blog with the very many colours and layers I added. However I wont but I will say that i started with Powercolor ultramarine blue and a tiny spec of black pigment mixed with Easy Varnish.  to colour the blanket coat.  I used dark green for the base, orange and red for the scarf.  For the straw, I used yellow and red ochre in varying degrees and used red ochre on the mouse.  I then built more layers of colours to get a well weathered look on his coat using Colortricx in pearl and copper.  I coloured the tree trunk with Secret Artloft Pigment in Golden Olive.
I then made up a small quantity of StoneArt Clay using Bronze Powertex Fabric hardener. I used a golf ball sized ball of the clay and pressed onto the top of the Scarecrows head
 I rolled this with a craft rolling pin and shaped into a circle and draped over a yogurt pot to shape
Then I layed it over the powertex ball on the head and finished the shaping.  I also pressed a little butterfly into the hat that was left over from some other project.
I added two mdf ravens which i painted with Powercolor Black mixed with Easy Varnish. Once they were dry I used Secret Art Loft Pigments in Interference Lilac to add some shimmer and Tequila Sunrise to colour the beak. I stuck these on using some matte gel for speed and added some tiny rhinestones for the eyes on the mouse and ravens.

 

Hope you like my rather friendly but scruffy weathered Scarecrow!
Have a fabulous autumn and don’t forget to share your makes with us over in The Powertex Studio and Powertex Addicts United.

Floral Stoneart

Hello Bloggers!

Today I have a canvas project incorporating my most favourite of all of the Powertex techniques and that is Stoneart.  Since the very first day on my Powertex training session Stoneart has been the technique that I find most inspiring and has always has the WOW! factor each and everytime I make something with it.
This is a project that I made to inspire 6 students that came to a beginners Stoneart workshop at the weekend and they all thoroughly enjoyed it and created some superb finished pieces. I apologise for lack of photographs of the stages I got carried away and realised when I had almost finished!

We started off with a canvas measuring 9″ x 12″ so that gave us a good area to play with.  The project began on the base canvas with the ivory Powertex and then using the Stoneart powder to create the incredible Stoneart effect.  I added 2 pieces of polystyrene into the bottom corner to create lots of dimension.  I broke the polystyrene away so that the inside was exposed as this is fabulous in creating that faux stone effect to the project.  The Stoneart process was carried through onto the polystyrene which finished the base for the floral arrangement.

The flowers and leaves were all made with Stoneart clay which the students thoroughly enjoyed making. A variety of Powertex flower and leaf moulds were used for the centrepiece.
After laying the flowers down and securing using Powertex Easy Structure I filled in any gaps with ivory Powertex and then filled with 3D sand and balls adding more interest.  The whole floral area was then covered with several colours of bister including natural browns, yellow, green and burgundy.

After this had dried the colour was added using Powercolours and Colourtrix.

This is my final project as a member of the 2017 Design Team for Powertex and it has been an absolute pleasure to be part of the team over the year and hope that I have been able to inspire you with some of my projects.  I have been invited to be a guest blogger in the new year so I will be popping up now and again with a little something so hope you enjoy these too!
Thankyou Tracey and Gary for the opportunity of being part of the Design Team I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
Bye for now
Jo x

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.

A Home Decor Stoneart Project

Hello Bloggers, Jo Channon here!

Well this is my first post on the Powertex UK Blog and I am thrilled to be able to bring you a project that I made for my first show that I did on HOCHANDA this week representing Powertex UK.

I have used one of the kits that we had on the show called the Home Deco Art set.  I have used a 30cm x 30cm canvas frame and then with my Bronze Powertex and my Stoneart powder I have created the Stoneart effect as the background of the piece.  The realistic effect that it gives you is incredible and I am loving working with these particular products to create the look that we have got.


This is a couple of close up shots of one of the flowers that I have made to embellish the Stoneart canvas.  The flowers are made from Stoneart clay which has been made using the Ivory Powertex and the Stoneart powder mixing equal amounts together and creating a clay that has a pastry like consistency. Keep mixing until your gloves (or fingers) do not stick to the clay and then you will be ok to start using the clay for whatever project you want.  In this case I have used the Daisy and matching leaf moulds that are exclusive to Powertex UK and can be found on their website.  (When using Ivory Powertex to make clay it is also suggested that you mix in a little of the Translucent Powertex with the ivory as this helps with the correct consistency.) The clay will last for several weeks if you keep it in a airtight container so if you mix too much up keep it for another project.

I left the flowers and leaves to airdry for a few hours and then used by Powertex Powders mixed into a little Ivory Powertex to create a lovely powder blue colour and then sponged this on to colour up the Daisy flowers.  The leaves were done in a similar way using the Green powder and then dry brushed over using some of the Colourtrix Green which gives this fabulous colour. I just added a little yellow to the middles to finish the flowers off.
For the rest of the canvas I used textured fabrics dipped into Ivory Powertex and also a variety of sizes from the sand and balls kit to add interest and lots of dimension.
I hope that you have been inspired to have a go at the Stoneart both for making backgrounds and for making clay to make embellishments and more texture to your projects.
It really is a lovely project to get your teeth into and the end result is so satisfying!
Please send photographs into the Powertex Addicts Facebook page to show us all what you have been getting up to, we love it when everyone shares their work.
I will be back with another project soon but, for the time being, enjoy your crafting and
bye for now,
Jo x