Create a Powertex mixed media tile – Jill Cullum

Back to basics with Powertex

First of all, a Happy New Year to everybody.  Hopefully you will have lots of new Powertex goodies to play with.

For my first blog of the year I wanted to go back to basics, create a simple piece that anybody can create whether they are an experienced Powertexer (is that a word?) or someone who has bought their first bottle of Powertex and wants to get started straight away.

Whenever we talk about being creative, from cooking, interior design and gardening through to art and Powertex, we hear about layering.

I like to have at least 3 lays of texture on my Powertex creations and at least 3 shades of each colour I use.  This gives your piece of art depth, and brings out the beautiful texture that you have built up and created.

Where to start with Powertex

The first layer is your base or background layer.  This can be created using Easy Structure, kitchen roll, or some thin material.  Why not use your Easy Structure though a stencil, or use a pallet knife to create patterns.

layer-1-powertex.jpg

Some of this will be covered over, and is there purely to be in the background, not the main focal point of your piece.  However, it is still playing a part and will add to the overall effect.  Here I have covered a 6×6 tile with kitchen roll.  I like that you can see the squares of the back of the tile creating more interest.

Chose a focal point for you Powertex creation

Next we come to the focal point, the main part, the bride – not the bridesmaid

For this we can use whatever we like.  Luscious texture, embellishments, striking pieces. We still need to think about where we place these, creating further layers, over-lapping some of the pieces and weaving the materials in and out of the embellishments.  I love these gothic doors, so versatile and add a nice focal point.

layer-2-powertex.jpg

The final layer is again fine detail, adding to and not over-taking the main layer. A sprinkling of extra texture which will pop out when we add our colours.  My favorite Powertex product to use for this layer is 3D balls, but use whatever tiny embellishments you have to hand.

So now we have our piece all ready to bring to life with colour and shading.  I find this the hardest part, tending to stay within my comfort zone and use my favourite colours.

Finish your Powertex project with colour

For this sample piece I am using only one colour.  It’s a good exercise to do, even for the more experienced Powertex Addicts!  It’s good to go back to basics, hone in on those dry-brushing skills and also to use the colours that don’t get used as often as they deserve. Try it – you might find some new favourites!

layer 1 colour

The first layer will be the darkest, so only use a tiny bit of white (or none at all).  Keep your brush dry and go over the whole piece.  Bring out the fine detail of the first layer that you did by keeping your brush flat and lightly stroking the texture.

When you are happy with this, keeping the same colour, but this time adding a touch more white, go over again.  You don’t want to cover all of the original colour, but you want to add depth, light and shade, enhancing what your already have.

layer 2 colour

Finally, adding even more white, add the final layer of colour, highlighting edges and points of interest.  Of course, you can add more layers of shading, subtly lightening your colour with each layer.

layer 3 colour

Practice, play, have fun and create new colours by mixing a couple together.  And don’t forget to share your results with us in the Powertex Studio.  Here are the products I used, all available from Powerex UK. See you next time Jill.

Sophies Summer Superhero Project – Part 1

Sophie’s Summer Superhero Project – Part 1

Hi there I hope you are having a great summer with lots of creative fun!  I am having fun with my granddaughter Sophie and this weekend we have started on a major Powertex project.  Let me introduce you to Sophie aged 7 and a half!  [She told me the half is very important because that means she is nearer 8 than 7!]

Sophie has a wonderfully vivid imagination and loves crafting and creating with her mum, her sister and me.

When she is with me we do lots of Powertex.  So far she has made some fairy houses for the garden and also a bird house.  She loves watching films and reading comics with her dad and her brother and writes lots of stories about her own superheros.

Stage 1:

Recently I acquired an old tailors dummy from a car boot sale and that gave me the idea of a super summer project for Sophie.

Together we are going to create her very own full size superhero!

Sophie was very excited when I showed her the dummy and talked about my idea.  Within half an hour she had come up with her superhero…

Rosalina, also known as Ace the Teleporter!

Ace has lots of superpowers –

  • Strength
  • Supersonic Swimmer
  • Hypnotic eyes (apparently we will make her head too)
  • Superb speed
  • and on her costume there will be buttons. One of the buttons will release a hidden superpower…she will become camouflaged!
  • On the base she will have fast release rocket boosters too!

I have promised that we will mix different colours of Powertex so that she has her own unique colours to match Ace’s design.

So I think I have my work cut out to help her create her dream character!

We will be working in short sessions so it is fun, and Sophie has lots of creativity to look forward to.  Also for her mum and dad, the mess will all be here and not at their home!!!

I am going to blog the whole process so I hope you have fun joining us along the way.

Getting Started!

We popped on some small vinyl gloves and held them on with masking tape.  I made sure Sophie was well covered with a big apron.

We mixed up Ivory Powertex with a little red and some yellow to get the colour Sophie wanted for the base.  To that we added a small amount of Easy 3D Flex to make the mixture just a little thicker.

As the dummy is made from some sort of foam we wanted to give it a really good base cover, and did 3 layers.  Over the upper body that we added some kitchen paper for additional strength.  Only the arm socket and neck will not be dressed but I felt this would give us a good base to start with.

This all took about an hour.  We left it at this stage to dry while we went off to search for fabrics and other interesting goodies to add next time.

So join us next time when we start to create the clothes and look for Ace – the Teleporter!

Bye for now
Fi and Sophie

Mermaid with a Message by Fi Potter

Hi there hope you are having a great summer so far…I have been loving this gorgeous warmth!
My favourite place is the beach, I love beach combing and seeing what’s been washed up that can be used in art like bits of wood and sea glass.  But more and more I feel sad that our oceans are being cluttered and devastated by plastic, discarded fishing nets and so much more, and it is damaging marine life.  So I created a Mermaid with a Message for a recent Mannequin’s and Mermaids workshop.

 

I used a polystyrene torso and and wood/metal base from Powertex UK .  I then used some 2mm aluminium wire to create the tail shape and extended up her body.  I secured using masking tape and used cheap tin foil to create the tail shape and then wrapped with masking tape.  I used Powertex Lead  and Stone Art to cover the torso.  I used knitted scrim for the tail on the reverse as this gives the impression of scales.
I added Powertex to some lace trim and placed around the top of the tail fabric and added small  3D balls to the body and tail for texture and to imply those little balls of plastic that are found in cheap cosmetic scrubs that find their way into the water course and out into out oceans.  I then painted the base with more Powertex and embellished with tissue paper and more 3D balls in varying sizes.  Finally I rubbed Powertex into some net fabric and draped over her, as if she were caught while swimming.  I then left her overnight to dry.
I then used Easy Varnish with Powercolor and Colortricx pigments to add colour, I didn’t go too far with this as I wanted to help her to get her message across, plastic and waste are damaging our oceans!
Finally I used some rusty wire to make some barbed wire and added to her body. This will be available in my etsy shop once I’ve had time to create one!

 

Hope you like this project and want to have a go yourself.  Post some photos on Powertex Addicts United  if you do we love to see what you create.
Bye for now

 

Fi xx

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.

Wire Wrapping a Powertex Ammonite

Wow what a busy start to the new year and what a fun one too!

 

Did you see Tracey and I sharing some of our Powertex ideas on HOCHANDA on 5th/6th April?  Did you get the fabulous one day special and Jurassic Jewels kits? If so then maybe you were tempted to make yourself some Powertex Ammonites using Tracey’s new sand technique and some of my jewellery.

So as promised, here are the steps and they are really simple and you don’t need to have any previous experience to get started.  Here goes…

Step 1

Gather together a finished Powertex Ammonite, 0.9 and 0.5 wire and beads from the Jurassic Jewels kit.
Tools: flush cutters, round nose and chain or flat nose pliers and some medium grade sand paper.

In thise project I am using a medium ammonite.  I have also created it in ivory and not added pigment. If you do want colour add it before wrapping.


Step 2

Use the sandpaper to gently rub off any sharp areas and smooth the back and sides of the ammonite.

Pull of 5 x 30 cm lengths of the 0.9mm wire making sure you follow the direction of the wire (this is your structural wire). Cut 1mtr of the 0.5mm (this is your wrapping wire).  Use the natural cure of the coils to your advantage.

Hold all wires in your non dominant hand and keeping the wires side by side, leave approximately a 4-5cm tail and in the centre of the wires make 7 wraps on the wire bundle, keeping some tension and keeping the wire flat.

Once the wrap is complete and with both end to the inside curve of the wire, trim the ends and firmly squeeze with the chain or flat nose pliers.

Moving 22mm along from the end of the first wrap, repeat making a second 2-wraps and then repeat on the other side of the central wrap.

These measurements are for the medium sized ammonite and you will need to adjust if you are wrapping either the small or large ammonites.

The wire now look like this one on the right.

Step 4

Hold the ammonite and gently coax the wire around the shape of the ammonite with the central wrap opposite the outer edge as shown here.

Holding the ammonite and wire wrap firmly with your non dominant hand, use your pliers to push the wires into the right angle of the ammonite.

Step 5

Gently pull forward the front wire of the anti-clockwise wires and encourage it to work into a curve stroking your fingers along its lenght, the warmth and direction from your fingers will help with this.  Add 3 off the little beads and then turn a neat loop and continue to curve following the inner curves of the ammonote.

Use the front wire of the clockwise wires to make 2-3 wraps around all wires to secure.

nb: DON’T CUT ANY OF THE STRUCTURE WIRES

Step 6

With your fingers or flat nose pliers and from the middle, gently pull the top outer wire just over the front endge of the ammonite on each side of the wire wrapped groupings, repeating on the back.

Try to make them as even as you can but work with the shape of the ammonite. Press firmly on the outer edges so the wires lie flat. repeat so all 4 sections are wrapped and the ammonite sits firmly within.

Step 7

Next you need to bend the wires comping anti clockwise so they fit closely along the back from top edge to bottom edge where the centre wires.

Tip: I find it easier to use my flat nose pliers to turn the wire and then use the back of the plier to press down so the wire sits nice and flat.

Step 8

Use some of the 0.5mm wrapping wire to secure the structure wires either side of the bottom central wrap.  These structure wires will become the bale on which you will thread your cord.

I continued up the length of the wire after I had bent the bale into shape so I suggest you leave the wire attached in case you choose to do the same.

Using your flat nose pliers to hold the structural wires bend the wires forwards 1cm up from the base.

Then holding the wires together bend down approx 8mm from the first bend and so that all wires are sitting over the front of the ammonite.

Leave as they are while we work on the tail wires.

Step 9

The wire coming clock wise of the bottom of the ammonitte now need gently curving, these are the tail wires. Do this with your fingers, gently stroking them all together between your thumb and forefinger and in a clockwise direction.

Trim the wires so that the front wire is shortest and back wire is longest.  I made mine around 8mm shorter than the one it was next to.

On the short front wire add 5 beads. Turn a loop so they don’t drop off.  Continue the coil trapping a bead in the coil and leaving the others to find their own level.

Repeat this on each wire, adding 7 beads to wire 2, 9 beads to wire 3 and 11 beads to the longest wire.  Trapping a few beads in the tighter coils as shown in the photo below.

Step 10

Hold the wrapped ammonite in your no dominant hand and use your flat nose pliers to make a couple of bend in the rear wires, this helps give strength and tension.

You can see here where I have done a basket weave wrap on the back of the bale.

Turning to the front, trim the bale wire so the centre wire is a little longer than the other two.  Turn a loop on the four outer wires.

Thread 3 beads on the centre wire and turn a loop to secure them

And that’s it!

Here is the finished Powertex Ammonite Wire Wrapped Pendant.

 

 

All you need to do now is make a corded necklace that you can hang it from.
This is a very basic wrap and there are lots of ways you can change the bale, or even leave off the bale and using powertex and a little bit of kitchen paper or fabric add a brooch back.
Look out for more tips soon on finishing your Powertex circles jewellery pieces.
Have fun and make sure your share your creations with us over on Powertex Addicts United we love to see your makes!
Unitl next time… Fi xx