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

 

 

Halloween Nightmare or how not to make a craft video!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bet I am one of the few people who have a dread of Halloween. It’s not that it scares me or that I don’t like the art of it all, it’s just that for some reason every time I try to create what’s in my head, it turns into a Halloween Nightmare!!!

I had this grand idea that I would use Powertex and some of the super Secret Art Loft bright acrylics and the Gothic Arches.
It has all worked out just fine except I had it all planned in my head that I would create my very first Craft Video!

As you may know that as well as being on the Powertex DT I am also a Resident Tutor on the Mixed Up Creative education platform, so in my infinite wisdom and being filled with oodles of enthusiasm I got myself all set up to create the video for them.  Bearing in mind I also have lots of experience demo’ing on TV craft channels this should all be so easy…well believe me it isn’t!

In a TV studio there is a crew, superb lighting and a presenter who asks the questions viewers want answers too; you have your step pieces prepared and you have everything laid out ready to head in the order you want to use them. Oh and with filming, all you have to think about is product placement and which camera to look at.
Hmmm this is where it all goes belly up!  I didn’t have steps planned this was going to be a one shot product.  I had just one small light; I had to operate the camera in my very small studio – just 3 meters by 1.5 meters but every mm is packed tight rather tardis like!
I had it all planned though so it would run like clock work.
I made sure my long suffering other half knew what I was doing and he was primed to stay well away.
OMG it was a total nightmare!!!
Not at all the slick professional looking video I had imagined, planned for and not at all fun! It was my Halloween Nightmare and then some!  Dropping various bits, forgetting I had wrecked the first arch and the second had sticky tape on etc. etc.  Worse still is that that what you don’t see or hear at the end of the video is my husband walking in on me, talking loudly about tea, apologising profusely, then me slinging the paintbrush and who knows what else across the worktop and sighing so loud I have every expectation even a Ghost would have shrieked in fright!
After all that I decided while it was a rubbish video I would share my experience with you because at the end of the day we all have to start somewhere.  Hat’s off to all those highly polished artists and crafters who have mastered the intricacies of video, I am learning, I will not be defeated and I will master it.
In the meantime have a laugh with me, share my pain and I hope the resulting Powertex Halloween tag is slightly OK.
Bye for now, Fi xx
ps Here’s the link to the video

 

Are you a Powertex addict? We want to see your Egyptian creations.

Well, I’m totally jealous of the person who gets to win this amazing prize made by our Tracey at Powertex UK. Another jaw dropping creation that one of you lucky people out there could win! So what do you have to do? Keep reading to find out…..
It’s competition time!!

We have absolutely loved bringing our latest Egyptian theme to you all. We have lots of goodies now loaded on the website, if you didn’t manage to catch them on Tracey’s sell out Hochanda shows. In light of our new found love for all things Egyptian, we are launching a competition



All you have to do is post a picture of your Egyptian themed Powertex creation, give it a hashtag #Powertexegypt on the Powertex addicts facebook page. To be in with a chance of winning this wonderful water pot made by our Tracey Evans of Powertex UK. Get your entries in asap we will announce the winner on Monday 25th September. Good luck everyone. Toodle pip Anna xXx