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

Powertex Medium Art Doll

mixed media powertex medium art doll tutorial

Powertex Medium Art doll – Goddess of Mystery – by Abigail Lagden

Hello and welcome to my latest project! For this one I have used the Powertex medium Art Doll kit with the contents shown below.

Kit contents

I love working with the project kits from Powertex UK. They provide the perfect level of structure to work with and stimulate ideas. But also have the flexibility to put your own style into them. By how you construct them, which other products and embellishments you use and finally how you add colour to them.

As usual, I started by playing with the MDF kit pieces and arranging them in different ways. The picture below shows my initial guide design. As you can see it evolved and changed a fair bit as the project progressed. This always happens to some degree with my creations. So don’t worry that you have to stick rigidly to your first design. It helps to have an idea of where you are going at the start. I find the best results happen when you just go with the creative flow once you start building your piece.

Original design

As well as the Medium MDF Art Doll Kit, I used the following for this project:

First I used Easy Structure through the ‘arty quotes’ stencil to add the words ‘mystery’ and ‘wonder’ to the wings. The thing I love about this stencil is that not only do you have the lovely quotes in their entirety. But you can also just use specific words or phrases from within the quotes. To keep the stencilling clean for single words, I use masking tape to cover the words. Placing around the ones that I want to use before using Easy Structure paste through it.

Stencil masking

I wanted there to be lots of texture in this project. I mixed three different pastes using yellow Powertex with Easy 3D Flex, 3D sand/small balls and Stone Art.

Three pastes

First, I covered the base of the shadow box with the Easy 3D Flex paste. Before using yellow Powertex to attach and paint the sides of the box. I applied the sand and balls paste to the ‘crown’ pieces and pushed them into the 3D flex paste. Then I painted the plaster face with yellow Powertex. Pushed it into the 3D flex paste and sprinkled a few small balls into the box.

Box frame

Next, I worked on the back piece of MDF. Randomly adding areas of the three different pastes I mixed earlier. Creating lots of textures and submerging the MDF row of hooks at the bottom. Then I sprinkled some medium 3D balls onto a few areas followed by some small balls to fill the gaps. Whilst the background piece was still wet, I attached the box frame and the other MDF shape into the pastes.

I smeared a little left over 3D Flex paste onto the princess’ face and onto parts of the crown piece.

Pre-bister

The top piece of the shadow box was painted just with yellow Powertex. The wings were covered with the sand and balls paste.

Wings 1

All of the pieces were then left to dry and/or crack before they were sprayed with brown bister.

Bistered piece

Bistered bits

This was dried and then the bister cleaned back using a damp sponge. Leaving the stronger colour in the depressions, giving more depth to the textures and lightening the uppermost parts.

Cleaned back bister

Cleaned back bister wings

Now for the fun part… adding a little bit of extra colour to bring the piece to life. I wanted this piece to have quite an earthy, rustic, natural quality. I used different blends of light blue, moss green, yellow ochre, lilac and white powercolor pigments. Mixed with easy varnish and applied using a dry brush technique.

Close up 2

Close up 1

The final step was to secure the wings to the front of the frame with powertex. Then the front of the frame to the main piece. I also hung a little metal key charm through the hole at the bottom of the frame.

Close up 3

Powertex Princess Art Doll - Abigail Lagden

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing how I made this piece. Please do share your own creations on the Powertex Studio facebook page. Where you will find lots of inspiration as well as support from our fabulous Powertexing community.

You can also see more of my work on my Curiously Contrary facebook page and on my website. If you didn’t catch my blog last month take a look here.

Until next time, Abs xx