Excited to be joining the Powertex Team as a guest blogger

I am so excited to be joining the Powertex Team as a guest blogger and am really looking forward to sharing my new creative journey with you all.

I am an ex medical scientist now self employed in jewellery and textiles. I also enjoy mixed media and card making too and am on the Design Team of a stamp company and a textile trimmings maker, so regularly blog my projects. I really enjoy helping people along on their own creative journey.

A couple of weeks ago I ventured up to Powertex UK HQ to take my Level 1 training. Tracey, Garry and the lovely team were all so welcoming and made me feel instantly at ease. I met some lovely people on the course and we spent a wonderful couple of days creating in Tracey’s studio. There were many wonderful projects on display from Tracey and the Design Team. Amazing talent and such an inspiration.

I managed to catch a pic of myself and Tracey in the garden. Tracey is the attractive one – tee hee.

 

AW Me & Tracey

 

 

The course was very intensive and we each created a wide range of projects, ranging from mixed media canvases and journal covers right up to a figurine. We were also given masses of useful guidance and information on setting up workshops for ourselves too. I learned so much and we all had a lot of fun and plenty of laughter along the way.

I have had a busy couple of weeks on my return and still have to put the finishing touches to my Level 1 projects. I will share them soon. In the meantime I thought that I would share my first ever ventures into the world of Powertex, following one of Tracey’s shows on Hochanda.

 

AW Powertex Fossil 1

AW Powertex Fossil 2

AW Powertex Fossil 2b

AW Powertex Fossil 2k

AW Powertex Fossil 2g

 

I created a couple of 30 cm square fossil themed canvases and a covered bottle – I hope that you like them. I was really pleased with the natural organic feel. Some of my friends thought that I had used real fossils. Being my first projects I hope that you will see what a beginner can achieve.

 

AW Powertex Fossil Bottle 1

AW Powertex Fossil Bottle 2

AW Powertex Fossil Bottle 5

Below I have included a materials list and the step by step of techniques used to create the canvases, including some hints and tips to get the best results. The embellished bottle was created in the same way.

Happy crafting, Anne x.

 

Materials used:

 

How they were made:

  1. The canvases were already primed with gesso so I first gave them a coat of Powertex to colour and create a good surface for adhesion.
  2. I mixed up some Powertex with sand to make a thick paste. When the canvases were dry to the touch (it doesn’t take long) I applied the paste to the background using a palette knife through the stencil to create fossil textures. I then left them overnight to dry.
  3. I mixed more sand with Poweretex, this time to make a thicker drier clay. I think that the mix was about 50:50. Basically I gradually added sand until I had a workable clay that wasn’t too wet and sticky. I then pushed the clay into the silicone moulds to create the 3D fossils. I left them to dry for several hours until they could easily be released from the moulds without distorting. Some of the bigger ones needed to be left overnight. I then placed them on a drying tray (old kitchen wire grill tray – so air could get all around) and left them overnight to dry and further harden up. I made the clay up in small manageable batches so as not to waste reagents. Any clay that wasn’t being used straight away was wrapped in cling film to stop it drying out.
  4. Next I worked the Powertex into rough strips of hessian, and some pulled threads. I did struggle a bit with this at first as I used far too much Powertex. If you overdo it, like I did, grab another strip of fabric and use it to dab and squeeze out the excess. These were then ruched and applied to the canvas using a little extra Powertex as a glue where needed.
  5. I then applied my fossils using Powertex to glue. In some of the more textured areas I dunked some of the kitchen towel in Powertex to make a 3D glue ‘gel’ in which to embed my fossil embellishments. I also used strips of kitchen paper to create more areas of texture. I found that it was best to separate the paper into a single ply (i.e. split the double layered tissue into 2 sheets) to ensure that it fully coated and soaked up the Powertex more easily.
  6. Next I drizzled Powertex onto the canvas and sprinkled with texture balls and sand, plus a few glass beads. It is best to apply the largest balls first, then work down to the smaller sizes which fill in the gaps between the larger ones. Oh so much fun. I then left them to dry overnight ready for colouring.
  7. My canvas board was a cheap cardboard type and I found that it did warp quite a bit. When dry enough I clamped it down on my rigid art board to help straighten it out while drying. A thicker strong board (MDF type) does work better. It needs to take a lot of wet media. This was obviously not an issue when working on the stretched canvas.
  8. I was then ready to start adding more colour and depth with Bister and coloured varnish. Here is where I did have a slight panic. I first sprayed over my canvases with black Bister. When dry I then used a damp sponge to lift away some of the colour from the top layers. The idea was to emphasis the deep crevices and texture. Eeek – I thought that I had ruined it! The soluble Bister did lift off some areas but it was difficult to remove from others. My texture balls soaked it up and the hessian held onto quite a lot of it too. So where I had planned my colours and light areas got covered in darkness! Oh dear I thought (me swear? Tee hee).
  9. After I had calmed down, it then came to me. I could go over some of the areas using the Powertex as a paint. In addition I had opaque white Powercolor in my stash so I could use that too at the varnish stage. I over painted some of the areas with the coloured Powertex. I also used the Powertex to dry brush over areas giving more highlights. So all was not lost after all. Some of the Bister dissolved back into the Powertex as I worked giving a lovely natural organic look. Ooooh happy again.
  10. When the Powertex was touch dry I then dry brushed with the pigments and varnish. This stage takes a little practice. You need to mix just small amounts of varnish with the pigments (just a drop on your craft mat), remove most of it from the brush (brushing off onto tissue), then apply to the top layers lightly and gradually building up the colour. I mixed a tiny bit of ochre into white pigment (so not a harsh white) to dry brush some areas. Other areas I dry brushed with copper colour.
  11. To fully seal my canvas I mixed a 50:50 mix of varnish and water and sprayed it over the canvas. Spraying enabled me to get it in and around all the crevices and 3D embellishments. I applied several coats (leaving to dry between coats). This then makes the canvas easy to clean as it can simply be run under the tap (where cleaning with a duster or cloth would be tricky). If mounting your piece behind glass this stage would not be needed. Note: Coloured Powertex is weatherproof so complete sealing with varnish is not essential unless you have used Bister (remains soluble so would wash off unless sealed with varnish).
  12. Finally I added a bit of gilding wax around the edges of my canvases (this could be done with coloured varnish).

Teneriffe Lace TV show samples for Gina-B Silkworks

Good afternoon. Here is a quick peek at my samples for the Teneriffe Lace show on Create & Craft today at 5pm. Freeview Channel 23 (UK) or watch online from the website (they keep videos online for a week if you miss it).

 

AW Lace pincushion 1

AW Lace pincushion 2

Clover Motif worked on Loom 1 – from Total Trimmings book 1 (Teneriffe Lace)

 

AW Lace xmas card 3

Christmas Motif – worked on Loom 1

 

AW Oriental lace canvas

Mixed media canvas – Large and small circular lace motifs from Total Trimmings book – Loom 1. The butterfly was one of my experiments on Loom 3.

I will blog more details soon.

Printing onto Fabric using Bubble Jet Set

I have been meaning to try this stuff out for ages and have finally got around to testing out Bubble Jet Set for printing directly onto fabric from an inkjet printer. I have an Epson printer with compatible archival type pigment inks but this works with inkjet dye based inks too (although I haven’t personally assessed those).

 

AW Bubble Jet Set 1

  1. I used 100% cotton fabric prewashed to remove any starch or sizing etc. Soaked in the solution for 5 mins and then air dried (excess solution can be returned to the bottle).
  2. I left it to air dry then ironed to remove any creasing. Then ironed onto the shiny side of freezer paper (available from grocers).
  3. I had a lot of trouble initially getting my printer to accept the sheets! Freezer papers do vary in thickness and stiffness and mine was a bit limp and my printer just wasn’t having it. To get around this I slightly trimmed back my sheet and used a glue stick to apply the sheet to a piece of standard copy paper. Hey presto – my printer accepted it perfectly.
  4. I printed some butterflies from a Copyright Free image set from Dover Publications – using standard paper print settings. They printed out perfectly.
  5. After 30 mins I wash tested the images (hand hot wash with detergent – washing up liquid) and they washed perfectly with no loss of image. Yay!
  6. I ironed on some interfacing and embellished some of these with free machine embroidery before cutting out and using for applique. Delighted with the results and it works out so much cheaper than the ready to print fabric sheets that are available (they are very good but far too expensive for me).

AW Bubble Jet Set 2

AW Bubble Jet Set 3

AW Delphiniums 2

Art on the Common Exhibition in Harpenden

I will be taking part in 2 Art Exhibitions on the weekend of 10 and 11th June 2017.

 

I have entered several Artwork pieces into the Ayot St. Lawrence Art Exhibition in the Palladium Church – 10, 11 and 12th June 2017. This coincides with the Garden Festival where they open up the gardens of several cottages and The Old Rectory. Well worth a day out in this beautiful historic village.

 

I will also be having my own stall at Art on the Common in Harpenden – 10 and 11th June – where over 40 artists will be exhibiting. The Saturday coincides with the Harpenden Carnival where there will be loads to do and see during the day (lots for the kids too).

AOTC CR poster 2017 issue 2

I am working like crazy to finish enough to fill my stall! I will be bringing some smaller mixed media artworks, hand painted silks and bags, and beaded jewellery. There are never enough hours in the day!

Powertex Daisy Bowl

I have been having more experimental fun with Powertex.

 

AW Powertex Daisy Bowl 2

AW Powertex Daisy Bowl 3

AW Powertex Daisy Bowl 4

AW Powertex Daisy Bowl 5

 

I used the Powertex Daisy moulds and Stone Art to make clay daisies and leaves. The bowl was created with clear Powertex and a recycled cotton scarf (I used a glass bowl covered in cling film as a mould).

I then used up some of my left over Powertex colours (Terracotta, Lead and Ivory). I just had small amounts left in my bottles and it will be a while before I get the chance to use them. I brushed over the dried bowl with the lead colour to highlight some of the raised texture. I then added sand and balls and glass seed beads. I  made a paste with kitchen paper and Powertex to make a 3D ‘glue’ to stick on and hold the floral embellishments. I sprayed on some black Bister to add shadow to more of the deeper crevices. The after drying, I used the gold colour into the Easy Varnish to dry brush and pick up the surface texture giving a metallic finish.

 

Materials:

Sheer cotton blue fabric (recycled scarf)

Powertex Hardener (Clear, Terracotta, Lead and Ivory)

Stone Art

Sand and Balls texture

Glass seed beads (gold)

Kitchen paper

Bister (Black)

Easy Varnish and gold pigment to colour

Mixed Media Canvas using Powertex and Pebeo Fantasy paints

Woohoo – just finished another canvas using Powertex for the fabric, hessian, and pine cones etc. I even added crushed egg shells to this one. Then filled the background using Pebeo Fantasy paints (Moon, Prisme and Glitter Vitrail). Photo doesn’t do it justice – lots of metallic gold and copper plus sheen and glitter sparkle with the paints (can see it a little in the close up). Fun!

AW Pine Scene Canvas

AW Pine Scene Canvas cropped

A friend asked me to confirm how I stuck down and treated the cones:

I first ensured that the cones were fully dried out (about a month indoors) and stable (binned any falling apart etc.) painted the Powertex into all the crevices – a couple of layers. Painted the canvas with Powertex, then added all the Powertex treated stuff – sticking down directly onto coated canvas. Where needed I used treated kitchen towel bits to make a ‘3D gel’ to embed twigs & cones & make them more stable. Added more Powertex over cones so that more got down into crevices etc. Hope this helps if you would like to try out xxx

Mixed media fossil canvas

AW Fossil 3

I have completed another mixed media canvas with a fossil theme. Going through a Jurassic phase at the moment – tee hee.

The main image was created with acrylic texture and crackled pastes using the fossil stencil from Andy Skinner. I also used glitter paste and microbeads for added texture. When dry I also drizzled some Pebeo Fantasy (Moon and Prisme) and glass paints into the crevices.

The canvas background surround (finished size 12 X 12 inches) was created with acrylic media (sentiment stamp and dies from Sheena Douglass).