Egyptian Canvas Duo created for Powertex UK

I so enjoyed helping out with samples for the Egyptian themed shows recently on Hochanda – and WOW the set looked amazing with so many wonderful creations from the team. I think that we all had a huge amount of fun. It really did look like an archaeological set.

AW Nefertiti Canvas

AW Tutankhamun Canvas

I created this duo of canvases featuring Nefertiti and Tutankhamun to tell a little of their story. Although their likeness was well known to me I really had little idea of their history, so I did a little research. I really enjoyed finding out more about these characters and I had so much fun immersing myself into their mystical world when creating these canvases.

I hope that my creative journey gives you some inspiration for your own ideas. There is a full materials list at the end if you need links to any of the specific products used xxx.

The creative journey:

The canvases were first coated with a layer of Ivory Powertex, and the plaster busts with Bronze Powertex.

 

AW Nefertiti Canvas 4

AW Tutankhamun Canvas 1

The textured embellishments were made with air dry clay and small clay cutters from my stash. The Hiero Heaven and Scarabella stamps were pressed into the rolled out clay to add texture. Additional texture added to some pieces using a texture mat, and I made the little snakes using a mould (both from my stash). Strips from corrugated card were used to create pillars. I laid out all my elements to get a rough idea of placement and to assess space left for adding text.

 

AW Nefertiti Canvas 3

Note: I used an air dry modelling clay that I had in my stash. It is fairly strong when making chunky items but I did find it very brittle when rolled thin. I left it to fully dry overnight and coated it with Ivory Powertex. The Powertex did sink in well (as it remained porous) and considerably strengthened my embellishments. So I was happy to use them on my canvases. However, I would fully recommend using Stone Art Clay if you want hard wearing items, and certainly if you need them to be weather proof (it is designed for this).

Following my bit of historical research I decided on some text to add to my canvases. Nefertiti was the chief wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten who was the father of Tutankhaten (later named Tutankhamun). Originally Akhenaten was named Amenhotep IV but he changed his name when he banned the worship of the old Egyptian gods and instated Aten (Sun Disc – an aspect of the sun god Ra) as the one true god. I therefore depicted the Aten symbol (Sun Disk with rays in gold) on Nefertiti’s canvas.

I used gilding wax around the edges of my canvas and on the Sun Disc (Atan) and gold relief paste to create the Atan rays.

Nefertiti was also known as ‘the beautiful one has come’ (translation of her name) and ‘the lady of the two lands’ – I included this in the gilded text.

Nerfertiti may have ruled for a time as Neferneferuaten, and for a short while alongside Tutankhaten (later named Tutankhamun) but there is some debate on this. She disappeared not long after her husband’s death and it is unsure where her body lays. Although interestingly there is some evidence that she may be in a secret chamber behind the tomb of Tutankhamun. Still a mystery.

Tutankhamun became king when only a boy (‘boy king Tut’) and as mentioned above he was originally named Tutankhaten (‘the living image of Aten’). After the death of his father there was an uprising and the old gods were eventually reinstated. He reinstated Amun-Ra (fusion of the gods Amun ‘the hidden/invisible one’ and Ra the ‘sun god’) and changed his name to Tutankhamun (‘the living image of Amun’). There is a lot of debate around the identity of his mother but it is fairly certain that she would have been a close relation to Akhenaten (sister or cousin, maybe even Nefertiti?).

I hope that I am not boring everyone with history but I found it all fascinating (but also very confusing with all the name changes and the various gods worshipped at the time).

AW Nefertiti Canvas 1

AW Nefertiti Canvas 2

The sentiments were printed on a laser printer (copy paper) and foiled with gold sublimation foil using my laminator. I stamped over the background using Memories Ink and the Hiero Heaven stamp. I then scrunched up the paper and further aged with distress inks.

The background textured paper and sentiments were glued to the canvas using Easy Coat.

AW Nefertiti

AW Nefertiti 2

The card pillars were coated (back and front) with Black Powertex. Bister was used to add depth to my textured embellishments. I also mixed various Powercolor pigments into Ivory Powertex and rubbed over the top of the embellishments to give the effect of faded chalk paints.

AW Tutankhamun

AW Tutankhamun 2

Elements were glued in place using Powertex and a little Easy Structure for some of the more uneven textured pieces. A little Easy Structure paste was also applied with a palette knife for filling and more texture.

A little Ultramarine Powercolor was mixed with Ivory Powertex and painted into the crevices of the pillars. Gold Colortricx pigment mixed with Easy Varnish was dry brushed onto the surface ridges.

The busts were also coloured with gold varnish, applied fairly liberally for an opulent effect. Where I wanted areas of strong colour (blue, red, green) I applied a base of Ivory Powertex first and then painted over with coloured varnish. Black Powertex was painted into the eye area.

AW Nefertiti 3

Materials:

Adjustable Kanzashi Flower Ring Powertex Jewellery

Today I am sharing a pretty little adjustable Kanzashi flower ring created using fine printed cotton fabric which has been treated with Transparent Powertex to stiffen and protect it. Treating with Powertex adds strength and protects against dirt. Ideal for jewellery pieces.

There are lots of videos on YouTube showing Kanzashi flower making but most are using synthetic ribbons which are joined and sealed by melting. I used instructions from Gina-B Silkworks (this was a sample for her recent show on Create & Craft TV). Gina’s method is the traditional Japanese way using natural fabrics (silk or cotton). Being natural fibres these little flowers are simply ideal for treating with Powertex. Ready-made silk flowers could work very well too.

 

AW Kanzashi Ring 6

Really pretty and comfortable to wear (sorry that my hands are older crafters hands and not modelling quality – tee hee).

 

AW Kanzashi Ring 5

The ring is adjustable so easy fitting.

 

AW Kanzashi Ring 2

I coloured the back to match the wire colour. You can also see the adjustable ring form more easily in this pic – the backing and flower being secured to one of the flat wire coils.

 

Note: One thing to consider when using transparent Powertex is how it will affect the colour of the fabric. It will considerably darken many fabrics, giving them the appearance of their colour when wet. Always test out a spare scrap first so as not to be disappointed. The printed cotton that I used here changed very little in colour so I was really pleased with the result.

 

Tools and Materials:

Optional extras:

I used additional tools for making the flowers which are really helpful and make the process easier. They are not essential but you will probably want to get them if you decide that you like this craft.

  • Pack of straight and bent fine tweezers – great for manipulating fiddly items such as the small fabric squares while folding, and for placing the petals. I would say that tweezers of some sort are pretty essential unless you have really nimble fingers.
  • Kanzashi Flower Making Tool Kit – contains a mini turntable, gluing table and spreader plus a small drying table. Great to have.
  • Petal Holders & Medium Drying Table – another useful kit if wanting to make several flowers. Cotains 2 sets of petal holders (for small and larger petals) plus a bigger drying table (for more flowers).

How it was made:

AW Kanzashi

AW Kanzashi 2

My Kanzashi flower makes using the starter kit. I used the 7 petal rainbow one for the ring.

  1. I used the in Gina’s starter kit to make the seven petal rainbow flower. Basically little fabric squares are folded to make petals. The raw edges of the petals are then placed in thick Kanzashi starch to hold their shape while making up all the petals and building the flower. The petals are then glued to a base piece of cotton using PVA glue and left to dry overnight. Excess fabric on the base is then snipped away. I glued a small metal brad into the centre with Gemtac glue. Sorry that I am unable to give full instructions here for the flower as the specifics of this flower design belong to Gina.
  2. To make the adjustable ring I wrapped the wire around a ring mandrel and tapped the wire lightly with the hammer to work harden the ring structure. A nylon hammer helps protect against stripping off the coloured coating.
  3. I trimmed the wire and made a small curl on one side using the round nosed pliers. On the other side I made a larger curl, big enough to sit the flower onto the front and the wooden cabochon onto the back. I worked hardened and slightly flattened the wire curls using the hammer and steel block.
  4. I added a coat of clear Powertex to the back/base of the flower and wooden cabochon and left until touch dry. I then added another coat of Powertex (as a glue) and used Powertex Easy Structure to fill the voids in the wire curl, attaching the wooden cabochon to the back and flower to the front of the larger wire curl, and left it to cure overnight. The Easy Structure paste makes a nice solid bridge holding everything securely onto the back and front of the wire curl. A little Stone Art Clay would also work. Note: If you don’t have a suitable wooden cabochon a thick card/board or MDF shape could be substituted. I would advise an absorbent natural material for a strong bond with the Powertex. It also needs to be smooth so as not to scratch or irritate the skin when wearing.
  5. I then painted the cabochon and flower with Transparent Powertex, working it well into the fabric flower and crevices with a brush. Tip: If you find that you have big blobs or pools of Powertex use a piece of cotton rag to lightly dab and mop up the excess, or it can dry giving shiny blobby areas which will spoil the natural look and texture of the fabric flower. Leave to dry.
  6. Finally I painted the back of my cabochon attachment and flower base using Starlight acrylic paint. The colour match was simply perfect for the metallic pink wire that I used. If you are using copper, silver or gold plated wires you could paint with Colortricx pigment and Easy Varnish instead (to coordinate with your wire).

Powertex treatment has made this delicate fabric flower ring much more robust and protected against dirt – a more functional piece of jewellery. For further protection and full waterproofing you could add a final coat of Easy Varnish.