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:

Egyptian Cards and a bit of experimentation with Powertex and stamps

Oh I just love the new stamps from Anna Hewlett (Rosehart Studio) and Powertex. They sold out in a flash on the Hochanda shows too. Here are a couple of my card samples created for the show.

 

AW Heiro Card

 

On this one I used the Hiero Heaven stamp. The background was stamped and embossed with clear or gold embossing powders onto the black card. The vintage papers were created by stamping and colouring with Distress Inks (Scattered Straw, Vintage Photo and Peeled Paint).

 

AW Scarab Card

 

 

On this one I created the background by stamping with black archival ink onto craft card and colouring with pencils (they gave a nice chalky effect).

I created the gold embellishments using a Soft Form Relief Paste (Pebeo). I inked the Hiero Heaven and Scarabella stamps with archival black ink, spread with the paste and left to dry for 48 hours before peeling away. Extra colour was added to my scarab using acrylic paint.

No Powertex in these but I did have a little play:

Experiments:

This soft form paste stays flexible when dry so it can be curved around 3D objects and can also be stitched into. Some of you may know me for my paper crafting and textile art, so this is something I keep in my stash.

I have since had an experiment with using Powertex onto my stamp and leaving that to dry. I did have a concern about using Powertex on my stamps at first. Not that it would harm the rubber but I like to mount my stamps onto foam mount for clean crisp stamping in my textile and paper crafting. I thought that the Powertex might seep into the foam and harden it up ruining the cushion. I did a couple of bench tests to try it out:

 

AW Powertex experiment 1

  • I inked up part of the Heiro Heaven panel with Archival Ink and poured on some Ivory Powertex. Immediately it started reacting strangely with the ink. The outer edges of the puddle started moving and swirling and lost their colour.
  • I also poured some Powertex onto a non-inked area (although there was a bit of residual dried ink on there).
  • I mixed in a little Stone Art into the Powertex, making a paste, and spread this onto an inked area. This was more controllable than pouring liquid and there was no strange reaction evident with the ink beneath.
  • I also poured some Powertex over one of the smaller stamps, deliberately spilling it over the sides and onto my foam mount.

Experiment results:

Similar to my usual texture paste it took 24-48 hours to dry fully. All the test pieces worked really well and peeled away from the stamp really easily. Residual dried on Powertex was easily removed with warm water and a nail brush. The embellishments are quite stiff but remained flexible enough to curve around if desired, particularly if warmed up in the hands or with a hair dryer.

 

AW Powertex experiment 2

The ink transferred really well giving a nice dark image into the embellishment crevices, even the one that seemed to have a strange reaction with the ink worked well.

The smaller stamp that I covered in Powertex also cleaned up easily and the Powertex pulled away from the mount foam ok too, although I had to pull it away gently as it hung onto the foam quite tightly.

If you use unmounted stamps then obviously there is no issue in covering them with Powertex. I would say that if like me, you like to foam mount your stamps, then I would recommend making a bit of a paste with Powertex plus Stone Art or 3D Sand and spread this over. It is much more controllable and you can keep it away from the edges and foam mount more easily.

I hope that my experiments help with your own creative play.

Another sneak peek of my Egyptian themed samples for Powertex

Good morning. Here is another sneak peek at my mixed media samples created for Powertex using the new Egyptian themed stamps from Anna Hewlett (they will be available on the Powertex website shop soon) and 3D plaster busts.

 

TV shows are still available online at Hochanda if you missed any of the demos from Tracey Evans.

 

I will be blogging full pics and details soon xxx

 

AW Nefertiti Sneak Peek

AW Tut Sneak Peek