{Powertex} – Shining a Little Light (Pt 3)

The other day, I talked about the when I use t-shirt material and when I like to use denim. One other fabric I like to use a lot for detailed work and 3D shapes is Muslin (which you can pick up cheaply from places like amazon as they are popular with new mums!)

Because they are so pourous, they can drink a lot of powertex so instead of dropping the material in, I tend to “paint” it onto small strips of muslin.

I started by covering the hands and fore-arms and then started to work on the torso. I am going to use pure satin cotton for the skirt (you can see the printed old scarf in the background to this picture). This type of cotton “drapes” very well.

I am covering the upper arms and shoulders in a shawl so I didn’t need to cover those, however I did have to hang her upside down to make sure I had all the area of underarms covered!

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{Powertex} – Shining a Little Light (Pt 2)

Regular readers of this blog with know that I love Pinterest and a while ago I started a board to pin all my hints and tips on Modelling Techniques for Powertex. Having reached the stage where I had to build the body of my figurine. From this board, I knew the three key ingredients were (1) Kitchen Foil, (2) Masking Tape and (3) the inner tube from kitchen roll!

Apart from that, it was guess-work, I started by building up the arms and then worked on the upper torso. it was simply a case of add a piece of rolled silver foil, look at the overall measurements and then add a bit more. When I thought I had the right balance, I secured it with masking tape.

The cardboard tube forms the base of the flaring of the skirt underneath her hip and bum. I then sealed the base of the model with a small layer of foil painted with Powertex to ensure that it would remain water-proof and well sealed.

I changed the arms a little from this picture, as I wanted to have the arms in an open position as she will be carrying a Tealight Holder when finished.

By giving her something to hold, I can “hide” the hands and gloss over the lack of details in the fingers.

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Here’s One I’m Making – Look at the Flowers (Pt 3)

As I have the Bronze Powertex out I decided to add some of the flowers to my current Canvas project. I want to add flowers into two of the corners, but before that I added a plaster-cast Sun from Powertex.

I love using the plaster casts shapes with powertex, they are easy to cover and the medium does not “well up” in the shapes so it keeps the definition.

I then started to add the flowers, I started with t-shirt material, which I find easy to model with and cut with a sizzix but it can get a bit “floppy” as it gets heavy when wet and has a life of its own when its drying.

As I wanted to add more definition with the other flowers, I decided to swap to denim, which I find keeps it shape better. However I didn’t have any cut out so I would have to leave them for another day.

As much as I love thinlet dies and I have used them on this project, I do love the range of materials and mediums you can cut with the Sizzix Bigz dies, especially natural fibres ahead of a powertex project… if only I was a little more organised!

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{Powertex} – Shining a Little Light (Pt 1)

I have had a plaster figurine head and base in my Powertex box since shortly after I discovered the medium and every so often I get them out, look at them, come up with some excuse and put them back. I had said I would enter a figurine into our local Flower Show this summer (but I really didn’t think I would get there).

All I can say, looking at my work desk at the moment, I really really wish I had tried one months and months ago! And to be honest I did start this project a couple of months ago!

I took this picture back at the beginning of March, I decided to prepare a couple of MDF and Powertex bases with the grand plan that if I started the projects, I may be inclined to finish them. As you can see that includes a head!

I didn’t get any further than that until this weekend! When I decided the least I could do was attach the head to the base.

I used masking tape and then covered it with bronze powertex (which is still my favourite colour!) It wasn’t until it had dried, that I realised that it was not on exactly straight, but straight enough.

I decided to also cut the arms. Months ago, I asked the Powertex UK team about what width of wire I should use for modelling, they suggested (and I went with) 3mm covered garden wire. I have some mini bolt cutters which cuts it beautifully.

I have no sculpting training at all but I did study biology at to A-Level and it formed part of my under-graduate degree. So I do know a little about ratios, especially arms to height and hand to face and how important this is in getting proportions correct.

I measured from the top of the head to the base of the stick to give me the lengths of the arms and then added twice the length of the face to give me a fold over to shape into hands. I am not confident at this time to shape a hand from clay.

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Here’s One I’m Making – Look at the Flowers (Pt 2)

In addition to playing with mini canvases over the bank holiday weekend, I am carrying on with my slightly larger project. This next step was about adding colour and texture to the background. Leonie Pujol talks about the confidence when adding layers being the secret to mixed media and I am beginning to see what she means.

I started by adding a mixture of metallic copper paint and mint green to give the canvas an aged “patina” look, I daubbed the paint on with a sponge and then dried-brushed to partly mix the paint. The real thing is much more metallic than it looks here.

To further add to the patina / aged bronze look, I wanted to add some gilding flakes with mixed media glue through the original stencil. However I then decided to spread it around a bit so it picked up some of the stencil detailed and some of the base.

I have tried a couple of types of gilding glue and I think the Honey Doo Crafts is my favourite one, mainly because I like the nozzle on the bottle. It’s easy to use and easy to keep clean. Once that had dried, I added a drizzle of orange and green Moon Paints from Pebeo and left to dry.

To finish the base, I added black die-cuts from Tim Holtz wildflowers collection. I fixed them in place with matt Modge Podge and once they are dry I will add some gilding wax to tone the black down.

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Here’s One I’m Making – Still Giving Canvases Away

Looking back to the beginning of the year, I talked about my “Crafting Goals” for 2017. Just to recap, these were:

  1. Only buy stash I would use 3 or more times
  2. Create just because I can
  3. Learn something new

I realised today that by making these mini canvases, I am actually achieving these three goals, I am making great use of stash, I am creating them, just because I can do and my confidence in mixed media techniques is just growing!

I have loved making canvases for a number of years and my first attempts at shabby chic and using chipboard were both based on canvases. I am now using them over 10 years later to build up my confidence with different mediums.

At the moment with Pebeo pigments, I am concentrating on the basics, ie filling squares and drawing lines. I have learnt this weekend with the lines I need to (1) keep a steady pace and (2) keep the nozzle clean as both of these limit the amount of “drag”.

I am also playing with colours and I have even started to introduce more than one medium, in this case I have added gilding wax to the background of the canvas before I added the pigments.

I like this effect and I am already using it again. It was also a great opportunity to practice curved lines and not just straight.

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Here’s One I’m Making – Look at the Flowers (Pt 1)

In addition to the Mini Canvases I am making, I decided to play with other mixed media canvases for home. I have recently discovered the texture pastes from Pebeo on Amazon, which are both a dream to use and cheap! I had been looking for my usual Ranger pastes and this worked out at a fraction of the price.

I am using it with one of the Sheena Douglass’s “Create a Flower” stencils, It’s an 8×8 stencil and as it happens I am using an 8×8 Canvas.

This stencil really appealed to me when they were released, I liked the mathematical grid paper coupled with the organic fluid flowers. And As the stencil has broken lines, you don’t have to be too accurate when using it.

(I am always amazed that when I taken pictures of “white paste on white canvas” it looks debossed). I attached the stencil with a little spray and stick and was liberal with the paste. The stencil stayed put and I love the level of definition you get.

The paste takes about an hour to dry completely but if you were using sprays you could probably start to colour within 15 minutes. I am, however, leaving this to dry overnight.

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