We had great fun in the office this spring creating a time lapse video for a new class – The Book Thief.
Watch as Purple Boots takes a simple lead sculpture – built around an old book and using an armature to create a figure – and brings it to life. Look carefully at all of the embellishments that are added in each stage and the use of the blue Powertex to really make the book pop. Old bits of lace, keys and string are combined with elements made from self hardening clay to produce interesting effects. At some points the details seem to vanish as the Powertex is applied to embed them into the base.
Watch further and you will see the use of dry brushing techniques. The smallest amount of pigment and Powertex’s own varnish create beautiful end results. All those details which seemed to vanish are now prominent again and we think the copper compliments the bright blue beautifully. A perfect gift for any bookworm and a great decoration for the mantle piece of any bookcase at home.
WOW! What a hectic Saturday. I had lovely bunch of students in today working with the wonders of Powertex. We had a great balance of those experienced with Powertex and complete novices. It’s good to hear those who have lots of experience helping those new to the craft with hints and tips.
First we learned how to build torsos and limbs by wrapping wire and our base frame in endless meters of t-shirt yarn – all made from recycled old clothing from family and friends. Next came hats created from the natural curves of a dozen toilet rolls! These were decorated with scraps of fabric and lace and embellished with other bits and pieces.
The base layer for our wizards was made form further lengths of t-shirt before detailing such as outer robes, magic staffs, spell pouches and even spell books were added. One of our team generously sorted through her craft stash and contributed lots of beautiful ‘junk’ to our materials – old handkerchieves, doilies, pieces of lace and other trims and lots of the gang dipped into these to personalise their work.This is where the wizards started to become real individual pieces with their own style and character. Beards and hair was added making each one unique before the hats were secured on heads.
The final stage of the Powertex day involves adding touches of colour. When working on a dark coloured model it is helpful to add some dry brushed flashes in a much lighter tone so that the colour added last is more vivid. We had copper wizards, blue wizards and other wizards in tones of green. Each one a gorgeous one off piece which can go in their owner’s garden in three weeks time once they have ‘proved’.
If you look closely you can see a cheeky angel has snuck into the ranks of wizards. One of the students was unable to attend a recent angel day so we squeezed her in. This is only possible if students work in the same base colour of Powertex and we are happy to try to accommodate a different sculpture if there is room.
n the Spring I popped in my newest sample to the shop – Raggedy Eared Hare. He’s a cheeky wee chap with a jaunty scarf and beautifully textured ears caught in the wind. He proved so popular in the office that we had to add an extra session in for all of the staff and tutors to have a go.
It was a great day and at the end of it, as you can see, each hare is totally individual with little tweaks such as straw hats and bows in their hair.
Joy wasn’t very happy with the colour she created on her scarf and we couldn’t have her going home disappointed so we worked together to redo the colouring – this is actually really easy to do and one of the many wonders of Powertex.
I wonder if any of the hares have found their final homes on doorsteps and beside flowerbeds yet?
I have been guilty of some skip diving this week! I was invited though. A friend is clearing her house ready to move and I have come away with a bag of t-shirts a stack of picture frames and all sorts of other bits and bobs to recycle into Powertex wonders. She was even throwing out some Christmas decorations so that’s got my head thinking of a ‘Christmas in a day’ class where we will use a range of techniques to create a set of Christmas items to include a wreath, a bauble and a decoration of some sort. Its all whirling around in my head but first….figures!
I have had a LOT of fun over the Easter break working with my daughter on some new Powertex ideas. I have also been trying hard to come up with a way to use Powertex that doesn’t involve getting covered in it. I personally love the feeling of working with my hands covered and daubs on my cheeks but I know its not for everyone. Watch out for an amazing Seahorse class. This project can be created with a brush. I can’t guarantee NO MESS but there will be less.
So my daughter and I created the Raggedy Eared Hare which will be coming to a Tudor Rose Classroom in the autumn. Here’s a cheeky peek of his little face!
More about him later though.
In the coming months I have three classes which will teach you how to make beautiful sculptures for you gardens just in time for a few days of the British summer. I have created a seated figure that would look superb amongst your flower beds or kneeling by a tree. I also have a standing figure class which could be a Halloween sculpture too if witches and ghouls are your thing.
The last of my new classes is the Fantastic Fairy. You may have seen my Bronzed angel in the store last year, well my fairy is a more delicate version of the angel and is currently sitting on top of our display cabinets guarding the coffee shop.
We will be using ivory Powertex and subtle colours to highlight all of the gorgeous textures in the fabrics that make the figure.
Why not come along and have a calm day making with all of the mess cleared away by yours truly? One of our lovely customers told me her most recent class was the most relaxed she has been in ages which is exactly how I would like you all to feel after a day in the studio. What’s stopping you?
Another super Powertex class today. We had a group of complete beginners who have created some beautiful pieces and gone home totally inspired. Lots of the gang created steampunk pieces and have incorporated some great little details using old watch parts and recycled keys. Powertex is a fantastic way to recycle all those knick knacks you no longer have a use for. We also have some more beautiful ethereal samples made with butterflies and bows. As you can see the pieces are all totally individual and have been coloured according to all the individual tastes of the artists. Even better Powertex is totally weather proof so these pieces can be used to embellish a garden fence or exterior wall.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the work this talented bunch do at home and inspiring them again at one of the up and coming Powertex courses here at Tudor Rose. We’ve got three amazing new Powertex workshops coming up where you can try your hand at making a seated figure, a standing figure, and a fantastic fairy which would make a lovely summer addition to your garden.
Find the details and booking for the seated and standing figures here. Booking for the Fantastic Fairy isn’t open yet, but watch this space!!
It has been six months since I went off to train at Powertex Towers and it is lovely to see some of my new students applying their skills. Take a look at these fantastic pieces from Jean who has been so inspired by Powertex that she is now working in a wide range of colours and finishes.
Jean is planning on a range of green men that represent the changing of the four seasons. Because Powertex is completely weather proof she can use her finished pieces in her garden throughout the year. She has started with white Powertex and incorporated lichen and berries to bring her winter green man to life. Next Jean has dabbled with mixing the shades of Powertex to create subtle green tones that she has then gone to town embellishing with rich coppers and bronzes. Look at all the found items she has managed to incorporate in to her pieces. I’m looking forward to seeing the other two in the series.
If Jean has captured your imagination and you would like a piece like this for your garden remember Powertex is completely weather proof. There are a range of courses available using a variety of techniques and colourways. You can view more of our Workshops, Classes and Groups here.
My first foray into Powertex work was a sculpture of a figure so this week I have been dabbling in the human form. I am trying to use different ways to build the armature for my pieces so this was an experiment into the wonders of kitchen roll tubes and foil. With a bundle of masking tape it was all getting very Blue Peter.
Once Ihad created a kneeling form that I was happy with I started bringing it all together with lots of old, natural fabrics and a healthy dollop of trusty Powertex. I love seeing the way the fabrics take on the shape of the armature and drape so that the clothing takes place. I especially like giving my figures hoods as I like the mystery they create so this figure is no exception.
Powertex is a great way to use old, stained linens so here I have incorporated some lace and even a few charms for effect. The feather charms we have in store at the moment are my favourite and find their way into lots of my work.
I was going for the bronze statue look with this piece and focused on some metallic tones to achieve this end. I hope you like her…or him….
If I have captured your imagination and you would like a piece like this for your garden remember Powertex is completely weather proof! The next opportunity to make this figure is on Saturday April 28th 2018.
Its a cold day and I am busy creating in my cold dining room. The fire has been calling me though so I am taking a break to warm my bones and catch up with my blog posts.
Just a few days now until Tudor Rose holds its wonderful annual exhibition. So much to see and learn about. I have been lucky to work with Kathy Laurel Sage on one of her machine embroidery classes so I need to set up my machine and get some of those pieces finished but first…Powertex!
I’m working on a mixture of pieces at the moment. My half day courses have proved popular so I am busy coming up with a new one based around mirrors. Those who know me know I am a little addicted to recycling so I have been rummaging in charity shops far and wide and have managed to come up with a whole bunch of mirrors that we can turn into a class.
My recycling habit is also becoming well known amongst our shop customers and I often find little donations for me to incorporate into my work have appeared in my drawer. The current favourite is old keys so a few of these are making an appearance into my mirror frames alongside the usual fabrics and linens.
I’m working in Ivory at the moment. This is also weather proof just like my lead and bronze pieces but will allow for a wider colour choice once I get to that stage. I’m thinking I might like a wall of, mirrors in my garden to hide the slightly ugly pallet fence made by my neighbour. I should love it, its a total recycling triumph but it’s orangeness offends me just a little. I’m hoping a collection of Powertex magic will make me love it a little. To this end I also found an absolute steal of an oval mirror in a charity shop. A friend and I have spent a happy hour with a pot of tea and some of the stockinette we have just added to our product line in store and the frame is now half covered with ivory. I am tempted to try some ombre skills by mixing my white with lead and creating some interesting graduated colours…but will it work? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Watch this space to see how my mirror projects turn out.
I am looking forward to more Powertex workshops as we approach Christmas and I am making lots of new products to tempt you in to one of my courses. This week I have been working on mixed media pieces inspired by the sea. My best friend recently moved to Cornwall and her son is a surf instructor so he has had my ten year old out on the waves while the mums watched and ate cream teas. Then my daughter convinced me I had to have a go and I managed to stand up. I’m am actually quite proud of myself. I always tell my girl she should try things once and then she will know whether she likes it and can politely say nope not for me if she doesn’t. She’s a totally natural surfer, her mother, not so much and no one needs to see me in a wetsuit but I may just give it another try.
Being near the sea always inspires me and I often take my sketchbook out and about when we are on family holidays. I love the ocean especially when it is rough so it made sense to try to capture the feeling of the huge rolling waves. I am experimenting with white Powertex as I really want the colours of the sea to show through. Being a total beachcomber, I always manage to come home with pockets full of sea shells, driftwood and sea glass so I have incorporated some of these pieces into my waves.
Cotton lace and old t shirts are a great medium for Powertex so after applying a base layer of fabric I spent a couple of happy hours sculpting a pair of canvases. I wasn’t sure about how effective lace would look in a piece of ocean art so I opted for narrow pieces that echoed the waves. Several coats of Powertex were needed over the bulky parts of my work to help them stay in place and then I moved to a layer of colour. What I love about this product is that I can happily make mistakes, either in colour choice or by using too much colour, and these can be rectified with a quick dry brush of gloopiness ready for me to try again. It really takes the fear of making mistakes away as I know I can’t ruin my work.