Artwork & Blog post by Natalie Parish QLD
Step 1 - Design Layout
Lay out pieces to test design ideas and collect all the required materials. I usually have a skeleton plan and I am happy to abandon materials or find new ones as the art piece develops.
Step 2 - Background & Sealing Layer
Open your Blue & Ivory Powertex & stir well before use. Then put the lids back on and shake well. Use recycled plastic lids as palettes and pour two circles of each colour. On your third lid, blend the colours to make your desired colour blue and paint all sides of your Violin Cut Out to seal and waterproof the MDF. This is just the background to your work, so slight variations in thickness or colour will either be covered by additional layers or provide interest later.
Step 3 - Decoupage
Tear your silk/decoupage paper to your liking and using a paint brush and Easy Coat Matt or Glossy, decoupage sections of your Violin MDF Cut.
Step 4 - Stencilling
Open the Easy Structure and collect a small amount on your palette knife and spread evenly over your stencil of choice. Easy Structure is a high quality texture paste that dries firmly and reasonably quickly. Remember to cover your container with gladwrap and put the lid back on firmly in between each stencil. TIP: Clean your stencils immediately after each application while it is still easy to remove the structure paste.
Step 5 - Designer Chipboard
Confirm where you would like to place your choice of Dusty Attic designer chipboard. Chipboards can be cut to your desire too. Once wet with Powertex they can also be spread apart or curved. Paint all the front sides with Blue or Ivory Powertex fabric hardener. As you paint each back side place it into position and leave to dry and harden into place. Colour stencil design if it will be covered by chipboard by dry brushing with a very small quantity of Easy Coat Glossy and Powercolours, which can be mixed together to create tonal variations. If you wish to blend your designer chipboard into the MDF, cover with a small layer of Stone Art and rub it into the join. Repaint with powertex fabric hardener to create a small layer of clay that can be manipulated further with a gloved hand.
Step 6 - Bister and Powercolours
Pour Bister into a mist spray bottle and spray stencil work where depth or a tea stain look is desired. Dab with a wet chux to smudge or lighten. NB. Bister also comes in colours such as the blue used here. Pour a small amount of Easy Coat Varnish into a lid/palette. Put out the Powercolour pigments of your choice. With a very dry brush, take up a small amount of varnish into the brush tips and criss cross your brush before picking up the pigment colours or blends. Criss cross your brush to create your paint. Apply as desired. NB. This process may take a couple of layers and different applications of powercolours and Bister as well as wiping on and off.
Step 7 - Rust (Optional) & Repeat Step 6
Pour a small amount of Ivory Powertex onto a lid with some sand and small balls. Put out some Rusty Powder and stir together to make a slurry. Spray the slurry with vinegar to make the rusty powder react. Keep adding sand and balls and rusty powder to make the slurry thick. The reaction could take an hour or two to begin as it changes from grey to brown rust. Spread the mixture in the desired areas, spray again with vinegar and leave to react. Overnight is best as it will react more and be dry enough to repeat Step 6 to blend your work again with Bisters and Powercolour. TIP: Watch video on How to use Rusty Powder... click here
Step 8 - Prepare Stone Art
In this project, Stone Art is primarily used for adhesion. Firstly, for the flowers and later to assemble the entire piece together. In a bowl with a small amount of blue Powertex fabric hardener (1/4 of a cup) add Stone Art (1/4 of a cup) and mix with a flat spatula. Keep adding small handfuls of Stone Art until it forms a kneadable dough like mixture that no longer sticks to the bowl or your gloves. Remove the sticky ball and add a little more Stone Art to the bowl to “flour” the ball. Knead until the clay can be pushed into a textured surface and be removed again without sticking. Remove a small ball of clay and wrap tightly in gladwrap ready to place flowers. Wrap the larger ball in glad wrap followed by a wet chux and then pop it in an airtight container for later.
Step 9 - Flower
Stir, shake and then pour a small amount of Ivory Powertex fabric Hardener in a bowl. Dip artificial flower into bowl and massage the Powertex in using gloved hand. Place the small ball of clay where the flower will be positioned and carefully center the flower
into the clay and push it in with a skewer. Use Bister (blue, natural) whilst wet and hair
dry carefully if you desire a crackle finish and Powercolours (when dry) to blend into the piece. For Paper Flowers, Powertex the backs, position without stone Art and paint the front. They will stick faster.
Step 10 - Attach Hooks
Decide which direction your piece will hang as vertically may require 1 hook. With the pre-made Stone Art clay create two squares and lay the base of the hook into the it. Press down to secure and cover the base with clay making sure the hook can swing free. Add additional balls at the base to enable piece to lay flat against the wall.
Step 11 - Colourtrix. Optional Metallic Sheen
If desired, dry brush Colourtrix Pigments such as Bronze Gold, Powerpearl, Copper and Blue Lustre into your work to create a metallic tinge using the same technique for Powercolour in Step 6.
Step 12 - Assemble with Stone Art.
Roll a sausage of the pre-made clay and cut into 7 even logs. Wrap in gladwrap to prevent hardening until you are ready to use. These will form the pillars to hold up the different layers of the violin. Lay pieces in position before assembling so you know where to position the pillars. Work from top to bottom. Pour a small amount of Transparent Powertex into a lid/pallet. Shape each pillar by broadening the bases and tops to increase surface area. Pour a small amount of Transparent Powertex onto a lid/palette and dab the base of each pillar into it before placing onto the violin to increase adhesion. Press down lightly on each pillar point and leave for an hour or two to dry slightly before doing the final layer in the same way. A hairdryer will speed up the process. It will dry hard overnight but fully cure in 3 weeks. Integrate pillars into work using Powercolours and Colourtrix. You can also spray D Hooks with Bister and colour the back of your work to finish off your pieces fully.
I hope you enjoyed this project!
See you next time...
Ashley Hay is an artist and the Importer of Powertex for Australia. Ashley has become a great advocate for this amazing product and wishes to share her excitement about the versatility of Powertex with others.