Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Wire Wrapping a Powertex Ammonite

Wow what a busy start to the new year and what a fun one too!  


Did you see Tracey and I sharing some of our Powertex ideas on HOCHANDA on 5th/6th April?  Did you get the fabulous one day special and Jurassic Jewels kits? If so then maybe you were tempted to make yourself some Powertex Ammonites using Tracey's new sand technique and some of my jewellery.    

So as promised, here are the steps and they are really simple and you don't need to have any previous experience to get started.  Here goes...

Step 1

Gather together a finished Powertex Ammonite, 0.9 and 0.5 wire and beads from the Jurassic Jewels kit.  
Tools: flush cutters, round nose and chain or flat nose pliers and some medium grade sand paper.

In thise project I am using a medium ammonite.  I have also created it in ivory and not added pigment. If you do want colour add it before wrapping.


Step 2

Use the sandpaper to gently rub off any sharp areas and smooth the back and sides of the ammonite.

Pull of 5 x 30 cm lengths of the 0.9mm wire making sure you follow the direction of the wire (this is your structural wire). Cut 1mtr of the 0.5mm (this is your wrapping wire).  Use the natural cure of the coils to your advantage.

Hold all wires in your non dominant hand and keeping the wires side by side, leave approximately a 4-5cm tail and in the centre of the wires make 7 wraps on the wire bundle, keeping some tension and keeping the wire flat.  

Once the wrap is complete and with both end to the inside curve of the wire, trim the ends and firmly squeeze with the chain or flat nose pliers.

Moving 22mm along from the end of the first wrap, repeat making a second 2-wraps and then repeat on the other side of the central wrap.

These measurements are for the medium sized ammonite and you will need to adjust if you are wrapping either the small or large ammonites.

The wire now look like this one on the right.

Step 4

Hold the ammonite and gently coax the wire around the shape of the ammonite with the central wrap opposite the outer edge as shown here. 

Holding the ammonite and wire wrap firmly with your non dominant hand, use your pliers to push the wires into the right angle of the ammonite.
Step 5

Gently pull forward the front wire of the anti-clockwise wires and encourage it to work into a curve stroking your fingers along its lenght, the warmth and direction from your fingers will help with this.  Add 3 off the little beads and then turn a neat loop and continue to curve following the inner curves of the ammonote.

Use the front wire of the clockwise wires to make 2-3 wraps around all wires to secure. 

nb: DON'T CUT ANY OF THE STRUCTURE WIRES

Step 6

With your fingers or flat nose pliers and from the middle, gently pull the top outer wire just over the front endge of the ammonite on each side of the wire wrapped groupings, repeating on the back.

Try to make them as even as you can but work with the shape of the ammonite. Press firmly on the outer edges so the wires lie flat. repeat so all 4 sections are wrapped and the ammonite sits firmly within.

Step 7

Next you need to bend the wires comping anti clockwise so they fit closely along the back from top edge to bottom edge where the centre wires. 

Tip: I find it easier to use my flat nose pliers to turn the wire and then use the back of the plier to press down so the wire sits nice and flat.



Step 8

Use some of the 0.5mm wrapping wire to secure the structure wires either side of the bottom central wrap.  These structure wires will become the bale on which you will thread your cord.

I continued up the length of the wire after I had bent the bale into shape so I suggest you leave the wire attached in case you choose to do the same.


Using your flat nose pliers to hold the structural wires bend the wires forwards 1cm up from the base.

Then holding the wires together bend down approx 8mm from the first bend and so that all wires are sitting over the front of the ammonite.  

Leave as they are while we work on the tail wires.

Step 9

The wire coming clock wise of the bottom of the ammonitte now need gently curving, these are the tail wires. Do this with your fingers, gently stroking them all together between your thumb and forefinger and in a clockwise direction.

Trim the wires so that the front wire is shortest and back wire is longest.  I made mine around 8mm shorter than the one it was next to.

On the short front wire add 5 beads. Turn a loop so they don't drop off.  Continue the coil trapping a bead in the coil and leaving the others to find their own level.

Repeat this on each wire, adding 7 beads to wire 2, 9 beads to wire 3 and 11 beads to the longest wire.  Trapping a few beads in the tighter coils as shown in the photo below.


Step 10

Hold the wrapped ammonite in your no dominant hand and use your flat nose pliers to make a couple of bend in the rear wires, this helps give strength and tension.

You can see here where I have done a basket weave wrap on the back of the bale. 

Turning to the front, trim the bale wire so the centre wire is a little longer than the other two.  Turn a loop on the four outer wires.

Thread 3 beads on the centre wire and turn a loop to secure them

And that's it!  

Here is the finished Powertex Ammonite Wire Wrapped Pendant.




All you need to do now is make a corded necklace that you can hang it from.  

This is a very basic wrap and there are lots of ways you can change the bale, or even leave off the bale and using powertex and a little bit of kitchen paper or fabric add a brooch back.

Look out for more tips soon on finishing your Powertex circles jewellery pieces.

Have fun and make sure your share your creations with us over on Powertex Addicts United we love to see your makes!

Unitl next time... Fi xx

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

WE HAD FUN WITH FOSSILS!

We recently had some shows on Hochanda and shared our fossilised ideas with everyone, we had moulds and we had stencils - oh when I say had you haven't missed out they are still available on the website, we have moulds and stencils  so that you can join in the fun! I mixed various colours of Powertex with 3D Sand for all of the fabulous effects, we send out instructions with each mould so don't worry! Watch out for Fiona Potters blog about how she incorporated fossils into her jewellery designs, they are incredible!




Friday, 31 March 2017

Powertex Design Team Project - Headful of Dreams







Hello Creative Adventurers


So if you have been anxiously waiting with baited breath to find out what Jack said here it is.....(you can catch up with the story so far here).


"Jack wrote to her of things they would do, places they would visit, experiences they would share, he crafted a headful of DREAMS."


To create this piece, I started with a carved head  and formed an armature of foil covered with masking tape to make the circle above the face.





















This was then coated in Powertex Black alongside some old Christmas decorations and mulberry flowers these were all then left to dry.












Cotton Lace was dipped into the black Powertex and wrapped around the armature. The dry decorations and flowers were then tucked into and onto the lace (where needed a fresh coat of Powertex was added to the base of the flowers to help them stick). This was then left to dry.












The flowers, swirls and lace were then dry brushed using a mixture of Powercolor and Colortrix Pigments.




















Finally the metal "Dream" was suspended in the centre using fishing line.








HOWEVER.......What Sarah really wanted to know was when would they next meet..........See my next DT blog to find out where and when that will be.


Till then happy creative adventures.........Ax

Jurassic Tool Time

Jurassic Stencil

 
With less than a week to go before Powertex UK is back on Hochanda (Tracey launches a super duper ODS 8pm on Wednesday 5th April) I just had to give the brand new rather gorgeous and highly detailed Powertex Jurassic stencil a try.  Honestly you seriously need this stencil in your life!
 
Now while I will be back on air demonstrating some more jewellery ideas on Thursday 6th using the same products as Tracey, I thought I'd decorate a rather nifty wooden tool rack that a very dear friend gifted me a while a go.
 
The result of my crafty bit of playtime is this twin look piece. 
 
Hope you like it..
 
Fi x



Monday, 27 March 2017

Mother's Day

I'm pretty fortunate to have my lovely mums support when it comes to my artist venture. 

She has always wanted me to follow my dream of becoming an artist. Today we had a lovely day with my Nan who is suffering from dementia. But we had her's and my favourite! Cream tea yum. 
 I made a special little Powertex heart in my favourite colours for mums present. Hope you all had a magical day making memories to treasure or remembering happy times with your mums. 
Toodle pip Anna xXx


Follow Anna's blog here:

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Mixed Media Steampunk Book Box


I have been looking for an excuse to make a steampunk-inspired project for a while & the perfect opportunity came up a few weeks ago in the form of a friend's 40th birthday fancy dress party. The theme was 'school uniform', but instead of the obvious St. Trinians outfit, I opted for a Steam Punk School Mistress, complete with book (which doubled as a handbag for the evening).

Of course, being part of the Powertex UK Design Team 2017, it was much more fun to create my own steampunk book box/handbag than to try to find one to buy!  Here's a brief explanation of how I did it...


I started with a paper mache book box, a selection of steam punk embellishments, corrugated cardboard, cotton lace, teabag papers & of course, some of our lovely Powertex products - Powertex transparent and ivory , Silk Paper Mechanisms, Easy Coat Mat & brown bister.

The spine of the book was decoupaged in pieces of tea bag paper sprayed in bister.  The Easy Coat Mat was used to fix them in place before applying a 2nd coat to seal. Then the 'Mechanism' silk paper was applied to the front & back covers.  I love how the teabag papers look like old leather!


The 'pages' of the book were made using the corrugated card.  Cut to size, paint with a mix of ivory Powertex & brown bister, & spray with more bister to 'age' the pages.  Leave to dry before attaching.


Finally the cover design.  Arrange your embellishments & lace, then attach using Powertex transparent.

I finished the whole thing off with a little sprinkle of Powertex Rusty Powder, sprayed with a water/vinegar mix & left overnight to react before sealing with Easy Varnish.  Great fun to make & perfect to complete my outfit for the fancy dress event.




To find out more about Powertex art supplies, find a certified tutor near you or ready other blogs by Powertex UK & the Design Team, visit www.powertex.co.uk & don't forget to share your makes on our Powertex Addicts facebook page.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Well we're well into March and it's looking like it's going to fly past just like January and February did!

We have been busy training lots of lovely tutors so that you can get the best advice and workshops near to you, some of them even came back for extra technique training last week that's how committed they are to being up to date with techniques and delivering the very best workshops.




 As well as this very important part of our job we have been busy developing products to bring along to the NEC and some fun ideas for our next Hochanda appearance in April, we hope you can join us for one of our lovely workshops at the NEC or tune into Hochanda - we will be telling you more about that nearer the time.

These are the workshops we'll be running at the NEC - we're ready are you?