Sunday 20 March 2016

2016 Topic 6: Liquid Sculpting Medium {Challenge}

 2016 Topic 6: Liquid Sculpting Medium

Sharon Brassard
Well hello everyone, Darcy here to introduce our latest topic; Liquid Sculpting Mediums. Currently there are 2 very popular mediums being used to create 3d works of art, you may recognise them as Paverpol or Powertex (brand names) and these products are mostly seen used with fabric or natural fibres. However fabric stiffeners have been around a long time, as homemade starches progressing through to manufactured sprays. All these products are designed to give fabric various degrees of stability, ranging from just a little body to rock solid, and weatherproof. 

Glues, mediums and moulding pastes can also be used; not just with fabric but other textural elements, and all can be experimented with to create new and exciting pieces of art. Gels and pastes also harden into solid mediums, which alone can create dimension. While those can be used in conjunction with other elements, on the whole, is the liquid mediums that we shall explore in this topic. To create structure, these liquid mediums need to be applied to forms such as texture beads, armatures and fabrics in order for the properties of the medium to have full effect. 

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 5: Art Doll Challenge...

A fabulous topic, I adore Art Dolls and could look at them all day. I am so glad you all joined in, looks like you had enormous fun too. I feel really spoiled with all the new inspiration that you provided. if you missed some of the entries do go back and take a look, there is everything from paper dolls to found objects and stitched creations. 

The winner of Art Dolls  is: Rebecca Harris  from Craftin-Artasia

Email Darcy to claim your prize.

So let's get started exploring this topic. The first product we'll take a look at is Powertex. This is an environmentally friendly, water-based sculpting liquid. It is reccomended to be applied to absorbent materials (natural) such as cotton fabric, paper, cardboard, leather etc. 

Once the surface has been painted or dipped with Powertex, it can be manipulated into shape and then left to dry. While this is an air drying medium, a little warm air from a hair dryer can help speed up the process. Drying times will vary and will depend on the thickness of your substrate, the quantity of medium applied, and how warm your working conditions are. Generally the work will be touch dry in a few hours, but some flexibility will remain. The medium continues to harden over time, and within around 2-3 weeks the project will be fully hard. You can paint the item during this time with your preferred paint, and if your project is intended for outdoors then you will also need to add varnish. 

So what can we make? if you have searched already for inspiration you will have seen many figurines. Some of the most effective are very simple shapes, giving the illusion of a figure. Note, no hands or feet.. just a face. The details are all in the choice of and draping of the fabric. These can be formed over a wire armature, or a box or the very popular option of a glass bottle. 

Some have a totally blank face, but most that I have seen incorporate a detailed face. Options for faces include making your own from clay and a mould, buying a ceramic face or perhaps re-purposing a dolls head. 

Using a fully poseable body, either a doll or a wire armature, gives you more options. . 

Momification Art

In this video you can see how a fabulous Masai figure comes to life using Powertex products. 

Add in wings using fabric draped over wire, and you transform your figure into something magical. You can see here how Nancy Lynn Donaldson has used wired to create these very simple shapes to use in her angel.
Nancy Lynn Donaldson
Again note how all the detail is in the fabric.

Nancy Lynn Donaldson

A figure does not need to be free standing, you could always incorporate your face and illusion of a body into a canvas. This one is just beautiful, the texture allowed to be so promiment with the use of neatral tones. 

Elis Cooke

Of course your sculpture need not resemble a human form at all. 

Merilyn Thomas
Look at these funky dudes. 

If the texture of fabric isn't enough for you, then you can add aggregates to the Powertex such as clay, concrete, sand and stone. You also have options with colour: Clear Powertex is a white liquid that dries clear, though this can be coloured by adding various pigments. If you want a ready-coloured medium then you have choices of Lead, Bronze, Terracotta, Ivory, Black and Green, Red,Yellow and Blue. There are also 3D sand and balls available in various sizes, these really bump up the texture and can result in some stunning abstract art like this canvas by Tracey Evans

Or the stunning vibrancy of this one by Rhonda Hunt

Perhaps you are looking for a way to enhance your backgrounds; this piece has been started on corrugated carboard, nothing ould be simpler. The possibilities for this are endless, think how you could build upon this with stamps and embellishments. 

Let's see some other methods of using these sculpting mediums. How about trees?

Carrie Cervantes
These wine bottle collars are just stunning. what a wonderful addition to a bottle of wine that you may be giving as a gift. 

Gloria Perry
Here is a quick video showing how to make some 'bottle bling' similar to the photo above. 

The other lomg-time fabric hardener brand you may know about is Paverpol. This too is a non toxic liquid, albeit it thicker and more gloopy than Powertex. Again this works best with natural materials. the same methods are used, in that you dip your fabric into the medium, allow the excess to drip off then drape over your chosen armature or form. Paverpol is also available in clear, bronze or grey. 

With both products you need to protect your worksurface and yourself with plastic, once dried onto a wood table or your clothing these mediums cannot be removed. 

Paverpol projects can be painted and sealed, or you can colour the medium with pigments such as coloured pigments, mica powders, glitter or fine coloured sand or even high quality acrylic paints. However do not dilute the Paverpol by more than 2%. There is a really informative pdf sheet available HERE.  this contains lots of info about using Paverpol. 

Irma Westerdijk is a certified Paverpol instructor, she can teach you how to make gorgeous pieces like this. 

I am more than a little in love with these, how cute!

Gloria Perry
Just about anything can be used as a form on which to build texture, such as this awesome tissue box. 

Gwen Nicholson
How about adding doilies or lace to sheres or eggs, to create these wonderful stone effect home decor pieces. 

Harmony Art
I am in awe of this scenic creation by Joanne Savage 

Perhaps making jewellery is more in your comfort zone? 

I could go on and on showing you thousands of creations from across the world, if you search for Powertex or Paverpol you will soon find yourself lost in a whole other dimension of artworks. 

Before you all scurry off to search, or perhaps you are running away scared, fear not.. there are other options. You can dip your fabrics into starch, or glue, or even a sugar mix.. who remembers making starched snowflakes? 

Isn't this crochet bowl lovely, it is from the book Crochet Adorned 

This piece was done by one of our designers  Liz Borer. the fabric was painted with a glue, pleated and left to set. You can see how she did it HERE. 

Finally there is Modroc, this is a gauzy bandage impregnated with plaster of paris, it is bought dry and on a roll. To use it you must reactivate the plaster of paris by cutting strips off the roll and soaking in water. This returns the plaster to a liquid form, no need to add fabric as it is already combined. You then drape over a form, pleat or smooth and leave to dry. 

This is a beautiful piece incorporating modroc. 

Emily Wilkinson
One final photo, a delicate flower sculpture using modroc by Eleanor Swan

Whatever form and sculpting medium you choose I hope you have a fun two weeks, though I forsee you all getting very sticky!

Don't forget to follow Leandra's pinterest board if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! 

I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks!


Topic 6: Liquid Sculpting Medium PaperArtsy Blog Challenge

We'd love you to share your ideas and link up your creative response to our current blog topic. Take a minute to read the challenge guidelines below.

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Liquid Sculpting Medium link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, 3rd April 2016, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

1. The challenge is a for you to show how you are inspired by the current blog topic.

Your entry should contain:
- a mention of which post inspired you and why, and 
- a link in your blog post to that original post on the PA blog.

The whole concept of this challenge is 'play along with us'. You are encouraged to put your own twist on ideas you see on our blog, do your own thing - whatever grabs you!

2. The link you put on our linky page must lead directly to the specific post on your blog where you have explored the technique/ idea mentioned in point 1 above. Don't link to the home page of your blog.

3. We prefer your challenge blog post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then you may link to both if appropriate.

4. You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!

6. You can enter as many times as you like. We don't want to restrict your creativity! 
NB. Link closes at 17:00 Sunday 3rd April 2016  (London Time)

7. The winner of the random draw will receive a £50 credit voucher to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website. The credit voucher includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50.

8. Each fortnight on Sunday, the winner will be announced at 19:00 (London time). In the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. 

9. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy. 

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Helen said...

well done Rebecca. Now I have to open my Powertex then.... fabulous topic!

Unknown said...

OMG I can't believe my name selected awesome thanks 😃 now fircthe next challenge whoho!
Happy craftin

Artmadnana said...

These are gorgeous and varied exemplars Darcy of what can be created. Lots of inspiration. But I'm surprised you haven't included some of Fraser Ives' creations! If anyone is the queen of powertex, Sam is. She and Lin Shields have created some beautiful pieces which have definitely inspired me to get into this medium.

Craftyfield said...

Fabulous artwork out there, but what a challenge for me!

Lucy Edmondson said...

So pleased for you, Rebecca! Superb challenge intro Darcy! I know some of the patwits have done some great powertex makes and I'm sure there'll be some amazing entries!

Lucy x

Julie Lee said...

Well done to this week's winner! I can't wait to see what people come up with for this topic! Great intro to the theme, Darcy! x

Miriam said...

Fabulous topic.... Love Powertex.... and the possibilities are endless!!

Annie said...

Congratulations Rebecca x
Have never heard of Powertex etc but the end results are amazing. Must have a go.
Thank you for the wonderful inspiring post Darcy
Annie x

geezercrafter said...

Wow, what an interesting topic, lots in inspiration, can't wait to have a go !!!

Etsuko said...

Congratulations Rebecca.Fabulous topic and the introduction Darcy, very interesting medium. I'm looking forward to all of the works. xx

craftimamma said...

Congratulations Rebecca... enjoy choosing your goodies! Fab introduction to the new challenge Darcy and some gorgeous samples shown. Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.

Lesley Xx

Kirsten said...

Fascinating topic, the examples are stunning.

whyducks said...

Thank you so much for this topic, I had just bought some Powertex and was frightened to start, but what great inspiration thank you. x