Step One – Planning
This piece was ephemeral in its planning as I wanted it to flow from a concept rather than a design (this is how I often create… but things can get a bit messy). My concept was to explore the pagan roots of Easter by creating a piece in honour of Eostre the goddess of spring/dawn. Eostre also had to bear the cross of being punished for bringing the light to humankind. I decided I wanted to work in a colour I don’t usually use. As a result, you will see that during construction some pieces look almost finished whilst new bits are being added, while I got a feel for the piece. In retrospect, I probably could have assembled the piece all in white before spraying with Powertex Bister and Ranger Dylusion ink. Therefore, it is worthwhile reading the entire blog through before beginning and you may choose to use completely different colours and embellishments. Happy creating…
- Celtic Cross & Wings MDF Board
- Powertex Ultimate Medium (colour of your choice). I used White.
- Powertex Plaster Torso (of your choice). I used Marjani.
- Powertex Plaster Hands, female.
- 2 pieces of approx. 10cm armature wire
- Stone Art
- 3D Flex Clay—optional
- Paper Decoration (colour of your choice). I used White.
- Powercolours— (colour of your choice). I used Titanium White
- Easycoat Glossy (inside) or Easy Varnish (outside)
- Bister Powder (colour of your choice). This project used Red.
- Dylusion Spray—optional/colour of your choice). I used Funky Fuchsia
- Lotus Pod
- Dusty Attic Chipboard Flowers/Wings for added dimension (optional)
From your useful box
- Lace and Artificial Flowers, wooden embellishments
- Clay Tools, Stamp – I used Squiggle (available from www.bagendstudio.net)
- Plastic Bowls/Containers (with lids to slow down the powertex drying out while working)
- Flat Spatula, paint brush, Mist Spray Bottle
- Masking Tape, Alfoil,
- Gloves, apron and plastic sheeting for table
Step Two – Sealing
- Open your white Powertex and stir well before use. Then put the lid back on and shake well.
- Pour a small amount of Powertex into a bowl and paint all sides of your MDF Cut Outs and Dusty Attic Chipboards to seal and waterproof your pieces and provide a background colour.
Step Three – Building Eostre’s arms
- Fold a piece of alfoil into a rectangle.
- Lay the powertex plaster hands and armature wire at each end of the alfoil. Fold and attach with masking tape.
- Attach the ‘arms’ to the Powertex Plaster Torso, using the flat middle section to attach to the middle of the back.
- Build up the arms with alfoil and cover in masking tape and attach as shoulders to the Powertex Plaster Torso.
Step Four – Prepare Stone Art & 3D Flex
- It is possible to make this project with Stone Art alone as you can stamp and mould it. I did use 3D Flex on the cross because I love the cracked effect it causes; however, 3D flex does not work well for adhesion. If you wish to simplify the project, just use Stone Art.
- Note the mixing procedure is the same for both Stone Art and 3D Flex although the latter requires a little more powder.
- In a bowl with a small amount of Powertex Ultimate Medium add an equal amount of Stone Art and mix with a flat spatula.
- Keep adding small amounts 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 an 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 can be removed again without sticking.
- Remove the ball of clay and wrap tightly in gladwrap and a wet chux and put in an airtight container for later.
- If using 3D flex, repeat above process.
Step Five – Prepare your Bister
- Take an empty 100ml spray bottle and fill it with cooled boiled water.
- Add 5grams or 1 teaspoon of Bister powder
- Put the lid on and shake well. TIP: I transfer mine into a smaller mist spray bottle because I like how it sprays…
Step Six – Paper Decoration and Wings
- Cut small pieces of Paper Decoration (just smaller than the MDF Wings) and tease and stretch it apart. Keep any small pieces that tear off.
- Pour a small amount of White Powertex into a bowl.
- Using a paint brush, brush the paper decoration into place.
- Use a clay tool to maintain the edges of your wings.
Step Seven – Paper Decoration, dressing Eostre
- Paint your plaster torso with Powertex Ultimate Medium
- Using your Stone Art clay, fashion breasts for Eostre and place them on the torso.
- Place strips of Paper Decoration over the arms and breasts to create a long-sleeved shirt.
Step Eight – Clay your Cross & Dusty Attic Wings
- It is possible to make this project with Stone Art alone as you can stamp and mould it. However, I used 3D Flex Clay as it creates a cracked effect.
- If your MDF and Dusty Attic pieces have dried out. Cover with a little more Powertex.
- Using small strips of Stone Art or 3D flex clay simply press onto the MDF Cut Out and Dusty Attic Chipboards.
- Remove excess or clear covered holes with a clay tool. Stamp a pattern into the clay or create one with your modelling tool.
- Press down firmly into the clay with your stamp or clay tool of choice.
- While the 3D flex clay is wet spray your piece with red bister as this will assist with the cracking process.
- You can spray with other inks and stains but bister enables cracking and or mottling. In this project I wanted to try a feminine colour I don’t normally work with, so I also used Ranger Dylusions Ink – Funky Fuchsia. I like the added interest of using the dark Bister and lighter Dylusion spray.
- Use a hairdryer if you wish to speed up the process of drying and cracking.
Step Nine – Mounting Eostre
- Using Stone Art (3D Flex will not work), place a large blob at the base of the cross and squeeze the wings in.
- Place two Stone Art blobs on top of the wings and squeeze the Powertex Plaster head on top.
- Extra Stone Art can be placed under the torso to create a platform.
- Plastic containers can be used to prop the wings up during the drying process
- Use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process or leave overnight (It takes 3 weeks to fully cure but you should be able to handle carefully to finish off your piece).
- Once dry you can turn your piece over and apply more stone art to increase support. In the photos I used Bronze Powertex Stone Art to make it easier to visualise.
Step Ten – Bister
- Using the red Bister, spray Eostre and her wings (don’t be scared—this is just one layer).
- As the bister is not waterproof, use a clean, wet dishwashing cloth (chux) wipe back the bister, smoothing it into the work.
- Spray with Ranger Dylusion Spray Ink to match the cross.
- Be careful not to get the Dylusion Ink Spray onto the plaster surfaces or remove it quickly, as it will stain much faster than Bister and Eostre’s face and hands will become too pink. (You can always repaint with white Powertex but not too many times or you will fill in the features) or dry brush with a tiny amount of white Powercolour.
Step Eleven – Powertex Flowers & Embellishments
- With gloved hands dip your flowers and coat them in Powertex.
- Place your flowers and any other embellishments into your desired locations using a small amount of Stone Art to attach.
- Spray again with Red Bister and Dylusion Ink.
- In hindsight—I would attach these prior to spraying Eostre in the previous Step.
- However, it is good to note that you can layer and blend your work at any stage. One of the reasons I adore Powertex products is that they allow you to create art on the run and to continue pieces at a later date if life gets in the way of your creative process.
Step Twelve – Lotus and Bister Cracking
- Lotus seed pods are fascinating and a sacred symbol of rebirth and a perfect companion to a Goddess of Spring (available from Bag End Studio Shop).
- First seal the lotus pod with white fabric hardener quite liberally.
- While wet, spray with the red Bister and heat with a hairdryer to create a crackled effect.
Step Thirteen – High light in White
- Place a small amount of Powertex Easycoat Glossy onto a dish and a small amount of Powercolour, in this case I used Titanium White.
- Note if this is an outdoor project use Powertex Easy Varnish
Step Fourteen – Transparent Powertex Lace Flowers and Stone Art Attachments
- In my useful box I had wonderful coloured lace flowers. My original intent was to include a lot of spring/garden themed objects using a little bit of Stone Art and Transparent Powertex (which dries clear) to retain the colour. Alas, I ran out of time. So please add more to project if you wish…
- Using gloved hands, place your flower trail into a bowl with a small amount of Transparent Powertex and massage gently into the fibres. You do not need to harden all the flowers. I just finger-painted the ones I needed to attach and draped flower trails to my liking.
- With the Dusty Attic Flowers, Wings and Wooden Butterflies I used a small amount of leftover stone art clay on the back and attached by squeezing onto the artwork.