Creative inspiration in the form of a rusty crow and molten glass!
I spent a wonderful couple of days on the South Coast with Powertex Tutor Rosie Casselden (www.facebook.com/rosiecasseldenart/), learning some new Powertex techniques and creating a wonderful crow sculpture – more of that later.
I also had another go at glass blowing last month, to improve on some skills learnt on a pervious course last September and it was such an inspiring experience (www.facebook.com/pages/Creative-Vibe-Glassblowing-Limited/).
I loved the way the molten glass moves and how it’s difficult to control. It is fascinating to see how different materials react as they change from a liquid to a solid state. With Powertex coated fabric, I can at least manipulate the structure a bit as it dries.
Both these encounters got me thinking about where our creativity comes from and how we develop our ideas over time. The two sessions with these wonderful artists stimulated my imagination and made me want to get right back into the studio and create!
Some people confuse taking inspiration with copying other artwork and this is quite a touchy subject in the art world. Let’s face it, we all take inspiration from other people, experiences and art around us – whether that’s a film, music, books or friends – and it all has a conscious or unconscious effect on us and the work we produce.
Different artists can produce similar work without being influenced by each other and there are bound to be similarities about our techniques and subject matter. If we put some thought into what techniques and materials we like to work with and what our special talents are, we get to a point where our work directly represents ourselves. I always admire and scrutinise other peoples' work and then use that inspiration to do my best to apply what I have learned in my own way.
Anyway, back to the crow! The very generous Rosie Casselden was more than happy to share her techniques and for us to incorporate them into our own work. She taught us some different ways of working with Powertex, using the crow as an example.
My crow isn’t quite finished as I still need to do the rusting. I’ll use vinegar to activate the Rusty powder (which can also be used with Powertex Transparent or mix with Powertex Easy Structure to make a paste for a textured rusty finish).
Before we started the crow itself, we created the branch for it to perch on, fashioned from a metal stand, wire, tin foil and fabric before coating with Easy 3D Flex and Powertex to give a lovely ‘barky’ texture.
Rosie then showed us how to create the main crow armature using polysytrene eggs for the body and head of the crow and cardboard plus wire to make up the wings. Its actually quite a skill to create a bird form with the wings outstretched & the whole structure was reinforced with Powertex & fabric to bond it all together. The legs and feet are made with wire and a cocktail stick forms the basis for a great beak, whilst Stone Art and Powertex create the perfect feather texture.
I can’t wait to finish off my ‘Rusty Crow’ and use some of the techniques in my own artwork. You may even see some new workshop ideas hatching too! Visit www.artisticretreats.co.uk to find out more about the Powertex workshops you can book onto and how to get hold of all the exciting Powertex products you need to create your own ideas.