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abigail's blog

8 Maids a-Milking - Powertex Style - by Abigail Lagden

By abigail, Dec 24 2017 06:15PM



This Christmas I was very proud to be one of a group of 12 artists who contributed to a display for Bishop Auckland's Advent Windows. Every day through December a shop window in the town revealed a display that depicted a Christmas carol or song. Our song was 'The 12 Days of Christmas' and we each had a day from the song to create.


Here is how my sculpture came to life.


I have always loved Highland cows and have made mini ones in the past but I'd been wanting to make a larger one for some time so I decided this had to be incorporated into the sculpture. I constructed the base structure for my cow using wire, bubble wrap, masking tape, foil and a polystyrene egg.


The base structure was then entirely covered in a layer of Stone Art clay (this clay was mixed using bronze Powertex and Stone Art) with some extra clay to give shape to the face.


The hair was created using a mixture of Powercotton and a thicker cotton yarn that I had. Once dry, I used Powertex powdered pigments to create the colour and enhance the textures; I used a mixture of burnt sienna, mocha, white and bronze gold.


Now for the maids... As I only had one big cow, and it would be viewed from one side, the maids needed to be quite small. I had just had a folding table delivered and it had a long flat strip of polystyrene packaging in it - 'just perfect for a bench of maids', I thought! So the polystyrene was cut to make a bench the length of the cow and 8 little maids were created from foil and masking tape to sit along it.

I adore the way t-shirt fabric folds and drapes when treated with Powertex, so I just had to use this for their 8 little capes and to bring a little bit of brightness to the shortest days, I just had to use rainbow colours. Here they are watching over Daisy Dog while they dry.


Both parts of the sculpture were then mounted onto a disc of wood painted with green Powertex, with a little bit of sand added to give it some extra texture. The box provided for display was just literally a cardboard box painted white inside, so I used some hessian fabric to line the sides and give it a more natural feel.


And there it is, '8 Maids-a-Milking - Powertex Style' by Abigail Lagden.


If you are in Bishop Auckland between now and 6th January 2017, you can see the full display in the window of O2 on the Market Place. And why not find all 24 advent windows around the town centre?


And if you fancy discovering the fun of fabric sculpting, why not come along to one of my workshops in the New Year. Visit www.curiously-contrary.co.uk/workshops for details and to book places.


Merry Christmas xx



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Welcome to my blog, I hope you will enjoy reading about what I have been doing and that you will find some inspiraton in my projects and ideas.

I am also a member of the Powertex Design Team 2018 - you can read the blogs I have written as part of the design team here...

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