Birdy Heywood
Artist with a Magical Touch

Birdy Heywood
Artist

Polymer Clay and Fabric Hardener

Very soon I was demonstrating Fimo Polymer Clay for Staedtler UK at many of the big exhibitions and stores. I also held workshops, taught in schools and hosted children's parties. 


There were restrictions on the size of my sculptures because they had to fit in my oven and I longed to create something really big. It was at one of the exhibitions (around 2002) that I came a cross Paverpol Fabric Hardner.  My eyes nearly popped out of my head. There were these big sculptures made out of cloth. The great thing was that they were weatherproof.


I purchased some to take home and began experimenting. I attended a one day training course and just couldn't wait to get started. 


Using the Polymer Clay for heads and hands meant I could create large figures because the bulk would be made up of an armature, cloth and Paverpol hardener. 


Here is the story of my exciting journey after discovering Paverpol 


Then progressing on to Sculptin  


Suppliers of Sculptin Textile Hardener






I longed to be able to create large figures. This I could not do with Polymer Clay alone because as I mentioned, one is restricted by the size of the oven. 


Combining the two was the answer. I was able to make the heads and hands out of the polymer clay and the bodies out of wire, natural fabric and Paverpol hardener. 


I demonstrated and taught Paverpol and Polymer Clay all over the country including Scotland for many years.  Many a day was spent at home too holding workshops. Here are some of my earlier sculptures using it. 

Workshop in a shop in Girvan a town in Ayreshire Scotland. 


We had a lot of fun creating large figures and getting messy.


I carried on using and teaching Paverpol for about 16 years and also demonstrated it at a few shows.


About 3 years ago I was sent some sample bottles of a newer Hardener called Powertex.


I tried it out and liked it instantly. It was easier to use, had a great range of colours and it didn't smell so much. 


  I decided that I preferred it. 





Working with different Fabric Hardeners

I visited Powertex UK headquarters and met Tracey Evans and her Husband Garry. We did a 2 day skill swap. I shared how I created polymer clay dragon's heads, how to create little fish and how to create hands and heads. Tracey shared some Powertex techniques with me. I was hooked and decided to use Powertex instead.


I then paid to do my level 1 and 2 training and learned a lot about using other materials combined with the Powertex. For instance the Stone Art Clay to transform a piece of polystyrene into a realistic piece of stone.


I was chosen to be on the 2017 Design Team. This pleased me as by then I had become very ill with Polymyalgia Rhuematica. I suffered chronic fatigue and a lot of pain which meant I had to give up the shows. Instead I spent my time designing projects to do with Powertex. These were mainly designed for people to create whilst seated for I myself couldn't stand for any length of time. 


Here is a link to my Powertex Blog where you will find lots of projects and FREE PDF instructions. 


 I am no longer listed on the UK website as a tutor. I decided to leave the team to go it alone as I had done for many years. I enjoyed being a part of a team with a great bunch of ladies and men but much prefer to be a free Bird on my voyage of discovery. Besides the cost  to train for level 3 and 4 was going to cost me a further £600.00 which I could ill afford.







I enjoyed the level 1 and 2 training with the Powertex. I had created sculptures for many years so that bit was easy.


I learned how to create the Stone Art Clay and transform a piece of polystyrene to look like stone. That was new to me.

I had already created the dragon at home out of card and Powertex and was glad I was able to use it. 


 I was very pleased with the result and with what I had learned about creating a clay using textile hardener. 


After consulting a chemist, my friend and former Powertex Tutor Sue who had also left the team, came up with the idea of creating her own brand of Textile Hardener and she named it Sculptin 










I am now head of the Design Team for Sculptin


So excited!


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