RSS
 

Odd Beauty Press coverage…word gets around!

22 Oct

I’ve been talking about the steampunk museum exhibit that my work is being shown in, currently running at the Southampton Arts Center in New York. The exhibition is called Odd Beauty: The techno-Eccentric World of Steampunk Art+Design, and it includes 20 steampunk artists (including myself) from around the world! There has been quite a lot of press local to New York, but I’m passing on the links to the publications which have done articles on the exhibit. This exhibit has drawn international interest and record attendance of the museum already and it still has several weeks left to run.

The list of article links is below…drop by and give ’em a read!

The Independent

Southampton Press

Hamptons.com

The East Hampton Star

Dan’s Papers (01)

Dan’s Papers (02)

Dan’s Papers (03)

Sag Harbor Express

The curator of the exhibit, Art Donovan, who himself is an artist says,

“The Southampton Arts Center has never seen such attendance or press coverage for any other exhibition.  Clearly,  having feature articles published in all the newspapers helped. That has never happened before for any show or museum in the area.
The Board of Directors is stunned by the reception to our exhibit and after seeing how popular the show is with visitors, they plan upon making this show a yearly event.
I guess it doesn’t get better than that!
Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.
 

Dan’s Papers

18 Oct

Shortly after I agreed to be an exhibitor in the Odd Beauty museum exhibit in the Hamptons, I got an email from the curator, Art Donovan, saying I was in Dan’s Papers. I thought, what is Dan’s Papers? Then I opened the email and he said that he had just been interviewed by a writer for Dan’s Papers, one of the premier magazines in the Hamptons that has been in publication since the mid 1960’s.

In the interview, Art talked about what steampunk is, how it got started and why he feels this exhibit is important, both to art and to the Hamptons itself. Though I wasn’t mentioned by name, right at the top of the first page is a photo of one of the airships that I wound up taking there as part of my exhibit offering! Pretty cool!

Below is the link to the online issue of Dan’s Papers where you can flip through and see what goes on and is “reported” on, then you can go to page 45 where the aforementioned article starts!

Stay tuned for more on the exhibit as it unfolds and I have more to talk about and show you!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

Odd Beauty: The Techno-Eccentric World of Steampunk Art+Design

29 Sep

I’m so excited to post about something that is really cool regarding my art. I’ve already made comments and posted some links on Facebook, and this will wind up being posted there too, but this is the first I’m blogging about it.

A couple months ago, I got a phone call from a man named Art Donovan who said he was curating a steampunk exhibit in a museum in Southampton, New York. This exhibit, called Odd Beauty: The Techno-Eccentric World of Steampunk Art+Design, was to include “20 of the most renowned and influential steampunk artists, hailing from seven different countries – Japan, UK, US, France, Canada, Australia & Switzerland.” Art said that he felt that airships/dirigibles were iconic in the steampunk world and that he desperately wanted airships in this exhibit. He had searched online and in his repertoire of steampunk connections (he himself is a steampunk lighting designer), and I was the one he found who was creating airship sculpture that he said embodied the genre and was doing the level of work he was looking for!

Photo of a skull against a black background with a radiating structure of brass wires and hoops symbolizing steampunk art

Needless to say, I was flattered and immediately excited. He said if I was interested in participating, he was looking for a 2-3 piece representation of my work, and that it could be for sale if someone was interested and inquired about it. He asked if I could have work in Southampton by September 20, as that was the load-in date for the exhibit, which would then run until November 12. Long story short, I agreed and said that I would move some pieces from other galleries and finish a new piece I was working on so that I had 4 pieces to bring!

Rather than package and ship them and risk damage, my wife and I loaded all 4 airships, secured in weighted cradles and headed for the Hamptons! When we arrived late the next day, Art was thrilled with the pieces and kept looking and looking at them and said several times that he knew he had made the right decision in calling me. What a great feeling! Because of prior commitments the following weekend when the exhibit opened, I was unable to be there, however, the exhibit will feature several famous artist who will perform and lecture, including singer, songwriter and performer, Thomas Dolby (of “She Blinded Me With Science” fame)! Thomas has been a favorite of mine for 35 years and was arguably steampunk before it was even “a thing.”

I’ll keep you informed as to developments as they happen and post photos of the exhibit as soon as I get them. For now, here’s a link to the Facebook page Art Donovan has put together on the exhibit.

https://www.facebook.com/steampunkmuseumexhibition/?hc_ref=ARQm4er47TMeMdkU5cT0PcWi-PmroHTcTQp3KsFOFz9OVFWhe3kw_BCCaSfTvnLKGWQ

This exhibit promises to make a huge splash, not only locally in the Hamptons, but in the steampunk world at large and I am truly grateful to be a part of it!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

Original art in your home is as important as a good bed!

26 Jul

From time to time, I like to pass along good articles, and this one qualifies. The author makes some nice points about why having good, original art in your home is important…very important in fact!

The most important ones to me are numbers 2, 8, 9 and 13.

http://studiosixtysix.tumblr.com/post/151158596757/13reasons

Let me know which ones resonate with you!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

Repurposing, Artsmith style

23 May

You may know that I am an avid “repurposer” when it comes to my art. Doing the steampunk airships and steampunk hot air balloons that I do, I try to use as many everyday objects as possible, especially things that most people don’t even try to recycle. I find that the most common things we use without a second thought often make the best pieces in my sculptures. These pieces very often have unique and complex shapes that are easily disguised as something else entirely.

As an example, the photos below show a few views of a steampunk hot air balloon gondola that I recently completed. As you can see, the elements that went into it are very common things that once dismantled, rearranged, painted and reassembled, look nothing like the original materials, but now have an entirely new and beautiful life!

Photo collage of the construction of a steampunk hot air balloon gondola using repurposed found objects.

Repurposed object steampunk hot air balloon gondola

In my next post, (which I admit have been few and far between lately…), I’ll post a bit of a “Beginner’s Guide” to show you my process so you can get some ideas to inspire some of your own repurposing projects!

What kinds of other projects are you working on? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

I’m now in The Rumjahn Gallery!

15 Jan

A few weeks ago, I got a phone call. While I was working on finishing up a couple hot air balloons for The Artisan’s Bench, another gallery, The Rumjahn Gallery, called to ask a few questions. You see, the owners, Tina and Howie Rumjahn, recently purchased the gallery and wanted it to have a steampunk theme. They of course decided that the way to do that was to have a steampunk airship as the focal point, and would I have an airship they could purchase?

At the time, I didn’t have one, but said that I could build them one. At this point, Howie said that they would love to represent me as well by having other pieces of mine for sale in the gallery. Now I know it’s a long way away, but I thought, “why not extend my reach into the Midwest?” So, I told Howie I was in. Now, seven and a half or eight hours in a car is a long time, but I offered also to deliver the pieces rather than try to ship them, so a road trip was in the future.

That future is now past because on Thursday, January 12, 2017, I delivered six pieces to The Rumjahn Gallery. I’m happy to have been asked and I look forward to a fantastic showing there! Below is a video of a “walking tour and conversation” I had with Howie Rumjahn that evening after the pieces had all been hung up for display. In it, we talk about steampunk and how balloons and airships were an iconic part of the Victorian Era, which is the time period steampunk takes it’s soul from.

Enjoy the video and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

Steampunk airship Christmas ornaments

28 Nov

For awhile now, I’ve been making steampunk airships that are quite large, like 1.5′ to 5.5′ long. However, lately, I’ve also been making them teeny tiny…like 5″ long. These little airship novelties are great hanging in your space at work, in your window at home or as ornaments on your holiday tree! What a perfect addition to your existing set of bulbs, or why not make steampunk the theme your entire tree! (They make great gifts too!)

In the following video, I show you some of these great steampunk ornaments that I just finished.

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

What kind of people buy my sculptures?

22 Nov

Q: Who is it that wants to have one of my creations? I ask myself this question often because knowing who wants your stuff and how to get it to them is important!

A: The answer to the question varies a bit because I’ve had lots of very different people buy my work. I guess it starts with people who enjoy the steampunk aesthetic since most of what I’m doing right now revolves around steampunk one way or another. And, most of the steampunk stuff is airships or hot air balloons. I think that’s because in addition to steampunk being a visually cool genre, steampunk airships are a whimsical and fantastic look at a “what if” world. Steampunk airships are awe-inspiring and amazing, so even if you weren’t a huge fan of steampunk before, one of my sculptures would convert you!

Photo of Victorian style steampunk airship sculpture Anastasia,  36" long, (Maki size).

The Airship Anastasia

So, people who like steampunk, but what else? Certainly people who want that aesthetic to be a part of their home or business. I have had people commission pieces for their homes and I’ve had people commission pieces for businesses. The most notable were the two airships that I did for a Chicago corporate holiday party last year. Once their appearance was done at the party, they were to go to hang in the company’s corporate offices. The company, you ask? GOOGLE!

I guess the people who would buy my work boils down to people who love and appreciate steampunk and want to have elements of it on display in their homes and/or offices and are willing to pay what I ask for my work. It isn’t cheap…there is simply too much love, attention and time put into each piece. Like any serious artist, my pieces are like my children and it hurts me to see them leave the nest, but I love seeing the joy they bring to those who want them and I’ll continue to build these fantasy filled creations for as long as I’m able, but I’m not getting any younger. Better get yours while you can!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

Steampunk selfies

30 Sep

A friend of mine, Katie Curtis, gave me a suggestion a few weeks ago. She said that I should create some cutouts of some of my airship photos and put them on sticks. People could then hold them up against the sky and take a selfie with them in different or special places…even when traveling, then post them to social media.

What a great idea…thanks Katie!

So I did that very thing and here they are…

Photo of a group of steampunk airship photo cutouts on a stick to be used in selfies.

Photo of the back sides of a group of steampunk airship photo cutouts on a stick to be used in selfies.

Selfie of Dr. Steampunk, Stephan J Smith of Artsmith Craftworks, holding one of his steampunk selfie sticks.

If you’d like a Steampunk selfie, drop me a comment below or email me at artsmithcraft@yahoo.com. Include your name and address so I can sent you one. Then take a selfie with the airship held against the sky and post to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and add the hashtags #steampunkselfie and #drsteampunk

Let’s have some fun with this and thanks for your support!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

Asking the Universe for my next big project

25 Sep

They say that if you want something, you have to ask for it. Some of the philosophies in metaphysics say that you merely need to speak something into existence. Well, I guess I’m doing that now.

I want to have my work discovered by a major movie studio that is producing an epic steampunk film. The reason they contact me is because they would like to use models for the old fashioned feel and aesthetic, rather than use CGI to create the airships that are a large part of the movie.

Black and white photo of a reel of film showing a loop close-up.

In this scenario, they have seen my airships online or in person in the gallery I’m in. They love what they see and they want a meeting with me to discuss what they’re looking for. I like what they are trying to do, and I agree to be a part of their art and creative team. (You’re supposed to be very specific, right? OK, here it is) That project takes a year to do and the resulting movie is so fantastic that it gets a ton of recognition and attention. That attention leads to other steampunk art opportunities and before long I’m very busy building cool steampunk pieces for other studios doing other projects.

There, how’s that for a universal ask?

I’d love to hear about what you want from the Universe. Don’t be small about it, and be specific. The Universe needs you to be specific…the opposite of specific is vague and that gets you nothing!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

What is steampunk anyway?

20 Sep

What is steampunk?

I get that question all the time. In fact, usually what happens is that I mention steampunk in a conversation and the other person immediately gets a confused look on their face and says, “Steampunk? I’ve never heard of that. What is it?” Then I launch into what steampunk is to me.

Funny thing is, the definition is a little different depending on who you ask, which is OK because that means that the genre continues to evolve, which to me says it’s alive and growing.

My definition of steampunk generally begins with “Victorian science fiction”, which I follow with examples like Jules Verne and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, or Around the World in 80 Days or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Now the last two are debatable, since the Victorian period officially ended with the death of England’s Queen Victoria in 1901, but steampunk is nothing if not anachronistic.

Image of a rusty, riveted metal frame with two steampunk hot air balloons within it.

Basically, steampunk is the world in which the Victorian aesthetic rules, complete with all the scientific yearning and discovery and progressing into modern days as if Queen Victoria and the Victorian Era never ended.

If you have a different definition, I’d love to hear it! Please send it along in the comments section and I’ll be sure to share it with my readers.

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 
1 Comment

Posted in Steampunk

 

Steampunk vents from repurposed lids – Artsmith Craftworks

10 Aug

In my DIY Fridays YouTube series, I post videos on how I turn various objects into pieces to add to my art. Most of these objects are every day things that I find, some are scrap, some are disposable items that I hate to see tossed in the trash. Plastics, paper, cardboard, metal, wood, toys, etc, can all be used to create amazing art with a little paint and patina for aging!

In this video, I show how I repurpose those cool little plastic lids from squeeze applesauce into vents that I put on my steampunk airships.

Let me know what you’d like to see from me in video and ask me what else I repurpose!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

A steampunk conversation with my son

05 Jul

Awhile back, I thought it would be fun to hear my son’s opinion on the steampunk movement since kids’ opinions are never what you think they’ll be. In this case, he kinda said what I expected, but there was a bit more comedy than I bargained for!

Enjoy the video…and the gag reel.

As always, I invite your comments, ideas and opinions. I also love it when you like, share and subscribe to my YouTube Channel, my Facebook page and this blog! Thanks!!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

What feeds my chi?

27 Jun

What gives me energy? What floats my boat? What feeds my chi (qi)? These are questions I’ve talked about before, but they always bear repeating.

I love envisioning ways to turn random objects into pieces of art. I love taking pieces of plastic, wood, cardboard, metal, etc., and turning them into something virtually unrecognizable. This is what I did when I was a kid and unlike most adults, I never grew out of it. I like putting things together and making unbelievable art out them.

In my case, I like using things that other people discard. Things that have colors and shapes and textures, but are seen as disposable…junk…trash. Things like plastic lids, packaging materials, old damaged toys, uniquely shaped boxes and bottles, food packaging fiberboard boxes…and the list goes on and on. These things are materials that at their hearts, are no different than the shapes, textures and colors that you buy as your media in art stores, but these materials are free.

Photo montage of the construction of a steampunk airship sculpture propeller, made of random found objects.

Propeller construction montage

So, what feeds my chi is finding these materials. At garage sales, estate sales, at the side of the road when I run, or even in dumpsters. No, I’m not ashamed to admit that I go dumpster diving pretty frequently, and yeah, it smells bad sometimes, but the treasures are worth it.

What feeds your chi?

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

Steampunk airship parts from found objects

15 Jun

My main artistic philosophy is to create cool art from repurposed and found objects. Today, I thought I’d show how I imagine these pieces and parts into steampunk airship features. Enjoy the video, and please give it a like, share it with a friend and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

My artistic process – Artsmith Craftworks

03 Jun

When I build my steampunk airships, or any other piece of art, I have a bit of a process that I follow…loosely, I guess. Sometimes I start with a sketch, sometimes I just grab pieces and start putting them together.

In the following video, I describe that process…or processes…

I’d love to hear what artistic process you use. Drop me a comment and please subscribe!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

Repurposing cardboard into steampunk airship gondolas – Artsmith Craftworks

09 May

One of the major activities I engage in when creating my art is repurposing everyday objects into something else. A couple of the things I repurpose the most are paper and corrugated cardboard…  simple and seemingly utilitarian materials that we all take for granted. Not me. I look at these materials with love and excitement. I’m passionate about art using repurposed materials, but at the very core of my being, I love paper and other materials made with paper, such as cardboard, fiberboard, handmade paper, recycled paper, papier mâché and on and on.

In today’s post, I include a video in which I talk about how I transform scrap corrugated cardboard into the framework of the steampunk Victorian airship gondolas I create. Once these cardboard pieces are put together, I cover them in a variety of outer skins, from wood to copper and brass to steel or other metals. Of course, what I use is not really wood or metals…it’s paper…made to look like metal. That’s just how I roll.

Enjoy!

What materials do you like to use in your art? I’d love to hear your comments! Also, please share these posts with other friends and artists you know. Let’s get a conversation started!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

My artistic philosophy

28 Apr

I create many types of art, from paper mache animals, to mosaics, to paper sculptures, to steampunk airship sculptures. However, most all of my art involves the use of repurposed materials and found objects.

In the video below, I detail my artistic philosophy!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

Google airships fly!

11 Apr

Back in November, I told you about building two commissioned steampunk airships for a production designer in Chicago. The build went very well and my client was very happy with the results. He drove from Chicago to my home near Flint, Michigan to personally pick up the airships so they would not be damaged in shipping, since they were for a corporate holiday party he had been hired to stage. The party was to have a steampunk theme.

He had told me when he arrived at my house, that his corporate client had been quite picky about the look and size of the pieces, since after the party, they would most likely be hanging in their corporate headquarters. You might also remember that when I asked him who his client was, his reply was GOOGLE!

I have been asking him for photos of the airships hanging at the party and he promised that he would send them as soon as he could, but that the photos would have to be approved by Google first.

Well, finally, after asking for about the third time, he replied that Google had finally approved some photos of the airships in place at the party venue BEFORE the party, during set up. I guess they didn’t want to worry about photo releases for those employees who might have shown up in the pictures. That’s OK I guess…at least we get to see what the set up looked like!

Photos of steampunk airships by Artsmith Craftworks hanging in place at the 2015 Google Holiday Party in Chicago.

Soaring in the clouds!

Photos of steampunk airships by Artsmith Craftworks hanging in place at the 2015 Google Holiday Party in Chicago.

Beautiful illuminated clouds…

Photos of steampunk airships by Artsmith Craftworks hanging in place at the 2015 Google Holiday Party in Chicago.

I hope to get to Chicago and try to see the airships hanging in the Google offices. When that happens, I’ll be sure to post photos of that trip!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.

 

Propeller process

07 Mar

I get asked all the time how I made a particular part on one of my steampunk airships. I’m also told that I should do DIY pictures and videos, and truthfully, I do take progress photos when I’m working on an airship. I do this because I have always thought that someday I’d do some sort of steampunk DIY book or something.

With that said, I thought I’d post a few photos showing how I did a particular propeller for a particular airship. Of course, this is only one example, because I’ve done dozens and dozens of different propellers in many different ways.

This one is made using a scotch tape core and 8 of those little plastic tasting spoons…you know, the ones they have in samples passed out in grocery stores. So they started like this…

Photo of repurposed pieces to be used in making a steampunk airship propeller.

Then I cut slits in the outer ring of the tape core and glued the ends of the spoons into them. You’ll also notice that I cut a thin cardboard ring that was glued to the top side of the tape core for a smooth look. For plastics, I either use super glue or E6000, depending on how the pieces go together and what stresses they may be subject to. Super glue is great for “matching fits” and the E6000 is a gel-like glue that can fill small spaces and it a bit more flexible, so it was what used in this case. As with all volatile glues, don’t breathe the fumes. Use in a ventilated area or wear an approved respirator!

Photo of repurposed pieces glued together, making a steampunk airship propeller.

After all the glue dried, I then spray with a copper spray paint for the metal look I wanted. I use a couple different ones depending on the desired finish. In this case, I used Rustoleum’s Hammered series in copper color.

Photo of copper painted propeller made of repurposed materials to be used on a steampunk airship.

Finally, I used a couple different green acrylic paints to add a patina or corrosion look to the propeller. Some people like the shiny copper look, but I’ve always been partial to the patina look and think it adds realism and character to the piece.

Photo of copper painted and patinaed propeller made of repurposed materials to be used on a steampunk airship.

So this is what you wind up with after adding the patina. See how it looks rusty and aged? This is why I like it so much. After the patina, I’ll add accents like copper rivets, (just blobs of paint), which adds contrast and interest and even a bit more realism.

What techniques do you like to use? Send me comments and photos and I’ll be happy to show what some of you are doing!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or at 810-516-7381.