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 or at 810-516-7381.


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