RSS
 

Posts Tagged ‘Flying’

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.

 

Wouldn’t you like to fly in my beautiful…

07 Jun

Balloon!

I mentioned in my previous post that there was a repeat order for two more steampunk hot air balloons from the person who bought the first one, so here they are.

Orange and yellow

Orange and yellow

Gondola close up

Gondola close up

She had indicated that she wanted one to have a yellow and orange stripe pattern and the other to have green and teal, so here’s the second balloon…

Green and teal

Green and teal

Gondola close-up

Gondola close-up

Both have the patina of age and the copper and brass look that I use on my steampunk pieces.

So now I’m off and running on yet another steampunk hot air balloon and several other airships. The fun never ends!

As always, I encourage comments and dialogue. Drop me a line to ask questions, make suggestions or order a custom airship of your very own!

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 by phone at 810-516-7381.

 

Up, up and away!

22 May

Most of what I’ve done in the past from a steampunk standpoint has been dirigibles or airships. I love doing them and they can be quite different from each other while still maintaining the classic arrangement of envelope and gondola. However, in the gallery where my work is on display for sale, The Artisan’s Bench in Brighton, Michigan, there have been several requests for hot air balloons in the steampunk aesthetic. Well, I finally got to the task of creating one…a sort of maiden voyage, if you will…and here it is.

Maiden voyage

Maiden voyage

As anyone who knows my work already expects, this piece was made using re-purposed and up-cycled materials that I happened to have or collect.

Gondola close up

Gondola close up

The balloon part was the trickiest part…trying to maintain some symmetry without driving myself too crazy. Deciding on how to paint it, what colors, how to patina and antique it, how it would hang, etc.

Balloon close up

Balloon close up

All in all, I think it was a success, and apparently, so did the lady who bought it right away and ordered two more!

As always,  I encourage comments and dialogue. Drop me a line to ask questions, make suggestions or order a custom piece of your very own!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and repurposed 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 repurposing/upcycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or by phone at 810-516-7381.

 

Artsmith Craftworks goes Hollywood (part 3)

29 Jan

Disaster strikes…

I got a text from Michelle, my contact at the Orange County Film Festival, along with a picture.

The text read,
🙁 Working on a refund right now

Mortally wounded Victorian Airship

Mortally wounded Victorian Airship

Needless to say, I was immediately nauseous. My heart racing, I replied, “What happened?!? Michelle said, “They put a heavy crate right on top and it fell right through. So mad. It clearly says on your crate, FRAGILE, Do not stack.”

Apparently, the Diabolus was undamaged, but the Victorian was a wreck, which gave me an idea. I texted back saying, “I don’t know what your status is, but I have an idea. I’ve been toying with the idea of building an airship battle scene. In fact, I have a customer that wants me to do that. A natural progression from just posing nice airships in menacing positions would be to show one or more with damage. If you know of someone who’s good with model production, maybe have them hang the damaged airship in such a way that it looks to be crashing after being hit by the other. Use paint and lighting to simulate smoke and fire. Could be very dramatic and cool. Let me know what’s going on.”

I didn’t hear from her for the next two days, but on the 4th of January, late in the evening Michigan time, I got a text from Michelle saying, “Hey. Sorry if this is so late. The film festival is going on as we speak. We managed to save your airship!!! We had to make a new airship blimp. Everything else is pretty much the same. Some supports broke so we had to be creative. But we used both of your airships. You are amazing and we love them!!!!!!! Thank you again for working so hard to make his happen for us!!” The following pictures were attached…

Resurrected Victorian at the OCFF!

Resurrected Victorian at the OCFF!

Quite different, but a great save...

Quite different, but a great save…

 

Flying over the Red Carpet

Flying over the Red Carpet

Well, I was very happy that they’d managed to save the Victorian and use it for their event. It was considerably different than it was before damage and repair, but they had pulled it off and the piece certainly got the point across. Michelle said she would send professional photos of the event as soon as she got them back from the photographer, as well as video coverage when it was finished being edited.

Next time, I’ll wrap it up by posting the pictures of the event. ‘Til then…

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and repurposed 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 upcycling 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 repurposing/upcycling and may be reached at ArtSmithCraft@yahoo.com or by phone at 810-516-7381.

 

WORLD STEAM EXPO 2011

01 Jun

Those of you able to attend this year’s World Steam Expo found an exciting and visually impacting show, filled with outstanding costumes, great breakout panels and skilled artisans. The picture immediately below is but one example of the attention to detail paid by those in attendance. For more photos, see the Expo page here.

Fantastic costuming

I personally conducted two panels on Building your own Airship, using Airship Kits that I created and sold. These kits are small and easily assembled even by kids, but are structurally significant enough to detail paint as showpieces. (These kits will be available for purchase from this site very soon!). If participation is high enough, we plan to hold a contest via my Facebook page, at this link, in which you can photograph your finished airship kit and post it to Facebook, then tag me in the photo so it comes to my page and it will be judged for prizes. Below are photos of the kit materials.

Gondolas ready for assembly

Airship Kit bodies awaiting packaging into kit bags

Airship kit parts ready for packaging

Completed and detail painted Airship Kit

Finally, the large airship that I have been posting the construction progress of, made its debut at the Expo to the delight of all that saw it enter the front doors and be majestically carried through the hotel as if flying in the aether. Many photos were taken (post them on FB and tag me please!), many delightful ramblings were made and lots of “ooooh’s and aaaah’s” were heard. Thank you all for your kind words and encouraging comments! This piece is for sale and you can contact me via email (artsmithcraft@yahoo.com) or watch for the link from the gallery showcase page.

The Diabolus flies at World Steam Expo 2011

The Diabolus aloft on the second floor of the Dearborn Hyatt

Thank you to Salathiel Palland of Off the Beaten Path for her guidance and encouragement. Thank you also to Arica Jones & Morgan Kollin who helped make the Expo fantastic this year! All comments pertaining to the show and my airships are welcomed and encouraged! More photos of the event can be seen on my World Steam Expo page here.

What kind of airships would YOU like to see in the future from me??!!

 

The hangar

19 Feb

So, here’s a really short post today:

Ever wonder where the airships are built? Here’s a peek at the “hangar”… what a mess, eh? That’s the price of creativity…you have no room to turn around!

The hangar tool shed

Airships in production

Look around

 

Flight

28 Jan

In order to give the appearance that these airships could really navigate the aether, we must also add fins, or vertical and horizontal stabilizers if you’re more aviation engineering minded. These fins are also created using a papier mache process. Although I’ve entertained using something different because doing mache to the fins is so tedious, it still remains a strong, yet light-weight medium with which to accomplish the task, so I stick with it.

I start by cutting out a fin-shaped piece of corrugated cardboard, then I glue ridges onto them, corresponding to the scalloped edge shape. The ridges are really the leftover curved strips that I saved which came from between the airship ribs when I cut them out. In keeping with my recycle/repurpose philosophy, I try not to waste much and I try not to have to cut something again or go out and buy something that I probably already have if I just think about it a little bit!

Once that is done, I use a wide masking tape to cover and seal the cardboard against the mache moisture, then I go over the entire surface of the fin…both sides and around all edges, with papier mache strips. It’s very important to do this step as smoothly and without wrinkles as possible.

I then paint the fins after the mache is dry and accent them in whatever colors and textures are appropriate for the airship I’m working on. The finished fin is shown below.

What colors or patterns would you use on an airship?

Finished fin

 

Airship progress continues…

17 Jan

Since I’m showing the progress of the airships I have in the works, the next step in the construction involved applying layers of mache over the skeleton structure. I then added a final layer of cut paper to give the desired texture and color appearance I was looking for. I wanted the airships to have an antiqued/aged parchment look and next I’ll add to the color of the paper by dry brushing  a nice accent tint.

Front view showing parchment look

Double layer of mache "skin"

Stay tuned for the color addition. I have a third airship in progress as well. That ship is going to be quite different from the two you see here. The color of the third ship is much more of a gray and the body of it will be quite different in style as well.

What suggestions do you have for ships you’d like to see?

 

Steam is where it’s at!

29 Nov

Thanks for visiting my blog! I’m a dimensional artist who likes papier mache and art using recycled or repurposed materials. You’ll see what my definition of that is as I get more things up. I can’t wait to meet you all, so don’t forget to send your comments, questions or make requests for things you’d like to see!

As a first post, I’m showing photos of the zeppelin that I did for the steampunk bookstore Off the Beaten Path in Farmington, Michigan. This piece is done using both papier mache and recycled/repurposed materials. You can see more photos and info by clicking the link below.

Steampunk!

I’ll post the video of the zeppelin construction as soon as I finish it, so be sure to check back often, or better yet, subscribe to the feed! I’ll be posting more cool creations soon. Many will be my own, and some will be cool stuff from friends or from other places on the web.

Flying in the bookstore!

Adventure awaits!

Man the tiller!

Fly away!