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Posts Tagged ‘Hot air balloon’

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.

 

I love happy collectors!

22 Jan

When I get a phone call, a text or a comment on this blog with inquiries about my work, I obviously get very excited. Here is an opportunity to make someone happy by building the steampunk airship of their dreams. Sometimes they have some parameters for the build, but other times, they will say, “I like the one I saw at _____!” Or, “Can you make one similar to_____?” Then I’m off creating their piece.

The cool part is when they take delivery of the piece, usually via carefully packaged ground carrier. The emails I get, assuming no damage, are great…

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“Hi Stephan,

It arrived safely yesterday and my husband loves it! We hung it today (no mean feat as it involved drilling holes in solid concrete), and it is flying proudly in our study. Pix attached.


Thank you so much for your creativity and care – and for getting this done on a tight deadline. We will enjoy watching “Zeppo” fly for many years to come.”

Photo of a steampunk airship by Stephan J Smith of Artsmith Craftworks.

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“I am impressed, its an amazing work of art. I know u said it would add more work and time to put the red scalloping on the balloon I was wondering if that is still an option? i think it would bring the colors into balance or proportion by adding the red to the center of the balloon. let me know what think u can do. like i said it is a truly amazing piece of work. i had no idea what to expect and it really came together. thank you for taking on this project for us and making the short time line.”

Collage photo of a commissioned blue and white steampunk hot air balloon with red banners and flags.

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Then there was this one, which was a two airship order for a Production Designer in Chicago who was hired to stage a steampunk Holiday party for a large company…

“They’re absolutely gorgeous. Be sure to give me some of your business cards and any other info you have. I’m sure that they’ll be a big hit and people will want to know the artist who made them. I’ll take pictures of them installed for you to put on your website.”

Then when I inquired as to how things went after the party…

“They loved everything. The zeppelins are going to hang in the offices. I am waiting for photos now and will share them when they come in. I passed off your cards, so they know who made them. Hopefully it leads to some business for you!”

This was the customer who when asked who his client was (the one throwing the holiday party) replied…GOOGLE!

I haven’t seen the actual party photos of the airships in place, but I’ll post them as soon as I get them.

I love happy collectors!

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.

 

Airship Christmas ornaments

21 Dec

I recently finished two different sets of little steampunk airship Christmas ornaments for some friends of mine. I had started them awhile ago, then with the other work I was doing, I had put them on the back burner. They turned out even better than I expected and they were a huge hit; so much so that I have orders already for next year. Guess I better get busy. I’ll post links to my Etsy site once I get some finished for 2016. Set #1 is very Victorian looking with red, gold and green colors. In this set, there are two airships and one steampunk hot air balloon.

Photo of a set of three steamunk airship Christmas ornaments. Colors, red, gold and green.

Set #1 Victorian steampunk style in red, green and gold

Set #2 is a bit more grunge steampunk looking, with metallic colors and rigid gondolas…

Photo of a set of three steamunk airship Christmas ornaments. Colors, metallic copper, bronze and brass.

Set #2 Grunge steampunk style in copper, bronze and brass

Needless to say, the sets didn’t last long. They were for a party raffle and were so popular that they were separated into individual pieces, not sets, so that there were 6 prizes instead of two.

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 and let me know what you think or the ornaments and if you want a set for next holiday season!

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.

 

Artsmith Craftworks on display

08 May

Though not a new happening, below are photos of my airships and balloons in the front of the Brighton, Michigan store, The Artisan’s Bench, where my work is always on display for sale. If you’re local to Brighton, I’d love to have you stop in and take a look. If you’re not local, then I need you to sell your house and move closer to the store…  Kidding!! But it does warrant a road trip to check out the fine offerings that The Artisan’s Bench represents…mine included!

Photo of steampunk airships and hot air balloons at The Artisan's Bench, built by Stephan J Smith.

Photo of steampunk airships and hot air balloons at The Artisan's Bench, built by Stephan J Smith.

Photo of steampunk airships and hot air balloons at The Artisan's Bench, built by Stephan J Smith.

Photo of steampunk airships and hot air balloons at The Artisan's Bench, built by Stephan J Smith.

Photo of steampunk airships and hot air balloons at The Artisan's Bench, built by Stephan J Smith.

I look forward to hearing about your visit to the store, or, I encourage you to look through this website, or my Facebook page (linked at the right), or drop me an email to tell me you need a custom piece that I will be happy to start as soon as possible!

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.

 
 

Custom Wedding steampunk hot air balloon

23 Nov

Back in June, a woman bought three of my hot air balloons. She really loved them and showed them to her daughter, who also loved them. The daughter was getting married in August and asked her mother to get her and her future husband one as a wedding gift, since they were both steampunk fans.

The woman then commissioned me to do a hot air balloon that commemorated her daughter’s wedding date. The hot air balloon below is the result…

Steampunk hot air balloon 004

Custom hot air balloon

Two sides of the copper gondola bore the bride and groom’s initials…

Bride's initial

Bride’s initial

Groom's initial

Groom’s initial

The front of the gondola had the wedding date…

Date on front of gondola

Date on front of gondola

Do you have a special date that you’d like to order a steampunk hot air balloon for? Drop me a line!

As always, I encourage comments and dialogue. I’d love to hear your questions or suggestions!

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.

 

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.