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Posts Tagged ‘patina’

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.

 

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.

 

Airship Zeppo flies in Sarasota

30 Oct

I recently finished a commissioned airship order for a nice lady in Sarasota, Florida. She had seen the website and wanted to order an airship for her husband’s birthday. She liked the Victorian airship I had done that was purchased by my friends at Legendary Escapes, (home of Ask the Pool Guy). That ship had beautiful filigree on the bow and fins and was what we’ve come to call th “Maki size”, which is about 36″ long, plus or minus. She didn’t think she had space for one that size, so she decided to go with the smaller sized airship I do that is about 18-20″, but she wanted the filigree. So this is what the airship looks like, delivered and hung in their office. It’s a great location because it seems to float in an opening between their office space and the room beyond…sort of a balcony/overlook. When she sent me the photos after they hung the airship, she called it “Airship Zeppo”, so here’s Zeppo in flight…

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

Airship “Zeppo” flies at it’s new home

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

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

I think the airship looks fantastic in it’s new home and I hope that the new owners enjoy it for many years to come!

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.

 

Re-purposing… a personal passion

07 Jul

For awhile now, I’ve been thinking about doing a regular post on the different elements that surround what I do. There are many topics to talk about, including re-purposing methods, raw materials, types of glue, detailing and antiquing, tools, assemblage techniques, dumpster diving, etc, etc.

Today, I’ll start with something simple, yet the very heart of my style…re-purposing.

As Americans, we throw away a lot of stuff. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we’ve always had plenty. More than 500 years ago, we came to a land rich in natural resources and we’ve sure exploited them. The result is that there’s a steady stream of new, better, latest, bigger, faster and more. It used to keep us all working, but not so much anymore. Now it keeps the Chinese busy and the stuff we have is cheaper…in all ways. Things are now made to break and need to be replaced, Gone are the days when you had something repaired if it broke. Now, we just chuck it and get a new one…it’s cheaper to do that…by design.

Now we have land fills that are brimming over with not just our food waste, but our discarded stuff. Much of the stuff is still quite good, with a lot of life left in it, even if it’s not the latest style. This fact has prompted a movement that I certainly have joined, in which the discarded stuff is reused in some way. Sometimes it’s as is…vintage whatever. Sometimes we dress it up, put a fresh face on it and sell it as “reinvented” or “flipped”. What I do is even more deeply made over. I turn “junk” into parts for sculptures.

I say junk because often what I save are the everyday objects that truly, nobody else wants. Food container lids, bottle caps, pieces and parts from packaging materials, scrap plastic pieces, scrap wooden pieces, paper of all sizes, weights and colors, cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, paper and plastic tubes, pen parts, discount paint…and on and on and on. Believe me when I tell you that my wife is a saint. She not only has allowed me to fill our basement with all these assorted bits, but she actually participates sometimes in the hunt. She won’t go legs-up in a dumpster like I will, but if she spots something tasty, she’s been known to grab it. I have a rule at my house that no cool piece of anything gets tossed until I approve it. Even peanut butter lids are saved from the trash heap if I spot them first. I’m a hoarder, you say? Maybe, but if so, I’m a hoarder with a vision.

Photo showing scrap plastic objects that will be re-purposed into artwork.

Lids and caps

Photo showing scrap plastic objects that has been re-purposed into artwork.

Fin hub with stabilizers

I save all this stuff because at their very basic roots, these things are raw materials that I use to sculpt with. It’s really no different than any other artist going to an art supply store for their paint or clay or canvas or glue. I just use discarded shapes and colors and textures as my art materials. The really interesting thing is, these pieces already have an inherent character. A detail that adds to their appeal once incorporated into a sculpture piece. Anything can become anything if you learn to look at a golf tee and a ballpoint pen clip and imagine them as the nosecone on a steampunk airship. A piece of Venetian blind as a propeller blade, a section of a metal veggie steamer basket as a stabilizer fin. You just need to put on your special glasses and see things, not for what they are, but what they could become.

This is the core of my passion. This is how I do art.

Join me…

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’ airship flies in Boston

28 Jan

Over the Holidays, a couple visiting from Boston saw one of my intermediate size Victorian airships they liked at The Artisan’s Bench in Brighton. They couldn’t take it back to Boston on the plane, so we shipped it to them and they now have it installed in their living room. I always like seeing my ships flying in their new homes and the owners, Tatiana and Stefan, were nice enough to send me a shot of theirs!

Photo of a steampunk airship sculpture installed in a corner of a collector's living room.

The beginnings of a collection!?

Stefan liked the airship enough that he commissioned me to build a steampunk hot air balloon that is currently under construction, so, more to come on that!

Do you have a comment or request? Be sure to drop me a line.

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 sepia hot air balloon

07 Oct

I’ve now done several hot air balloons in the steampunk style. All are fun and colorful…except this one. I thought doing one that had the appearance of being plucked out of an old daguerreotype photograph would be fun and different from what I usually do.

Steampunk sepia hot air balloon

Steampunk sepia hot air balloon

Detail of gondola

This balloon is currently on display and available from the Artisan’s Bench in downtown Brighton, Michigan.

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.

 

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.

 

18″ Steampunk airship 003

22 Apr

Today’s post is a mid-range size steampunk airship. This dirigible has a more “grunge” gondola with the propeller mounted on it instead of on the airship envelope like others I’ve done. It also has a pillar mount rather than the more Victorian looking netted suspension and the fins are a plate copper design. The overall length is about 18″ due to the propeller being on the gondola.

18" steampunk airship 003.

18″ steampunk airship 003

Gondola detail

Gondola detail

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 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.

 

Steampunk paddlewheel airship

07 Mar

Next in the mid-range airship line up is the steamunk paddlewheel design. This airship is approximately 22″ long with a turnable paddlewheel on each side, reminiscent of the Mississippi riverboats of days gone by. This is the first time I’ve done a paddlewheel and I had a great time building it. It gives me a lot of ideas for other airships!

Mid-sized steampunk paddlewheel airship

Mid-sized steampunk paddlewheel airship

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 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.

 

 

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.

 

Small steampunk gunship #2

18 Dec

Another of the 12″ steampunk airships that I built for the 2012 World Steam Expo in Dearborn Michigan.  Similar in shape and design, but with some modification. Like my other airships, it uses recycled, repurposed materials.

12" Steampunk Gunship Airship 02

12″ Steampunk Gunship Airship 02

If this ship is one that you would like to have built as part of your own home steampunk display, don’t hesitate to email me for details!

As I said before, I welcome all comments!

 

18 inch Victorian steampunk airship #1

13 Dec

This is the first of a new mid-range sized airship I started which is about 18″ long. This particular airship has a Victorian aesthetic, with a ship-like gondola, suspended with netting and cable. The propeller is a frame and sailcloth style, rather than a solid style.

18" Victorian Steampunk Airship

18″ Victorian Steampunk Airship

From the bow, you can see a bit more detail in the gondola.

Bow view

Bow view

And a close-up of the propeller…

Aft view

Aft view

I’d love to hear what you think of this ship. Drop me a comment!

 

 

Small steampunk gunship #1

03 Dec

This is a 12″ steampunk airship that I built originally for the 2012 World Steam Expo in Dearborn Michigan. I actually built four of them, but this one and one other are the only two I have photos for. I’ve built quite a few at this size, and they are nice, but surprisingly, they seem to be less popular than a version I’m doing lately that’s about 50% larger. I try to build airships that capture a Victorian whimsy or a harder edge steampunk aesthetic, but that always look well used machines, not bright, shiny relics.

12" Steampunk Gunship Airship 01

12″ Steampunk Gunship Airship 01

This airship is a simple Victorian design that, like all my other work, uses recycled, repurposed materials. I save scraps of just about anything to use as raw materials for my sculptures. My wife thinks I teeter on the edge of being a hoarder, but I’m more of a saver of artistic elements, so I guess I hoard with a purpose!

I’d like to say that there is a link for this to my Etsy site for purchase, but alas, this one is sold. If this ship is one that you would like to have built as part of your own home steampunk display, don’t hesitate to email me for details!

What type of features would you like to see on the airships I build? I welcome all comments!

 

The battery compartment

01 Sep

As mentioned, the battery needs a believable housing and I started with a mint container, then cut it in half and created a lip so that a slide-on top was possible.

Mint container as a battery compartment

Mint container as a battery compartment

Building the battery compartment

As you can see, after the battery compartment was built, I added plastic pieces for detail and interest. I then painted the whole piece with an antiqued copper paint.

The painted battery case

The painted battery case

Then I added a patina with green acrylic paint…

Battery compartment with patina added

Battery compartment with patina added

Next time, I’ll show adding the “fur” to the steampunk deer. It’s coming together now! Stay tuned!

 

 

The mechanical cyborg steampunk eye (cont.)

25 Aug

Well life sort of got in the way and it’s been awhile since I last posted…sorry! To continue with the mechanical cyborg steampunk eye, I’m going to show what I applied beneath the eye before I attach it. My goal for the steampunk deer head was to make the cyborg eye light up. I figured while I was at it, a sublit antler would be cool too, but I’ll show that in another post.

I started with a small, single diode, battery operated LED light. Since this runs on a single 9-volt battery, I need to provide a housing for that, as well as a switch. I elected to go with a red push button type switch. I also want the light to be reflected so that it’s amplified a bit. A piece of foil from the packaging of a contact lens seems to fit the bill.

LED light, switch and reflector

LED light, switch and reflector

First, I added the foil for the reflector behind the cyborg eye…

Reflector in place

Reflector in place

Then I ran wires for the light, taped them in place, then went over them with more mache strips to conceal them.

Taped wires

Taped wires

More tape added

More tape added

Next post, I’ll show the building of the battery compartment…and I promise not to be gone so long!

 

 

The mechanical cyborg steampunk eye

20 Jul

First of all…an apology for not posting in so long, but after the show at the Artisan’s Bench, things got hectic. I not only got a couple orders for commissioned airship pieces, but I’ve been preparing a new workspace and all that has taken a lot of my time.

Today, I’m posting how I built the mechanical eye on the steampunk deer head. I had an old bakelite 220 plug cover that looked cool, so I scuffed it up and painted it copper, antiqued it with a green patina, then drilled out a hole large enough to accommodate an old magnifying glass that I’ve had literally for years. I thought that the combination of these two things would make a cool eye.

Painted Bakelite plug in upper left

Painted Bakelite plug in upper left

Drilled out Bakelite plug

Drilled out Bakelite plug

Magnifying glass in place

Magnifying glass in place

For grins, I thought I’d make the eye red. This is simple, since I collect pieces of broken auto tail lens as well… (don’t ask…). So I shaped a piece of this tail lens and glued that to the underside of the eye.

Tail lens piece and underside of eye

Tail lens piece and underside of eye

Lens in place in mechanical eye

Lens in place in mechanical eye

Now that I’ve shown the construction of the steampunk cyborg eye, I need to show what I decided to put under it, but I’ll save that for next time.

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Steampunked ear on the deer head

14 Jun

OK, now that the Grand Opening is done at The Artisan’s Bench, I’ll get back to posting progress on the steampunk deer head mount. I said last time that I would show how I started putting together the steampunk ear. I did the “live” ear last post, which was corrugated cardboard covered in mache. The steampunked ear will obviously be mechanical looking.

I thought a piece that looked like a “receiver” would be a good place to start and I had an old brassy looking shower head that seemed to fit the bill. To hold the ear shape onto the base, I used a plastic jar lid that I had cut open and removed the top flat portion.

Jar lid cut for deer ear

Jar lid cut for deer ear

The ear base

The ear base

To form the ear, I used some white cardstock that I will paint to look like sheet copper.

Cardstock cut to ear shape

Cardstock cut to ear shape

Then, the cardstock gets attached to the plastic ring with glue and small screws and beads.

Cardstock bolted to the ear ring

Cardstock bolted to the ear ring

To make the center look more like it would pick up sound, I used a random plastic piece that looks like a stalk, and half of a cat toy.

Center "hearing" pieces

Center “hearing” pieces

All put together, we have this…

Ear all put together

Ear all put together

Finally, I painted the assembly using my favorite copper spray paint, then adding aging with a nice green patina.

Steampunk deer ear painted with patina added

Steampunk deer ear painted with patina added

Next time, I’ll construct more of the pieces that I want to add to the sculpture.

What steampunk projects do you have plans to construct?

 

 

 

 

 

The gondola

24 Feb

I’ve made quite a few gondolas that were the typical boat style, but I wanted to do something different for this steampunk diarama. I thought that making something that looked like a tube or bubble would be cool, so I started rummaging through my boxes of pieces and parts to find an object that would be suitable to repurpose. What I came up with was two plastic scoops that came out of a powdered drink mix or something, (I collect anything that’s interesting!). Shown here, I’ve already painted the handles and attached a plastic piece with a spiral as a “bowsprit”.

Plastic scoops as gondola

Plastic scoops as gondola

Here’s a close up of the bowsprit and the front of the gondola.

Bowsprit closeup

Bowsprit closeup

I glued the two scoops to a plastic disc for some visual interest, then added a flat plastic piece in between the handles, (not pictured), then I created a rudder fin to go on the stern of the gondola. I used the same technique as I did for the stabilizer fins.

Rudder fin

Rudder fin

The final gondola was then given an antiquing of patina color where appropriate (brass and copper areas), and attached to the airship body. This attachment required a careful snipping of the paper airship skin so the handles of the scoops could be inserted and glued.

Finished gondola

Finished gondola

Here’s a closeup of the attachment.

Closeup of gondola

Closeup of gondola

Next post, I’ll show how I prepared the “box” part of the diarama. That is certainly an example of recycle, reuse and repurpose! Thank you for your continued interest in my work…

How would you have built the gondola?

 

 

 

 

Adding the stabilizer fins

07 Feb

In building the stabilizer fins for the steampunk diarama airship, I first had to choose a shape. On other ships, I’ve made them rounded, but I like the feeling of a scalloped fin. I’ve also made different scalloped fins before, with some being a solid fin with ribs and others having a support structure, to which was attached actual cloth sailcloth. For this small zeppelin, I decided on the former for its ease at this relatively small scale. This decided shape I then cut out of an index card stock I had lying around. To give them age and interest, I sponged them with a light brown watercolor (not pictured, sorry!)

Index stock fins cut out

Index stock fins cut out

I then had to make the ribs, and to make it simple, yet appealing, I decided to cut these out of a similar stock, but in this case, since they would be painted anyway, I decided to use cereal box cardboard and then paint them to contrast and have interest. Remember, I throw nothing away that may have a raw materials use when reused, repurposed or recycled!

Fin ribs cut from cereal box cardboard

Fin ribs cut from cereal box cardboard

I painted them by spraying a basic green enamel. I did this because a water-based paint would have been repelled by the coating on the cereal box. I then antiqued a patina on with a lighter water-based green acrylic, then applied to the fins.

Finished fins

Finished fins

After finishing the fins, I glued them at top and lower angled positions to the airship body with standard white glue and let them dry. To add another element of interest, I used dimensional paint to “dot” copper rivets on the fin ribs. I forgot to mention that I had done this to the propeller scaffolding as well. (How many of you noticed that?) So here’s the finished attachment…

Attached fins

Attached fins

Next time, I’ll show the process of building the gondola. It’ll be fun too, because it isn’t your run-of-the-mill boat shape!

Stay tuned…in fact, tell all your ‘punk friends to subscribe!