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Posts Tagged ‘steampunk’

One of the things I did in the past year was upgrade to a Nikon slr camera. I’m still figuring out all it can do but it’s already much easier to work with than my old point-and-click.

rustgear1

Pretty much all I do is one-of-a-kind so I try to make sure to photograph everything before it gets put out for sale. That is another thing I have to catch up on for this year. At least I did shoot all my 2016 jewellery, so while this necklace has found a home, I have a record. The antique pocket watch piece had such a beautiful, natural oxidation that all I did was add the co-coordinating drop that I found in the salvaged stash and add a chain. I have to wonder if it’s original watch had fallen into salt water and then just got left for a decade or two. I’d love to know more about the stories of the pieces I find, but they mostly stay mysteries!

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IMG_6193I’d been pulling the pair of anatomical hearts out of the stash periodically for years. I’d look at them, think about possible uses and then decide I didn’t love that option enough. Over this past winter a pair of tiny frames came in and I loved that they were small enough to be used as jewellery. While I’ve had a few similar sized square ones pass through my hands, I found the hard edges read as too harsh. These, on the other hand, not only had a great vertical oval shape, but also had lots of in-scale details on their edges. One was just the right size for the smaller of the two hearts. I went with an antique wood backing piece, for the great grain texture, and painted it white. The heart projects forward a bit, but not too much. It is just clearly three dimensional. The chain was from the stash and I was lucky it was long enough since the weight was just a perfect balance to the pendant. It has already been snatched up, but I still wanted to show it off.

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pen1I’ve been trying to get better about taking photographs of more of my work. Since almost all of the jewellery tends to one-of-a-kind, it’s good for me to keep some sort of record. This was one of the ones where I was good about getting it recorded before putting it out for sale. Not that I got the photo up or anything like that. The main design drive for it was the large, salvaged piece on the top. It was paired to the watch body first and then the antique image, jewels and drops were picked based on it’s look so the whole thing works together. I love how it is so much more vibrant that I typically dare to go, but still has a very cohesive feel! It’s gone off with it’s new owner and it always makes me happy when people like my stuff enough to wear it right away.

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Last year I made my first steampunk mods from some Nerf guns. For my next modding project IMG_6147 I decided to go sonic. There was a fun, mixable set of make-your-own sonic screwdrivers that I found on ThinkGeek. What appealed to me was that there were three screwdrivers, each made up of four swappable parts. (the sound and light emitting guts fit inside any combination) This meant that I would have lots of options to work with as well as having multiple possible fall-backs if a planned mod didn’t work. My intent was to produce a single one for myself that could just be an add-on to one of the Steampunk outfits but I ended up altering all twelve parts. The set that got the most work was this one. It already had a bit of a steamy feel to it, but the all plastic parts just didn’t work for me. There was a good supply of many different metal watch bands in the stash and they came in handy for this project. I think that shortening and linking the one that wraps around behind the light-up window was one of the most difficult parts, IMG_6143 but the finished look is exactly what I wanted. I was also grateful for the size of the parts stash when it came to matching up a watch case to the window. Some gilding and an antique mother-of-pearl button accent the on/off switch and detailed metal panels cover over where I cut off the fake, plastic gears. On the lower end of the case, I used some more of my salvaged antique ivory panels and am still trying to decide if they need to have some Gallifreyian symbols scrimshawed into them. The end is a large, solid resin crystal with a jointed gold metal edging. The top was heavily rebuilt with the surrounding prongs being cut back, shaped and capped with metal to fit a light green faceted stone. I liked the stone since it tied to the existing colours but is still translucent enough to transmit the light from the working insert. All the parts were also either painted or gilded and then hit with antiquing washes to give them realistic ageing. (great existing wear/ageing on both the metal parts and the ivory help too)  All the changes also give the finished screwdriver a nice substantial weight when held.

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The last of the Key racks was were I had the most fun. IMG_6129 The back is the centre part of the panel and a chunk of the original sticker was still on it. While it was no where near intact, it is still partially readable and has a great look. I wanted to keep that but doing so limited where hooks could be placed. I fiddled a bit with using the key hooks but then remembered that I had a few antique brass gears around. These ones hadn’t been used for other things because they all still have their central pivots solidly attached. That made them perfect for my needs and I was able to embed them into the wood backing. Almost all were bent, at the tips of their pivots, or in one case, it was tilted strongly upwards, so they will still work as hooks. The spacing even worked out well enough that the remains of the label show well through the open parts of the gears! While I’m pleased that it turned out to still be a functional key holder, the finished piece has such a great Steampunk vibe to it that I think it is likely to get hung up as pure decoration.

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For the second of the my Key hooks, I wanted to use IMG_6137 some of the longer flat silver ones. I love how their shape is closer to the antique keys and is vaguely reminiscent of a spine. The problem was that, unlike the solid brass keys, many of them will break instead of bending to the curve for a hook. It was a bit frustrating, trying to figure out which ones had the right type of metal composition and shape, that would allow them to be bent (some were too hard for me to handle with the tools on hand) without snapping. I had to make things even more difficult by only wanting ones with specific looks too. Eventually, I was able to get a trio that I liked done. For the accent, it’s simply a large enamelled clock face. This one was a bit too big for jewellery but was in such good shape I didn’t want to use as a background for a collage either. This was a good way to let it shine.

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A while ago we found a large group of keys. IMG_6130 My primary area of interest was the antique skeleton keys but the lot also included quite a number of more modern ones as well. (and by “modern” I mean from this century) The later keys just aren’t a style I like for jewellery, so aside from the “Key to My Heart” painting series, they hadn’t been getting used. At the same time they came in, we also found a pair of solid iron ring mandrels. Having the mandrels meant that I could shape some of the softer keys into hooks and make a group of “key” hooks. (and yes, the terrible pun was part of the appeal) I wanted to keep them small enough that they would fit in a range of spaces since most key racks are used in tight spaces. I also wanted the finished pieces to keep the vintage feel of the keys. To do that, I ended up cutting up a back panel from an antique clock that I found in the stash. It gave me three panels that were small enough to be hung anywhere but big enough that each could fit enough hooks for a usable key rack as well as some decorations. For this one, I went with a trio of brass keys and a dark brown accent piece. The flower is a fairly newish, resin piece but has a great antiqued finish and was cast from an antique sculpture so the keys end up feeling like the newest part of the whole thing.

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