World of Steampunk Art

I love the look of gears, cogs, wheels, clocks as part of a mixed media piece. It must be the engineer in me. I discovered steampunk about 2 months ago. In brief, it is a hip combination of science fiction, Victoriana and inventions from the steam powered Industrial Revolution. Check it out on You tube or Pinterest. You will find it used in home decor, fashion, jewelry, art, and re-purposing old junk like glass tubes from old radios. I decided my next series will be paintings using a steampunk theme.

I immediately went on E bay and ordered some inexpensive gears from China. But I am much too excited to wait until they arrive. So off I went to the dump to find junk and trash to re-purpose for free……oh oh, a car trunk full of rusty metal bits, washers, bolts, keys and other discarded paraphernalia… if I didn’t have enough stuff in my studio already!

My first project: The Ipad case that I bought 3 years ago in Ecuador is badly in need of replacement. The leather, (at least I think it is leather?) has started to peel off in heavily used areas, around the fastener and on the corners. Plus, if you look closely, you see it has splotches of paint on it from having used it in my studio. I  decided to alter the case instead of replacing it….talk about a combination of new and old!

Given my impatience and a slow mail system form China, I started to handcraft some gears and a skeleton key using Styrofoam from meat trays and a pair of manicure scissors.

You can deduce that my initial efforts are not too professional although I am sure they would look better painted. Next, I cut some out of thin foam craft sheets that I have on hand.

They look much better. Many are much more intricate. Notice that I have saved the fall outs as well (bottom right). These fall outs won’t represent any part of a real machine….but I am an artist and if I can move mountains, I can certainly make things up out of whole cloth (or in this case whole foam.)

Next, I painted the pieces I wanted for the case using black, red, blue-green (to imitate verdigris rust),  and metallic acrylic Tri-Art paints that I currently have on hand. I included some corner pieces (to hide the worn corners) and decorative fall outs.

Finally, I used a foam glue to affix them to my case and voila, a much improved I pad case.

After about 3 weeks use, I have discovered that the glue is not strong enough to hold the pieces on the corners….so I will have to find a more permanent glue.

Love to hear from any of you about this departure from my normal method of working. I’d also be pleased to answer any questions. Look for new paintings in this series coming soon. (as soon as the ships come in from China)

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7 Responses to World of Steampunk Art

  1. 💘 it Shirley! I’m looking forward to seeing the new series.

    • Shirley Mancino says:

      Hi Vicki. Good to hear from you. I am still awaiting the shipments from China via Ebay
      . I hope they arrive soon!

  2. chrisdelon says:

    Very interesting Shirley! Still very active and creative! Keep going… One day I may pay you a visit! Christiane

    Envoyé de mon iPad


  3. Nora Ritchie says:

    Shirley, that’s adorable! Who woulda thunk!!

    Sent from my iPad


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