Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finished small projects - Steampunk Skull and Memento Mori

Hey there you jolly ghastly bunch o' fun!

Just finished two smallish projects I started earlier.

You might remember the steampunk skull

(part 1 - part 2 )

Well, it's done! Finally, it's not very steampunk... for the sake of practicality (I use the skull as a model when drawing or sculpting), I decided to forget about over steampunkish accessories, and went with the plain & simply. I was satisfied with simply aging the skull, changing the teeth, and replacing the shiny steel hardware with something less new-ish.

Unfortunately, I dropped the skull's lower jaw once. Over stone tiles. A lot of teeth were knocked off, and I was too lazy to glue em back in. Instead, I used my trusty rotary tool, and drilled holes where the teeth used to be. Afterwards, I slopped the same wood stain I used on the rest of the skull on the jaw, and gave it a dip in dust & ash to make it look old & grimy.

In this picture, you can also see the new screws I stuck into the jaw. They are of a blackish, old oxydized steel, with brown and blue "highlights".

Of course, just sticking in screws is boring, so I glued on the exterior of the jaw a few tiny bits of metal, to make it seem like it was old rusty bolts held on with brass nuts.

I then added thick red rubber bands to hold the jaw to the skull. It'll break more easily than springs, but it is easier to replace, and I didn't like the look of stainless steel springs.

Now, other then that, I finished a small "memento mori" shadow box. Memento Mori simply means remember death, or more precisely, remember that you will die. That was a perfect sentence to go with a human metatarsal I had laying around in my appartment (don't ask.)

I used a cheap balsa shadow box I bought at the dollar store. Not satisfied with the natural wood finish of the shadow box, I went to work.

I wanted a black frame, but I didn't have any black paint left (gasp!). Looking for a solution, I recalled a few pieces of furniture I saw somewhere once, which were made with scorched wood, coated with resin for protection. I decided to try it out on my frame.

This is what I started out with:

I simply took out a propane torch, and scorched the wood of the frame, being carefull not to burn too deeply so that the frame still had a certain substance. You don't want ash, you want a fine layer of cracked charcoal.

This is what I ended up with:
In this close-up shot, you can see more easily the texture of the wood. Keep in mind that I covered it with epoxy resin so it wouldn't crumble or stain everything it touched.
Afterwards, it was simply a matter of adding a black felt background, cutting a banner from aged paper, writing the wanted sentence on it, and gluing everything down (including the metatarsal) with more epoxy. I used 5 minute epoxy from the dollar store, but you can use whatever you want.
That's all for now, peeps! I ordered a few insects from my favorite seller on ebay, so be ready for more insect mounting pictures soon!

see ya later.

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