Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Steam: Creepy Jewelry, Geared Tattoos, Cthulhu Lamps, & More

I've kind of missed Saturday Steam, so I thought I'd bring it back every now and then - you know, just when I find stuff that's extra, EXTRA awesome.

Like this:

 Cthulhu wall lamp. HECK YEAH.

That's Karl Dupéré Richer's latest assemblage lamp sculpture, and I think it's his best yet.
He used patio chairs, PVC pipes, flower pots, bike tires, garden hoses, car parts, and other found items to assemble the piece, which is a whopping four feet tall. So. Cool.

Looking for some steampunk tattoo inspiration?

By tattoo artist Rob Richardson, found on reddit

Found some! :D

Or for a less permanent, more DIY option, how about 'punking up your arm cast? 

Woot! Nicely done, Alia Z.!

I stumbled across this little guy on Pinterest last night, and I am completely smitten:

 "Puff the Steampunk Dragon" by Cassia Harries of Monster Mind Sculpts

Cassia's sculpting skills will blow you away. Check out her rhino "Blaylock" here:

This was a commission for Brian Kesinger, so there's even a tiny copy of Walking Your Octopus in the backpack's side pocket! Love it!

Cassia also made the cutest little Cthulhu ever, and it looks like she'll have these guys available via Kickstarter next month:

Watch her website for updates - I know I will.

Because my quest for the perfect steampunk chandelier continues:

I think I'd switch it so the bulbs face down - but the beauty is, that's super easy to do! Go see Camilla's post on Something is Done for a helpful breakdown on all the materials you'll need & instructions to make your own.

Here's a heartwarming story: ModVic founder Bruce Rosenbaum (designer of the house that first made me fall in love with steampunk) held a design contest to create a steampunk wheelchair for 14-year-old Kyron:

This is the winning design by Greg Hurley, and now Bruce is raising funds at indiegogo to construct two of these chairs: one for Kyron, and one to be exhibited on the road. If all goes well, maybe someday soon even more fans will have their own customized chair!

This was the part that got me, though:

"With these tricked out Steampunk wheelchairs," Rosenbaum said, "the conversation changes from 'How did you lose the use of your legs?' to 'Where did you get the cool chair!?'"

Yes. This. (Is it dusty in here?) 
Read more at the full article here, or head over to the Indiegogo page if you'd like to chip in.

And finally, here's a fascinating read I found over on BoingBoing: From Hummingbird Heads to Poison Rings: Indulging Our Antique Jewelry Obsession.

There are plenty of fantastic pictures with the article, too, from creepy hair chains to gorgeous pendants like this:

Hard to believe this Memento Mori ring was made in 1700!

(The stuff made of hair and bird heads, not so much. Heh.)

Have something steamy to share? You know I love seeing your projects! Post links in the comments, or share your pics over on the Epbot FB page!


  1. I have GOT to get that wheelchair or at least jazz up the one I have! I can see myself in line for the Haunted Mansion in that bad boy! Amazing work!

    Okay, I have a dumb question...I am kind of an artist, I dabble in a lot of mediums and I see some things on here I could make myself, but I am not creative enough to think up the things on my own. Does that mean if I make the things (given I give credit where it is due ideawise) they are any less beautiful and interesting? I am throwing around making the Doctors as Christmas ornaments. Little felt stuffed dolls of them with embroidery details...but there are other people out there who make the same thing so should I even bother?

    1. I think Anony's answer below is spot on, so I'll just throw my vote in for Making Things no matter what the inspiration - provided you're not selling someone else's design, of course. It will already be unique because you make it, but if you want to change some of the details up to make it truly your own, then do that!

    2. What Anon said, but also I wanted you to know you are not alone in feeling that way (and I am glad to learn I'm not alone, either!). It drives my husband batty that I call myself "not creative" - he doesn't quite get that I see "artistic" and "creative" as two totally different creatures.

      However, now that I've learned to accept that "ideas popping out of thin air" is not my creative mileu, I've discovered that I AM that person who can take an "okay" idea and tweak it until it's an AWESOME idea. Whenever I'm forced to create something from scratch, I will spend anywhere from minutes to hours browsing the web for inspiration - not something to copy, but to use as a jumping-off point. And once I get started, it usually evolves until it's something uniquely mine.

  2. @April Pendley
    a) Novelty can be a good thing in creative works but it's far from the only thing. Think about sonnets or haiku or the blues or cubist painting or many other things with an established form. These things can get you in the feelings super hard, but not because they're new.
    2) Everything you do is a thing itself but it is also practice for the next thing. Imagine that in a couple of years inspiration hits and you want to make the felt doll that will turn the world on its ear. If you haven't put in the time beforehand working on less "inspired" things using similar skills you're not going to turn that idea into a reality, at least not as well.
    D) You may not see the uniqueness of what you do but you're a person and the decisions you make, even the subtle ones that you don't think about (especially those?) communicate your brains. When LdV painted the Mona Lisa, did he say to himself "Now to paint the mouth just so at such and such an angle and this will blow everybody's mind"? Maybe. I think it's more likely, however, that he just applied his skills to a task and stumbled onto something great.
    iiii) What the hell. Do it for fun. Beats watching tv or whatever.

    1. I see your point, I just wish my brain could come up with some of the amazing things I see. I would never sell anyone else's design...I just want to make my new house as original of a Disney-8 bit-steampunk-Doctor Who-50's kitsch-geeky-Lovecraftian place it can be! I am too much of a perfectionist I guess. I want all of my paintings to be masterpieces, all of my cakes to be mind-blowing...I guess I expect too much of myself. Thanks for your kind words. I will try to perfect the inspiration I get from other people...but I don't know how I could do better than what the people on here have already done. You all are awesome. :-)

    2. The reason there are MILLIONS of tutorials online is because artists KNOW that others may want to use their ideas!!! It makes you no less of an artist to get inspiration from other people's ideas. There are so many people who don't have the skill to recreate other's work. They're the ones who buy! :o) If you've got the skills and desire, DO IT! If you don't have the skills, but do have the desire, try it anyway! You may surprise yourself.

    3. Remember that you are, to a certain extent, immune to your own magic. Other people's work is easier to be impressed with because it slams into your perception all at once. Your own creations look to you like a collection of fine details, some better than others, because you've become so intimate with those details in the creation process before you ever got a look at the finished product. I'm very impressed with, for example, the sculpted monsters from this post, and I find no fault with them. I'd bet their creator could tell you a long list of flaws in all of them that drive her absolutely nuts. Looking at your work with "new eyes" as it approaches completion is a difficult and important skill to cultivate.

    4. "Remember that you are, to a certain extent, immune to your own magic."

      Geez. That's the truest, most beautiful thing I've read in a while. Right in the feels.

      Thank you.

  3. I would strongly discourage you from turning the chandelier bulbs downward. Made as they are, they very much evoke a Victorian acetylene-gas fixture. An acetylene fixture must burn upward, of course; turned downward, it would only set itself afire, so all acetylene lights pointed up.

  4. Holy Steampunk, Batman! Yay! I've missed the Saturday Steam as well. It is always a pleasant and welcome surprise on Saturday morning.

  5. Wow, those are stunning!
    I'm so glad you brought back Saturday Steam, even if it's just for today! :)

  6. Alia Z. almost makes me want to go do daredevil stunts that I know better than to do at my age. If I did end up in a cast is there a tutorial for how to make it look awesome? That is definitely a lemons to lemonade idea.

    1. I wish it was a daredevil stunt. It would sound much better than "I fell off a curb and had surgery." Anyway step one after getting a cast is to get an incredibly talented friend with an airbrush. I'll say having a bionic arm made having a cast much more bearable.

  7. I saw this on FB and knew I had to jump back here to share, especially since you resurrected Saturday Steam .

    This is NOT my work, I just saw it and thought I'd share the awesomeness.

  8. Having seen your love of all things cute I thought you might like these super cute imaginary creatures made by some russian girl:


  9. LOVE the steampunk-Cthulhu wall lamp - that's spectacular! (It'd also do for a "Soulless" theme; Gail Carriger's steampunk/parasol series has the Order of the Brass Octopus as a running plot point.)

  10. Love, love, love Saturday Steam! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Dear Jen,
    I love the wheelchair, but wonder if you would put an idea for consideration to your talented readers. I work with students in wheelchairs. There is usually not a good way for them to carry any gear, unless it is a backpack slung on the back. It often gets in the way of wheels and the student can't access it from the front without assistance. Often, it puts the chair off balance. Would you or one of your readers be willing to design a steampunk styled bag/pack/box to complement that awesome chair?

  12. Memento mori. Very cool. Makes me think of vanitas paintings. Life is short, after all.

  13. My friend Leanna does beautiful jewelry from recycled metals. Several pieces have charitable associations!


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