Tuesday, 10 June 2014

steampunking a mini topper without using gears

Morning All

Just thought I would take one of my little top hats and give it a steampunk makeover today, but not by adding any gears.  There's a song I've heard on youtube called 'Just glue some gears on it and call it steampunk)' by Reginald Pikedevant that's quite appt in this point, I don't want to create something that is just jumping on the bandwagon and not really creative.

So gears are good but only when productive, that is to say there is a viable use for them on an object so how do I get a steampunk look without them?  Well what does Steampunk mean to me? that is to say what does it make me visualise? ok ladies in lovely corseted gowns, Victorian or the like, decorated in lace and pretty things, but practical, able to go adventuring in any deep dark forests or alien landscape without breaking a heel or tearing a hem, and even if they did they would soon find a way of mending the forsaid item.

So I am going for elegant but maybe slightly over-the-top as most of what I do veers that way, I'm not and have never been a wallflower in dress. And I think that anyone going for in for steampunk will be looking for something to show off, not hide away, they will be people used to being looked at and commented on.

But anyway, on with the decorating;

I decided that a bit of fleur de lis would look rather grand and got out an old lump of polymer clay and a fleur de lis rubber mold.  Rubber molds are great, most of mine came from when I was decorating cakes more regularly, but are now in the polymer box, and there is no going back.  If you do use something with polymer clay it can't be used for food stuff again.  Nasty stuff if you eat it or bake it too hot, poisonous either way.  So if I wanted to mold icing, the original reason I bought most of these molds, I would have to go and get new ones. This is unlikely though, apart from my own, I can't see me making anyones wedding cake in the near future.  So after preparing your clay, push it into the mold

and gently using a sharp blade cut off the excess 

So you get something like this, don't worry if it's not too neat

and then with the beauty of rubber molds you can just flex the mold and pop the clay out.
Because I was planning on decorating a round hat with these I wanted to bake them with a curve to their backs so put them on the outside of a bowl, if you just gently press they should stick down easily.

Then came painting, I do love blue. Obviously you could just use clay the colour you want, but I was just using up old scrap clay, I used metallic acrylic paint in 'sapphire'  

and just a touch of rub'n buff in antique gold to highlight the edges, the one on the left before rub'n buff and the one on the right is after, so you can see it's just a light touch.

Then I stuck them round the base of the hat crown and decided not to put them on the opposite end but around the top instead, so those ones could have been flat baked, but still looked ok.

These lovely little birds started off white too, I think they might be for weddings, but now they can sit pride of place on this hat.

And as a last touch, a small homage to my favourite book, Alice through the looking glass, a polymer clay clock with a twist, if you look closely you will see that the numbers go the wrong way, and I know the mad hatter was down the rabbit hole in wonderland, but there is a competition running at the moment in a facebook group called the mad hatter's society:
'2014 MHS Mad Hatter's Hat Interpretation Contest'

take a look if you fancy getting involved, it needs to be a top hat of any size, that is an interpretation of the Mad Hatter's. And you can enter up to 3 hats, so you will be seeing more from this. I will put up a post in the future about the clock if anyone is interested.

Well there we go the finished article, hope you like it, and it will be going up in the shop shortly.
So that's all for now.

Hugs and Kisses


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