This brief was one of the most free and creative briefs that we have ever taken on.
‘We have a space and a budget, we want a kinetic wall sculpture’… this was the conversation that I had with the clients, an entrepreneurial couple who were opening a Steampunk-themed bar in Selby, North Yorkshire.
We threw some ideas and sketches around and came up with a plan to move forwards but It required a leap of faith from all involved as it was a pretty abstract concept and relied heavily on found objects.
Having a sympathetic eye for interesting and unusual artifacts, we knew where to source a number of parts for the sculpture, we spent a few days driving around and collecting potential parts and then took them all back to the workshop, laid them out and started to piece together the concept from what we had salvaged.
Over the top of this we designed some large planetary gears and a support system for them to move and appear steam-powered. It was a wonderful combination of computer-aided design artistic metalwork and rescued artifacts.
The finished piece was a stunning showcase of artistic engineering, featuring motorised chain-driven planetary gears, moving pistons and flywheels, Eddison bulbs, mirrored glass and steam diffusers. We got creative, applying faux finishes and aging the new components with oil, dirt, grease, wax and a plethora of paint finishes that would make any props master proud, bringing the whole thing together into the piece you see here.
Oh yes, did I mention we had to build it in West Sussex, dismantle it, drive it 200 miles, fit it through a fire escape and reassemble in situ! We do love a challenge.
Mixed media; steel, brass, copper, glass, plywood, found objects
2500mm height x 2500mm wide x 300mm deep