Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My First Metal Sculpture

If you recall from my last post, I bought the guts of an old clock from my local antique dealer last week.  I got it very cheap in a bundled purchase, as I only wanted the gears (and this particular dealer and I have known each other for about 20 years... which helps. A. Lot.)

Once I got it home and began to disassemble it though, I was dismayed to find that most of the gears were in fact soldered to their metal braces.


I spent the better part of a day detaching them with pliers, saws, wire cutters, a few choice words and anything else I could find on hubby's bench that would do the trick. Once the last one was successfully liberated, I had swollen and tender hands, but amazingly I failed to actually slice off any digits.

This was a first.

I fully expected to have shed blood hacking away at the silly thing; just so I could create a metal sculpture to hang in my Victorian Studio.

Now that I had all the pieces, next came the hard part -- deciding how the heck I was going to actually design and build it! I have never done anything like this before and since these brass gears had some weight to them, I either needed to mount it on some kind of base, or attach the gears to each other somehow so it would hang solitary on the wall. I thought the latter would have much more impact.

So I went on the hunt for the necessary glue; I had watched some YouTube videos previously on how to create steampunk jewelry. The only glue they recommended was E-6000. It took a few trips to many stores to finally find it at Home Depot (I was so frustrated that our Michael's had none in stock every time I was there).

After many attempts at different configurations, I finally wrapped that piece of wood with wax paper so I wouldn't accidentally glue my creation to it (believe me, I WOULD have...) and dove in. I had to build it in many steps to create a stable base as I added more and more to it. So I would glue two or three gears and let them dry... then the next day add a few more, let dry, and repeated until I was done. I also went back and forth on whether to keep it just to clock and watch gears or to add watch faces and perhaps some other embellishments like metal wings or chain.

I decided to keep it true to just clock and watch gears and springs... so here it is! It's not huge; I wanted to fill in the space above my couch in the Studio, centered underneath my new shelf (that I built using two antique Victorian shelf supports BTW...)

Here's a closeup of my final piece (click to biggify):

So waddya think of my first wall sculpture?  I'm amazed it actually turned out...

and even more amazed I still have all my fingers.


  1. Im game for anything steampunk and I absolutely LOVE yours!!! I'd give a finger for that ;) Glad you didnt though.


  2. :D Thank you Kasia... you are always too sweet! And yes, I am glad I didn't "suffer for my art" LOL!

  3. Hi, Maureen. This is AWESOME!! The pieces are awesome, and your sculpture is awesome--so is your idea to begin with! Thanks for commenting on my baby duck rescue post, and for following. I'm following you right back! ~Zuni

  4. Oh Thank you Zuni! And thanks for becoming a Follower too! As I said, that little baby duckling sure was lucky to have you around to save him!!!

  5. Wow that really looks great, I love it, very neat pieces. Thanks for popping by to check out my Creative Space...I tell you clutter is an on going problem in my space.
    I am your newest follower...hehe Hugs, Diane

  6. Wonderful job, I love it! I'm so happy to hear that you didn't give up on it and followed your vision. It's quite a masterpiece. You should be able to find E6000 at WalMart too. I love that stuff.

  7. Just found your blog through another blog! I am your newest follower. Your metal sculpture is awesome! I love when people recycle things for a different use! Great job!

  8. I came back to see more of your posts. I am going to add you to my blogroll. I am CRAZY for that metal sculpture. Oh, I love clocks and gears and "stuff"...it is wonderful!!

  9. Diane: Thank you! I am following you back too! I love reading about your Saturday Finds... makes me want to start strolling our neighborhood on weekend mornings...

    Betsy, thanks so much! Now why the heck did I not even THINK of going to Walmart? Doh!

    Welcome Susan! Thank you... I am a Follower of yours too! I just love to read about all the cool finds people get...

    Ceekay: Oh you are too sweet! You're on my blogroll too so I can keep up with all your home renos!


Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know you were by. I appreciate and read with delight each and every comment!

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