I love it when a client commissions a piece, gives me a few guidelines and then lets me run with it. As most clients don’t know my full skill set (sometimes I don’t either!) they don’t know what I’ll create. In this case, the client wanted an anniversary gift for her parents who were kind of into steampunk and liked the gear motif. With a budget in place, my mind wandered to my collection of odds and ends and a plan started to come together.
My idea was to work with an antique clock base that would symbolize the passage of time, in this case, 29 years of marriage. I knew that I would have to incorporate some gears, but with a limited budget, this would not involve a mechanized, working gear set. I went upstairs to my ‘steampunk clock‘ studio and began to organize my parts.
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Here you can see the back of the clock and the many parts that went inside it. This was a gift for the parent’s 29th anniversary, so of course there are 29 gears inside the antique clock housing. I made the top panel, that the gears are hanging from, removable so that they can easily add a new gear each year. And the watch freely hangs so that they can replace it with a family heirloom?
From the front, you can see some more unique elements that make this clock so special.
Starting at the top, I’ve added some keys from an old typewriter. “Lock” – because they were locked together in marriage in “1987” and the ” → ” symbolizes the future.
On the left side is the couple’s wedding photo, which shows age but is still intact. On the right side is a recent photo. As any marriage is always a ‘work in progress’, I’ve added a worker on the ladder rolling up this new photo to the housing.
For me, any project needs to work with meaning and design balance. I really enjoyed working on this Steampunk Clock as I had a vision for the final piece and knew that ‘somewhere’ I had the parts to make it happen. The client really had no idea where I would go with this, but having worked with me before, she trusted my instincts.
It’s tough when I work with a new client and I ask for a ‘budget’ to work with. What they don’t realize is that my imagination will usually go further than what they’re planning and I know what I have for resources (skills and inventory). I don’t think I’ve had a client not feel they got more than their money’s worth when they let me run with an idea.
When you’re ready to commission your one-of-a-kind artwork in any media, just let me know – and let’s create something amazing together!