Title: Mechanical Dreams
Size: Approx. 7″ diameter x .75″ deep
Mechanical Dreams was made using a repurposed metal gear, embroidery thread, spray paint, metal chain and variety of embellishments.
Several years ago I bought a bunch of old gears off Ebay. My intention was to create some higher quality Steampunk art (the steampunk community frowns upon merely glueing gears onto things). Unfortunately, I didn’t stop to consider the requirements of actually using large metal gears. Once I did, the gears just sat in a pile in the corner of my studio collecting dust.
In 2016 I finally decided I was either going to use them or give them away. I decided to start with two to see if I could find any way to use them. These were real gears that were removed from various machinery so they are thick, heavy, and had a good bit of rust and grease on them. Cleaning & sanding them was no small task. Once completed, I spray painted this one with a metallic copper Rustoleum paint. Then I just kind of stared at it for a while. It was cool, but there was still a problem of what to do with this large round object.
About 20 years ago I spent some time with a numerous people from various Native American tribes. I was taught to create dreamcatchers. I haven’t made one in nearly 20 years at this point and I certainly didn’t think I would create one using a gear. But, the gear is not far removed from the brass rings I used to use so I decided to give it ago.
After it was woven, I decided to experiment with different embellishments. That’s when I realized that I chose the wrong color of spray paint. It was a good problem though as I wanted a different look & texture for the weaving. I spray painted the entire gear, weaving included, with a hammered antique gold paint.
Drilling the holes for the chain was the next challenge. I have a nice set of drill bits specifically for metal but I still managed to break one. It took a LONG time to get through the metal. From there it was a matter of decorating.
Will I do more of these? Just one. I sanded and painted 2 gears to experiment with. The other will get a similar treatment & then I’ll likely give away the other gears. I’m a bit sad at that thought, but considering how difficult drilling holes into them was, there isn’t much I can do with them. Luckily I know some people who do ‘real’ steampunk art so I’m sure they’ll find some really amazing use for them.