Can't bear to throw away that old, broken pocket watch sitting in your sock drawer? Try turning it into a piece of steampunk-inspired art instead!
That's what New York-based artist Sue Beatrice did when she created this adorable automaton-like kitty composed of gears, springs and other watch components. She doesn't stop at cats, though — her studio is filled with a menagerie of these metallic critters.
Although lately she's been focusing on her steampunk sculptures, Beatrice is skilled in a variety of other mediums, including painting, sand sculpting, jewelry making and mixed media. Her artistic interests may be eclectic, but her whimsical work is tied together by Beatrice's deep appreciation of the natural world.
Continue below to see more photos of these whimsical steampunk creations, as well as an interview with Beatrice about her inspiration and how she creates them.
MNN: What inspired you to start making sculptures from watch parts?
Sue Beatrice: I've always been inspired by nature. These pieces evolved from tiny sculptures using items found in nature. Many of these [items] were too delicate on their own since I used actual dragonfly wings, snakeskin, moss and other items that would not stand up to handling. I decided to encase them in ornate antique pocket watch cases so they could be displayed or worn.
When I began buying these cases, I was introduced to the beauty of the interior parts. The handcrafted details of those pieces were art in themselves, so I began to incorporate them into my designs. Things just grew from there.
I also found that the dichotomy of flowing biological forms and hard-edged metal parts was very pleasing to the eye. People were delighted by them, so I continued to explore the art form.
Where do you source your watch parts?
The parts that interest me the most are from prior to 1850 before mass manufacturing. Obviously, items that old are difficult to find. I also have a high regard for antique watches, so I will only use unrepairable items and loose or damaged parts.
I find these at estate sales or through family members of watchmakers who have passed away. I also purchase them on online auctions.
On average, how long does it take to make one of these sculptures?
It can take months to acquire the right parts and case for a particular piece. I start with sketches, then lay out the bits and begin to assemble them. The process takes several weeks.
Be sure to check out the All Natural Arts Facebook page to see all of Beatrice's fascinating artwork.