Friday 15 August 2014

Visit the Past

Hi everyone!

 I am here to share my creation for Sandee and amelie's SteamPunk Challenge. This month it is all about -

My idea was to create a chemist lab. This is inspired by an old Victorian Pharmacy I saw while visiting Flambards in Cornwall many years ago. The last pharmacist to own the shop, William White, died in 1909 and his son closed down the shop because he was not qualified to dispense medicines. The shop was boarded up and forgotten about until the last family member died and the whole shop came up for sale in 1987. When the door was unlocked an amazing time capsule was discovered. The dispensary, complete with its old balances and scales, medicine jars, bottles and ancient cures, gave a unique glimpse into the life of a Victorian pharmacy. The whole shop was carefully transferred to Flambards as it was - and it was so fascinating to see!

    So it was this that came to my mind when I found out that the challenge at Sandee and amelies Steampunk Challenge was to be 'In the Laboratory'...I began to think of a chemist lab that had been locked up for years. I wanted to capture the look of layers and layers of peeling paint and rust......

     Perhaps this pharmacist had been a very nasty one, seeing as there were many poisons there....and that was why they were no longer there! But of course poisons were often used in the making of medicines in the past.....Whatever the story is behind this creation, this is my version of that chemist shop from the past......

The first thing to do was to make a box from balsa wood - as regular readers of my blog will know I LOVE doing this! I work with simple shapes, so it is never too difficult. Just cutting balsa wood with a craft knife and using strong glue and before too long you have a box! I painted it with gesso (balsa wood tends to warp slightly when paint is applied and brushing on a base coat of gesso allows the decorative paint to apply better)

     I then coated it with Chocolate Pudding Fresco paint. Then a heavy layer of Nougat Fresco paint and then smothered it all in Decoart Crackle Glaze. I wanted the crackle to be more the effect of thick layers of paint crumbling, rather than the weathered wood effect that other crackle glazes give. This had to be a dramatic crackle.

I find this can be achieved by applying thicker paint and thick glaze. The crackle glaze was applied thinner in some areas.

When this was dry and the box was fully crackled I sanded down some edges to reveal the dark paint underneath. I then began to add some delicate shading of colours....To try and capture the look of verdigris rust I used Bora Bora Fresco Paint, Hey Pesto Fresco paint and Decoart Traditions Acrylic paint in Quinacridone Gold.

I began to apply the colours lightly, dry brushing them over the box. I applied the colours gradually, building up, rather than apply thickly.

When this was finished I began to decorate the box.....

   The shop sign was tissue tape

   Brass brads were used in the corners

   A glass vial filled with Verdigris embossing powder with some glued to the side of the bottle

  A glass vial filled with UTEE drops saved when I emptied the melt pot (I tip the last of the melted UTEE out onto the craft mat and collect up the tiny drops to use in other creations)

  A glass vial was filled with Mica flakes

   A glass vial was filled with a mix of ink, paint and water and the cork was very carefully (and securely) glued into place.

   A brass pendant had a steam punk stamp glued in and coated with Glossy accents glue 

   A copper wire was curled and threaded though a brass cog. 

Various watch cogs were attached to a large brass cog.....

     The last thing was to apply a very light spray of Melted Chocolate Dylusion spray over everything to make it look even more aged and tarnished....

So there it is - my rusted, crackled, decayed window to the past - with a hint of Steampunk!

I do hope you will hop over to Sandee and amelie's Steampunk Challenges to see what my other teamies have made! I also hope you will join us in a trip to the laboratory!

Happy Crafting!

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  1. What a stunning alteration...gorgeous till the last detail Laura!
    greetings, Alie

  2. I love everything about this stunning creation, the colouring you've achieved has such depth, the crackle awesome, and the details in the bottles....verdigris embossing powder is a fab idea! Wonderful! Ruth x

  3. Hi Laura, wow what a fabulous project! Love the effect you've achieved with the crackle medium, it looks like old paint peeling and cracking. So much attention to detail with all those little bottles and embellies, love it!
    Claire xx

  4. Wonderful creation Laura. So much detail to look at and it's all stunning!! I absolutely love it. Where do you buy your cogs from? They look far better then the ones I usually buy!

    Donna xx

  5. wow, fantastic, really a very inspiring journey into past. I think I would not even more become ready with photograph. A magical place where the time has stopped, fascinating!! just like your project, what emerged from this idea. Gorgeous details and effects. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Hugs, Kerstin

  6. Thank you so much for sharing not only the wonderful close-ups of your terrific creation, Laura,

    but also the story and images about that forgotten "time capsule" apothecary! I can definitely find the deep impression it made on you in your own make. The poisons and bottles look fantastic and so does your selfmade shelf from balsa wood!

    A brilliant, brilliant make!
    Big hug,

    Claudia x

  7. Oh very excellent! Hmm, I've long been thinking of a miniature pharmacy.....;-)

  8. This little pharmacy is so full of detail and makes me want to visit it. I am thinking that I would like to try my hand at making this-minus handcrafting the box. I applaud your balsa wood talent!

  9. Wow! So very cool Laura! The attention to detail is as always superb!
    I am encouraged by your comment re balsa wood... I have often looked at it and wondered... Now I shall try!

  10. Stunning piece and your attention to every last detail...fabulous.
    Julie x

  11. Wonderful crackle! Great project. I would love to see that old pharmacy.

  12. That looks great. Love the crackle and colours. Well done

  13. Stunning project, Laura! Awesome textures and I love little details like glue drops and vial fillers...Fab, fab, fab...


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