This is the third in my Steampunk Dinosaur Series. I have made a Triceratops, see the full post in August 2017.
And, a T -Rex… see the full post in September 2017.
And now it’s the final piece in the trifecta – the Brontosaurus.
Though these dinosaurs are some of my favorite projects they are also some of the most labor intensive.
They start with a blank paper mache form. I’ve already added the Tim Holtz Pulley Wheels at this point, as well as given the Bronto a layer of black acrylic paint. There’s even the first few pieces of foil attached here.
And for the next few days that’s all there is. It’s sort of like building a puzzle with no picture, lots of pieces that don’t fit or even actually belong to this puzzle and a great deal of patience.
Each session in the craft room brings me a little bit closer to completion. This riveted foil that I use actually applies pretty easy to pieces that are bigger and flatter, but these smaller projects with small tight curves are a bit maddening.
Smokey drops in from time to time to observe my progress and contribute help and advice where needed.
Finally, all the foil is on. Next step – a grunge patina to make the foil look like well-aged riveted metal.
I just brush on some black acrylic paint and wipe off what I don’t like. There are a couple of techniques you can use here: water down your paint if you want a lighter grunge look and/or wait longer before you start to wipe the paint off. The longer the paint sits and goes toward drying, the more will stay on your project. If you let it dry completely you will be unable to remove much paint at all. You can use paper towel or a soft rag for the removal.
Now comes the really fun part – let the Steampunk-ing begin! These are just some decorative stick pins. Whenever I see unusual shapes in these pins I buy a couple packs because I know, somewhere in the future, I’ll use them in a project. Just not necessarily in exactly the same aspect as they were when I bought them.
I rubbed the head of the pin(s) on the embossing pad and then dipped the head in embossing powder. Tip: be careful when you heat the embossing powder to it’s melting point that you don’t go over and end up melting the plastic pin’s head. Now I have a ‘distressed’ metal accent piece.
By varying the placement of the two shapes and sizes I was able to make a ‘mane’ for my Brontosaur. Like the pins, I also pick up bits of jewelry making supplies (or anything else) that I think might be handy at some future date. I’ve added a sort of beaked mouth to this guy using one of those jewelry findings.
Tim Holtz offers piles of great crafting supplies for the “Distressed” crafter. These interesting little bits are called Ring Fasteners. I’ll use six of these in all.
There’s actually a lot happening in this picture, let me catch you up. Look at the bottom of the front feet of the dino. See the three silver beads on each front foot? Those are more pins – the small silver headed pins that come on brand new men’s dress shirts. Now, they’er dinosaur toes. Two more ball head pins are about to get a black embossed finish so my dino will have bright black eyes. Those two little ball chain links? Those are going to be dino eyebrows. And off to the right, that’s 18 gauge dull metal craft wire that I wrapped around a paint brush to get the narrowing spiral shape I wanted. A bit of Antique Gold embossing powder gives it a mottled scaly look.
Now my dino has more of an expressive face. I’m really liking how this is all coming together but frankly, there’s piles of pieces from my crafting stash all over my crafting counter at this point. For me, it’s always a matter of pulling something out of the lot, giving it a try, seeing if there’s an alteration I can make like color, texture, maybe a snip here or a bend there, that will make some item the perfect accent for my project.
Another Tim Holtz item I use quite a bit – the Memo Pin. I should note that when I use pins, jewelry findings, etc. I usually just stick them right on in or on until I’m sure I’ve got an overall look that I want, and then at the end I go back and give those elements a dab of E6000 to lock them in to place.
So quite a bit has happened since the last full shot of this guy. I’ve added a Ring Fastener to his chest and suspended a grungy metal half moon with a small star suspended from that. I’ve draped lengths of bronze ball chain over his shoulders and fed them down through the Ring Fasteners off each front flank. I’ve added the Memo Pin to the base of his spine and again, draped ball chain through the Memo Pin and down through the Ring Fasteners on each side of his rear flanks. I dotted a bit of glue at the top of these chains so they couldn’t come off but I left them free to dangle and move if the dino is given a little push (yes, the wheels do turn). The heavy wire spiral is secured to the tail now.
(Large, drawn out sigh)
This part always seems to sneak up on me – the project is finished. And while I’m turning the piece around and upside down checking to make sure it’s really finished; I’m also a bit bummed – the fun’s over for now. I love getting lost in the details – all those little pieces and accents that most people may not even notice – but that I thoroughly enjoy adding to every project I make.
I love crafting and letting my imagination run.
Here’s some final shots and the link to my Etsy shop Old Raven https://www.etsy.com/shop/OldRaven?ref=l2-shopheader-name
and also the link where you can see a few more pictures of this Steampunk Brontosaur and read his description in full.
Thank you for joining me on my Steampunk Brontosaurus journey. Hope you enjoyed the ride.