Picture of Immortalize Deceased Electronics as Wall Art
If you're like me, you occasionally get attached to some sort of electronic device. In my case, it was my Mac LCII, which finally died after only 12 years of trusty service. Honestly, I used it until the end - the printer kept working and it was super for word processing. When the hard drive finally whirred to a halt and the time came to put in the dumpster I just couldn't - it was the first computer I'd ever had and it felt wrong to throw it away when I could probably re-use some of it. So I brought it back into the house and took it apart. Then put the pieces in a box for a couple years.

After moving the box for the millionth time it instantly became clear to me that it NEEDED to be art. If your tastes are similar to mine you'll hang random electronics on your walls as well.

Heavy collage style art like this needs a heavy medium to hold it, so I used encaustic. Encaustic is a wax based paint that is one of the oldest paints around. For your reading pleasure:


I've documented all of the steps I took to go from box of parts to wall art. Make any changes you want, because as with any art it's all about what looks best to you.
scafool6 years ago
Some of these old boards glow really nicely under black light. The colours are not always quite what you expect either.
shyrell6 years ago
Looks like something I would do. Very nice.
nerdologist6 years ago
This is cool. I was wondering what to do with the leftovers of a hack that I have been working on. I feel badly about throwing stuff away.
BigD1457 years ago
I like this. There's beauty in the complexities of circuits. There's also sadness and pain in the potential of its component molecules.
Xellers7 years ago
Here's what I did with my old LC (18 year old LC):
static7 years ago
I guess art truly is in the eye of the beholder. Then again I have yet to see a PCB that inspired me. I was however prepared to purchase both an early Chrysler Hemi and a flat head V12 at an auction for purely display purposes outside my garage. For that reason I understand varying tastes. Unfortunately it was the sort of auction that attracted deeper pockets than mine, the only thing I went home with was a sunburned scalp.
TLWolf8 years ago
My brother did something like this, but he made a working computer on the wall. it was kind of cool to see (and use)
technoplastique (author)  TLWolf7 years ago
That would be cool - it reminds me of some of the great science center exhibits I've seen over the years. There would be SO much room for an art/tech overlap doing that...
Awesome idea But you might want to be careful about what you have hanging around because most old circuit boards use lead solder, which isn't exactly good for you're health.
technoplastique (author)  mistermarchman7 years ago
Thanks! As far as lead goes, I'm not really planning on licking it, and considering the amount of lead paint that's still around (school bus yellow still has lead in it, at least as of a few years ago) I'm not too worried about living with it. As an artist I do think about keeping my health protected, but I worry a lot more about the solvents and resins I use. It is a good thing to keep in mind, though, especially if you were making something that encouraged touching more (like some sort of sculpture).
CameronSS7 years ago
I have a neighbor who is a painter, and uses that fused wax technique...he has a giant ball of wax in his studio about a foot and a half across--he says it was baseball sized when he moved there... Utterly random ramblings aside, nice Instructable! The trash-rescued Apple Performa 630CD sitting beside me on my desk still works fine, which is amazing, considering that it's spent the last 10 years or so in a fifth grade classroom (my mom's), and who knows where before that.
technoplastique (author)  CameronSS7 years ago
Those old Apples were built like tanks - I think they were really aware of how much they were used in classrooms. I think it's kind of nice to stay aware of technology past in a world where there's so much emphasis on 'the next big thing'. And I can't imagine how creepy a giant ball of wax like that could get... _
rickick8 years ago
pheer8 years ago
i have my wall of nerdiness.... a wall with like 20 oldschool motherboards hung with ...picture-hanging-nails.... it works for me, though i like the abstract artsy look you have with the background on them.... nice work
technoplastique (author)  pheer8 years ago
I was tempted to do what you did and just nail some parts to the wall but I'm glad I did this instead. I'm really working on doing a bunch of them in different sizes to put together on a wall together. The wall it's intended for is a blue/green color (similar to the background on this one) and very, very tall. I thought it could be a nice, updated version of the 'Victorian picture wall' idea. And thanks for the compliment ;-)
capricorn8 years ago
I like it. I remember I have somewhere the Chipset of my first Linux Server, "Vectra Sama" and thought about enbedding it in a ceramic sculpture. Would be nice :)
technoplastique (author)  capricorn8 years ago
That would be tricky - it wouldn't (probably) hold up to firing, and clay shrinks about 10 to 15 percent when it's fired so you'd have to make a place for it, then expand that space by 15 percent, then attach it after firing. Or just use polymer clay, because it would likely hold up to 275 degrees. It would probably look awesome if you could pull it off, though ;-)
It does indeed, but actually my idea was to fire up the clay to have the clay kilned right ( reduced and all) and only after that put the glazes on it and do a Raku jamming the chip in a prepared space on the sculpture. I have two major comcerns, one I do not know if the feet would hold the temperature and not melt, two if the chip can hold 900 degree C. Hummm
Mjuboy8 years ago
That looks sweet! I've got lots of old electronics lying around, I might try it.
technoplastique (author)  Mjuboy8 years ago
Thanks for the compliment and good luck on trying it!