Steam Punk Skull Desk Clock




Posted in TechnologySteampunk

Introduction: Steam Punk Skull Desk Clock

About: I am an artist that works in many mediums of art from costumes, armor, props, painting, drawing, sculpting, modifications and digital art. My work typically involves Steam Punk, gothic, surrealism, Renaissa...

I decided to make a clock that involved two of my favorite things, skulls and steam punk.  I started out by getting a basic painted Styrofoam skull that was intended for Halloween decoration and some items from the craft and hardware store.  So here is the run down of everything that I collected to make this piece.

-Styrofoam skull
-Hot glue gun
-About 3 sticks of glue
-Xacto knife
-Paper clay
-Various paints
-Crackle clear coat
-Various paint brushes
-Clock ( found in craft store )
-Small hinge
-Wood laminate tile
-Sticky back black felt
-Copper tubing
-Eye hole screws
-Furniture tacks
-Clock cogs ( found in craft store )

Step 1: Getting Started

  I began by cutting the top of the skull cap off and then hollowing out the center of the main skull using a spoon.  I dug down deep to make a bowl shape.  I then made a smaller bowl shape on the inside cap of the skull that I had cut to the dimensions of the clock's backing.  The clock was  purchased in a big chain hobby store in the wood working section.
  After I was comfortable with the shape and depth of the two bowls I had dug out I then proceeded to create lines along the skull to make it look like metal panels, I did this using my Xacto knife.  I then took paper clay and worked it into the bowls and smoothed it down.  I find that paper clay when drying takes a porous texture like stone or bone which fit perfectly in this situation.  I let the clay dry which took a few hours.

Step 2: Painting

Items used during this step:
-Krylon Hammered Gun Metal Spray Paint
-Krylon Shiny Exterior Silver Spray Paint
-Black, White, Yellow, Brown Acrylic Paint
-Copper Acrylic Paint
-Medieval Gold Acrylic Paint
-Crackle/weathering Clear Coat
-Paint Brushes
-Cotton Ball

Next I painted the entire skull inside and out a hammered gun metal color for  a more metallic texture (let dry) and then a shiny silver coat.  I then painted the eyes, nose and around the teeth black.  After that I painted the face and along the sides and some of the panels I had cut using my copper paint.  I painted other parts of the skull using medieval gold paint, sort of like a patch work.  Once the paint had dried I then added crackle to the front and along the side of the skull following the hair line and jaw line with a single coat of crackle/weathering.  This particular clear coat can be found in the hobby store had creates a cracked effect where the bottom coat shows through a contrasting top coat color.  This crackle coat took about an hour to dry and once it did I then blended white, yellow and brown acrylic to get a bone like color and applied it to the same areas I had applied the crackle coat.  After about another hour the crackle effect took place and I began to add distressing and shading using black acrylic and a little bit of water dabbed on with a cotton ball and paint brush.  The over all effect was a skull that had copper breaking through underneath.

Step 3: Adding the Hardware

Items used in this step:

-Bronze furniture tacks
-Copper tubing
-Eyelet Screws
-Clock work pieces
-Wood Laminate

  I began by taking the nails and hot gluing them through the cog pieces and then hot glued and punctured the skull in various spots to create a very steam punk feel.  I screwed in 3 eyelet screws along the top and 3 along the  sides spaced out as seen in the pics and placed a bent to shape piece of the copper tubing through the eyelets and hot glued at each end.  I added the brass furniture tacks along the panels to look like bolts.
  I then began work on the skull cap first tracing it on the back of the wood laminate and cutting it out.  I then measured the diameter of the hole and cut the laminate in half and then cut the  hole out for the clock to fit in.   I cut and worked int he black felt and then hot glued the two laminate pieces into place.  I made sure to have about a quarter inch in between the two laminate pieces to add a bit of the copper tubing I had scraps of.  Afterwards I added the hinge to the inside of the back base skull and the bottom back rim of the skull cap using hot glue and screws.  I attached 2 eyelet screws one on the cap and another on the base skull along the right side and attached a small link of chain between the two.  This allowed me to have the skull open without the top just falling all the way back.  I also added a small brain shaped piece of black felt for the bottom of the inside skull base. 

Step 4: Adding a Little Extra

After making this I realized that because the skull was initially styrofoam and the clock was a bit heavy that the skull tended to fall backwards when open.  I have corrected this using added weight placed just behind the lower jaw and painting it.  I also decided to make a little stressed reliever using a pink balloon stuffed with flour to look like a brain.



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    this isnt even steampunk???????

    Could you please explain the weight bit more please? "I have corrected this using added weight placed just behind the lower jaw and painting it."

    1 reply

    Sure, I ended up using a 2lb. weight from a scale that I shoved and glued just behind the jaw. I later ended up just mounting the whole skull to a piece of display wood from the craft store. The wood was already carved and ready to be stained which I did in a cherry wood stain. I then took two long screws and screwed from the bottom of the wood up through the bottom of the skull to properly secure it in place.