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.
-Hot glue gun
-About 3 sticks of glue
-Crackle clear coat
-Various paint brushes
-Clock ( found in craft store )
-Wood laminate tile
-Sticky back black felt
-Eye hole screws
-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
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
-Clock work pieces
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.