Monday, 31 August 2015

Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue Plaque - by Alison

Hello all, Alison here again, and I've been playing with some fabulous new designs.  Steampunk fans will be excited to hear that the latest additions to the Calico Craft Parts range offer a wealth of Steampunk inspiration.  There are fantastical cogs and flourishes, quirky characters and vehicles, as well as the pieces I've been playing with... a set of pipes and connectors - so much fun to play with, and here's what I've cooked up on my first go.

It's not where I meant to go, but I rather like where it ended up.

(The post title is there for any West Wing fans - you'll know what I'm talking about with the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue!  It just seemed the right title for this piece.)

The whole thing is on a large plaque, so there's plenty of room for one of my favourite steampunk-style stamp images as well as lots of the pipes and taps and screws from the Pipework Maze set.

The base is one of the Birch Plywood Plaques - the large Rectangle, 30x15cm (12x6 inches for those in old money!).  I had a little play with the pipes and the image to get a rough idea of where I might be headed.

Next step was to cut and emboss some card to fill the plaque around the area for the image, and then I covered that with black gesso from the edges and white gesso from the centre, so that we'd have a nice glowing light at the centre of things.

Then I started adding colour - some ink and mica sprays and some DecoArt Traditions Prussian Blue Hue - before dry-brushing with white gesso to highlight the texture.  (It's all a sort of combination of things learned from Andy Skinner and Finnabair and mutated to serve my purpose.)

I spent a while playing with the pipes, trying out various finishes.  Thankfully, the Calico Craft Parts are more than sturdy enough to take several changes of mind.  Here's one that didn't make it - too dark against the background - but an effect I'll be playing with again soon!

In the end, I've got DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Silver paint with some mica sprays over the top, and a shading wash of the DecoArt Prussian Blue applied with the fingertips down the "dark sides" of the pipes and washer heads and taps.

In places, there's also some Pewter Treasure Gold providing highlights along the inner sides of the pipes, shining in the light cast by our beautiful Steampunk woman.  I love all the stopcocks and pumps and taps (I'm sure there are proper names for them all... I just don't know them!).

And I love that you can pretty much create any map or maze of pipes that you like.

I altered some of the Mini Cogs, Styles 3 and 4, in the same way, and added them to the steam pipe maze...

... along with some metal cogs and screw brads of various sizes.

I was lucky enough to be given some tiny lightbulbs by a friend of my mother's.  I've been hoarding them, but finally some of them have a home of their own.

So the glow of the woman at the centre is not the only source of light in the piece!  She's stamped on tissue paper and glued into place.

You'll probably have noticed that the Pewter Treasure Gold made its way onto the background cog texture too.  It adds a great metallic lustre.

The sentiment is stamped on watercolour paper, tinted around the edges with the same ink and paint colours to tie it in with the rest of the piece.

I can see so many possibilities for these steam pipes.  They'll work on layouts (they make a great framing feature for an image or photo), or on masculine cards or tags.

You could go all out grungy and rusty, but for this particular creation I'm going to claim the Glampunk label again.  I'd intended to go for rust and verdigris, but that just wasn't where it took me this time around.  There's always another day!

I hope you like my Glampunk plaque, and do check out the new Steampunk offerings over at Calico Craft Parts.  You might just find yourself setting out on a Steampunk adventure of your very own.  You can also click on any of the links in the text to take you direct to the particular products in the Calico Craft Parts shop.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I'll see you again soon.

Alison xx
Words and Pictures


  1. Hello Alison,
    This is gorgeous.

  2. oh, Alison, I LOVE this!! I don't "do" steampunk very well, but those pipes are calling me... fantastic plaque, just love it.

  3. Love the embossed background Alison, and those pipes look great! xxx

  4. This is Fabulous Alison, I adore those pipes, the colours & texture are amazing Great tutorial Loved seeing how this Beautiful creation came together..
    Hugs May x x x

  5. What a fantastic make. Love the highlights and shadows that you gave the pipes. Those hoarded baby light bulbs certainly did make themselves at home here and they shine brightly on this Glampunk creation. Gorgeous. I can see you playing around with those pipes. Amazing how they really frame this wonderful stamped image. Would love to talk to you about stamping on tissue paper. Aren't you in fear of getting crinkles in the image? Are you using extended time medium as glue? Oh dear ... I'll just send you an email and ask :) Wonderful ... as usual!! -- Mary Elizabeth

  6. Wow! This is absolutely stunning! Alison. I LOVE your background - for me the perfect colours and those steam pipes and all your metal cogs screws , brads and light bulbs are fabulous. I could look at it for hours and never tire . Thank you for sharing your creative talent. x

  7. Hot hot hot! Cool plaque butterfly! Love those new pipes from Calico Parts.fabulous embossed background with the radiant steampunk lady as the center of attention. Hugs

  8. The light and shadow on this is fantastic! A gorgeous project.

  9. Alison you created an AWESOME steampunk ( Glampunk ) project. I love and adore all the details. Such a lot of lovely exciting stuff. I can see why you love the new Calico shapes. Me too.... Have to get some of them
    Thank you for sharing your gorgeous creativity.
    Hugs from Monica... Spain

  10. Fabulous glampunk! Love how you used the pipes to frame one of my favourite La Blanche stamps of all times and the colours are stunning with the pewter TG!! Love this big time!!!

  11. You are the only one I know that can make pipes and pipe fittings attractive!
    Sandy xx

  12. All of those parts look seriously amazing, I might need to take a peek at the shop!!!
    Love the shimmer you created, certainly bring Glam to the Punk LOL.

  13. Amazing glampunk plaque Alison, fabulous textures and your metal effects are spot on. Adding the white gesso behind the central image was a stroke of brilliance, she does indeed glow amongst all that steampunky goodness. Thanks as well for The West Wing reference, what a fabulous show that was! Deb xo

  14. Amazingly beautiful project Alison. I totally love steampunk look in Prussian is just wow!! Thanks for inspiration!

  15. Stunning! Those beautiful blues and the detailed background combined with imagery is perfectly set off by those fab calico parts. Ruth x

  16. Beautiful colours and I love the pipe. Stunning x

  17. Mmmmmhmmmm! Yeppers, Glampunk is awesome sauce! So many wonderful elements and textures you have created here dearie. The eye wanders all around. And that central image is a new must have for me. Ohhhh the possibilities! Wowzers! This is stunning! Hugz. ~Niki

  18. What an amazing piece this is! Actually too much for my eyes to take in at once, I had to keep scrolling back. Definitely amazing! Oh! and the quote. ..well, I agree with that for sure! Chrisx

  19. Absolutely Positively too cool!! I love this tag Alison!! Your palette works wonderfully with Steampunk/industrial!! xo

  20. That works brilliantly Alison! Jenny x