My upcycling project will be the steampunk aesthetic. I really enjoy the metallic/mechanical aspect of this aesthetic. Being a mechanical engineering major, steampunk has always been one of my favorite aesthetics. The overarching goal of this project is to create a machine that I can convince people has the ability to function in a fantical sense. I plan on using the inside of metal cans to create gears, and possibly create dynamics/ rotation with simple materials. One thing I want to make clear is that my project will not perfectly adhere to the steampunk aesthetic, rather it is inspired by the aesthetic. Some key elements that will be different are that there will be no ‘industrial’ aesthetic to my design. My goal is to incorporate metallic, shiny, and fantasy elements from steampunk to create a pattern/ overall mechanical feel to my project. My current plan is to take an empty cardboard case of beer to create an enclosed mechanical box, where there will be gears formed from cut metal cans. Shown in figure 1 below is a drawing I made of a rough idea of what to expect.
Below in figure 2 is an idea of another steampunk upcycle project created by Natalie Shaw who posted the idea to https://www.doodlecraftblog.com/2018/03/recycled-craft-cassette-tape-steampunk.html
In general, this is the kind of aesthetic that I am aiming for. I’d really appreciate any ideas of how I can include elements of fantasy in the project as well, so any feedback is welcome! My current idea is to form the gearbox around a futuristic vision I create, such as turning some kind of fuel into a completely different object. I’d like for the gear system to be the focal point of the project, so I will keep all other elements as simple as possible. My primary reason for picking the steampunk aesthetic is due to the ability it gives me to leverage artistic vision over function. I do not need viewers to believe that the machine I create is functional in the world that we currently live in. I’d rather have viewers believe that the machine is functional in the world of fantasy that I create in my head while assembling it. My biggest challenge is going to be attempting to create functional gears out of aluminum cans, due to their flexibility. If this does not work, I will be eliminating the dynamic portion of this project, and mainly focus on the aesthetic appeal. My main goal is to keep things simple, and any suggestions/ feedback is welcome! I’d also like to hear if anyone has any concerns about the idea before I move forward.
Below in figure 3 is another example of a steampunk project done by SteampunkTaller and posted to https://steampunkstuff.co.uk/product/the-steampunk-hippy-mystery-bus-van-upcycle-art-sculpture-the-perfect-eco-friendly-steampunk-gift-idea
In an ideal world, this is the aesthetic that I will achieve through this upcycling project. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your feedback!