May 15, 2008

Steampunk Historical Inspiration: Mysterious Craftsman Mindflood

The studio calls today, loud and clear... so not much time to dive into art history or anything too thoughtful. Today's a good day for a mindflood. This is when I fill a post with visuals that I find interesting and let the images wash over my mind. Maybe yours too...
It is also because i want to show this artist/designer, but know next to nothing about him. I do know that Carlo Bugatti is considered an important Arts & Craft/Aesthetic/Art Nouveau figure, but I cannot find much more than that. He is the father of the Bugatti family, which went on to design luxury automotives. The metal piece above is the sort of thing I discovered in college, only a few images of what was apparently a tableware line designed by him. I am incredibly drawn to the organic lines, the insect forms, and the detail, and wish to see more. There must be more. But alas, herein lies the mystery, because I can't find more. Any leads?
What I can find a great deal of is Carlo's furniture design, which is fascinating. It has a great blend of styles. I studied shockingly little Architecture and Design in college. It really does amaze me the things I did not learn at school sometimes. So looking at furniture is a little foreign to me.
These pieces look to me to reflect some of the same ideas and motifs that contemporary Steampunk has, in terms of object style. The attention to detail, the rich materials, the high level of craftsmanship, the interest in art meeting function... all these things are present in the contemporary objects and modifications I am seeing in new Steampunk objects and artist aesthetics. Artists like Eric Freitas, Datamancer, and Jake Von Slatt who I consider to be object makers with a steampunk aesthetic.

Who are some of your favorite object steampunk inspired object designers or modifiers?


  1. The brass table at the top looks like it should be able to walk! I think it was designed by a mad scientist to hold his tools, and follow him around his vast lab. He tried having a human assistant do that job for him, but they were always too disturbed by the experiments he dared to perform.

    I'll have to try to dig up his Deviant Art site, but the person who sparked my current interest in steampunk is a former co-worker of my DH. He made an old morse code tapper into a laser mouse, and DH loved it so much that when Caz made another one for a Brass Goggles tutorial, he gave it to us (in return, we got him a funky wooden mask in Chinatown). He made all kinds of cool steampunky things, like a brass spider and a walking beetle, and displayed them around his workspace. Chris was always coming home with new pictures on his phone of what Caz was working on.

  2. Oh I love that idea of the walking table studio assistant! Whee!

    I'd love to see a link if you have it to share...

  3. Interesting ideas and pictures! I have been WONDERING what to do with a box of various sizes of vacuum tubes...hmmm...