Monday, 3 June 2013

My Morpheus Box

Well, today I am really proud to be able to share with you my very first assemblage piece of art!

The awesome Micheal deMeng online class was a gift from my husband and I LOVED it!!! To me this workshop was enlightenment on new ways of painting, encouragement to leave traditional ways of creating art behind (of which I had learned a lot at university but never felt very much at home with) and - what is most important : be daring and have a lot of fun!

So I Dremel-ed, I went to Vienna's famous Naschmarkt flea market on the hunt for beautifully rotten objects to add to my box, I sculpted, I used my drilling machine and saws again... well, actually I felt like in heaven this approach to creating art being so very natural to me.

The finished project looked even surprising to myself *lol.

So beware of a picture heavy enthusiasmic post today ;)

As the fun thing with the Morpheus Box is that it has a spinning block with four sides, each displaying a different painted image, I start with showing you my favourite painting: "Grandma".

All the paintings were made by painting over copies of old photographs from my personal stash (I hope my ancestors will know that I meant no offense by turning them into ghoulish beings ;).

This picture shows the spinning mechanism on top of the box. You turn the block inside the box by switching the tiny gear on top to your desired position. Cool, huh?

The idea of attaching horns to the box crossed my mind when browsing through e-Bay on the hunt of metal findings or other old rusted stuff... I stumbled upon a shop that sells animals skeletons and horns - perfect!!!

Attaching them to the box was the greatest challenge for me as it meant I had to cut the horns to size (wearing mask and goggles and using my Dremel on the balcony making a lot of noise I guess my neighbours had some rather weird sight that day *lol).

The last step - fixing the spin mechanism with the screw that holds the wood block in place inside the box - was quite tricky, but after a while of fiddling I managed to saw and file a wooden dowel that fit with the screw's head...

I coated the two pieces with Apoxy Sculpt, gave it some texture with a fine tool, let it harden and painted it afterwards as I painted the outside of the box using fine sand texture paste first and acrylic colours on it after it had dried.

The inside of the box was coloured using a mix of GlimmerMists, Perfect Pearls Mists and mica flakes, as I wanted to have something dark but at the same time shiny to show as a background and surrounding for the images.

This image shows the box in a very early state - there I just had the two rusted hinges which I wanted to use as "wings".... no idea that I would attach some spooky horns too at that time.

I played around a lot during my working on the box and thus came across two metal hanging ornaments I had been storing for quite some time then.

I attached them to the hinges using some raw wire.

I love how they dangle a little.... thus adding more movement to the box.

The clock face is from Prima's finnabair collection and I fixed it to the Jugendstil fitting using thin wire, trying not to work too neat and proper.

I tried to give the outside of the box a timeworn and rusted look, using the techniques I have learned with the wonderful Andy Skinner "Timeworn" workshop.

I love the look of rust and decay and colourful patina! Painting verdigris is a lot of fun actually and it always is surprising how it alters a normal everyday item into something that looks as if it has seen a long time span passing by...

Painting the areas of the horns emersion points was the trickiest thing to do, but I finally managed to find the right colour mix for "goat horn" ;)

I did not paint the horns though as I love their natural colour and texture and did not want them to look artificial.

I love how they "frame" the box and drive the focus from the base to the top of the box, thus integrating the boxes surrounding.

As you have already met the "boys" and "grandma", I only have to introduce you to "dad" and "mom"... ;)

Some of you may recall "mom", as I used her with one of my earliest tags

Thank you so much, dear crafting friends, readers and followers new and old, for staying with me this far! I hope you like my Morpheus Box!

Hugs and happy crafting!

die amelie x


  1. I love your mopheus box. The horns look like they grow there naturaly, that's so great. I like how you can change the picture too. The pictures themselfs are wonderful as wel, love how you made the eyes stand out. Beautiful piece!xx

  2. Tja, nun sitz ich hier schnappatmend vor Deinem obersupereinmalgenialem Werk. Ich bin fassungslos und hellauf begeistert. Wie grandios.

    Wünsche Dir eine creative Woche, liebe Claudia

  3. Claudia...OH MY GOSH! Girl, you are amazing! This assemblage piece is phenomenal! All of the time and thought that went into this! Love how you've altered the four photographs and they are on a spinner type mechanism! Love the box and all of the embellishments you've added to it. Love the very rustic feeling you've given to it. You SHOULD be so proud! This is a real fun work of art! <3 Candy

  4. This is amazing! Looks like you had a lot of fun letting your imagination direct your hands.

  5. OMG< Claudia this is totally and utterly amazing! The moment I clapped eyes on it I thought - have I landed on Michael de Meng's blog by mistake... Totally and utterly stunning, - you are a master at this sort of thing! I look forward to seeing many more projects like this, - incredible!!!!

  6. Wow Claudia, this is jaw droppingly fantastic!! You have created a masterpiece here - the horns look like they are part of the box, how clever of you to make them look like that. The photographs on the moving thingy was a genius idea. A fabulous piece of art! Hugs, Anne x

  7. Speechless. What words can convey how amazing your assemblage piece is, it really is stunning. I love the very old, ancient, vintage feel you have created with the techniques you have used, the winding block with the altered photos is inspirational. Claudia I just love this.
    Have a good week.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  8. Claudia went DeMeng (:o) Congrats to your stunning Morpheus Box. I know, it's not everyone's cup of tea but i loooooove it!! (:o)

  9. What an astounding creation, Claudia! Your joy and enthusiasm for making this just fizz off the page, making this not only a wonderful piece of art, but a wonderful post to read as well. Brilliant use of the Andy Skinner techniques together with all the other amazing knowledge and skills you've applied. Fantastic! (Slightly ashamed that I didn't even know about DeMeng - but I'm off to do some research...)
    Alison xx

  10. Amazing!!
    Love your way of using the family photos :)

  11. This is amazing, Claudia! I had to look twice if you really did use horns! And you actually did! How cool is that, and the rest is also stunning! Love the images, and the fact that it can turn! It's gorgeous!!! Hugs, Sandra

  12. Wow this is totally amazing, I love how you've created the spin in fact I love everything about it :)

  13. This is wonderful Claudia, love everything about it, fantastic work of art!

  14. WOOW Claudia, I love this box!!! It is really unique and incredibly likable piece of art…Spinning photo display, horns, metal pieces…everything together is just WOW….and altered photos are fantastic...You use fantastic techniques (I think both Andy Skinner and deMeng are fantastic)....I hope you will create some more like this!!!

    I did know that my English is bad, but with commenting this piece of art I found that is really bad...I can’t express my feelings enough.... I wish Google translator is better so I could use it....or I should learn English more :)

    Hugs from Slovenia!

  15. How did I miss this amazing piece? By being lazy as a blogger of course!! I can't begin to describe all the things I like about it: I JUST LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!!!!
    The thought of you out on your balcony with your dremel conjures up all kinds of images and I bet there were a few curtain and blind twitchers that day. . gives the neighbours something to talk and think about though doesn't it?
    An extraordinarily creative piece Claudia which would be a joy to see in real life.

  16. Whoaa, drop dead crazy :D
    Love these illustrations, old pieces and omg horns?
    Very original project!


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