Floral Steampunk – mixed media class

A few weeks ago I was able to get into a mixed media class – on a cancellation at the very last minute – with visiting Polish artist Finnabair (Anna Dabrowska).  It was a 4 hour workshop, and I was able to take the morning off work.  However as I was working til late, and then had boot camp the day before, I had very little time to organise myself.  I had to get a black & white photo (I have one of myself only), get to the late night print shop and print it up after I left the gym, and then pack all my art supplies so I could be there nice and early.

I thought it was going to be a class with perhaps 15 max – that is the biggest I have ever done previously.  But no – there were 40 people there!  There was a bit of a fee, but I didn’t mind, as most of the supplies were included, I just had to bring the usual stuff – scissors (left handed for me of course), glue, ruler, paper cutter, heat gun, our own distress inks (with 40 of us there I know why!), and a few other bits and pieces like that.

The class was on how to do feminine, floral steampunk mixed media – full of colour and flowers as well as the usual steampunk motifs.  It was fabulous fun, the first class I have done in years (since my canvas art class way back in 2005 I think), and it was hard going to work for the afternoon – not the least because I was covered in ink and paints!

So here is how I got from this:

Mixed media class - starting image
Mixed media class – starting image

to this:

Floral steampunk - final
Floral steampunk – final

in a 4 hour class, with a whole lot of cool materials and a bunch of other people.  The items are from the Sunrise / Sunset collection by Prima Marketing, and papers are from Seven Dots Studio.  Plus of course distress inks and sprays and so on, most of us have that in our art stashes these days.

We got our packs looking like this:


which then opened up to include all this:

Embellishments - all
Embellishments – all

And for a close up of the materials (excluding the 5 12×12 sheets of double sided scrap booking paper, thicker than the usual kind):

Embellishments - close up 1 (mechanicals)
Embellishments – close up 1 (mechanicals)
Embellishments - close up 2 (lace and cogs)
Embellishments – close up 2 (lace and cogs)


Embellishments - close up 3 (flowers)
Embellishments – close up 3 (flowers)

We then started work on the project, selecting the pages we wanted to use, and trimming, punching and putting them together with regular glue.  Because there were 5 sheets and they were double sided, there were plenty of options and combinations available.  I won’t be going into details, we were specifically asked not to do that as the teacher does these workshops for a living.  However I will include the photos I took at different stages throughout the morning.

Two pages trimmed for use
Pages prepared and collated.
Pages prepared and collated.


Embellishments added around the sides
Embellishments added around the sides
Photo added and starting 'on the page' embellishment.
Photo added and starting ‘on the page’ embellishment.

At this point I started to add all the pieces. We were told not to think about it and do careful placement, just to work quickly and put everything down.  To attach the elements, as they are heavy, we used gel medium.  It goes on white but dries clear.

I forgot to take a photo of the stage when it was finished but unsprayed.  So this is the next stage, which is pretty much final, except for the drying of the gel medium (hence the white patches under the glass flat-backed pebbles etc).

Floral steampunk – drying stage

As you can see, I have used a few colours of different sprays.  The flowers are made to repel colour.  The wooden cogs and gears take on the colour of the sprays.  The paper absorbed it all well (being thicker I guess), and then we used heat tools to dry it.  However the gel medium is still visible so it is not fully dry yet.

At that point I left, and everything else had to set.  And then a week later I took it into work to scan it, and this is the final outcome:

Floral steampunk - final 2
Floral steampunk – final 2

This is a different scan to the one at the top, some of the embellishments are clearer although the photo is not.  Now i need to either frame it or mount it on canvas, so as to keep it from getting damaged.

I would definitely do this again.  However I am also curious as to how it would go with a coloured picture, perhaps highly saturated, and using sepia or monochrome colours for the background.  I would think the same style could be used overall.  I might give it a go sometime, I have some photos I think would suit.  There is also a b/w photo of a stone angel I thought would be great for this kind of treatment.

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