Before Mark Eliot Schwabe started making SteamPunk inspired Wearable Sculpture, he made many Star Wars & Star Trek sculptings.
In the 1990’s Rawcliffe Co (aka Rawcliffe Pewter) owned the licenses to make Star Wars & Star Trek miniature sculptures in pewter (for sale through retail stores – a different company had the license to make them for “mail order” sales). At the time that Rawcliffe first acquired these licenses Mark Eliot Schwabe was a freelance sculptor and model maker (primarily for the costume & gold jewelry industries in Rhode Island). As part of this work, he had designed and sculpted a group of dragon miniature sculptures for Rawcliffe (among other things) and developed an excellent working relationship with the company. When Rawcliffe acquired the licenses for Star Wars & Star Trek product, they contracted Schwabe to make the original sculptings for the “vehicles” (think “Space Ships”) in the collections.
The result was years of work for Schwabe and dozens of amazing miniature sculptings for Rawcliffe. As part of this work, Schwabe was twice sent to George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch to meet with the Lucas Film licensed product staff.
The process Schwabe used to create these sculptings included the making of many small hand tools; each created to press a particular detail into the pewter miniature he was creating. He still uses many of these tools today to add details to his wearable sculptures.*
Both Lucas Film and Paramount Pictures (the Star Wars & Star Trek license holders) prohibited the artists who created original sculptings for their licensed products from signing their work. A bit of a rebel, Schwabe surreptitiously signed many of these pieces. The following pictures are examples.
Star Wars Millennium Falcone:
Star Wars Shuttle Tydirium:
Star Trek Deep Space 9
underside of sculpting with signature
* This is a technique Mark Eliot Schwabe learned from his father, James Arthur Schwabe. The elder Schwabe had a small company specializing in high end jewelry and miniature sculptings made for Cartier, NY and others. The image below shows details pressed into Mark Eliot Schwabes’ sculpting of the Millennium Falcone, and the same details appearing on his Grosser Zeplanner II. Twenty years separated these two uses of the same hand made tools.
the precious metal Star Trek Enterprise 1701
In 1993 Mark Eliot Schwabe completed the original sculpting for Rawcliffe Co’s Enterprise 1701 pewter sculpture. After some modifications, this piece was approved for production and licensed by Paramount Pictures. It appeared in Rawcliffe’s 1994 Star Trek catalogue – # RF1777.
The next year, he adapted his original sculpting so that it could be cast in precious metal. He also created a model for the dome shape in the front of the nacelle – the original pewter Rawcliffe production piece used red “stones” for the front of the nacelles. With Rawcliffe’s permission, Schwabe had 2 sets of castings made in sterling silver (major components) and 14k gold (nacelle front pieces & the deflector). He assembled the pieces myself making two complete Enterprise 1701 in precious metals.
Rawcliffe purchased one. Schwabe retained the other (it was his custom to kept a copy of all Star Trek & Star Wars pieces that he made of Rawcliffe – with their permission).
The Rawcliffe vice-president for sales told Schwabe that he would look into marketing the precious metal versions; but the project went nowhere. The last time Schwabe saw the precious metal 1701 that Rawcliffe purchased, it was on the desk of the vice-president.
Recently “unearthed” from within Schwabe’s collection of stuff, it was given a fresh polish and is now pictured here.
Schwabe is considering selling this precious metal sculpture.
- Enterprise 1701 made for Rawcliffe Co
- sterling silver with 14k gold details
- 4 ⅛ inch long, 2 ⅜ inch high & 1 ⅞ wide
- one of only two ever made in sterling silver & 14 k gold
If you would like to make an offer, please send an email to: MountainStuff@MadRiver.com
Serious inquires only, please.