I am a big fan of Jules Vern and especially his tale “20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” Deciding to make a sculpting of the Nautilus (in steampunk style) was an obvious choice for me (especially when prompted by steampunk guru Bruce Rosenbaum).
I began by watching all three “20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” feature films. Yes … there were three. The first was made in 1916 and directed by Stuart Paton. Importantly, this was the first motion picture to include underwater photography. That photography constituted a lengthy component of the film AND the vessels “observation window” was an important component of the Nautilus. In this early film The Nautilus was presented as something of a cigar shape. The two more recent films (1954 & 1997) presented The Nautilus with a more complex shape and lots of details.
I have borrowed a little from all three films and added my own thoughts to create this sculpture.
It is a framed, wall hanging, interactive sculpture with 4 moving parts. It includes a prominent battering ram, a wheelhouse, hatch, a periscope that goes up & down AND forward & starboard, a trim tab with a control arm, and, of course, the propeller spins!
The Nautilus is made of pewter and brass with bronze and nickel silver. The frame (which is part of the piece) is steel, brass, wood & matting. The frame is approximately 12 x 8 inches [35 x 20cm]; the Nautilus is approximately 6 1/2 inches [17 cm] long.
This piece’s first public appearance was in the exhibit: “Nemo’s Steampunk Art & Invention Gallery” located at Patriot Place, Foxboro, MA in 2010. It also made an appearance at Steamcon III 2011 (which had a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea theme) and in New York City at the Steampunkinetics show (featuring Steampunk art with movable parts) at AFA Gallery in 2012. In virtual form, this piece is part of “The Steampunk Museum” – http://thesteampunkmuseum.com/2352_Nautilus_Exhibit.html .