Steampunk Insects

Fantastic in the Everyday

I must confess, I’m not a big fan of insects, but these steampunk versions have enough whimsey to appeal to my interest in all things speculative. My imagination quickly started running with ways such automatons could be used, and I thought others might enjoy this bit of Friday fun and inspiration as well.

Tom Hardwidge of Arthrobots creates these gleaming little creatures from assorted bits of metal, including watch gears and discarded ammunition:

Steampunk grasshopper from Arthrobots

Steampunk butterfly from Arthrobots

Steampunk hornet from Arthrobots

Steampunk dragonfly from Arthrobots

And Insect Lab has come up with its own version of steampunk insects, which involves fusing real (dead) insect specimens with steampunk cogs, gears, and other metallic components for intriguing (and slightly creepy) works of art.

Steampunk beetle from Insect Labs

Steampunk butterfly from Insect Labs

Did any of these catch your fancy? Or were they too reminiscent of real world creepy-crawlies to inspire you?


    • Sarah Sawyer
      February 6, 2012 - 12:02 pm · Reply

      It’s so fun to see old parts being re-purposed like this and trying to guess where they originally came from. It certainly looks like pieces of ink pens have been used…which would make these a great gift for a speculative writer. 🙂

    • Sarah Sawyer
      February 6, 2012 - 12:05 pm · Reply

      As a child, insects (except spiders) intrigued me and I would pick up and inspect almost any bug, but somehow that interest left me when I got older. I’m not squeamish when it comes to bugs (again, except spiders), but I don’t go around hunting them down for the fun of it either. 🙂

      But these I could stand to keep around for inspiration!

  • Kat Heckenbach
    February 3, 2012 - 10:39 am · Reply

    I love looking at insects. (Stress the word “looking”….) These are just too cool! I do my own “insect art” too, although they are drawings, and only beetles–drawn as though made out hardware, actually. And I’ve wanted to add some other insects…this is inspiring :).

    • Sarah Sawyer
      February 6, 2012 - 12:38 pm · Reply

      As I mentioned to Mary, I used to like inspecting insects up close and personal, but these days I prefer to keep a bit more distance. 🙂

      I was quite impressed with the creativity and ingenuity of the artists behind these insects, and I’m glad you found them inspiring also.

      By the way, I’ve seen some of your beetle drawings and found them quite lovely! I’d love to see your take on some other insects.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      February 6, 2012 - 12:39 pm · Reply

      They are gorgeous–and so unique. One of the things I appreciate about the steampunk trend is that it has given birth to creations like these!

    • Sarah Sawyer
      February 6, 2012 - 12:42 pm · Reply

      I love it when I come across some unusual piece of speculative art that gets the creative juices flowing, and I’m happy to hear you’ve been inspired also!

      It must take tremendous patience to work on these little creatures…something like writing a book, I suppose. 🙂

  • Emily Sawyer
    February 8, 2012 - 9:44 pm · Reply

    Well, I’m definitely not a big fan of insects, or anything creepy-crawly, but these struck my fancy! I bet it’d be fun making them, too… I’d love some sort of little hobby like that. I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands. 🙂

    I also found their use of bullets very interesting and creative.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      February 9, 2012 - 4:06 pm · Reply

      Emily, I think you’d be good at an artistic endeavor of this sort. And these little insects certainly fetch a hefty price, so it’s a hobby that could pay off. 🙂

      • Emily Sawyer
        February 12, 2012 - 8:59 pm · Reply

        Thanks! This is the sort of thing that’s always interested me. And of course, the money factor would be nice, too. 😉

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