A while back I was looking for something that would remind me of air-force wings to add to the collection of steampunk-y goodness. I have the notion of a military-inspired steampunk costume at some point, and medals seem appropreate for that, plus just kind of cool to begin with!
I first started with my stash of authentic vintage and antique medals, but nothing really jumped out at me. I really wanted something air-force-like, and most of what I inherited is RCMP and World-war 2 German military. Next, I hit Etsy, and thought about putting something together – using brass sheeting wings along with something else to create the “look and feel’ of what I was going for, even if it wasn’t really close to the original. The shape of what I could find didn’t really match up with what I was looking for.
Then, the other day I was helping to clean up in my grandmothers house, and in a jar, on a shelf, in a neglected basement room, there were these PERFECT pins – apart from the fact that they had “ATARI” on them and were grey plastic… still – what a great base for something more interesting! I had picked up some molding material a few days earlier with the intention of molding one of my octopus charms, and I thought this would work well…
I don’t have step-by-step photos, but I ended up molding the atari pin and casting it in resin and in polymer clay. For this project I liked the clay version better, so I went with that for now. (There is also a base on the original, but in this case I didn’t cast that as well, only the wings and center.) I picked up a wide red grosgrain ribbon and a narrower brown grosgrain ribbon (for another project too) and put a piece of wide white twill tape between them. I wanted to layer them without adding too much bulk, so I opted to sew them together versus gluing and since I didn’t really want the stitches to show, I hand-sewed them instead of using the machine. Even with this larger-than-life close up, you can’t see the stitches! I folded and stitched the point, and then glued the ribbon onto the polymer clay casting and added the pinback. I hand sewed on a charm from a recent Michael’s shopping trip (to be discussed later), sealed the polymer, and I think I’m done!
I don’t 100% love the charm – that’s my only complaint about this actually… I would have preferred something without the enamel, but as it’s just stitched on, I have the opportunity to change it out if something more appropriator catches my eye in the future! If it had been red or brown instead of blue, I think it would be more successful too. I thought that I might like to paint the wings and add something into the center, but I think with the ribbon and charm there’s enough going on.. and besides – I have more castings and the original mold still to work with too if something else inspires me! I was thinking a tiny watch face might work really well in the center too – if only I could find one the right size, and flat enough as to not protrude too much. (Or I suppose I could just cast the wings, and then attach the wings to the watch itself… hmmmm)