After many sketches and drafts I have finally created my Steampunk iPod! Although modding actual products in not my usual forte', I have long wanted to create this piece using my now archaic first generation Apple iPod Nano. The design is inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I wanted to create a MP3 Player that would seem fitting in the laboratory of Dr. Victor Frankenstein (given the technology).
The "Eye-Pod" can be worn on the wrist via the leather cuff, or placed on it's custom Victrola base. All functionality of the iPod remain intact an a hidden USB cord retracts from the base to either a wall charger or your computer. There are hidden pressure plates that when touched send a strobing "static charge" into the quartz crystals on either side of the magnified viewing portal. Music can be heard either through the Victrola horn or though a portable personal hearing apparatus (in progress). Yes, the music actually plays through the horn, and no, there are no other external speakers.
The piece was handcrafted using various metal pieces from old typewriters, formed brass and steel, leather and quartz crystals. The magnifier is an acrylic half sphere and it is tinted a sepia tone to give a slightly blurred and tea-dyed look to the screen. The most difficult part of the contraption was the new controller which is built from a glass eye, steel and a precision cut brass mechanism I developed to enable the controls to act as they should; including the menu and volume features. After several tries I finally got the tension just right so it moves and rolls fluidly when selecting music. (Incidentally, the current "plague-list" includes over 8 hours of classical music).
The base was configured from an old brass lamp base and an old bicycle horn that I added some sculpting work to such as the face. I then gave it and the casing a rich patina and grimy weathered look suitable for the time it was pulled from in my mind.
This contraption will be one of the many featured at the Steampunk Bizarre Gallery show in May at the MAC 650 Gallery, Middletown, CT.
More pictures and perhaps a video are coming soon. for now, it's back to the Lab with me.
Grim as always...
Steampunk Apple Logo