Airship Voyager Water Globe

Voyager Airship Snow Globe






The funny thing about this snow globe is … I was trying to remake a particular favorite globe. It didn’t seem like such a big request, after all, I’d done it once before.


So here is the globe I MEANT to re-make:

Airship Snow Globe

… and here is the globe I made instead. (I admit it: Not even close.)

On the other hand, sometimes the sequel IS better than the original. The biggest and most interesting difference (to me) is the attempt to weather the ship to show it had been places, seen things, survived adventures and come home to tell the tale. Paint and stain was used to indicate wear and tear, repairs and how the elements might affect an old airship through the years.

The original sculpture is tiny, as evidenced here before it was inserted into the glass globe and liquid. Yes, just over 2 inches.

Voyager Airship insert sculpture

When shaken, the snowglobe fills with glittering swirls of metallic (mainly gold) dust, which shimmers and floats very slowly to the base, creating an illusion of perhaps sailing in the clouds near sunset, or a world with industrial smoke and residue.

Detail of the waterglobe (snowglobe), showing the propellers on the nose of ship, followed by the tail view, as the ship sails off to a new adventure.

Uncharted Skies – custom waterglobe

Uncharted. Where no hot-air balloon has gone. To a place we’ve never been before…

This little sculpture and I spent a LOT of time together. Several months to be exact. Back and forth, refining, starting over, refining again. I wanted the rich metal colors to come through in the balloon itself: copper, bronze, antique gold, all a little weathered as though it had been through clouds, and storms, and who knows! … perhaps a hurricane or two. The contrast of the weathered metal colors and the crisp white base with black marbling are striking, making the metallic detail of the tiny balloon more visible.

The balloon itself is just over an inch tall, and the basket and support chains make it a little over 2 inches, touching on the wisps that might be an ocean creature or the tendril of a windswept cloud, the froth circling an oceanic sinkhole — or if this is a space-traveling ship, it could be the Rosette Nebula in the constellation Monoceros for you astronomy types. 

A ship’s wheel, an anchor, and weights all drape the sides of the balloon basket. When shaken, the balloon and basket are caught in a fog of shimmering white iridescent dust, slowly settling to reveal the tendrils below.

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For anyone who thinks: have I seen this snowglobe before? Perhaps you are thinking of “Rough Sailing” — a steampunk’d original snowglobe which I posted a few days ago. While I worked on the two, off and on, over the same period of time, they are not the same. More like fraternal twins, perhaps. There are many differences between the two globes, notably, “Sailing” has an airship with bright antique gold metal masts drifting below the balloon, and this one, “Uncharted Skies,” has a woven metal basket and a finer gauge of bronze chain connecting the two pieces. Two similar but very different modes of travel.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Rough Sailing

Several months ago, I decided I would make a new snowglobe design of a hot air balloon with a ship below. I say several months, because I kept starting and stopping this project, and couldn’t seem to get the interior sculpture to look the way I imagined it in my  head. I wanted to keep the colors of the balloon and ship itself in the rich coppers, silvers and bronze metallics that reminded me of steampunk and metal. This meant making masts and sails out of brass, for example.

The main part of the ship is just over a half-inch long, and I wanted to have sails … and masts … and a figurehead at the prow … ambitious, but there is no deadline to get something right. I started and abandoned several attempts until the proportions started to look just right.

When the airship and balloon all started to come together in an appealing way, I saw that placing the airballoon at an angle created the movement of the wind in the sails, and being pulled across space. I created an ambiguous base piece to support the airship that might be clouds, or crashing waves, or tentacles from the piece — in this case, it’s up to the viewer to decide. The white base and  foamy, airy support piece contrast with the dark metals of the ship itself, custom snow globe /waterglobe scuplture. 

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