Sunday, September 19, 2010

Antique Cabinet Card Photos & Altered Art - Great for Steampunk Art

 I still have Steampunk on the brain and am starting to collect the items I need to create a series of Steampunk Art Altered Cabinet Card Photos. I created some Altered Cabinet Cards in the past that have a touch of Steampunk about them but now I want to take it to the extreme; so that is a future quest and complete mission I will post once I create them.

 Steampunk Man with Goggles

The inspiration for creating Steampunked Cabinet Cards comes from a swap I participated in a while ago with other artists where we were all to alter Antique Cabinet Card Photos.  I had so much fun creating my series of cards that I wanted to keep them all and back out of the swap altogether; but I was a good girl and sent them in to the other players.  I even created one just for me to keep.

 This was the first Altered Art Cabinet Card Photo I created and the one I kept for myself as a memento of a fun first with a new item to alter.  I masked off the mans face then painted the rest of the card black. I used rubber stamps and vintage looking stickers for accents and the wording.  I highlighted the photographers information at the bottom of the card with a bit of gold ink and then used gold leafing pen around the whole card. 

Oh - If you are wondering what a Cabinet Card Photo is... (ya, I had to be told what one was too).

Cabinet Card Photos are antique photographs that were made in the late 1800's till the early 1900's.  They are on a very heavy type matboard that usually has the photographers information on the very bottom edge or on the back of the carded photo.  Not all cabinet cards have this information but most of the nicer cards do. Cabinet Cards measure about 6 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches.

CDV's (Carte de Visite) - a smaller version of a cabinet card photo. These measure approx. 2 1/2 x 4 inches.  A bit taller than an ATC but these would be fun to alter too.

Here is a very nice example of a wedding party Cabinet Card Photo

This is the back of the above Cabinet Card Photo Back

At first I was a bit concerned that I would be ruining an antique photo and then the more I thought about it the more I realized I was giving new life and creating art, from someones discarded relative.  Mind you, I did not spend much on the photos I purchased. I paid between 50 cents and $1 per photo because the ones I purchased had some issues.  The photos I used were faded, scratched or a bit moldy in spots, so really I was rescuing them and giving them a new life and hopefully a pleasing personality.

These are the Cabinet Card Photos I altered for the Swap
The Leader of the Band

The Banker

The Motorist

The Traveling Salesman

I don't think I could do this to a $10 or $20 Cabinet Card Photo; however I have considered creating my own version of Cabinet Cards using digital images of vintage photos and attaching them to heavy matboard. This way I could play with beautiful images without altering a collectible antique in the process.  (The Cabinet Cards with beautiful people or interesting fashions like military uniforms, usually cost a lot of money so this will make my using those types of images possible going forward, especially for my Steampunked creations).

These are some Altered Cabinet Cards created 
by others who played in the swap.

Sorry - I don't remember what artist created these two, 
but I thought they were great!
Unfortunately, I was not the lucky enough to get one of them.

 These three creations were done by Kerrie Guinane

It just goes to show you can almost anything you want, paint, stamp, add clip art, transparency overlays, stickers or other odds and ends to create a fun piece of recycled art.

Grins and Giggles till next time,
 Evelyn (EKDuncan)

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