They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If that trash happens to be a broken antique watch, then one creative artist will turn her treasure into critically acclaimed masterpieces.
Sue Beatrice is an artist and sculptor of over 30 years, and she’s no stranger to the spotlight. Not only did she costar in the SyFy series Carvers, she’s also appeared on shows such as The Rachael Ray Show and Halloween Wars. If her resume wasn’t already impressive enough, she’s professionally worked on products for franchises such as Harry Potter, Disney, and even the Cabbage Patch Kids from the 80s. From pumpkin sculptures to sand castles, Beatrice knows how to capture public attention with her innovative art.
These days, Beatrice is gaining new viral traction by looking back to the past: steampunk sculptures made of antique watch parts.
In an interview with MNN.com, Beatrice explains how the interior components of antique watches are “art in themselves.” She began buying pocket watch cases as a means to house her more delicate works, and she would often receive the corresponding watch parts with her purchases. Naturally, inspiration struck her to work with the extra material she was given. By incorporating these aesthetically pleasing parts into her art, she discovered her new style as fans and onlookers were instantly drawn in by her designs. Her work has since been shared numerous times throughout the internet, from image sharing sites and social media alike.
Beatrice refuses to destroy working antique watches for her sculptures, so she will only use parts that are damaged or otherwise loose. She’s most interested in parts “prior to 1850 before mass manufacturing,” so the hunt for materials to recycle is never ending. By utilizing online auctions and attending estate sales, Beatrice finds enough material to meet the ever increasing demand for her unique designs.
Being that Beatrice’s work is inspired by a love of nature, her act of recycling discarded items is a message unto itself.
More breathtaking than the novelty of the art are the designs themselves. The spread of her sculptures includes household animals, carousel horses, and even recreations of self portraits. It may seem strange to recreate wildlife using mechanical antiques, but Breatrice says she loves “the dichotomy of creating biological forms using machine parts.” A single sculpture can take weeks for her to complete, and it shows; the finished products can be unbelievably detailed. Some of her work can even be worn like jewelry, making a perfect gift for loved ones enamored with 19th century machinery.
By breathing new life into these vintage watches, Sue Beatrice shows how to revitalize the public interest in antiques. Her distinct steampunk style captures the attention of those who may not be otherwise interested in watches, which can lead onlookers to one day want a classic pocket watch for themselves. Though some antiques are sadly discarded, innovative work like Beatrice’s could very well save other hidden treasures.
Replicas of Sue Beatrice’s most popular pieces are planned to go on sale with the launch of her online shop. Galleries and information regarding her work can be found at her website: https://allnaturalarts.squarespace.com/
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