Alice in Wonderland Caterpillar Sculpture is Steampunk Done Right

It can be hard to make steampunk work. Some artists seem to think that you can just slap a few cogs and gears on an existing sculpture and call it steampunk, without giving any thought to whether or not it looks like the mechanical parts are actually functional. That’s important for the genre, since steampunk items are supposed to look like working objects. As you can see from his Alice in Wonderland Caterpillar piece, however, sculptor Daniel Proulx seems to have nailed it.

Art based around the popular Lewis Caroll story has been cropping up a lot lately, especially since the release of last year’s live action film. A lot of it seems to be the same thing over and over again, but Proulx’s sculpture stands out as a one-of-a-kind whimsical treasure.

Using tiny clockwork gears and springs in conjunction with wire and jewelry findings, the artist has crafted a spectacular re-imagining of the famous character, complete with many metal legs and even a tiny hookah decorated with what appear to be miniature propellers.

One element of the sculpture worthy of note is the artist’s creative use of lobster claw clasps. Typically used in jewelry making, the artist has repurposed them here to simulate the caterpillar’s hands, and they can be used functionally to grip the long hookah pipe connected to the figure’s mouth.

Proulx uses glass taxidermist’s eyes for the sculpture, which gives it an almost eerie edge, especially since the artist chose to use so many. (The Caterpillar is typically depicted in film and illustrations with only two eyes, although real caterpillars have six tiny eyes called “stemmata” on each side of their faces.) Despite this feature, which alone might be unsettling, the piece as a whole comes together to form a fantastically unique art piece worthy of any Alice fan.

Images via: Flickr