Sunday, August 6, 2017

Create alt-reality faux tech with vacuum tubes

Working with vacuum tubes is a rare and curious art. If you're looking for a steampunk or alt-reality costume accessory, a piece featuring a vacuum tube is a good way to go. They're distinctive and instantly achieve an effective alternate history vibe.
Vacuum Tube Glass Bulb

However, speaking from experience at Sleepless Storyteller, they are tricky items to work with. You can either bend or snip the protruding wires, but be careful not to crack the glass. I, personally, would not want to sell an item with a sharp edge of broken glass. They make lovely pendants and work well in mixed media art, but they're generally too tall to set as cabochons.

You'll see vacuum tubes in necklaces, pins, hats, and sometimes clocks. I've also seen them cleverly converted to USB sticks. Smaller tubes can be used for statement earrings while some of the largest can be adapted into desk lamps. If you're interested in working with vacuum tubes, I recommend browsing some of the awesome usage examples on Etsy, like the ones I tweeted below.