Steampunk heart gets some love at recent art show

Inspired by years of reading science fiction and fantasy literature, Artist Jon Thompson, of Alexandria, pours it all into his little wearable sculptures. “I start by hand turning some recycled copper, brass, or stainless steel. I slowly work in mixed metals, bits of 3D objects, including springs, watch parts, gears, coins, you name it…” Each piece is an intricate sculpture built layer by layer, bit by bit, until it looks, well, sometimes like a bit of a time travelled little machine. Sometimes they incorporate a stone or crystal, other times a watch face, some even have a tiny tube that appears to be powered with old fashioned steam. And that’s the magic of steampunk. It’s a reflection of a bygone era, and it poses the question of what would make up today’s advancements, if the world was still built with only Victorian era metals and steampower from the pre-industrial revolution.

At a recent Art in the Park event held in Brainerd, MN Thompson entered a piece for judging. It took first place in category. A few years ago, a similar creation of his took home the Best of Show award. 

“It’s really an honor, really a compliment, when someone buys your one-of-a-kind piece” says Thompson. “So much of you as an artist goes into creating each unique piece. And this month hearts have really been on my mind. One of my close friends felt fine one day and was in for heart surgery the next.”

Thompson not only realizes how short life is, but how Blessed he is to do what he loves. He travels to many summer art shows, and enjoys meeting people at each one. He also creates in driftwood, shell, sea glass, and stone. You can follow his art journey and get the full list of art shows at or meet him at Alexandria’s Art in the Park the last weekend in July, or the Alexandria Arts and Crafters Tour the first weekend in November.

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