The Alchemist Compass – Part 1

Hey everybody!  How’s your Summer going?

This week I decided to make an Alchemist Compass.  I’ve made a couple of these before and really enjoyed the artistic journey.  These projects end up being small decorative items you can add as an accent to a coffee table or office desk but though they are small they’re very eye catching as well as wonderful little conversations pieces.

Before I begin my step by step construction process…

‘Alchemist Compass’ – a what?  Alchemy, in my opinion, got some really bad press a couple of millennia ago and as I choose to perceive it  alchemy was the perfect intersection of religious beliefs and science and had a very positive thing going.  Anything to do with Alchemy always seems to have a mysterious vibe of knowledge just a bit beyond our ability to comprehend.

But mostly, it’s a good name for an altered art compass.


This was the first compass I made, sorry about the photography but I was just learning to take photos for my shop listings and my photographic skills had a long way to go.


Basically, I took an old watch/jewelry box and a dime store compass and had a blast playing with altered art techniques turning them into my first Alchemist Compass.


The outside of the box got as much attention as the inside.  I used multicolored gold foil, rubber stamps, tissue paper, rhinestones, inks and dimensional glues.  It was SO MUCH FUN!


A year or so after the first compass, I got the urge to make another.  This time I really laid on the gold foil and then finished it with a thick clear coat.


I put gold all around the outside and covered the inside where I knew it would be visible.  This was a little bit bigger box and compass but the technique was basically the same just a little bit different stamps and paper.


Again, I loved playing with this project and really loved the results.  The sides of the compasses on both match the outsides of the boxes they’re in.  Both of these compasses and their cases have extra helpings of “distress” and the “patina of age” going for them.  Yum.

So that’s a brief glimpse of the history of my previous Alchemist Compass Projects.  Coming up next – Compass #3 with lots of photos showing how I took these….


…a second hand store jewelry box and cheap-o compass and turned them into altered art and another great listing for my shop “Old Raven” on Etsy.

I hope you check back for the next post:  Alchemist Compass – Part 2


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