This is another project I worked on for my Steampunk Living Room interior design. The living room originally had a fireplace in the center of the long wall opposite of where you enter the room.
This fireplace had a set of four tempered glass panels that would close so sparks would not jump out of the fire and land on the floor.
I created the Steampunk Entertainment Center to cover the hole where the old fireplace was located. I added a Steampunk themed wood stove area seen here on the right. This left me with four tempered glass panels that I didn’t need for anything. Rather than throw them away, I had an idea as to how to use them.
Nikola Tesla Patents
I decided to use the plates to make silk screen images of some old patent diagrams onto their surfaces. The first step was to download a patent from the US patent office. For this project I chose a patent for an electric motor by Nikola Tesla number 381968. If you know the patent number, you can download any patent you want and they are free. The only problem for my purpose was that the scans of the patents supplied by the USPTO are full of extra dots and imperfections from the scanning process. The images seen above are after I cleaned up the patents, removing any extraneous blemishes and filling in where diagrams or writing were missing black pixels.
For the next step I used Gimp image processing software to create mirror images of each patent diagram. I did this so when the image is applied it would be on the back side of each glass plate in order to protect the ink. When you flip each glass plate over you see the normal image from the front. The next step was to upload these images to the silk screen maker. I used Anthem Screen Printing who did a great job and were very affordable. I got my screens back in about a week and I was ready to go.
Nikola Tesla Silk Screens
These are the four screens as I received them from Anthem. The are made with strong aluminum frames and can be used many times with proper cleaning.
Here are a couple of close ups of the Nikola Tesla Patent silk screens.
I then made a wood frame that could hold each glass plate in place while the ink was applied. Each screen was clamped to the hinges seen in the image above and then the screen was laid on top of a glass plate. I poured white ink on the end of the screen and used the squeegee to spread it across the surface. After lifting the screen, the patent diagram is left on the glass waiting to dry.
I made two oak frames, each being able to hold two glass plates with patent diagrams.
Completed Nikola Tesla Patent Diagrams
After mounting each panel on the blue painted wall, the plates show up as 3D blueprint images tying in with the train blueprint over the desk on the other side of the Steampunk Living Room.
Here is a closer view of the mounted glass panels.
Above are the top left and right plates.
Finally, here are a couple of pictures of the bottom left and right Nikola Tesla patent diagrams.