Often, I’ll pick a project based on the materials I already have available.
After I finished the set of vintage whale bookends, I still had two angle brackets left over. And because I was pretty happy with how the whale turned out, I decided to take a crack at a set modeled after the Titanic for my nephew.
The first step was looking at pictures and schematics of the ship so I could get a basic idea of what I wanted to shape. I wanted to make my piece stylized and not hyper-realistic (a) because I’m not that talented, and (b) because it was a gift meant for a five-year old, and if it happened to get knocked over or dropped accidentally, I wanted to make sure some hair-thin piece of railing or something wouldn’t shoot off of it, leaving it impossible to fix. So the goal was to make it solid, while still recognizable, with a bit of vintage charm.
There were a lot of pictures I used at different times while working on it, but this picture was my go-to reference.