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Archive for February, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve made / posted any steampunk stuff. . .  It’s not gone un-noticed. . . !

To redress this balance (and in part to help pay for a frightening bill that is coming my way any day now), I thought I’d do something I’ve not done before – namely create a steampunk piece specifically for sale. ‘People’ have often said “you should sell” these about some of my pieces, but to be honest:

  1. when one factors in the time it takes to actually make something bespoke (coming up with the concept, finding / scavenging the parts, making it, polishing it, wiring it up safely, etc), the ‘unit cost’ either becomes so enormous no one in their right mind would part with the money, or one always ends up making loss (the curse of the hand-made artist, of course!)
  2. having slaved long and hard on a piece I can often simply not bear to part with it
  3. if I do get rid of a piece, it’s often simply as a present to someone. . .

Still, I thought it worth a punt. Also, with the modern wonder that is Ebay / the internet, I thought it would be interesting to see what a wide range of like-minded people might actually pay for such an item / consider it to be worth?

So, here is a Work In Progress shot of the new item. It’s going to be a small desk lamp (yes I know, I am such a ‘one trick pony’ as someone described me as just the other day!), with a heavy stoneware base, melding into a copper, steel and lead lamp assembled, in turn sporting a small 20W halogen bulb. It’s going to be rather more decorative than practical – the small bulb does not shed much light!

I’ve nearly finished the basic construction – hopefully the assembly, cleaning, polishing adding of small detail / steampunk parts will not take too long. . . It doesn’t maybe look that much at this point, but just you wait! I’ve even found a nice box to package it up in, all ready for shipping to some exotic new home!

Steampunk 'Lucre' lamp

Steampunk 'Lucre' lamp

I’ll keep everyone informed of progress and of course post it to Ebay as soon as it’s finished! If before that anyone is interested in purchasing it, please send me an email >>

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I’ve just made the following for my sitting room. I need to keep the door propped open, whilst at the same time stopping it flying too far back and knocking over what sits behind it. So, with some 15m copper pipe, an old coin (a French franc I believe!?) and a threaded washer-thingy  I found in the ‘bits box’, here’s my hopefully stylish answer:

Door stop

Door stop

I soldered the coin to the pipe at one end, whilst the other end screw-fits onto the threaded bush on the washer – the washer itself is screwed permanently to the floor with three small screws. If I need to remove the stop (for cleaning the floor etc), the copper part simply unscrews from the washer. If I get time, I may even recess the washer into the floor so it sits completely flush.

How it fits together

How it fits together

In place

In place

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I received the following today from my friend TS’s husband…

Shells!

Shells!

Lots of spent shotgun cartridges, all with lovely clean brass ends.   So, what to do with them now!?

I’ve a few ideas so far (attractive end caps to 22mm copper pipe, buttons on a steampunk keyboards, etc,e tc) but I’d welcome any alternatives from people out there!?

Please post me some comments… I’ll post up the best/most unusual. . .

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Here’s a new stand I’ve just made for my acoustic guitar – and for the grand sum of only 70 UK pence!:

New guitar stand!

New guitar stand!

Does anyone know the discount outlet chain of TK Maxx – I always think of it like a super-sized jumble sale that has no admission charge! Anyway, in my local branch there is an end-of-sale-sale, ie the time when they get rid of all the old rubbish that no one normal would ever buy! Lurking at the bottom of one of these sale bins was the following – I’ve no idea what it is but suspect it was either part of a magazine rack, or something to rest  fire irons on/in. All I know is that it’s made from a good heavy iron, and had a price tag of only 70p!:

Original unknown item?

Original unknown item?

Taking it straight home, I realised that the ‘gutter’ of the bottom section was just the right width to fit my acoustic guitar (which is always falling over as I tend to simply prop it up against the nearest chair, table, door or pet !). Since the battered old thing is my pride and joy (and pretty much irreplaceable these day) this has always seemed a pretty crazy way of behaving.

To fashion this unknown item into a fancy new guitar stand for my beloved acoustic, I cut some slots in each long upright (to facilitate the slight bending back of the upright struts) and making a third stabilising leg to support the resulting shift in weight balance out of an old 90 degree shelf bracket and (as always) a cut down drill bit. All welded together, I think the whole thing only took me about an hour at max… Here are some photos of work in progress:

Upright struts having been cut half way through and bent back

Upright struts having been cut half way through and bent back

New elements welded in place prior to painting

New elements welded in place prior to painting

Close-up of split electrical cable used as padding/protection

Close-up of split electrical cable used as padding/protection

A coat of black spray paint, the addition of some soft pads here and there and some split electric cable on the bottom struts to act as cushioning/protection and, voila!!

Very satisfying. . . here it is in use (in testing phase):

Stand in use (back)

Stand in use (back)

Stand in use

Stand in use (front)

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Check out this fascinating story re Kent sound sculptor Henry Dagg:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/8481926.stm

Seems he was commissioned to make the piece in 2006 – it’s taken four years to make, and it can so far only play two tunes!! And I think it takes me a long time to accomplish anything… OHG! A wonderful piece of engineering / art of course – amazing!

BBC News - Kent _sound sculptor_ unveils _sharpsichord

BBC News - Kent _sound sculptor_ unveils _sharpsichord

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Here’s a little something I recently made for SR as a Christmas present:

Occasional Table Number 3

Occasional Table Number 3

It’s made from my old stalwarts (discarded long drill bits) welded together to form the frame, with a top made from a stoneware floor tile. It’s quite a solid little piece – I had to use a lot of struts in the design as the tile is pretty heavy.

I painted it a primer red colour this time (usually I stick to black) to match the decor of the room it was made for in.

I have to say that it went down very well, and does its job as a place to put the tea, biscuits and the occasional use as a foot rest pretty efficiently!

(see the birth of my Occasional Table fixation here…)

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