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Posts Tagged ‘copper pipe’

This week saw the opening of the 10 day exhibition of my steampunk items and sculpture. After an extremely hectic couple of days setting up, I am really pleased with the results! We had an opening night Private View on the first day, attended by none other than the Mayor of St Albans as well as lots of friends and general punters. Smooth jazz for the evening was provided by my brother, who I must say did an excellent job! Here are just a few selected photos both from the night and also of some of the general works on show / for sale. Do get in touch if anything strikes your fancy!

Private-view-2

My brother playing jazz

David Hardy (portrait artist), Sam Sawdy (organsier), me, The Mayor of St Albans

David Hardy (portrait artist), Sam Sawdy (organsier), me, The Mayor of St Albans

10Key rings and light pulls

Key rings and light pulls

The 'Black Box' lamp

The ‘Black Box’ lamp

General view of some of the stuff

General view of some of the stuff

The 'Silver Box' lamp

The ‘Silver Box’ lamp

The 'Art Deco Uplighter' (the star of the show so far – I could have sold loads of these!)

The ‘Art Deco Uplighter’ (the star of the show so far – I could have sold loads of these!)

Another general view

Another general view

A shot with moody lighting

A shot with moody lighting

A few of the steampunk items

A few of the steampunk items

A new uplighter

A new uplighter

Steampunk coat hooks

Steampunk coat hooks

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A great opportunity has just cropped up in my area – a group of local artists have gained access to an empty shop and are running a two month long ‘pop up’ art show/sale.

My stuff (my steampunk-style lighting, welded metal sculpture, home and garden accessories etc) is being shown in the second week, 10th to 19th November.

Click here to download a flyer for my part of the show (Pop Up Shop Flyer) but see the shop website here for more details on all the artists taking part, opening times, location etc >>

My stuff!

My stuff!

 

 

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Now that the Eastern Approaches exhibition is over a new exhibition has taken its place at the St Albans museum, and again I’ve got some of my work in it.

Called ‘Gadgets & Goggles‘ this is steampunk-themed show, mainly featuring the amazing collection of historical artifacts that has been put together over the years by Maurice Collins (which have been featured a lot over previous years on the tv, in books, etc)

The exhibition is free to visit and is on display until 13th April – check out the official museum page here for more details:

 http://stalbansmuseums.org.uk/Exhibitions/Gadgets-and-Goggles2

Here are some quick shots of my stuff (all taken at night at the private view so not the greatest quality I am afraid) but do get along to see the how if you can!

Three of my smaller pieces

Three of my smaller pieces

The large 'Tripus' lamp

The large ‘Tripus’ lamp

Detail from 'The Swamm Neck' lamp

Detail from ‘The Swamm Neck’ lamp

Gadgets and Goggles flyer

Gadgets and Goggles flyer

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Copper, brass and stone tap

Copper, brass and stone tap

Here are  few quick shots of some very clever and lovely, yet extremely rustic, uses of old copper pipe and brass taps… within what proved to be very up market and luxurious surroundings!!

Despite being used to great effect (in a very stylistically designed interior of a luxury holiday villa) all these items look like they have been built from bits and pieces found in my local skip… manna from heaven!! I spent a lot of time fiddling with them for their form and design – sometimes I even had a wash with them!

I am sure they cost a lot of money to source, import and install, but I think they give hope and inspiration to all us ‘found item’ designers and makers out there!

Brass bath tap

Brass bath tap

Another view of the full bathroom sink

Another view of the full bathroom sink

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Some time back I lost one of the knurled knobs from my trusty old Ibanez electric guitar…. having failed to find a replacement anywhere, I though I’d have a go at making a new one from copper and brass – it wouldn’t look the same of course but would hopefully echo the brassy look of the rest of the fittings on the guitar, and also complement some of the other stuff I have made in and around my music equipment (like my copper guitar hanger, etc).

So, here are a series of photos showing what I did and how. . .

Firstly, here’s  shot of one of the original knurled knobs (spot the green corrosion in the knurling – horrid!):

original knob

original knob

. . . and here is the one I made by soldering a short length of copper pipe fitting onto an old 10 franc brass coin (the fitting has been cut down a bit to make it fit the height of the existing knob a bit better…). This shot shows it after just a light clean up – I polished the final thing a lot more with wire wool and Brasso before giving it a light coat of spay clear varnish)

new knob

new knob

To attach the new knob to the stem of the potentiometer, I cut a short length of inner sleeve from plastic tubing about the right diameter to act as a push fit over the pot stem, and fixed this in centre place within the body of the knob with some hard setting casting plaster (epoxy would have done just as well I guess):

inner sleeve

inner sleeve

Here it is in place (note the air bubble in the plaster – oops!). I filed any proud plaster/plastic sleeve flush with the bottom of the copper knob, and slightly chamfered the top of the inner sleeve to have a bit of clearance over the fixing nut of the potentiometer:

sleeve plastered in place

sleeve plastered in place

Here is a shot of the finished knob in place on the guitar – they look very different but somehow complement each other I think? (apologies for the rather blurry photo!):

knob in place

knob in place

One thing I’ve never been that happy with on my guitar is how close the volume knob is to the bridge of the guitar (in the above photo, this is the distance between the upper knurled knob and the brassy bridge/black pick up). I therefore wondered if, having done all this work, it was now the time to bite the bullet and try moving it…  I had a spare 10 franc coin left over, and through that this might make a nie ‘blank’ to fill in the hole that would be left by removing/moving the original volume knob.

Below is a shot of me marking out a new position for the volume knob, roughly half way between the lower tone knob and the original hole…

marking out

marking out new hole position

Here’s me drilling the new hole – the white dust is the hard lacquer rather than the actual wood:

drilling the new hole

drilling the new hole

To fill in the original hole, I superglued the 10 franc coin in place over it (just to act as a temporary guide) and scored around the rim with a scalpel to mark the position and prevent the lacquer from cracking when routed out. Then using a small routing bit with my trusty Dremel tool, I proceeded to rout out a hole of the right depth and diameter to accommodate the coin. After a  few tries, it was just about right – the shot below shows this work in progress, as well as the volume pot screwed in place in it’s new location (minus knob) .

routing the recess

routing the recess

I stained the outer edge of the hole with a black marker (just to help hide any irregularities) and, having polished and varnished the coin, glued it in place with a bit of epoxy resin glue and here it is!!:

everything in place!

everything in place!

Here’s another shot of the final thing:

the finished item

the finished item

It’s not perfect, but is now much easier to play, and always gets some interested comments when people see it. Having lived with it for a while I think I will certainly make another new knob to replace the old knurled one – they work ok together visually but would be much nicer as a coordinated suite I think!

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Here’s a couple of shots of my latest set of creations –  a series of keyrings or light pulls (depending on the size and weight of them) made in a copper/brass steampunk styling.

Below is a representative sample – I forgot to put anything in to show scale but the relative sized of the various components give one a clue…

Light pull / keyring

Light pull / keyring

shot of the bottom 'dome'

shot of the bottom 'dome'

Made as ever from found and recycled components, the core parts are my usual ‘staples’ of copper tube, old coins, keys and range of brass and iron ‘doodads’ for decoration etc (for example the brass domed rivet that fills the bottom of the version shown).  Mix in a liberal helping of ‘secret ingredient’ to hold all the parts firmly together and there you have it…

So far I have a made a large range of shapes, sizes and  styles – some like the above are polished and varnished, some will be left in a raw state to corrode/wheather as time sees fit…

Here is a rather poor, and indeed confusing, shot of several of the ‘work in progress’ ones I am making at the moment, as well as the rather rustic display pole I have been working on to both store and show them off.

Display pole and more samples

Display pole and more samples

My aim is to sell a bunch of these – if you are interested then get in touch and I’ll tell you what I was thinking in terms of cost, delivery etc…

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Want to know something really spooky!!??

Last year (on this very day!) I posted the following about my new obsession with anemometers. I’ve not really spotted any others since and then, lo and behold (whilst walking to my car following a cuppa with a mate today), I spotted the following in the garden in a house in St Albans…

copper windvane and anemometer

copper windvane and anemometer

another shot

another shot

Not only is it a fab anemometer (attached to other weather monitoring equipment by the look of it?), but also a wonderful copper windvane (satisfying another love of mine, ie anything made from copper pipe and ball cocks!).

And I promise the coincidence in dates is exactly that – really, really strange!

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