Steamfest Australia 2013

It was a moment of utter jubilation, followed by sad realisation as I emerged from my cave of a workshop, scrambled up the long train of steps to my computer enabled office, logged onto the world wide web and noticed that Steamfest Australia was only a mere fortnight away! And, following in short succession, the un- enjoyable realisation that I already had plans for that weekend. Plans that were, shall we say, as solid as that long flight of concrete steps I was still breathing heavily from sprinting up. Drat! 

Alas, but I should think it will be a fun affair, so if you find yourself with a spare day on August the 3rd or 4th, I suggest you consider a day out with the family to see the sights of this steampunk wonderland.  


A little lovin for my shop

Ok, I just have to put this up in writing so I will force myself to do it. Tomorrow I am going to update my online shop.

Yep, you would think that might be a bit of a priority for me with wanting to sell jewellery and all, but somehow it tends to fall into the background as I get busy with other orders and such. So, as of tomorrow, I promise to keep it up to date with jewellery you can actually buy (I think right now almost everything shows as sold out).


Tomorrow it all begins. 

I promise. 

Goggles to go

After repeating over and over again, "they're not for sale" to people wanting to buy my brass goggles, I finally got around to making a pair for sale. That's right everyone who wanted them, for $240 they are yours!

I took my original design, which was beautiful but slightly uncomfortable and did a bit of a redesign. I made them a bit lighter and not so deep and now I think you could wear then for an evening and still be happy at the end of it. I also improved the leatherwork by getting a few leather tools, and learning how to use them (Thanks You Tube).

So, maybe the next time you go to your brass goggles drawer, and can't find a pair to go with your new ensemble, give me a call and I'll set you up with the best!

steampunk goggles.jpg

Squarespace- the best 8 bucks I spent this week

I have a new website!

You are looking at it right now, and I am a happy man.

I finally bit the bullet, and dropped some of my hard earned cash on a website/blogging platform that is going to make my life a whole lot easier this year (fingers crossed)

Until now i have been using a Wordpress site. Free, customizable, awesome, why would i ever want to change?

Here's why I did it.

I never seemed to find the time to do those pesky security update thingys.
Squarespace takes care of all of that silliness.

I really wanted a website that showed some of my images full screen width.
Happily, the main page of the "Frontrow" template has a full screen slideshow.- nice- no more bars on the side of my images.

Uploading photos is ridiculously easy. Just drag and drop. And Squarespace will resize them depending on what size screen they are being viewed on.

Sometimes fewer options is better.
I think it took me weeks to put up my Wordpress site, because I kept trying to change stuff, but the Squarespace templates look great, and I was able to get my site looking reasonably good in a day. It all just seems to make sense without knowing any of that code stuff.

So I reckon if 8 bucks a month is going to get me to post more often, with less hassles, it is worth it.

Now we'll see if I actually do.........

On a related note, it was my brother in law and computer guru who put me onto Squarespace. If you are keen to try it out, click through his website, it'll help him out a bit.

The Little Seed Shop- From Little Things, Big Things Grow

I am happy to announce that a new little shop has sprung up in the heart of Byron Bay! And little is definitely one word that describes it well! It all feels a bit Harry Potterish, nestled underneath a stairwell in one of the Lawson Street Arcades. Though small, it is still filled with some beautiful artwork, all made by local Byron Bay artists and artisans. There are paintings, ceramics, textiles, jewellery and much more.

Of course, this is exciting for me, as I also get to have my steampunk wares on display for the world to see in the Little Seed. Woohoo.

So, Come and drop by and support local art in the region. The Little Seed Shop is located in the second arcade as you come down Lawson street from the main roundabout, on the left hand side.

Wind up Steampunk Jewellery. Coming soon to Lost Wax. I hope.

Hey, ever since the dawn of time, I have wanted to make jewellery that you could wind up and then the little motor would make this little creation come to life. Until now that idea was stowed neatly away in the too hard basket. The other day, however, I noticed it in the too hard basket and decided to see what could be done. I had a couple of super cheap dancing robots that had broken within the first couple of dances, so I dismembered them and pulled out their drive mechanism. Made of cheap plastic gears and a spring.

wind up

wind up

Anyways, I was able to take these parts and cast them in bronze, as seen here.

wind up steampunk jewellery

wind up steampunk jewellery

With much tinkering, filing, and polishing, I was able to get the mechanism to work. Not perfectly but pretty good. It still sometime stops before it completely unwinds. Anyways definitely a proof of concept that has got me imagining all kinds of wondrous uses for this new technology.

Here's a little video of it working.

Back In The Saddle

I have been away for almost a month visiting family in Canada. Had a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful Canadian wilderness, hot summer weather, campfires, marshmallows, and mosquitoes. I also took a break from thinking about jewellery. Now, however, I am all geared up to get creating again, and thanks to jet lag, have been dreaming up new designs and ideas in the wee hours of the morning while trying to get back to sleep. Hey, I'll take new ideas any time of the day or night ( I must admit some of the epic ideas bought of in the middle of the night turn out to be somewhat ridiculous when viewed in the awakened state).

So... Back to work


More Rub N' Buff Adventures

Steampunk TophatI have a drawing in my sketchbook that I keep coming back to, it is a top hat entirely made out of copper pieces riveted together. In my mind it is such a glorious creation, but in reality it does present a number of problems, one which is the weight of the finished hat....  So, in a frenzy of cardboard, glue and Rub N' Buff, I slapped this little baby together.  I guess the only problem with frenzies is sometimes you make mistakes. So I now have a very cool hat that is somewhat too small for my head, and somewhat too large for my wife. Ah well, it will still look great on the shelf.

Stay tuned if you would like to know step by step how I made this wondrous creation....


Using Rub N' Buff On A Sparkly Blue Makeup Case

Hey hey, today I finished the little video tutorial I made on Friday. First one ever, and I think it went pretty good for a first try. I took a kids makeup box and used Rub N' Buff on it to try and give it an aged, kinda steampunky look. 

It is the first time I have used the Rub N' Buff on a fairly flat surface, and just as I thought, it was tricky to get a convincing aged metallic look.  I think maybe if I could layer some different shades of  gold it might start to give it some depth. Looks like I have some experimenting to do.  The main key I found with the Rub N' Buff was to apply it quite dry, because I want some of the background black to show through.

Anyways, this box will look good enough to be in the background of a photo or something like that. Right now I have already put it to use as a box for carrying my camera lenses around. Perfect.

Oh, yeah, and next time I will try to get the camera in focus before I start recording:)

Rub n' Buff: make anything look like metal....?

My Rub n' Buff has arrived! Ooohh you say, that sounds exciting, but what the heck is Rub n' Buff? Rub n' Buff is a "wax metallic finish" like a paste that you can rub onto something that you want to look metal-ish. Sounds fantastic! If it works. Now, this is the type of thing I would normally kind of shun, as I am more inclined to actually make something out of metal if I want something to look like it is made of metal. Makes sense. However, I have this big piece of furniture that the laminate is all coming off of, and I would love to be able to steampunk it. Make it look like it is made of sheets of brass or something like that. A bit pricey and time consuming to do for real, so I did a bit of looking on line and came up with this stuff. Worth a crack. It seems to often be used to change bright yellow and orange nerf guns into retro futuristic looking weapons. I am sure this is not what Mr. Rub n' Buff imagined when he developed his top secret wax metallic finish formula, but hey nerf guns it is.

Anyways, when my little box of tubes arrived  I immediately looked for something I could Rub n' Buff to my hearts content. The battery charger was sitting on the table so I grabbed it and started rubbing. Here's what I got.

Interesting... Some of my initial impressions are:

  •  It is gonna take a lot of practice to get the right technique down that will look good.
  • It doesn't seem to work to add more layers, as the next layer seems to dissolve the previous one.
  • It will need some kind of protective finish to keep from rubbing off.
  • Wax and grease remover spray seems to work very well to clean it all off, so I can try, try, again.
  • It is somewhat translucent, so everything underneath has to look the same.

Well, there you go, for what it is worth. I am going to have to do some more experimenting to come up with a final product I really like. I think it is never going to actually look like metal, but it still might look fun and funky.


Homemade steampunk waistcoat for $7

I just wanted to share with you how I made a double breasted victorian waistcoat from an old suit jacket I got at an op shop for $5. This is a perfect item to add to your steampunk wardrobe.Okay, first I found an old suit jacket, it was single breasted, but when I overlapped the front as in a double breasted jacket, it fit me nice and snug. Sweet.

steampunk waistcoat tutorial

steampunk waistcoat tutorial

So, I don't need arms on this thing, so cut em off, then I tried it on to get an idea of where I would cut the armholes for real. Always remembering to leave extra for seam allowance.

waistcoat cutting arm

waistcoat cutting arm

Marked the new armholes and cut. I basically just made the shoulders narrower and kept the bottom of the armhole at pretty much the same place.  You can see the bulky padding for the shoulders here. I ripped that all out.

victorian waistcoat tutorial

victorian waistcoat tutorial



I wanted the waistcoat to fit me well and it had a bit of extra material at the bottom of the armhole, so before I hemmed the armholes, I made a dart from under the armpit, straight down to get rid of some of that extra fabric.

steampunk waistcoat arm

steampunk waistcoat arm

Okay, this part was the trickiest part, getting a nice seam around the armhole. I hemmed the jacket material and the lining separately and then sewed them together for the finished arm. I couldn't figure out a better way to do this, maybe someone out there has a good idea. I found it really had a tendency to go kinda wavy. I think also very important was cutting little slits on the inside curve where I was hemming, so the fabric can stretch.



Okay, finally got it sorted! Everything else from here is a walk in the park!

Cut to length

Cut to length

I tried on my waistcoat again, figured out how long I wanted it, and cut it off, again remembering to leave a seam allowance. Also, not shown here, I sewed the slit at the back of the jacket shut.

Bottom hem

Bottom hem

Finally, I can hem the bottom. I did the outer material on the machine and then I hand stitched the lining down.

Buttons, buttons, buttons

Buttons, buttons, buttons

I was lucky and the buttonholes were exactly where I needed them. Because I wanted a high collar though I needed to add two more button holes at the top. Then I just figured out where the buttons needed to go and sewed them on.

You can kind of see the crease where the collar used to fold down. I tried best as I could to iron it out, but I couldn't get rid of it all. As well, I had to put a little stitch in the collar to hold it down in the right place. I guess 50 years of it being creased in the same place is hard to overcome.



And that's it, done. I think it probably took me a whole day to do it, but if I had to do it again it would be so much quicker. And for $7 (including buttons), you can't really complain.

I ended up wearing this to a recent wedding and got heaps of positive comments. Awesome.

Almost Famous

Hehe, here is a little promo vid from the winter 109 collective in Byron Bay. It was a great event with lots of sweet ambience and beautiful people. If you look close enough, you might even see me on the vid:) I know some people enjoy being in the limelight, but I just find it a bit freaky having to say something coherent into a mic while being recorded. I guess I'll just have to practice more.

So, big thanks to Trent Foster for his awesome filmography.

Diamonds and Gold

Filligree ringI was just at the most beautiful wedding this weekend, of a couple of our good friends. It just so happened that I was asked to make the wedding rings! The Ladies ring was one of the more challenging rings that I have carved, quite intricate and small, but I was really happy with how it all turned out. It was carved in wax and then cast in white gold. I have been doing mostly steampunk jewelry lately so it was a bit of a change to make something more traditional and shiny. Fun. Of course the picture is much larger than it really is, so imagine it a lot smaller:)