Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rogue Taxidermist Sarina Brewer

We've talked about steampunk science before, but I don't think anything quite compares to the site that reader Jeanie sent of "rogue taxidermist" Sarina Brewer, which is fascinating, if a bit disconcerting for the weak of stomach.

Just one of her many creations. (Look closely!)

A flying squirrel

I'll leave exploring her more disturbing creations to those of you with a taste for the macabre.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Metatemporal Detective

I'm reading one of my Christmas presents, Michael Moorcock's The Metatemporal Detective, which is a lovely mishmash of victorian crime, westerns, the supernatural, sherlockian ambiance, and steampunk. I haven't run across any full fledged interior descriptions (although he does a great job of dropping hints so as to let your imagination fill in the rest), but I thought I would share this particularly steampunk tidbit:

As they climbed the steps of the heavy war-tram and took their places on the mahogany bench seats, the young buckaroo put a manly arm about his wife's shoulders. Soon the vehicle was in motion, racing back across the plains as a second machine collected track behind it, a demonstration of the skill and ingenuity of "Thunderclap" Meadley's famous "Flying Tracklayers," who had done so much for Texas' military reputation.

Yes, it's a bit pulp, and you know my biases towards Texas, but I think you'd find it fun nonetheless.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Mad Scientist Light

So I ran across this post about a "Mad Scientist Light" by the (mysterious) "Big E" the other day, because he had linked to The Steampunk Home.

E handily provided the link to the Instructable for the light, and I have to say, I'm inspired. (E's pep talk at the end of his post didn't hurt: "People need to realize that there is no substitute for squaring the shoulders and boldly deciding to do something. And it works for more things than just a cool light fixture.") I hit a thrift shop last night and picked up a couple of wooden jewelry style boxes and today I visited our local Light Bulb Shop (really!) and found some nice 25W bulbs. Only a dimmer switch and socket left to find, and then a little bit of power tool time.

There are tons of great variations on this in the Instructable comments.

Hopefully I'll have one done by the end of this weekend!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

World's Smallest Steam Engine

Looks easy to build, for hours of fun!

Building The Amazing Steam Candle

Discovered by someone on the steamfashion community, and pointed out by Kaja Foglio (of Girl Genius).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Steampunk Sink Alcove

Gary sent me a note pointing out his new steampunk bathroom vanity.

I love the mix -- industrial concrete sink (posts from Gary on how he built it) and faucet handles, metallic copper piping, traditional wood vanity and mirror, and the handmade Victorian-electric style sconces with Edison bulbs that really make the look.

Gary says: "Those coiled wires at the top add to the effect but they double up as a grounding wire which runs inside the pipe to the plug outlet so that the copper pipe doesn't become "live". I finally found a use for all that cloth covered copper wire (from the antiquated alarm system that was installed in the 1890s) that I pulled out of the floors when I sanded them . Candlabra sockets insert nicely into 3/4 inch pipe but to use Edison bulbs I had to use an adaptor which looks aged because I painted the cardboard insulator sleeve with shellac."

I think this is the best use of edison bulbs I've seen -- they are right at eye level, so will get plenty of admiring as people wash their hands.

I know I'm jealous. Great work, Gary!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Steampunk Cold Drip Coffee Maker

Stumbled across this review of the Coffee Snob cold drop coffee maker on the steamfashion LJ community.

I don't think I could say it better than Lori:
"And, besides, look at it. No, really, look at it. This coffee maker is gorgeous. It's an homage to the Victorian era - can't you just see Jules Verne with one of these aboard the Nautilus? The glass pieces are beautifully shaped, the metal bits add detail and sparkle, and the wood framework is as warm and rich as the cup of coffee you're anticipating... which will be in about 6-10 hours, depending on how fast the ice melts. With cold drip coffee, patience is indeed a virtue."

Victorian styling, chemistry set appeal, and it produces a cup of coffee! What else could you ask for?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Steampunk Ceiling Fan

Although you can find plenty of Victorian inspired ceiling fans in your favorite mass market home improvement store for very reasonable prices, it's hard to beat this one that rohmi over on the steamfashion LJ group found:

It's the Brisa 2000 by the Matthews Fan Company. I'd love to see a video of it rotating.... it reminds me of a model of a galaxy, where the individual planets rotate and then also rotate around the sun.

*Only* $1250 at Bellacor.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Metal Elements, done well

This home, from House and Garden, isn't steampunk, but their use of metal was impressive -- I like how they mix natural elements like stone and cotton with metal furniture and accessories from a number of different eras.

The armillary sphere chandelier may be a bit before the steampunk time -- but I think it's great. This one is made by Solaria. I found a couple of similar chandeliers as well:

clockwise, from top left: a large and small armillary sphere chandelier by David Canepa lighting; a black one from Bellacor, and one by Neirmann Weeks

In the lower left hand photo is a zinc garden table -- I've read this style is originally french and for outdoor use, using it indoors works surprisingly well. Note the absinthe poster on the wall. (There are innumberable absinthe posters available online.) Wisteria has a similar table.

These beds were by the designer of the room, Mary Clark. I like how they have a very formal top shape, combined with almost a cot like base and raw metal finish.

Using metal in places where you'd expect to find wood is an interesting way to "toughen up" an interior. This home manages to juxtapose traditional shapes with metal materials in a way that's unique and I think quite pleasant.

Stephane Halleux Sculpture

Sculptor Stephane Halleux creates the fantastic with a dark spin.

His "chaises" will fuel your dentist nightmares for years.

The back story to his robots starts out "From an old spin-dryer and an old German typewriter (cleanliness, discipline) I created this robot...This new companion quickly showed himself extremely gifted." You'll have to read the rest yourself to learn of his unfortunate end.

His work has been mentioned in many other steampunk and art blogs, but I stumbled across it again somewhere (no credit in my notes, apologies) and thought you would enjoy them as well.

Steampunk Gift Guide at MAKE: Blog

In case you missed it, Jake von Slatt of the Steampunk Workshop put together a Steampunk Gift Guide over at MAKE: Blog.

The Gertner Journeyman Toolchest would do very nicely in my garage -- or kitchen!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Shopping Opportunities

I try to focus more on inspiration than shilling products here at The Steampunk Home, but I thought you might like to know the following.

First, Bombay is in the midst of bankruptcy, which means that their stores are liquidating and everything (last Thursday, at least) is 40% off. I saw clocks with exposed gears, large wall clocks, chairs upholstered with red "silk", etc. I've always thought Bombay had some nice steampunk options, so if there is one in your town, you may want to drop by. (And if you see any dark red velvet duvet covers, let me know!)

Second, Design Toscano is offering 10% off through December 20th. Perhaps you remember that Toscano is a favorite of SPH readers like Dr. Fabre? Simply enter the code "HOLIDAY10" when you check out. (Affiliate link.)

Stuck for Christmas gift ideas? You may want to check out my Steampunk Home Kaboodle list, where I stick everything I stumble across that suits the steampunk home.

Kohler's Steampunk Sink Ad

My sister points out this ad for Kohler sinks. The sink isn't particularly steampunk, but it's in the belly of a submarine, on top of an breathtaking table.

The photo is by Sacha Waldman.


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