Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Raw casts of shiny new things

In spite of the strange, un-California-like-cold molding and casting of the new sculpts has been going on. Here's an uncleaned and unfinished preview of the new pieces! The key hole is cast from a porcelain key hole plate from the early 1900's - one of those cool things you sometimes find lingering in antique shops that no one quite knows what to do with.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Something for the Holidays

I've been working on some new pieces, debuting at the Holiday sale at the SF Center for the Book, on Dec 11th. Something a bit different for the holidays and the new year, and something for those who just art as into fish and cephalopods as I am ;-)

And just for fun, some progress photos. I start with a sketch, and create a rough version of the general shape to work out the scale. Then start adding in the details, working large to small.

Check back soon for some images of casts and christmas ornaments!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sala in North Berkeley

As of this afternoon, you can now buy my jewelry at Sala!

Sala is a fairly new, and very charming shop at 1746 Shattuck Ave in North Berkeley. They have a wonderful selection with a number of local designers and lots of handmade jewelry. If you're in the area, stop by and check it out.

You can also read a little write up about the shop on yelp:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cross promoted Cephalopods

Blog cross promotion! I'm running a contest over at the Cephalopod Tea Party and will more then likely be supplying most of the prizes so skip on over and take a look! Best chance to get a free pin, octopus, or nautilus necklace.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Still not feeling terribly useful

I'm terribly excited about a lot of things that won't matter to YOU faithful readers for some time. And at the moment I'm still suffering from a head cold enough as to not feel up to posting something that sounds intelligent or useful (this is assuming I ever do, of course, you can be the judge of that).
So, here are pretty pictures of jewelry made from the casts shown a few posts ago.

Soon I'll have a few events to confirm, and some new projects to ramble on about. Until then, as always, pictures!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Seattle Steamcon

Thanks to everyone who helped make the Alternative Press Expo AWESOME! Next in the crazy schedule is Steamcon in Seattle. I will have originals for sale in the art show, including the mad scientist above and some new pieces just for the Con. I don't end up selling originals all that often so if you're heading to the Con, check them out!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Alternative Press Expo (APE)

Industrial Fairytale will be at APE this Saturday and Sunday (Oct 17-18), in San Francisco! Come by and see me if you're in the area. New jewelry, REALLY new jewelry, letterpress cards and prints. I shall be at table # 453, near the very rear of the hall - as shown on this helpful map!

Come by and say hello, buy things, bring gifts, bring tea, or just walk by mysteriously and wave so I wonder how I know you for the next few hours and feel guilty because I can't remember.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sneaking into Boston Fashion Week

schuyler_bostonfw (11)
Originally uploaded by Scoundrelle
Some while ago, I sent some jewelry to the very talented Heather Luca of Scoundrelle's Keep to help accessorize her beautiful fashions in a few shows.
And so, in a sneaky back door way, some of my jewelry slipped into Boston Fashion Week.

Check out the photos on Scoundrelle's Keep flickr photo stream of a lovely show! And if you squint, there are some koi in there!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Learning is Exciting

I've been learning to mold and cast over the past few months. Rather then go slowly through the learning curve like most folk, I decided to jump straight to overhanging bits, tiny detail, and cold casting with atomized metal. This koi is...really horribly hard to get to cast without air bubbles on all the scales. I suddenly feel my casting partners pain!
Along with koi, I filled space with some random sculpts I did mostly just for the occasion. Although this boat is really mostly for my friend Angie, for sentimentality's sake.
And tentacle...things...designed mostly as buttons/cufflinks/and so forth for myself but which will probably end up drifting out for sale at some point or another.
And a full set of ginkgo leaves which I mostly sculpted because I felt like I didn't have enough cast to make it easy to mix and pour the right amount of resin. Blasted things are the thing that always comes out the best of all the pieces. And they were such a random afterthought.
But look how cute and tiny the little ones are?
A variety of these pieces should be available in limited numbers at the Alternative Press Expo, in San Fancisco next weekend. After that they shall appear on the Etsy site slowly, since I will be casting only now and then.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Letterpress cards listed!

Its an adventure. It started sometime last December...

No, actually I think it started sometime many years ago when a roommate and I just out of college made grand plans to start 'a card company'. I believe we got as far as designing a logo before we realized we would need money to do this thing, and being just out of college money was the thing we had the very least of.

At any rate, a small series of Letterpress cards are now up for sale in my Etsy shop!
No on is surprised that they are illustrations of robots. No one at all.

In other less exciting news, I'm still a terrible product photographer, but I rather like this little set up I did for the card back.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September Events

I'll be vending at the Center for the Book: Roadworks fair Spet 19th, downtown in San Francisco. The center of the fair is a series of enormous linoleum printing blocks, being printed with a steamroller! I'm not turning down any opportunity to see people make art with a steamroller. There won't be much jewelry with me this time, I'll be focusing on prints - and introducing a small series of letterpress greeting cards! Check out the itty bitty preview!
If you're local to San Francisco, or visiting on Sept 19th, come by and see the show!

(Edited, because a bigger, better flier has been supplied!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Previews, filling space when you've got nothing else to say!

I've started a bit of a series of necklaces involving keys and flowers. This one may show up in exciting places over the next few weeks! Oh the mystery of it all.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I'm sorry its been such a long while, I've been busy with various things and neglecting my blogging. Between building my robot army, starting a comic book project, and paying my rent, time has just slipped right away from me!

I have, however, uploaded a few pieces using the new shiny floral and gear casts. They're new for the summer along with the nautilus (some more of which shall be listed soon) and the cuttlefish who has yet to hit the virtual shelves. The floral gear set are designs I'm enormously pleased with, and I am glad to have them in the shop finally.

Coming up in October I shall be bouncing around to events a bit again. I will have a table at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco Oct 17-18, and I'll post more about that when they've given me actual info about where this table might be and how you might find it.
I will also be participating in the art show at Seattle's Steamcon, which I will likely (though not yet certainly) be attending. Since I don't often bother selling original artwork, it shall be a rare event!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Steampunk San Francisco History

I have, for a while, been looking for and collecting images of San Francisco before the earthquake in 1906. This is currently my favorite image of San Francisco (in any time period) - a nighttime photo of Chinatown in 1904.
In 1906 an earthquake and the proceeding fire leveled much of San Francisco. Its a bit difficult to find images of the city before that quake but as far as I've found nearly impossible to find images of Chinatown before 1906. The entire old Chinatown was destroyed in the fires that raged after the 1906 quake, and was rebuilt in its current location. Because of city laws meant to dissuade further chinese immigration, Chinatown in 1904 was overcrowded and overbuilt and not really considered post card material.

Another of my favorites, as someone who enjoys maritime imagery and the part that sailing plays in the mythos of exploration and adventure. Look at the plated hull on that thing. If that doesn't make you think steampunk I don't know what to tell you!
And finally, here's the steam train that used to run right through Berkeley, where Shattuck Street is now. Its a good reminder of how important and pervasive the steam train systems once were in the area.

Just a little bit of inspiration for everyone. Its easy to forget sometimes that many places possess a rich visual history of photographs if you can figure out where to look for them. Sometimes a great source of inspiration is what your home town really looked like 100 years ago.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Various and Sundry Bits

I thought I'd toss together a few little things that aren't totally worth a whole blog entry all for their lonesome (or at least not unless I don't have anything else to say and desperately wish to fill space).

First of all I thought the chest from the previous display image deserved some attention, mostly because I put rather more work into it then most display things I've used in the past, and I'm a little proud of it.
Its a wooden chest, covered in metal sheet. After giving it a good washing, I taped over with decal with masking tape to protect it from all the sanding and painting work (after sticking it to my jeans a few times to make it less likely to damage the decal - that's an old 'to cheap to by drafting tape' artist trick).
Two things I wanted to do were to keep the original decal and the dinged up texture of the metal covering and hardware. Luckily the front of the chest had paint that was in better condition then the rest of the piece so it was possible to avoid sanding and painting on the decal. I also managed to find a good paint match with a black semi-gloss rustoleum paint. For the hardware, I tried, skeptically, 'kurd kutter A Must For Rust' spray. Shockingly it actually worked more or less although it took about 3 applications, and works best at a temperature above 80 degrees.
The handle is pretty well falling apart, but I oiled the leather left on there in the hope that it would hold itself together.
I added the chain for the purposes of the display, and I do intend eventually to properly wash the interior (which is raw wood right now) and paper it with some victorian-pattern-looking paper. Probably with a water based glue that should be removed without a horrible hassel if I want to later. All in all, with some velvet covered foam core and a brass chain it made a really great display, and I could pack everything into it to travel back and forth!

And now to round out the post, a few preivews of things to come. I'm testing finishes on the new sculpted pieces now that I have casts of them. I'm not entirely satisfied with the nautilus' shell or the colors in the gear-floral pieces, still some things to play with there. I am entirely in love with the cuttlefish however. Of course, being a two part mold and a full 3d piece (rather then a flat backed relief sculpt like the others) he's the hardest to reproduce...but so worth it!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The First Ever "I went to a show" post

This blog has never been graced with me actually writing an "event wrap up" post. Now lets be fair its not a very old blog, but I'm also devoted to trying to keep it interesting to anyone who reads it and mostly I think pure business stuff (especially with no pretty pictures) can be boring.

SO I searched Industrial Fairytale on Flickr and lo and behold, Pip Lagenta had already uploaded a photo of my little jewelry set up. It was even early enough in the weekend that there's still some STUFF on it! Thanks Pip!

Maker Faire was incredibly in all ways, and I really wish I'd had time to leave my table for more then a quick dash across the lawn to the bathrooms because there seemed to be lots of incredible things going on. A few very cool Maker's managed to escape THEIR booths and come see me however, and I'm now very excited to have a catalog of tiny solar panel bits and other very small robot parts (Thanks solarbotics!). The faire was very busy and vending went as well as could be imagined, and it was definitely a very fun place to be.

It was also lovely to finally meet some great artists in person with whom I've been exchanging ideas and collaborating with online. And to see some old friends again.

Now, a few days to recover and then, on we roll!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Two days before Maker Faire

Another Maker Faire preview. I'll add photos here on and off till I leave I think.
Only two more days to get any jewelry listed in my Etsy shop, before it all goes off with me to Faire - some (or perhaps all) to never return!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Maker Faire

I'll be vending at Maker Faire down in San Matea next weekend, May 30-31. Come by and see me, I'll be in the Carnival Mechanique (also know as 'the Steampunk Area') with a whole bunch of friends, including fellow bloggers Choklit Chanteuse and Tom Banwell.

I'll have a whole bunch of prints, including quite a few I've never offered for sale before, and lots of new jewelry. Here are a few little sneak peaks at some new Koi. Only one week left to prep, so off I go to stay busy!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I discovered this watch, in an advertisement within one of those airline magazines in the seat pocket in front of you that you always flip through to avoid having awkward conversation with the person next to you who keeps starting sentences with the phrase 'the problem with women' and you can't begin the use of your approved electronic devices until you've reached cruising altitude (true story).
It reminded me that much as I enjoy gears and steam power and the 19th century, I'm really just very interested in the whole of history. And an era I have a particular love for is the 20's and 30's.
I've never been one to be restricted by reality or to take a particularly single minded view of any genre, and there is an aesthetic that each bit of history has that's all its own, from its graphic art, to its machinery.

Pulp adventure and detective novels, a public interested in organized crime dramatized (especially since its surge in visibility during prohibition), the Great Depression, the early whispers of Germany's actions that would lead to the second World War...lots of insteresting stuff in the 30's.

So besides wanting to own that watch ($99 from, this is a call to artisans for a broadening of influence. You guide the genre, it should not constrain YOU.

More pulp covers can be found at the University at Buffalo online database HERE an extremely wonderful and free archive.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Inspiration - Arts and Crafts Movement

I'm waiting for the Steampunk Arts and Crafts movement. Although, if we are using Steampunk as a social movement (as opposed to an imaginary future/past) then it already is an arts and crafts movement for our generation, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Arts and Crafts movement was an art movement in the late 1800's which was inspired by the renewed interest in history and folk tradition of the Victorian era, and was arguably a reaction against the industrial revolution.

As the industrial revolution was making mass production possible, and cheaper machine made goods became available, there was a backlash against what many people saw as the lack of craftsmanship an quality in machine made items. The Arts and Crafts movement had a heavy emphasis on the hand crafted, and everything from woven clothe, to furniture to wallpaper was created.

Hand made tile, and printed and bound books, and hand crafted jewelry - all of which were now being mass produced in factories, were all crafted as works of art with emphasis being placed on the crafting process.

Architecture during the period was often inspired by much older styles, and there are a number of gothic looking churches that were built during the Arts and Crafts period. After all, gothic cathedrals were all crafted by hand.

The movement was one of the inspirations for artists of the Art Nouveau period. As well as other later art movements.

In the sense that Steampunk is an imaginary future, in which steam power rules and industry and invention are the height of society, I think its about time for a steampunk Arts and Crafts Movement.

On the other hand, in a way, Steampunk is an Arts and Crafts movement of its very own. In an age where consumerism is a way of life, and 'planned obsolescence' is an industry standard, Steampunk is a movement all about what can be constructed by the individual. Its about what you can create and invent and build yourself rather then purchase, use, and discard. Its an Industrial Arts and Crafts Movement.

(I think I may have just done that thing they tell you to do in high school when constructing a paper, and begun with a summary and ended with a conclusion...I feel as though I should end with something else, just to avoid it. But...I can't think of anything. Alas, I hope at least its something to think about.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Netsuke and a Project just for me

As western fashions gained popularity in the east, Japanese carvers created a set that could be used both with tradition dress or with a vest and pocket.
This particular piece was purchased by Captain Rance Barret, a merchant captain who, although an excellent captain, was otherwise remarkably irresponsible, and purchased the piece after losing his 3rd compass.
Upon his death, having no heirs, the piece was auctioned off with most of his possessions, to benefit the Foundation for the Support of Widows and Orphans of Seamen - which he founded upon his retirement.

Its been quite a while since I made something just for myself (disregarding drawings, that is). The Etsy Steam Team had a little contest this past month with the theme 'Steampunk as a Global Phenomenon'. I'd been toying with the idea some variety of watch fob since I started working with the faux-ivory-resin casts. I didn't really want the extra step of casting a piece that was just for myself so I used a colored polymer clay - premo sculpey. Premo Sculpey is now my least favorite medium of all time (it has trumped gouache) - its far to soft and oily in texture to be easy to work with, and it took a few false starts and many pauses to refrigerate the sculpts in between detail work.
I also took the opportunity to try and put together a decent set and take photos that aren't incredibly boring. I more or less dislike the photos I've been taking of my jewelry overall, and I keep trying to figure out this product photography thing with little success. Though, these feel like a step in the right direction anyway.