Archive for September, 2010

We meet Boris, a finished tiara and some lie detector earrings.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 28, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

A bit quiet again this week. I’ve been working a new charm bracelet which is going to be a Clockwork Zeppelin standard design, incorporating the ‘Steampunk People’ images that were seen in previous posts.

Lady Runcible-Sterling has finished her rather heavy but quite dramatic tiara, and is busy working on another. The tiara is modelled by Boris. I found him in a repro antique shop in Mevagissey back in the 90’s. He is a displaying the phrenology map popular at the turn of the century but since discredited as being quackery. Boris is a prop for my stall in October and often models various necklaces.

There are some ‘Lie Detector’ earrings though they actually say ‘Le Detector’ on them. Damned Chinese machinists. Cogged up and flat back Swarovskis in situ. A nice hue of pink is seen as they catch the light.

The copper strips are interesting – they (I think) are watchmaker’s shims – The ones on the left I cleaned up with a Dremmel and brass brush attachment and then brasso’ed, the 2 on the right were how they were at the outset. Ive stamped them using a steel letter punch kit with a clock Zepp serial number of random meaning and stuck a few more sparklers on. I only have 3 pairs of these because you should see the price of new ones these days!

More soon…..



Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

So my big brother kindly delivered me a load of ShopLite aluminium trussing meant for corporate / commercial events. (it used to have bits of an F16 flight simulator hanging off it, but thats another story).
Thanks again to Amanda over at for the graphic design – its the same Amy Johnson image, reversed and merged with a cool airship over some gasworks with other clock bits chucked in. I’ve avoided using ‘Steampunk’ on the banner – its too tedious to explain to normal people what it means when I turn up at non-Goth / Steampunk events. Also, my branding allows me to wander about in dieselpunk, vintage and atompunk and so on without having to be too rigid in my style. Also, there will come a day when all the vintage watch parts in the world are only to be found in Steampunk jewellery…I might have to find another medium and genre but at least I wont need a new banner. It cost about £40 from Vistaprint and I added the brass eyelets myself so it can be tied to the supports.

Lady Runcible Sterling joins in….

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 18, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

Very much a work in progress…Madame is trying her hand at some Steampunk Tiaras, again ready for Whitby Goth. Bear in mind, this is currently unfinished..

Expansion of Empire…………

Posted in Uncategorized on September 17, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

Ok…just did a test Etsy listing with one of my more popular items…the earrings I call ‘Set the Ray to Jerry’ (I am a real sucker for Smashing Pumpkins song titles)

Check it out here…

Projects this week

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

This week, between work and family, I’m mostly working on my ‘Steampunk People’ charms and pendants. I think it’s fair to say that I don’t necessarily have image rights to these but most of the subjects are long dead anyway, that’s if we even know who they ever were. See if you can spot Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earheart though amongst the adventurers pictured.

I’ve also got punctured fingertips from 0.4mm brass wire from wiring up my filigree bracelets which is satisfying and frustrating in equal measures. I’m hoping to take about 15 of these to Whitby Goth Weekend (29-31st October), most will have quartz modules in them. I have had to change the battery on a few of them as who knows how long they were in the warehouse before I got them but reassuringly, none turned out to be faulty. I’ve got about 6 weeks to make sure that everything is working OK.

I have about 60 wooden laser cut badges made now covering all sorts of Gothy and .punk themes, the butterflies and red guns are still my favourites. I think they might do well.

I also took delivery of my ‘Shoplite’ display system this week (not yet pictured) to hang my fancy banner on…pictures to follow.
More next week….

Runcible Sterling

Runcible-Sterling’s Hierarchy of Adhesives

Posted in Uncategorized on September 8, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

These lovely little frames on the pair on the left are really cool – I tend to just scale down the image I want to use in photoshop and word and then print them out on glossy photo paper. I stick them to the frames and then coat them with varnish to add some durability.  I advise my customers to avoid immersion in water however.

The keys on both pairs are more of the wood cuts seen in the last post, too small to make a badge, coated with automotive clearcoat.  The right hand pair are very long and dangly, but some people are into that and they sell well.  I find it hard to get around the country to specialist Goth / Steampunk fairs so have a tendency to sell to ‘Norms’.  My experience with selling  jewellery to ordinary people is that you like it or you don’t with no difference in your sales.  I try to avoid defining stuff as explicitly Steampunk because then you have to explain what that means.  I don’t believe you have to define what you make however it’s the style I prefer and I would never make anything I don’t like.

Ok…last year I think I spent over £150 on adhesives.  Most of the problem is that to attach two pieces of non-ferrous metal together, you need to either solder them or braze them.  Solder only comes in grey, gets everywhere and never stays where you put it.  Brazing requires extreme heat and since Madame wont let me keep ‘G’ cylinders of oxy-acet in the garage, I was a bit constrained in how to stick stuff together.

(left to Right).  Jurasstic glue. This is absolute toss.  You have to wet it to activate it, then it expands like that terrible expanding foam that window fitters use.  Avoid.  UHU – Going old skool – its alright for paper and card to metal, cant take any force loading at all so dont use it to attach anything that requires taking a load.  Araldite Metal –  Not bad for metal-on metal but quite brittle and doesn’t accept shearing force very well.  Evo-Stick Impact – Best all round, goes off in about 5 minutes so you have enough time to slip your piece about a bit and does take quite a bit of force before failure.  Easily strong enough for baubles  and it’s cheap – about £2 a tube where I get it from.  Q-Bond – A specialist automotive product.  This is a powder that you can use to pack a larger gap then poor the liquid cryoacrynolate over it and becomes solid – then you can sand it to shape.  Its a lot easier to use than it seems. The mechanic at my local garage gave me it after reaming me for £400 for a new water pump.  Loctite Power Epoxy – Nice, clever binary dispenser and dries a really pleasing shade of mid – grey.  Doesn’t run but the down side is that its hard to mix properly in very small amounts.  Its only a fiver but I only found one shop selling it and that’s in Central Leeds.  Pain in the ass.  Loctite 496 – The big daddy, another Cryoacrynolate but quite viscous so doesn’t splash all over the place, tends to stay put.  Very temperature sensitive so goes off in 60 seconds in Summer, 10 minutes in Winter.  Takes 120kg/cm2 loading force, dries clear.  Its a quality product.  Downside is that it’s £22 plus VAT for 20mls.  Smells like superglue, don’t be deceived, 20 times stronger.  Will take you at least an hour to get your fingers apart.

Is anybody actually reading this?

A small tour round the brassworks

Posted in Uncategorized on September 7, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

The workshop is the rear third of my garage in York.  Power is from the main house ring with an RCD trip.  Its essentially limited to 13 Amps so I have to be careful what tools I’m running together.   The wireless router reaches as far as the garage so I can use the laptop and watch stuff while I’m crafting.

I have always tried to make most of my work on a production basis so I can replicate a design as many times as demand requires it.  The filigree watch bracelets are really popular so I tend to make those on a bit of a production line , I can usually do one over a couple of evenings.  I’m looking at bringing 10 – 15 to Whitby.

An artist friend of mine in the US owns an epilog laser cutter (check this puppy out for something everyone should have ) If I had $15,000…………

He cuts out precision shapes from birchboard backed photo images.  I lacquer them with about 7 -10 coats of automotive clearcoat, attach a pin and turn them into freaky badges.  I hope to have 50 or so different badges for Whitby.

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