Floor Standing Horn Torch Lamp

HornTorchDraft03

It’s pretty safe to say that I have an obsession with high-end audio as well as steampunk design. I especially like some of the more exotic speaker configurations out there like horn drivers. It only stands to reason then, that when I sat down to design a standing lamp, that eventually I’d wind up with something along these lines, only instead of a speaker in the horn, we have a light! The diameter at the top of this thing is 18″, and I’m thinking it stands about 6 feet or so tall. 

The stand will be a wooden tripod with brass hardware, and the top horn will be made from sectioned copper sheets similar to (but much larger than) the copper flares I made for the Æthereal speakers. Should be quite challenging, and god knows I love a good challenge!

I think I may actually start on this piece this week. My living room could definitely use some extra light!

 

Cheers
Mike

Boiler Wall Sconce Concept

Boiler Wall Sconce

Is your airship a little gloomy? Mine too. Who couldn’t use a little more ambient light in those dark corridors. I’ve got just the thing!

The Boiler Wall Sconce measure in at 11″ diameter overall, and makes use of a 3″ fresnel lens to gently light your way. Can be oriented either up or down. Made from solid brass and copper of course, and the wooden base can be any wood that suits your fancy. Personally, I’m partial to Black Walnut, but hey, that’s just me. Lighting is low-wattage incandescent or LED due to heat issues, higher wattage bulbs would require vent holes, and I’m not sure I want to mar the surface with holes.

This is of course a concept rendering, I haven’t actually built one of these yet, but it’s on the list for the not-so-distant future. You can bet I’ll be hanging a couple of these in my studio. I’m pretty sure the wife won’t allow them in the living room, as I’ve been told it’s getting too geeky in there as it is. Sigh.

The Secret Island Lair, New Concept Art, and Rum.

Hey There! It’s Been a While!

It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve posted here. I’ve been busy getting my life settled here on our Secret Island in the V.I. Well, I suppose it’s not really very secret, but there aren’t many people here, so that makes it feel pretty secret!

Back in July (of 2013) we uprooted our home in Key West to make the final leg of our “10-year-plan” to run away to the Caribbean. This involved selling even more of our stuff, purchasing a bright yellow Jeep, a road trip to New York to see my son graduate high school and drop off our old Toyota 4-Runner for him to drive, camping in the Smoky Mountains, more road tripping to Traverse City, Michigan to visit with the extended family, a scary trip through blighted neighborhoods in Detroit, a flight back to Orlando, a trip to Jacksonville to drop the Jeep at the freight docks, and finally, a flight to St Thomas. It was a long, arduous, and immensely fun road trip that took a few weeks, and ended with us transplanted on our new rock… Water Island.

Honeymoon-BeachPossibly the happiest photo on the whole site…

Water Island is a small little island just south of St. Thomas. It’s about 490 acres, and has no stop lights, no convenience stores, no grocery stores, and very few people. There is however, a world-class beach with a beach bar, an old abandoned government fort tunneled through the mountain, lots of turtles, and very little traffic. I love it. The yellow Jeep lives on St. Thomas, and we drive our golf cart on Water Island. Our dinghy gets us between the islands for food and booze runs, and gets Christina to Charlotte Amalie for work. I work on Water Island, so I don’t leave very often, and that suits me just fine.

Another thing that suits me fine is the price of rum here.. apparently the government subsidizes the production of rum in the VI, so the prices are silly-cheap. It’s half what it costs anywhere else in the US. Not that I drink or anything. Much.

So Anyway…

Uprooting things like we did, I had to dismantle my tiny shop in Key West and put most of my tools in boxes to wait for shipment at a later date. The large things like table saws, mitre saws, drill presses, etc. had to stay, and they are being harbored by a friend in Orlando so whenever I decide to go back to the real world, I’ll have them there.

I’ve been slowly trying to get things back together, not really worrying too much about it until recently when I was contacted by a gentleman in Connecticut who wanted to commission a Steam Amp. Well, never one to back down from a challenge, I told him I was game if he wasn’t in too much of a hurry, and we agreed on a design and price, and off I go!

The Steam Amp II is somewhat similar to the original; same circuitry under the hood, but with much upgraded drivers, more inputs, a bluetooth receiver, and some cool-as-shit spherical speaker cans. I’ll be posting construction shots of this project along the way, so I’m not gonna go into any details now. I’m going to build 5 of these as a limited-edition run. That means there will be 4 more available, so if you want one.. drop me a line.

Another concept I worked on was the Æther Lamp. It shares a lot of the same aesthetics as the Steam Amp II, and would probably look great sitting on the same shelf. It’s built around an old 10″ glass fresnel lens I picked up on eBay a few years ago. I’d like to build a couple of these, and sell them as a pair.

I can’t wait to get started on these projects… stay tuned for updates.

Images modeled and rendered in Maya.

Stay Ævil..

Mike

DEUXamp Concept Art.

DEUX-Front-View-Mockup

 

Once More Into the Breach

Well it’s been about 6 months since I sent off the Dimensional Analysis Engine, and after that time away from my sculpture work I think I’m finally ready to begin my next project. A lot has happened since June. I changed my day job to something that’s a bit less of a hinderance to my happy place, and also I spent quite a bit of time away from my island on the mainland helping my sister care for our ailing mother in Orlando, and I’m not sure if it was just all of the free time on my hands, or the onus of impending death and my fear of mortality, but I was inspired to pick up the blow torch and chase that rabbit down the hole again. Regardless of reason though, I returned to key West after a month away with a solid design for my next project, and a renewed vigor. I enjoyed building my Steam Amp project so much that I’ve decided to revisit the valve amplifier idea.. except in a much, much larger way. At this time I’m just calling this project DEUX. Partly because it’s my second amp project, but mostly because it’s a pair of mono blocks.. that is, there are two of them. One for the left channel, and one for right channel. The circuit is a hotrodded version of the Dynaco MK III, which uses a pair of KT-88 output tubes, and puts out 60 watts per channel. I can’t wait to hear these babies!!! You’ll notice also from the concept sketch up above that I’m kind of taking this in a deco direction, which leaves it pretty squarely pointing towards diesel punk instead of steampunk, or maybe somewhere in between.. who knows. I have decided that I no longer want to try to force my work into one genre. Steampunk is awesome, and done well can be quite beautiful (just look at Art Donovan’s work), but I fear that mainstream steampunk and I have grown even farther apart than we were in the beginning of my journey, and as much as I love it, I feel like we should date other Genres. I don’t know.. I just can’t look at another spray painted nerf gun and feel like there’s anything real there. Don’t get me wrong.. I’m in no way bashing steampunk.. hell, it’s my bread and butter here, I just want some jam on my bread too. There will of course be a matching set of speakers, but I have yet to pry that design out of the dusty recesses of my cranium. They will be audiophile quality to match the level of the amps, and the system together should be totally freaking awesome sounding.. as you can tell I have high expectations.. haha. Cheers Ævil