In which I perform random acts of experimental plastic surgery

18 04 2017

Approximately six months and one day ago, I put up a post encapsulating my adventures in the fabrication of steampunk-themed props. These adventures have continued and, indeed diversified, as detailed below.


This exceedingly rare ‘Nicotinizing Embubblifier’ is yet another of the seemingly-inexhaustible range of pipeware produced, in the 1880s, by the Croydon firm of Geo. Dottlesworth & Sons. The Embubblifier, introduced with, it seems, some desperation into the Dottlesworth product list shortly before the once-ubiquitous company’s precipitous collapse in 1889, made use of Dottlesworth’s patent-refused Pneumatic Refluxionation technology, by which ‘the Pipe’s combustive Vapours are entrained through a miniaturized, self-heated Chamber wherein they are admixed with a mild Emulsifying Agent, thereby producing a regular and entrancing cascade of tobacco-scented Bubbles.  Whether as a locus of merriment at Parties, Sporting Events, and Funerals, or as a discreet yet unmistakable distress signal on occasions of Maritime Disaster, the Embubblifier is truly the Pipe of a Thousand Uses’. Three hundred and seventy-two were produced by Dottlesworth’s teams of skilled urchins; eight were sold. Unsold items were, of course, lost in the highly-suspicious Great Dottlesworth Fire of 1890.

This particular Embubblifier, believed to be only one of three still in existence, is considered to have been the property of Lieutenant Jedediah P. Knackersby, a military officer in the Punjab, who was allegedly never seen without at least one pipe, and more often two, protruding from his mouth. It is thought that a defect in the pipe’s refluxionation chamber, resulting either from its manufacture or from the effects of the oppressive subcontinental heat, led to an unfortunate blockage and, shortly thereafter, Lt. Knackersby’s untimely demise. The Lieutenant became, for a short time, the world’s first (and thus far sole) sentient hot-air balloon, before he was brought down by enemy fire.


I’ve also diversified into figurines / dolls / toys, however you choose to describe them. The above is ‘Beaky’, constructed by drafting the head of a toy pterodactyl onto the body of a solar-powered light-up votive statue. The solar light pretty much only illuminates the underside of his beak, but there you go.


I call this one ‘My Little Cyclops’.


This is Lumenilla, with a plastic left-arm thresher and a battery-powered booklight head.


And yes, that’s a seahorse. Or, if you prefer, a mermare.

I don’t, unfortunately, have life stories for these, because who has the time?

I’ll be showing these off (and several others besides) on the Peggy Bright Books / Celestial Cobbler table which Edwina Harvey and I will be manning at Ironfest 2017, which kicks off this Friday afternoon at the Lithgow showgrounds.




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