Monday, December 21, 2009

This blog is now devoted to “historical” information about SteamSmiths’ world - a time and place that might be.

Most of my SteamPunk style creations have a story, a history, behind them; together the histories that go with each design, make up the larger history of the SeamSmith's world. When the pieces are offered online, their part of the story/history is in the product description. Realizing that, as pieces are sold, their part of the larger story is no longer published I decided to devote this blog to that history. As pieces are sold, their histories will be published here, in the context of related pieces.

SteamSmith history - Pirates of the Central Coast part 1

First The Central Coast Marine Militia struck at the heart of the scurrilous pirates infecting their region:

The Avenger submarine brooch/pin

The Central Coast Marine Militia was formed two years ago in response to an alarming increase in piracy in area waters. The CCMM's early attempts to rid the waters of the scourge with militia surface ships met with only modest results, and the ultimate sacrifice by some militia seamen. Deemed unsatisfactory by the militia hierarchy, CCMM then commissioned the secretive Elite Marine Engineering Ltd (EME) company to design and build an underwater warcraft. The vessel was designed and constructed with remarkable speed. Several companies have recently constructed underwater craft, but with limited success. An energy source has been the most persistent problem. Until now, steam had been ruled out because of the problem of exhaust while the craft was underwater. The EME craft has a prominent smokestack, suggesting the use of steampower. When asked generally about the power source, and in particular, what happens to the smoke stack when underwater, EME officials consistently reply the same way. A curt two-word reply, "proprietary information."

The CCMM named the new craft The Avenger in the hope, indeed the expectation, that this vessel would live up to its name. As it turned out, their confidence was well placed. In its first mission the Avenger sank the Darklady considered to be the flagship of (nameless for now)* the most notorious pirate in the Central Coast area. It is not known if he was aboard his flagship when it went down.

Then the Pirates struck back by taking to the skys: Pirate Airship "Revenge" brooch pin

The Pirates of the Central Coast region have unleashed a new weapon upon the commerce and the people of the area.

In recent years, the pirates of the Central Coast area have had their way with shipping in area waters. Many hapless seamen had the misfortune of serving on a vessel that the pirates had set their eyes upon. Fortunes were lost. The cost of life and limb, and the disruption of commerce caused great distress among the people of the region. Even the formation of the Central Coast Marine Militia (CCMM) three years ago had little effect on the havoc wreaked by these scoundrels. That was the case until the CCMM contracted for the services of Elite Marine Engineering Ltd to build an advanced submarine. "The Avenger" as she was christened turned the tables when she sank the pirate flagship "Darklady". Soon after the seas of the Central Coast were pacified under the watchful eyes of the CCMM. The rule of law prevailed.

Though they had been driven from those waters, the pirates were soon to return to the Central Coast area. It seems that resourcefulness is a quality well worn by this dastardly bunch. If the seas were taken from them, then the skies would be there's!

An extraordinarily fierce airship was build. Dubbed "Revenge", those who first saw its destructive abilities could hardly believe their eyes. Surely these thieving pirates did not possess such extraordinary airship building capabilities! Indeed, it has been said that disgruntled employees of Elite Marine Engineering aided the pirates by secretly passing on advanced technology. Regardless of the truth of these accusations, there was no denying the power of the ship. Among its weaponry was a model EM-667 gun, said to bring destructive force greater than Satin himself to any who lay in its way. The ship also features a forward ramming armature and, hidden behind the port porthole, an antique cannon. It is unknown if the pirates chose to place such a relic aboard in a fit of nostalgia, or if they simply had no other weaponry available (antique or not, it proved to be deadly). It is known that even though the pirates went to the considerable trouble to "obtain" the advanced EM-667 gun, they chose to buy a cheap rotating gear for it. As a result the gun does not rotate clockwise & counter clockwise as smoothly as it should; resulting in the occasional escape of an intended victim.

Never the less, the well being of the population of the Central Coast area is in jeopardy!

The Pirates continue to be well armed: Airship Pirate Long Gun EM L3000 brooch pin

When the Airship Pirates of the Central Coast Region “obtained” the amazingly destructive EM 667 canon for their airship “Revenge” they also “obtained” several advanced, remarkably accurate and destructive hand held long guns. This is the EM L3000. It is said to be the weapon that took the life of heroic Captain Giles Magnus in his ill-fated attempt to defend the flagship of the Central Coast Marine Militia air fleet against the pirates dreadnought “Revenge”.

Link to Long Gun brooch

Now Pirates prosper and grow arrogant: Airship Pirate insignia brooch pin

When the scoundrels who call themselves Airship Pirates gather, they proudly identify themselves with this Insignia Brooch. The symbolism is unmistakable; the profile and propeller of an airship with the crossed swords of the Pirates, and the craftsmanship is exceptional.

These Insignia Brooches are closely guarded by the Pirates, so it is no small matter for a good citizen to come into possession of one. Considerable risk was taken to procure this one - which is now available to you for purchase!

Link to Airship Pirate insignia brooch pin

Saturday, December 5, 2009

NewIndustries part 1: First ...

First there was the Corporate Airship (and the brooch/pin):

The latest in airship engineering and luxury, this one-of-a-kind corporate vessel is the one that NewIndustries upper management used recently to travel to the Capital to meet with politicians. Money was discussed. Reportedly the industrialists were pleased.

NewIndustries Part 1: Then there was the celebration (and the necklace):

Then there was the celebration (and the necklace):

NewIndustries recently unveiled their new corporate executive airship with a gala inaugural flight. Superbly engineered and crafted the vessel is said to be the most luxurious in the sky. Guests at the gala included not only the elite of the NewIndustries corporate executives, but also prominent artists, performers, politicians and aviators. All were treated to the finest Champaign and to culinary delights too delectable for words. Music was performed by the most extraordinary musicians on the continent. And, to make the evening extra memorable, all of the ladies aboard were presented with this commemorative necklace.

NewIndustrues Part 1: then - Tri-Stack

Then: NewIndustries Rapid Transport Tri-Stack Airship (and the brooch/pin)

Long the leader in commercial Airship design, NewIndustries recently unveiled this tri-stack model. Indented for the rapid transport of freight - particularly small parcels - this model is remarkably powerful for its size and is capable of transporting considerable freight at speeds equal to, or exceeding, most passenger vessels.

NewIndustries Ltd, part 1 : Heavy Cargo Airship

NewIndustries Ltd recently unveiled a new class of commercial airship.  The Heavy Cargo Airships, or "Heavy Haulers" were specifically designed for carrying commercial freight.  Incredibly powerful, the Heavy Hauler is considered yet another triumph for NewIndustries Ltd, securing their place as the leading builder of steam powered airships.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ArtSnark feature

Hey folks ... real nice feature about my Studio, etc up now on ArtSnarks blog.

Take a look:

Thanks Stacey!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Almost Fall

Fall is a great time of year here in Vermont, I am looking forward.

Had a great time wraping up Summer last weekend in Burlington. It was Art Hop weekend. Hundreds of artists in Burlington - realy amazing considering the small size of the city. The South End was ALIVE with art everywhere. Saw two artists with GREAT SteamPunk work. Yes, even in Northern Vermont SteamPunk is catching on. Nice to see.

Speak of nice to see, the leaves are just begining to turn. If you have a chance, come on up and see the Foliage - no better place to see foliage than Vermont.

all for now-

Mark, SteamSmith

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

a long time

Yes, it has been a long time since I left a post here.

I had surgery at the end of July. The time leading up to surgery was very hetic, trying to get all of the ducks lined up - and then after, well it has taken a while to realy get back into the swing.

I just had my 6 week check up and my doc - John Macy, MD - says that my new shoulder joint is doing VERY WELL. So, NO MORE excuses!

By the way, if you need shoulder work done, and can get to northern Vermont, John Macy is THE guy you want working on you!

On a whole different subject - as an artist, it is always interesting to see how other artists work. "ArtSnark" is offering us an interesting look at all of this on her blog - a peek at artist studios. The current featured studio is the antithesis of mine - the featured studio is VERY neat and clean! Check it out:

More later, I promise!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Work now posted

FINALLY got some new pieces up, both SteamSmithWorks on Etsy and
SteamSmith on 1000Markets. I have some additional new work but could not get the pictures taken in time; and I will be flat out for the next week or so. So, enjoy this work, and there will be more as soon as I can take pictures again.


Friday, April 3, 2009

1000Markets artist

Lots of great artists at 1000Markets. Earlier I mentioned WinonaCookie who has a store on Edsy. Great work! She now also has one on 1000Markets:

Any way, she and I and 3 other 1000Markets artists were "reviewed" in a blog by another 1000Markets artist (he makes GREAT wooden toys, and more). Check out his blog, entitled "My Fellow Artisans!" which is at his 1000Markets store:

Meanwhile, new work coming from me THIS weekend!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Joining, joining, joining

I never thought of myself as a big joiner, but I am doing it now!

Yesterday, on 1000Markets (aka 1km) I joined the Jewelry Artisans Marketplace and the Metalcraft market. Coincidentally, on the same day my long standing application to join the SteamTeam on Etsy was approved!

It is easy to get isolated here in Northern Vermont, especially back in the woods where we live. I hope that joining these online groups will help put me in touch with like-minded folks and help me to develop my own designs and marketing.

Thanks to all who participated in inviting me to these groups.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring!

We are expecting a beautiful sunny, but chilly, day here for the first day of Spring.

I received an early spring present yesterday, my pre-model castings arrived! That was rocket speed turnaround from my casting company!

I will be hard at work today getting new designs made. I still need some parts (chain, etc) that I ordered to come in before I can finish things, but there is lots of work that I can do NOW and I am about to get to it.

Hope that you have a good beginning of the season.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A great day for the Irish

We are expecting a truly GRAND day here in North Central Vermont today!

Right now - 6:30 am, it is 28 F, high is expected to be well into the 50's with wall to wall sunshine. Purrfect weather for maple sap flow, Spring skiing and a celebration of ones Irish heritage. Yes, my Mother was Irish, and I do observe the day.

Speak of spring skiing, my good buddy Charlie and I had a great day of spring skiing at Sugarbush on Sunday. Thanks to Kim Harris for arranging a pass for me! Conditions could not have been better! Just a little problem with sun burn! If you are out spring skiing, don't forget the sun screen!
It is off to work for me. Even though my pre-model castings are not ready yet, I do have several pieces that I am working on - a Steamy Moose Time Traveler necklace, and a group of Star Trek based designs - NEW Star Trek movie coming out in May!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

pre-models finished

After weeks of work, I have finally completed the pre-models for my new group of designs.

What are pre-models you ask? When I make original works in pewter, some times a part is repeated within a piece, or used over and over again as a component of several pieces. Rather than make each of these parts over and over again, I make the part once, and have a casting company make a mold and a number of pre-model castings. Now I can use these castings, together with unique parts, to make unique pieces more efficiently.

The pre-models in this group include some Airship parts, a fabulous pair of bird wings that my Dad made (he gave me permission to use them) a number of bezel settings and some surprises! Among the new pieces that I will be making is a group of Steamy Art Deco pieces. These pieces will include genuine black onyx stones. The four different size and shape bezels that I made are for those stones.

I hope to get the castings back from my caster in a week or so, and have new work finished and into my store by the end of the month.

Keep an eye!

aka SteamSmith

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Counting is important. Counting how many pieces in inventory, counting how many days until Christmas and counting on a friend.
It is also important to count the number of people, in our neighborhood, in the area, in the country.

Lucky me, I get to do some of that, soon! Yes, I have accepted a temporary job with the US Census! I start next month. This means that my new shoulder will have to wait.

You can count on me to continue my creative work while at the Census, and I will be back in the studio full time this summer.

Mark aka SteamSmith

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

good morning

Crazy weather here, a big thaw over the weekend, then snow yesterday, rain expected today.

I have a free pass for ONE day of skiing at Sugarbush Resort, trying to pick a good day - it is tough!

Nancy and I went to her son Jason's "new" bar Saturday night. The bar has been around for years, but Jason just purchased it this Fall. It is a fun & friendly local tavern. If you find yourself in the Pittsfield Vermont area, stop in at the Clear River Tavern.

I am hard at work trying to get a big group of new designs together before my surgery on April 3.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Getting the Hang of it

I am starting to get the hang of blogging and the whole social aspect of the internet.

Today I started a blog on my 1000Markets store, and left a long (possibly too long!) message on the 1000Markets "Vermont ... a way of life" forum.


I am now looking into Tweeter and Facebook, and I know that I need to do more with my profile here. Wish me luck.

I have to make this short today as I need to run into town to ship a few things and I hope to get in a short ski on the Catamount Trail - looks like good corn snow conditions right now!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday is the newest place to find my SteamPunk jewelry on line.

I received a real nice invitation from elenamary to join the "SteamPunk Style" market over there. FIRST, I had to open a store! Which is now up and running. If you have a chance, stop by and visit; while you are there, click on the SteamPunk Style market and take a look at the great things that are being offered over there.

Aside from that, a pretty mundane day - got the car inspected (way past due), some groceries, you get the picture.

I spoke to Sally on the phone. She continues to struggle. I hope that things improve for her soon.

Not much snow on the ground - the last big storm left us with just a bit of new snow. We could use more; but then I would have to shovel the roof again!

I will stop by again soon, hopefully with something more substantive to say.

Mark aka SteamSmith

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sorry that I have been out of touch

No excuse, just got behind with my correspondence.

Marie, a month ago (how time flys!) you noted that there are 12 soldering different "techniques" on my submarine. Actually, what my listing says is that there are 12 different soldering operations. A soldering operation is when you head up two pieces of metal and then melt a third piece of metal (that has a lower meling point) in between the first two pieces, joining them together. Doing this more than once on the same piece of jewelry is tricky because, when you go to solder the second time, you heat up the whole piece of jewelry, and if you are not very careful, the solder from the first time will melt and the piece will fall apart. So soldering 12 different times on the same small piece is very tricky.

About techniques; I frequently use three soldering techniques. Hard soldering, tin soldering, and a combination of tin soldering and pewter welding.

Hard soldering involves high melting point metals. Like gold and silver; and in the case of the pieces I am making for SteamSmithWorks, brass, bronze and nickel silver. Unless you are working with gold, hard soldering usually uses silver solder. Silver solder has a high melting point, about 1700 degrees F and is great for joining higher melting point metals like brass, bronze and nickel silver (and, of course, silver).

Since pewter melts at about 600 degrees F, obviously silver solder is not going to work - the whole piece of pewter would melt into a puddle before the silver solder got hot enough to melt! So one uses tin solder (pewter is an alloy of mostly tin). The tin solder melts at a lower melting point than pewter, so you can use it to solder pieces of pewter together AND to solder pieces of other metals, like brass, to pieces of pewter.

The third technique that I use a lot is a combination of tin soldering and pewter welding. If I am joining two larger pieces of pewter together, first I will solder them with tin solder, then I will meld a little pewter (higher melting point than the solder) and force it into the joint. The result is a stronger joint.

Of course there is more to it than this brief summery; there is more to it.

To put all of this into the context of how I make my pieces; in a nut shell, I make the parts separately from each other, and then solder them all together! Just like my father taught me.

Marie, keep up your good work. I especially like your roses.

That is all for now.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

crazy busy week

Sorry that I have been out of touch. It has been quite a week.

Saturday & Sunday I finished, and listed on my Edsy store, my two latest Steamy designs. Check 'em out!

Monday I skied 15 miles. There was a group tour of a section of the Catamount Trail that I wanted to ski - the section is 11 miles. I had the choice of driving 30 miles to join the group, or skiing 4 miles to join the group - so I skied up and over Lincoln Gap Road (closed to vehicles in winter). I was realy beat Monday night.

Tuesday started with my submitting a proposal to sell a group of SteamPunk style jewelry to a new on line store. Wish me luck.

Later on Tuesday I had a doc appointment and learned that I need a new shoulder joint. The good news is that this proceture has a realy good success rate. The bad news, I need to do it!

Thursday I lead a ski tour; 15 skiers on an 8 mile ski that included 1800 vertical feet of up hill, and down. That is a lot of UP hill skiing. Thank goodness for climbing skins.

Friday I started some new Airship designs and did a bunch of catching up.

And this morning, I finaly had my chance to submit my application for membership to the Edsy SteamTeam. That team is a realy creative bunch and seriously active in the SteamPunk gente. Hopfuly I will be joining them soon!

Keep in touch,
Mark aka SteamSmith

Monday, February 9, 2009

another weekend gone

I have spent the weekend fighting a cold. Hate to waste weekends that way.

On Friday I finished my first pair of Steamy cuff links; airship theme. I am working on a new airship necklace now. Hope to have both up on SteamSmithWorks later this week.

Also in the middle of re-organizing inventory, etc. LOTS going on here.

If you have not been to Maries store lately, be sure to check it out. Lots of new product and a GREAT new avatar:


I am back to work,

Mark aka SteamSmith

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

shoveling the roof

Just got in from shoveling the roof. I love living in northern Vermont and I love snow. But shoveling the roof ... not my favorite.

Would much rather be making steamy stuff. Have lots of ideas, limited time & energy. I will try to make creative work a priority for tomorrow morning. I am always at my most creative in the morning.

Sally, nice talking with you yesterday, hope that your computer is back in action by now.

This pic is from last winter, not quite

as much snow this year, but it is only early Feb!


Mark aka SteamSmith

Monday, February 2, 2009

back to work

Skiing "3030" aka Braintree Mountain, went well on Saturday. A jovial group, lots of exercize. One guy had a GPS and emailed the stats last night:

1720' uphill climb

2408' downhill ski

5 miles & 3940 feet total distance

Snow conditions were funky, nice powder on top, a crust that sometimes broke under our weight and sometimes did not was under the powder. So, the downhill skiing that should have been easy turned out to be tricky.

One of the folks in the group, Lynn Fisher, shot some vidio:

I fell in the same spot seconds later.

Lazy day on Sunday.

Now it is back to work. Lots of routeen stuff to do AND I need to get to work on new SteamSmith product.



Friday, January 30, 2009

busy week

Lots going on is SteamSmith world this week.

Started a NEW airship pin. Hope to have it finished and up on Etsy next week.

Had a big ski on Wed - long solo climb with lots of trail breaking, in a snow storm. Lots more wind up high than I had expected. Home safe and sound, and lots of exercise.

Another big ski tomorrow. Will be skiing up & down "3030" (central Vermont) with a group of 20 or so other skiers. Lots of trail breaking expected - report is that there is 16 inches of new snow at the bottom of the route - probably means more at the top. Will be good to have a large group to help break trail.

And Nancys daugher, Dana Lee, has been staying with us this week. She is back from her 2 year assignment in China and is about to begin a 2 year stint in Australia. So it is great that she and her Mom get to spend this time together.

Dana promices to leave my new SteamSmith cards in the "right" places in Phily (her next stop in the States) and Sydney (where she will be working). It would be great for me to hook up with an urban market or two.

Meanwhile, lots of work to do, so I am off to it.

Mark aka SteamSmith

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm Baaaack

I was out sick for three days; got behind with a lot of stuff, just catching up now.

Also trying to ski more these days as I have a big ski day the middle of next month, and need to be in shape for it.

Yesterday I discovered a GREAT steampunk website:

Definitely worth checking out. I already have 1 idea for a new design just from one short visit to the site.

Still catching up with stuff, back at it now.

Mark aka Steamsmith

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I just put a new item up on my SteamSmithWorks Etsy store. It is the Avenger submarine.

When you read the story about this submarine, you will learn about the priacy problem in the Centeral Cost area. The little story mentiones a pirate leader who I do not have a name for yet!

Read the story in my Etsy store, then leave your suggestion for the pirates name here. If I select the name that you suggested, you get 10% off your next purchace on

Good luck!

aka SteamSmith

Thursday, January 15, 2009

third day as a blogger

I got a really nice response from Sally D. yesterday. Lots of folks have been real supportive of my new steampunk work. I have heard from several other steampunk artists with lots of great remarks.

I first discovered steampunk when I stumbled on WinonaCookie's Etsy store. She does great work! I love the stories that accompany each piece.

That was just two months ago. At any rate, since her work is what really got me into this genre, her opinion is important to me. In a message to me she said: "Your stuff *rocks*!!"

That was great to hear. Makes me want to get back into the studio!

Hope to hear from you......


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

second day

Yes, it is my second day as a blogger!

Some work and some play today. I strapped on the skis and headed out the back door this afternoon; about an hour of cross country skiing. Good for the heart.

Have been thinking a lot about the SteamPunk work. Decided that my next peice will be a submarine. Came up with a name and started to write the copy before I had a good idea of what it should look like, but I have that in my head now. All that is left to do is to make it!

Looking forward to my first visator comment.

Back to work,

Mark aka SteamSmith

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Forgot to mention - a really fun part of SteamPunk is the whole idea of "advanced" airships!

SteamPunk genre


Welcome to my first ever blog entry!

Seven weeks ago I discovered steampunk; a genre of expression - art, literature, fashon ... you get the idea.

Blew me away.

I discovered it when I stumbled upon the Etsy store of WinonaCookie. Great work, mostly collage. Each piece of visual art comes with a story, a little piece of literature. Realy well done.

About the genre, imagine if Jules Verns books were FACT, not fiction! That is sort of the idea.

So I got to work making some of the bazillion ideas that come into my head and created my own steampunk theme shop:


Please visit, tell me what you think.

Mark aka SteamSmith