Sunday, 2 June 2013

Success in Breeding Rare Cornish Coppermine Nautilus Cephalopod

Rare Cornish Coppermine Nautilus now
successfully breed in captivity by Boffins Bunker Laboratory
Success in Breeding Rare Cornish Crypto-zoological
Steampunk Coppermine Nautilus Cephalopod

With so many species on the CITES endangered species list it is always good news when a crypto-zoological creature is saved from brink of extinction. 
That's what has happened in Cornwall (UK) thanks to brilliant work of Professor Boffins Bunker (me).  The incredibly rare & seldom before seen Cornish Coppermine Nautilus has now been successfully breed in captivity in Boffins secret steampunk laboratory in Cornwall.
Rare Cornish Coppermine Nautilus
in tin colouration embryonic stage 
What is known about Cornish Coppermine Nautilus? 
Cornwall is extremely rich in mineral deposits like tin, lead, copper, even gold & has been extensively mined over millennium from pre-Roman times to the point where certain parts of Cornwall are like a Swiss cheese, with many holes & tunnels boring through it (ex. St. Day & Redruth). 
What is far less known are some of the crypto-zoological species which are now said to inhabit these primarily abandoned cave & mine tunnel networks. For example the Cave-mouth dwelling Cornish Copper legged tarantula or the aquatic Cornish Coppermine Nautilus.
Cornish Coppermine Nautilus are thought may originally have been marine cave dwelling creatures from around the Cornish coast which have subsequently found their way into flooded mine shafts & tunnels.  Here they have adapted & evolved to live in such a hostile heavy metal mineral deposit environment.
Rare Cornish Coppermine Nautilus
in pre-copper metal colouration stage
The Boffins laboratory breed species go through various stages of development:-

(i)  Embryonic tin coloured stage
(ii) Pink/beige secondary stage (pre being fed copper mineral heavy deposits)
(ii) Copper stage (maturity)

Rare Cornish Brass Cephalopod Octopus,
also breed in Boffins Bunker Laboratory
Boffins said; "We are delighted with our laboratory successes to date in proliferating  these rare & lesser known Cornish creatures.  Whilst we deplore some irresponsible genetic DNA tinkering & Frankenstein like modification between non-related species, we ourselves are at the very forefront of pushing the boundaries of pseudo-science crypto-zoology in Cornwall.  In time we hope to bring even more lesser known species to the attention of a wider public, funding permitting"

Besides the Cornish Coppermine Nautilus, there are a already number of crypto-zoological species quite unique or rare to Cornwall which have successfully come out of the Boffins Laboratory.  These include various Fiji-mermaid like creatures, the previously mentioned copper legged cave tarantula, & examples of what some have referred to as 'dead-fairies', plus the aquatic Cornish pasty crimped jellyfish species.

To contact Boffins Bunker simply join twitter for laboratory updates & find him loitering there!

Friday, 3 May 2013

How to Create a not-so Antique Anatomical Figure for the 'Cabinet of Curiosities'


Anatomical & other 'Cabinet of Curiosities' pieces
on sale in specialist London shop.

'Cabinet of Curiosities'
Creating not-so Antique Anatomical
 Figure Pieces or High Prices

The sterility of minimalist interior fashion decorating has dominated UK homes in recent years, but there is a quiet counter move going on. 

The good news is the 'Cabinet of Curiosities' room is back in favour with some (including some within the Steampunk movement).  Collecting of interesting objects & artefacts has also been made far easier with accessibility of the internet. 

There those seeking out the 'different' & who clearly do not want mundane, boring bland beige sameness of smooth mass produced 'ticky-tacky' one piece injection moulded plastic seemingly created more for benefit of modern manufacturer & retailer, than the customer.

In recent years there has been a steady surge in collecting of Surgical Antiques & Macabre Anatomical Medical Pieces.  Many of the more spectacular prized early pieces already housed in private wealthy 'Cabinet of Curiosities' collections & museums.

Wax male anatomical figure, Italian,

The downside is prices, sometimes of thousands of pounds are being fetched at Auction for such antique anatomical pieces & are well beyond the shallow pockets of the Boffin.

Boffin Solution:-
Create your own
Anatomical Faux Figure 

Centre of picture: Boffins Bunker
created Anatomical Figure

The Boffins Bunker Anatomical figure (centre of picture above & in image below) has been created by using a car boot purchased former child's toy 'Man of Action' (or GI Joe).  Wrapped head to toe, mummy like, in masking tape.  Coated in Black ebonised French button polish. Decoupage with a copyright free anatomical illustration printed off on computer.  Applied with PVA glue.  When dry, polished with Dark Tan shoe polish for the aged patina & wax effect.  

Above: Two example of Boffins Bunker Anatomical
figures (I) Skeleton (ii) Muscles for a 'Cabinet of Curiosities'

There you are dear Boffin Bunker Laboratory journal reader, a relatively simple project (NB: may involve sticky fingers)

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Steampunk Cornwall Information Test Card #1

See here for Facebook message

Unfortunately Boffin has to be doing something else today. 
So here is a picture of a poster of a STEAMPUNK EVENT
(Steampunk in Springtime) taking place in Cornwall (UK)
May 11th 2013.

Further details can be found via this Steampunk Cornwall link

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Get sticky fingers, glue on gears & call it Steampunk

Dear Boffin Laboratory journal readers

Now please don't get me wrong, I think the video below is very clever, really funny, both accurate & also skewed in equal degrees.


Perhaps one thing the Boffin liked & drew me to steampunk is my 'theory' it encourages people to personal creativity at many different levels.  The 'theory' that anyone can join in and have a go at 'steampunk'. 

...and for some that may mean simply 'Gluing some gears on' something.

That includes the Boffin to a greater or lesser degree, who just likes to tinker with resources available.  Those resources being (1) personal level of ability (2) materials I can afford/access.

Boffins Bunker Android Robot Desktop Pen holder
(Gears & stuff glued to 1980's plastic toy tat)

However having sniffed around the steampunk world there is a definite whiff of elitist snobbery  wafting up from behind a veil of otherwise polite & congenial conversation generally encountered in Aether web online steampunk circles.  

Much of this 'from beneath petticoat snipping' seems aimed at some eBay & Etsy contributors. (No, the Boffin does not sell on Etsy or eBay, but who is to say I won't?)

Ok, yes, the Boffin concedes there are some truly awful screaming gaffs out there for sale masquerading as steampunk. Some of which elicit even from the Boffin a response of 'you are joking', (Which is why there is the saying :- 'Caveat emptor'... Buyer Beware), but there are crafters genuinely skilled, creative & finding their own style, level & abilities...and having fun & maybe even making a penny or two!

There really are some stonking creative, skilled & astoundingly talented people contributing to the craft of steampunk aesthetic/genre.  Some more or perhaps differently skilled than others. Boffin weeps in complete & unabashed jealousy at the mind boggling talent abilities of some to create wondrous works of art, be it an object or like clothing that Boffin cannot even aspire too stitch together (as some steampunk clothing are surely a work of art).

The Corkscrew : Rob Higgs : Artist in Cornwall
Yes it really opens & pours a bottle of wine!

Britain's certainly got talent, (as have some resident crafters/artists in Cornwall) but in levels of physical & craft creativity which is often overlooked,  as demonstrated by the UK government expressed intent to drop crafts from list of creative industries

Having seen what is sometimes considered & constitutes as highbrow 'ART' by elitists drawing up the short list for such as the prestigious Turner Prize award, actually gluing some gears onto 1980's plastic tat & spaying it copper & calling it Steampunk, in comparison the Boffin finds sticky fingers to be most creative (& therapeutic) indeed.

This Boffin will continue to glue on gears & calling it steampunk.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Rare Aquatic Cornish Pasty Victorian Museum Specimen Find

Tiny part of Boffins Bunker 'Cabinet of Curiosities ' Collection
Rare Aquatic Cornish Pasty Victorian Species Specimen
found in Scandinavian Museum Cabinet

Dear Boffins laboratory journal reader

Living in social & geographical isolation as the Boffin does (like you had not noticed) it was my various medication, meanderings, collections & tinkering's which drew me to the steampunk aesthetic.  Boffins own 'Cabinet of Curiosities' being various & peculiar, the steampunk objects & gadgets just nestle right in there alongside occult & natural history specimens.

The Boffin recently read on Brass Goggles forum that Steampunk is not just about Victorian-esque cloths!? 

For me it has never been about the cloths.  Heresy for some SP's, well yes, Boffin concurs there is something both airy & convenient about wearing nothing but an open back surgical frock gown, prosthetic assisted & converted elbow length rubber acid proof gauntlets, surgical face mask & multiple magnified optical lens apparatus in the laboratory (Health & Safety would approve). 

However this is apparently not a good look or socially acceptable day wear to answer the front door for receiving eBay parcels from the man of the postal service.  It's the bending to put the parcel down exposing lower nether region buttock cleavage due to wearing nothing but the open back surgical gown that clinched it, or should that be clenched it. Who knew?

The point being Steampunk is for some adherents to the genre/aesthetic other than cloths.  For the Boffin it revolves around my ever growing 'Cabinet of Curiosities'.

Which is why I was delighted to learn that an exceedingly rare example of the believed to have been lost 'Aquatic Cornish Pasty'  Pasty aquaticus had been located in a Scandinavian Museum Cabinet.

 Genuine specimen Finnish Museum Natural History;
 said by Prof. BB may be of the extremely rare 'Aquatic Cornish Pasty'

A little research quickly established no records whatsoever of a Victorian captive breeding programme of these strange & rather bizarre frilly tentacle creatures. Despite now being rumoured to have been used by the Bodmin Moor fishing fleet to herd towards nets,  the equally rare Cornish double winged flying pilchard as used to be caught off the East coast of Cornwall.

Now the geographically inclined will say 'Hang on , there is no East coast of Cornwall, that's called Devon' .  Exactly!  That is what makes these 'Aquatic Cornish Pasty' beasties so damn rare!

Both of the exceptional Cornish species said to be rarer than even a live specimen of the Scottish Haggis. 

Boffins Bunker has secured initial research funding from the Brass Ministry of Pointless Experimental Exercises, a micro small steampunk budgetary section of the Treasury Dept.  If the Boffin can procure a tissue sample from the Scandinavian museum pickled wet specimen, then Cornish Pasty, Jellyfish & Sculpey *TM cross breeding programme can be eventually begun in the Bunker early last year.

Boffins Bunker experiments cannot be any weirder than fish genetic DNA being used in tomatoes?

Boffin will let you know how we get on in time. (In time for what I'm not sure)

For many more examples of 'Cabinet of Curiosities' Wet Specimens both real & faux visit Boffins Bunker research page on Pinterst  'Get Wet & Pickled' 

Monday, 29 April 2013

STEAMPUNK: Come in from cold of Brass Monkeys & warm up with Brass Goggles

See no evil, Hear no evil, speak no evil
......the 4th, do no evil (holding his neither regions) is missing

Come in from cold of Brass Monkeys & warm up with Brass Goggles

It can be cold out there in internet Aether. I find I have to wade through so much stuff to get to anything that I want, I feel like a virtual clothing fashion hoarder looking for a collar stud.

Trying to find out about Steampunk is no different.  In theory Steampunk is supposed to be on the rise in cultural popularity.  For those who become interested at a peripheral level, finding out more may seem quite complex & involved.

I could save you the effort of reading all this, by simply saying 'Brass Goggles'

But where did I start?
Well the search engine Google seemed the obvious choice.  For me that brought up 42,500,00 results for the broadest of search terms 'STEAMPUNK'.  Forty two & a half million results...and I'm not reading through all that lot!

Google has algorithm-ish type thingy-whatsits (I bet its steam nanotechnology manipulated by steam wizards) which apparently tailor  search results based on your IP address previous viewing/searches (or something like that). 

The 1st ten on my Google Steampunk search results:- Top of Google came a paid for advert for some fancy dress costumes to buy.  (Not a particularly good or encouraging start)

Then came:-
(1) Wikipedia entry:- (The reading of which did not overly excite me, but was informative in its diversity)
(2) Google images of steampunk.  (Proliferated by seemingly leather clad persons & some fine creations gadget artefacts, but this changes frequently)
(3) Steampunk Empire; A forum (Mainly American) This was my own 1st point of entry into the world of SP.  I joined the good ship 'Steampunk Empire', although I am in the UK, I pop by nearly every day.
(4) The Independent, a UK newspaper article, (expounding that Steampunk is the latest fashion).
(5 & 6) Two commercial clothing websites (Yawn, sorry that was most rude of me)
(7) Steampunk Face book (Hmmm, make your own mind up on this one!)
(8) A 'How too Steampunk' (Now this I liked in parts)
(9) Amazon (flogging mainstream stuff!)
(10) article 'What is steampunk' (Now unfortunately this website set of my malware detector & the little Lilliput lady held captive in my computer started to scream  'Threat has been detected' like a demented female version of the Robot in Space family Robinson'  "Warning, Warning, Danger, Danger, etc. etc." which is why I have not included a link)

Now Google searches I find are like newspapers, the most interesting stuff is usually on page two & three.  (NB: I most certainly do not mean the red top tabloids, harrumph!)

Google search page two revealed for me two items of note:-
(1) Steampunk Magazine:- Informative (But felt a little sterile to me)

& then we have...
(2) Brass Goggles;  A UK based forum

Brass Goggles is the 'GO TO' site!

If you want to know more about the vast diversity under the umbrella term 'Steampunk', allocate some solid research time (hours spread over days multiplied by  beverages of choice) reading through oodles of postings that most suite your particular leanings & inclinations regarding steampunk.   Be aware some threads tend to meander & wander a bit.

I personally encountered problems registering on Brass Goggles over a period of weeks attempting.  The Brass Goggles machinery gremlins did not like my email addresses at all.  I eventually used an email from a seldom used account & finally joined the forum. Ta-dah, tenacity & perseverance over machines wins every time or that of use of a 4lb lump hammer!!

So there is no need to be out with the Brass Monkeys, in the past future world of Steampunk come in from the cold and see if Brass Goggles fit. (Even if it's just to lurk as a guest)
I have now complied with terms on a sticky thread on Brass Goggles that if I want to mention my steampunk blog on BG postings, 'quid pro quo' I have to have mention of Brass Goggles on my blog.

NB:  One of the lesser known steampunk websites I personally like can be found HERE

DASH! Bother & Blast! Wouldn't you know it.  There IS a Steampunk jewellery artist called 'Brass Monkeys'!  I wish to make it quite clear the above article was reference to the long accepted & historical term reference to Brass Monkeys as being an indication of cold & not intended as a slur in anyway upon the creativity of Steampunk Brass Monkeys, the artist.  Not being on Facebook I had not come across them.  However, in fairness here is a link to their FB page. 

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Steampunk needs the Northern territories!

The territories in the North need your steampunk assistance.

Dear Boffin Bunker Laboratory Journal Readers

The Boffin received a despatch Aether message over the tweetering network requesting urgent help.  A steampunk festival initiative needs a boost. 

The message may be found here:-

All important further information for this worthy Steampunk venture may be found here;-

Now who amongst the Steampunk brethren & sisterhood could not support the idea of a steampunk festival initiative in the North of England. 

The simplest of contribution is furthering information of the valiant aim via various social media....

...or putting long arms into short pockets & pledging/making a donation of a sovereign or two. You know it makes sense. 

Only through evangelical proselytising of getting steampunk & its diversity more widely known to the greater public will fresh blood & new explorers be recruited to the great adventure (the appreciation of the style, genre, aesthetics simply follows naturally)

Do something jolly nice today!

kind regards

Boffins Bunker

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Proper Cornish Trevithick Steampunk Pasty from Cornwall

Proper Cornish Trevithick Steampunk Pasty from Cornwall

Dear Boffins Laboratory journal reader

Today is Richard 'Trevithick Day' in Camborne, Cornwall.  Mr Trevithick being one of the founding fathers of steam & his 'Puffing Devil' (Don't believe, then click the link?) therefore the Boffin thought he'd tinker up something proper Cornish steampunk in the laboratory.

It is said that the Cornish once had such a reputation for putting anything in their pasties that the Devil refused to cross the Tamar from Devon least he end up in a pasty. 

Now given the propensity of steampunkers to add gears, watch parts, sprockets, rivets & pistons  to anything that they can lay their hands seemed only right and proper to 'steampunk a pasty'.

The Cornish are right proud of their pasties, just look at the stink kicked up when that up-country gentleman (I use the word very loosely) tried slapping a VAT tax on pasty's.

Because the Cornish once had a reputation of putting anything in a pasty,
 the Devil refused to cross the Tamar from Devon least he end up in one! 

What is more the Cornish pasty is a protected species, seriously!  It has PGI protected status from the Brussels European Commission, just like Champagne does from the Champagne region of France.  If a pasty is made anywhere else but in Cornwall (UK) it cannot by European law be called a Cornish pasty.

...and if you really want to upset a Cornish person...put carrots in your pasty.  They will not be impressed. 

Don't even start on whether it should be crimped to one side or down the middle, that's how civil wars are caused.  Then there is the whole short crust verses flaky pastry debate, that can keep Cornish bal maids jawing for hours as to one or the tuther.

Even the spelling of it; 'pasty' or 'pastie' can cause a long discussion.

Steampunkers will add gears, clock parts, rivet it & put a piston in
 anything if its in their reach & they can get their hands on it!

It is said in Cornwall that the pasty was invented for the Cornish tin miners croust (see Cornish dialect words), the end left over bit of the pasty which was held in the miners hands was then left as a token offering for the 'knockers'.

More recent research in 2006 has thrown up a little dilemma from Devon in 1510, but we won't talk about that....tis blasphemy in Cornwall!

Now I have to go as there appears to be a flame torch bearing lynch mob making its way up from the village towards the Boffins Bunker laboratory.  They will be here 'dreckly' & after what happened to Victor Frankenstein & his experimental laboratory I'd better go batten down the blast doors.

kind regards

Boffins Bunker

NB:- Judging from this video of the 'Puffing Devil', the day went well.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Pickle wet specimen creatures for the Steampunk Victorian Cabinet of Curiosities

Pickle wet specimen creatures for the Steampunk Victorian Cabinet of Curiosities

(Alternative title: 'Get Wet & Pickled')
(Another alternative title: 'A wet specimen is for life, not just Halloween')

Genuine Museum preserved Wet Specimens
Every respectable gentleman (& some less respectable) of Victorian leisure & science would have had a virtual home museum of artefacts & objects in their private collection, often housed in the library or study.

Malplaquet House, London
image acquired from Pinterest

Cabinet of Curiosities, or Wunderkammer of quirky, weird & natural (& unnatural) wonders. These were often after dinner conversation pieces for the gentlemen (& the more adventurous non-swooning ladies).

Now these collected objects could get pretty bizarre & genuinely quite creepy.  However, no respectable well read person of Victorian science or barking mad laboratory boffin would surely have been without their wet 'specimens'.  Boffins Bunker no exception & we had to create a few of our own for our cabinet of curiosities.

From Boffins Bunker's own 'Cabinet of Curiosities'
(i) Real Snakeskin Oil, (ii) Kraken Squid Cephalopod, (iii) Occult Divination Nutshells

Wet squid specimens nestled amongst other objects in
the Boffin Bunker 'Cabinet of Curiosities'

I have an inspiring image collection of Cabinet of Curiosity collections here on my Pinterest

but where does one get specimens?

Ah, well, that takes application & dedication, ferreting about and often looking at things in a slightly different the luminous fishing bait moppet lure used in the above wet Kraken squid specimen.

"I collect.
What I cannot collect, I create. 
What I cannot create, I imagine.
What I cannot imagine...others will,.. in time!

A virtual collection of wet specimen images may be found here on Boffin Bunkers Pinterest board 'Get Wet & Pickled'

Thursday, 25 April 2013

So Steampunk ...Cornish Masked Ball & a Rabbit Hole

So Steampunk ...Cornish Masked Ball & a Rabbit Hole

Picture liberated from Masked Ball Website

Trawling through my early morning Aether Cornwall messages with my 1st coffee of the day I spotted the combination of (a) Masked Ball & (b) Rabbit Hole.  Now that's enough to make any Steamer prick their eye balls up, even an old laboratory recluse like me.

Turns out there is a cliff top ticketed party planned at Porthleven on May 4th.  That's  damn near right outside the Bunker laboratory door. 

Who knew?

Well actually clearly a lot of young folk (these urchins & urchinettes all communicate by magic & pheromones you know!) as all the early bird tickets for the Masked Ball are gone!

But indications are some regular tickets remain at time of lab journal writing!

This Porthleven Cornish cliff top event is in fact so close-ish  if I cut down some trees, shifted a hill slightly to the right, and excavated the valley floor by fifty feet I could probably with aid of low level ocular device even see the Masked Ball camp site from the Bunker blast doors.

Picture liberated from Masked Ball Website

Now anything that's likely to jig my laboratory test tubes into dancing a shanty on the shelf requires further investigation and it turns out the cunning blighters have done it before.  So certainly no novice Cornwall Masked Ball event.  This is planned, organised & clearly out for fun, if a little video I found is any indication.

I like it when people have fun, its a commodity in relative short supply.

Picture liberated from Masked Ball Website

Now although the Boffins Bunker is several miles from the sea as the crow flies, I can genuinely sometimes hear Atantic storm waves breaking on the shore when the wind is in the right direction. The chances are I may well get to hear the rhythmic beat of the Masked Ball carried on the wind, (or reverberating through the old tin mine tunnels beneath the bunker).

I will stand at the Bunker doors & from a distance, with a suitably liquid libation, jig solitary in conjoined spirit with these happy young folk.

For more information ;-

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Fuzzy Spectrum Steampunk meandering or What is steampunk?

Fuzzy Spectrum Steampunk meandering or What is steampunk?

Define steampunk... is it pre-'polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride'
Oh dear, Boffin has again been asked 'what is steampunk'?

For me & I can only speak personally, to me it is;-

A fantasy view of a pre WWI-past era envisaged into the future, created or enacted/stitched/built/written/painted/performed/etc. in the present
 had they had our technology in the past.
(There you go.... Clear as mud!)

Historical era wise for me  Steampunk draws influence from & reflects (but not slavishly copies) a style period from the end of the Georgian C18th running up until-ish the end in 1910 of Edward the VII reign or a pre-WW1 (1914-18), so Victorian-esque give or take a decade of style origin.

...or to put it another way Steampunk reflects mainly (but not exclusively)  a time pre-mass production of 'polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride' or 'Bakelite' as it is more commonly known as, an early plastic invented in 1907.

iRetrofone Steampunk styled after one of bakelite

Contradiction: But then I 've seen some fab Art deco influenced steampunk items, which historically design-wise runs up until almost the outbreak of WWII in 1939, so that pre-Bakelite guide is most of the way out-the-window ....

Deco lamp
featured on  -

For those who say historically plastic has no part of the Victorian era from whence most steampunk draws influence from.  Well 'no plastic' ('squirms'), strictly speaking is not quite true as celluloid, (Ivorine or French Ivory) an early form of thermoplastic & often used as a faux ivory, had been around since the C1860's & was widely used for making many objects inside the mid reign onwards of Queen Victoria (1819 -1901).

x4 Celluloid Hair Combs c1890
previously offered at auction  -

Basically, I see steampunk, as people socialising, making, creating & having fun!

 (Please don't try to put my perception of steampunk in a rigid box; unless its mahogany & then only if it has brass bound corners & recessed carrying handles!)

Now the Boffin developed steampunk interests in virtual complete isolation from any steampunk organised influences. In fact I've found steampunk moderately hard socially to break into on forums & in chat, but Boffin knows what he likes.  My influences may have been subliminal images from some science fiction films, the occasional stumbled upon picture & a healthy teenage diet (decades ago) of pulp Science fiction.

Having also been an antique furniture restorer & polisher as a form of employment years ago & being an avid collector of multiple & diverse 'things' may also have helped.

Most people once involved in steampunk I feel will develop their own sense of 'what is steampunk' to them...and that's just fine!  A sort of Fuzzy Spectrum of Steampunk ranging across a diversity of approaches, perceptions & appreciations.'s what you make or make of it!

Kind regards


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Artificial arachnid & other experimental Cornish steampunk insect entomology

Artificial arachnid & other experimental Cornish steampunk insect entomology

Collecting things for the 'Cabinet of Curiosities', back-a-while the Boffin decided an entomology section may be a good idea.  However the 'Budget Of New Developments' was at the time a bit scratchy at the bottom of the barrel for a full blown South American exploratory jungle jaunt. (Have you seen the bus fare to Penzance lately?)

Boffins Bunker Beetles & Bugs

The creation of artificial arachnid & other experimental Cornish steampunk insects in the laboratory seemed to be the ideal solution.  Especially as it meant using up mainly spare parts already lying around in the bunker.  In the case of the quite simple tarantulas, these primary consist of:-
(1) Copper wire
(2) Torch light bulb
(3) Top metal bit of a disposable lighter
(4) x8 Compression springs
(5) x8 nuts and
(6) a small assortment of watch part.
Oh! ...and
(7) Boffin Bunker secret formula ingredient (ie: Super glue may be purchased at many retail outlets)  
Ta-dah!  One Cornish Copper legged tarantula
Please note: These bugs may possibly be useful for surveillance purposes or equally completely & utterly pointless.  
Boffins Bunker Artificial Arachnid 
of the Cornish Steampunk Copper legged Variety
Now the trouble with insects, bugs, beetles & spiders is they do tend to proliferate, especially the more you make in numbers.  'Doris' the original Cornish Copper legged tarantula certainly has not helped, winding up the other creepy crawlies (well the clockwork ones).  Now the little blighters are everywhere in the boffins bunker, although some have now been confined to a display case.
NB:  Since the boffin has had these spiders in the study...not a single regular biological spider has been observed on the walls.  They may possibly all be cowering under the sofa!!   That's not to say there are not still cobwebs in the Bofffins Bunker, the like of which Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan chappie could almost happily swing around on.
Kind regards

Monday, 22 April 2013

What is steampunk clothing...Well it can look a little like this!

What is steampunk clothing...?
Well in severe cases it can look a little like this!

Here at Boffins Bunker reality of the outside world has crept and seeped in under the tatty tarpaulin hung at the bunker blast door.   So I have to do 'real' boring stuff at home in the Bunker today.

However; Over the weekend I had to try explain to a steampunk un-initiate just what steampunk clothing looked like.  The rise & rise of steampunk fashion in clothing is being reflected on the Haute Couture of the most fashionable of top cat walks today, so I decided to 'put in a link' to items of clothing which have caught my eye & have gleaned to my Pinterest boards.

For images of Gentlemen of a steampunk scientific, adventurous or military inclination:-  CLICK HERE and visit 'The Adonis Outfitters Gentleman's Tailors Club'.

For images of Ladies of a steampunk genteel, scientific, adventurous or military inclination:-  CLICK HERE and visit 'The Aphrodite Society Of Appreciation of Female Steampunk Fashion Apparel'.

After seeing the images I was then asked.... 'Why?'

My reply was; 'Why not?'
Definitely far more interesting than sweatshop tracksuit pyjama bottoms or ski pants & a hoodie I think?

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Secret lives of Steampunkers, Goths & Cyber Goth : Mini Investagative Film Documentary

BBC Panorama or Channel 4 Dispatches investigative television documentary this  most certainly is not.  However it does raise the lid (coffin or otherwise) on the underbelly of preconceived perceptions of social sub cultures in the UK.
Who am I kidding, it was simply a group of likeminded people clearly having a lot of fun.  They have brought the gift of a smile to the face of hundreds of thousands of others. (Well over a quarter of a million views on youtube when I lifted the embed code). 
More power to Whitby Goth Weekend.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Roll up, Roll up, commission bespoke Circus, Steampunk & Burlesque clothing from Cornwall

Rob of 'abeautifulpalegreen' sporting one of his own
 circus-esque Harlequin outfit creation
Like a top hatted & tailed ringmaster with a megaphone I call out "Roll up, Roll up. Commission bespoke Circus, Steampunk & Burlesque clothing from Cornwall"

When the Boffin first cast my eye about to discover more about steampunk that may lie outside my bunker blast door in Cornwall, it was a posting by Rob Clement on his 'abeautifulpalegreen' blog page that 1st nudged me in the right direction.

I promised myself then I would return to record his creative work in my laboratory blog notes. 

abeautifulpalegreen is a relatively new business based in Saltash, Cornwall teetering close to the border with Devon, & the city of Plymouth. It is still in Cornwall where Rob Clement makes his bespoke clothing.  His creative leanings reflect inspiration from & towards Circus swing, steampunk, and burlesque. 

Rob & Friend on photoshoot modelling
creations from abeautifulpalegreen

Now I've tried willing boffin buttons back onto my coats solely by mind control & not succeeded, whereas Rob is clearly multi skill levels well above being more than a little handy with a needle & thread.  Like many skilled craft, trade & artists associated with the steampunk sub-culture genre, Rob has his own Etsy shop

Handcrafting & individual skill being very much a feature of steampunk with many artisans & craft persons creating one off bespoke items, often as a result of personal Commissions.  Rob of a 'beautifulpalegreen' also welcomes commissions.

He is also part of a small but beautifully formed collective of other creative persons referred to as the 'Rapscallions'.  When creative people get together, encourage & nurture other creative people it is always a good thing.

Rob of abeautifulpalegreen sports one of his own
made to measure Musketeer Waistcoat

So if your looking for bespoke clothing which is a bit different, a little special & handcrafted, with a far more personal touch....and from Cornwall, then here are multiple points of contact for Rob of 'abeautifulpalegreen'

Go on, pay his web links a visit.


Friday, 19 April 2013

Seeking a Steampunk Glossary Lexicon for aspiring Pontificating Gob Wafflers

The Boffin scoured the Aether net filed volumes for
a comprehensive Glossary or Lexicon of Steampunk terminology

Years ago I heard 'Pontificating Gob-Wafflers', as a reference to lawyers for their speaking & communicating in letters in their own zealously guarded in-house legal jargon.  This legal jargon effectively ensuring lawyers their continued protection & guaranteed employment in necessary translation of the law to the rest of the population who were not fluent in or signed up club members to the legal jargon. 

The legal profession could be seen by some as the finest bit of protected working practise ever & which would make any 1970's dyed in the wool red socialist Marxist trade unionist shed a tear of utter humbled respect for. 

When language is used to exclude & not include it becomes a kind of private school boy club & stifles broader participation, understanding & membership.  One cannot help but think that by some who jealously guard such little secrets, were as single child two year old toddlers never taught by their parents to share their toys.

Having encountered several variations on the same usage of word in Steampunk dialogue or different words for fundamentally the same thing I went in search of a comprehensive Glossary or Lexicon of Steampunk terms & terminology. 

A visit to Brass Goggles found a smattering of terms, but primarily in a discussion thread & what was a relatively thin on the ground threadbare glossary.

A visit to Steampunk Empire found the plans for a most worthy Steampunk Lexicon Wiki project, but it appears to have staggered to a temporary halt in construction.  The discussion thread however was most interesting.

I did find an interesting C19th Victorian Slang glossary, although the historical accuracy may be questioned by some.

If anyone does point me in the direction of a good glossary of Steampunk terms or I  should find a comprehensive lexicon I'll come back & add a link to it.

Kind Regards



Thursday, 18 April 2013

Brief return to tinker in Cornish Steampunk Laboratory

A return to tinker in the laboratory.
Image is not the Boffin Bunker but seemingly a colleague in the scientific world

Dear Reader

Having taken the step in the region of two weeks ago to emerge from my bunker, today I am having a little respite & returning to my lair of  dank experimentation for a little practical R&R therapy. Plus I have been neglecting my tinkering, & with more than half a dozen projects on the go ...but none anywhere nearing completion I must prise myself away from the infernal screen which sucks leech like upon my time, like a Goth vampire on a vein.

My blunderbuss 24 bore steam cannon approach to getting out there in steamy punk world (when did I start, was it really 3rd April?) has had a smattering of very positive results, and some less successful than had resulted with prior experiments on different topics on the internet in the past.

However, this has left me scratching my head & now considering a different Boffins Bunker formula & strategy to my world domination plans or at least to the furthering of steampunk in/from Cornwall.  What worked for me once in terms of the internet are clearly not as useful as they once were, (something to do with google having a zoo filled with genetically altered algorithm pandas & penguins, or something like that) so things having moved on whilst I've been hunkered down in the lab. That will teach me to take my eye off the leather spherical object.

My google page rank when 'Steampunk Cornwall' is searched has been most satisfactory, but its not resulting on 'boots on the ground' trampling around of multitudinous visitors on my various interconnected sites ie. youtube, pinterest, flickrtwitter & this blog.  That said the quality of visitors & contacts made has been epic & my peeks into the analytics of source visitors I always finds interesting & educational...not that I've worked out what to do with the stats yet, but hey, who knew I had a fan in South Korea?

Until the next post, regards


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Gearing up Cornwall Steampunk resource links to further creative inspiration

Steampunk has been happily chugging along as a sub-culture for some time.  Up until now it has been some might say very much the world of partly bonkers individuals having fun & being creative. 

However, even I (not known for being observant to trends) have noted the growing number of mass produced items being described as 'steampunk' entering into the consumer market and often with their source of origin being a factory in the far east of the world.

Beautifully crafted Steampunk bookstand lectern

Even the media have been making predictions that steampunk is the next big thing in fashion & design, with big business & manufacturers watching solid market trends using all the gubbins of web analytics to keep an eye to profit from us.

Until recently Steampunk has been primarily the preserve of crafters & the individually creative to a great extent with fashion couture element, skilled painting daubers, comic book creators, furniture designers, model makers & tinkerers, literary writers, even a genre of music, (although I must confess to be mystified about that last one).  The more hand crafted works often being made available to a wider audience in the know via sites like Etsy

For most interested in the genre it is far more than just a few watch cogs glued on but a look at the website Regresty does show a glimpse of some of the worst (but amusing) abuses of steampunk used as a description.

The sub culture of steampunk does have further sub-cultures, making diversity & individuality of expression within a theme one of its broad appeals. 


Even the sub-culture of steampunk has sub cultures of its own
One of its other merits to me is it has caused many people to join in & be creative, be it in costume cos-play, or tinkering to create things!

...but where to get ones inspiration?

I found Pinterest to be a most edifying resource where I have been happily gathering images that inspire me (& plugging a few of my own creations)

...but for a rather large single collection of several thousand steampunkesque images for inspiration one could not do much better (for simplicity) than to visit the Pinterest pins boards of Brenda of
I recommend a visit, but give yourself some time to peruse through all her numerous pin boards.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Anatomy of Death Folding Decoupage Antomical Card from Boffins Bunker

Fascinated by the antique anatomical wax models & engravings, illustrations of the C18th & C19th, but I have found them beyond my meagre budget to collect.

I felt I had to have something in the Boffins Bunker Laboratory 'Cabinet of Curiosities' collection reflecting my liking of these aspects of antique medical curios, so often macabre to our modern sensibilities,  but so often fit into the genre of 'Wunderkammer'.

So I created this:-

 'Anatomy of Death' Fold out decoupage card
created by Boffins Bunker Steampunk Cornwall
 Ebonised card with an aged feel patina created by wax polishing the card after decoupage. Anatomical transects through body.  I might see if I can develop it more along the lines of a pop-up book next time I fiddle with the images I created to make this folding card.  

One of the images from 'Anatomy of Death' Anatomical folding card
created by Boffins Bunker Laboratory from bits of this & that.  
(PS: Not the Boffins body used in the pictures.  However, you do have to use whatever resources, corpse that happen to be lying around when being steampunk creative....and note of warning:- apparently home post mortems are likely to result in a court order...who knew?)

There are more images of Boffins Bunker 'Cabinet of Curiosities' creations from the laboratory in Cornwall, UK to be found here on Pinterest.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Boffin wires baby up to light & tackles piles with a shovel.

Boffin really needs to do some things today!

Also looking around my study there are growing piles of this & that.  The visible bit of the carpet disappearing as the piles of stuff encroach on the ever decreasing floor space.

Just when does collecting tip over to becoming obsessive border line hoarding?

I can see a box of dismembered porcelain dolls heads (project), a big pile of water pistols (another project), some recently acquired boxes of watch parts (lots of projects) , some welding equipment (it came with valves & several sets of goggles), etc. etc.  Shakes fist in air....'Damn you, you sultry temptress eBay!'

So here's todays Boffins offering, a video I made previously.

Lets tidy this room, now where's me Cornish shovel?

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Cursed Occult Steampunk Androids Hand, Chemical Weapons & a Monkeys paw

Cursed Occult Steampunk Androids Hand, Chemical Weapons & a Monkeys paw

The Cursed Occult Androids Hand.
Kept in the Cornwall based vaults of Boffins Bunker Laboratory

The Occult Androids Hand seemingly powerless now & spent of its power to grant three wishes, wishes which were said when granted meddle with fate of the possessor.

This severed Androids early robots hand comes from a vintage golden age when modern science was in its most exciting infancy & magic still had a place as a force & power of influence in some parts of the world.  The Occult Androids Hand is the result of inkiest black science & sinister dark occult forces that were brought together in an unholy ritual & experiment of the most foul & un-natural nature.

Conjured from knowledge said to have been gleaned by torture, intimidation & bribes about the origin & creation of the fabled Fakirs Monkeys paw.  The cursed Monkeys paw, an item as legend has it brought so foolishly back to England from the Sub continent of India whilst India was still the jewel of the British Empire at the turn of the C19th. 

Research & rumour indicates the Androids Hand may possibly have been created at the turn of the C20th in a secret British government weapons research facility at Nancekuke, near Portreath on the north cliffs of Cornwall (or not).  

Nancekuke was rumoured to have been long been in operation as a secret laboratory  prior to factually having become an outstation of Port Down (CDE) Chemical Defence Establishment. The manufacture of the nerve gas Sarin began at Nancekuke in the early 1950's and this location in Cornwall became an important facility for stockpiling the UK's Chemical Defences during the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

The Androids Hand embodied in its power through ritual practise & laboratory creative experimentation.  It is said to have had the power to grant its owner three wishes, but the Androids hand  would interfere and rebalance with malice the fate of the possessor if the wishes were used.

The ritual to recharge the foul object had been written on the finest Egyptian papyrus parchment but said by some to have been burnt, by others dissolved in acid of vinegar to destroy the secret of restoring the hands foul power. 

It is an example of the darkest of unnatural Occult practises & quasi-modern science steampunk artefacts.  Allegedly rendered impotent of its former Dark Art & now kept retained firmly in its containment  box amongst the other acquired  'Cabinet of Curiosities' artefacts held in Boffins Bunker Laboratory in Cornwall.

It also is said if you stare at the hand long enough through the bottom of a lead crystal whiskey glass in the flickering light of an open fire one may see a slight nervous twitch or the skin move or a finger flex ...ever so slightly! 

For more about the Curse of the Fakirs Monkeys Paw

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Cornwall Bigfoot sighted near home of Beast of Bodmin

Cornwall Bigfoot sighted near home of Beast of Bodmin

Bigfoot Studios that is...

I recently started to Twitter & one of my first new contacts made was Trystan Mitchell.  A most talented artist & illustrator based in Cornwall running Bigfoot studios

A quick look at his blog, impressed, immediately promised him I would write about his illustration art upon my own blog.

Upon my return to write said piece...I ventured to the Bigfoot blog & became happily lost in the Bigfoot studio art works.

After an hour not a word had I written.

Transported back to being a child when I would steal my brothers DC Comics & hide under my bed to look at the weird & bizarre illustrations. I found myself spun sideways into the Victorian, steampunk-esque (is there such a word...there is now!) & the clearly influenced by Cornish folklore & landscape illustrations of Trystan Mitchell. Then catapulted into the future-past with visions of what maybe yet to have come ...back then! In particular I liked being able to see some of the draft bones of a design, before being worked up into the finished illustration.

I just kept scrolling back through the inkfunnel blog posts.

I loved the almost caricature but in a pop art, comic book illustration sort of way portraits. As for the Hairy Pothead (I chuckled) ...and I swear to God I had to deal this very week with the creature from Zombie Direct that Trystan had illustrated.

Happy, happy was I looking at all these 'fabutatious' illustration creations.  I even downloaded one of his free to print & make paper toys.  All set to print it off & spend some time playing with scissors, glue & card...then remembered...I'm supposed to be writing a blog article about Bigfoot studios.

So far better I write less ( I have serious paper toys to make in the laboratory) and you simply follow this link to the wonderful world of Bigfoot studios;-

Friday, 12 April 2013

Barking Mad Kernow Laboratory Punk Event Virgin Getting up a head of Steam in Cornwall

Barking Mad Kernow Laboratory Punk Event Virgin Getting up a head of Steam in Cornwall

Well its a little over a week (or so) since I took the plunge to stick my head over the blast door parapet of Boffins Bunker Laboratory to blink in the sunlight & enter the outside Aether Steampunk world. I burst forth (stumbled, damn the absinthe) as a complete newbie into the world of Steampunk!

Steampunk Cornwall : Boffins Bunker

However, I have quietly been a steampunker all my life & just not known it.  When I did find out that my little foible laboratory art/sculpture creations fitted in a sub-culture genre all of their own called STEAMPUNK I decided to bide my time before taking over the world, letting my creations & 'Cabinet of Curiosities' objects & artefacts lose upon an unsuspecting public.

I first tried 'Brass Goggles', a Steampunk UK based forum, but for some strange reason their clanking machinery had a wooden 'sabot' tossed in it & would not accept my UK email address (hmmm, still will not?).

Therefore my real 1st port & contact with the Steampunk world  was through the nice people at  'Steampunk Empire' forum,

...from there I began my plan for world domination building a profile web image of
'BOFFINS BUNKER' with a view to further advance Steampunk in Cornwall, UK

So far in a week Boffins Bunker has a presence through:-
(If you haven't visited them yet please do)

1.  Google blog (that's this website)
2.  Youtube video channel
3.  Pinterest
4.  Twitter
5.  Flickr 

I welcome positive & constructive contact from other steampunkers, be they in Cornwall UK or further a field.

I am most happy & keen to promote through my blog Steampunk enterprise in/from Cornwall.

Kind regards

Boffins Bunker

Below a Boffins Windows 8 rant!

(NB: Whilst setting up all these various new points of website interface, I have to deal with an internet connection WiFi (joy of rural Cornwall) that has the speed of an arthritic snail in death throws, plus I have been fighting, battling, struggling in coming to terms & trying to get my almost month old new fangled desk top computer which came installed with (for me utterly loathsome) Windows 8 to actually do what I want. 

I am singularly unimpressed with the Windows 8 roundabout nonsense, & things jumping out at me un-expectedly & disappearing again (with large squares of primary colours clearly designed to entertain pre-school children ), of the Microsoft Metro Tiles format. 

Personally (an opinion), if one has a desk top computer with a mouse & do not have a touch screen and only use your comp for nothing much more than buying merely as a consumer from commercial websites or posting 'likes' on social media like facebook, then Windows 8 will probably be fine. 

If however as in my personal experience you use a desk top comp for more than mundane & consumer purpose I would now avoid Windows 8 like a typhoid Mary. A Typhoid Mary that is that has a severe case of small pox & the black death plague & the clap combined.  My experience of the new W8 OS has been most negative in the extreme  & not much good for low/mid end creative &/or business use of my endeavours. 

Don't believe me? 
Do a google search (I did) under 'I hate Windows 8' and visit some of the computer tech geek & nerd forums & websites to see just how many small/medium business people & those who use their desk top comp creatively and/or for business purposes really loath Windows 8. 

There is seemingly a small cottage industry booming for computer IT techie types to reinstall the absent start buttons, practically disable (as much as possible the Metro tiles App interface) & for others re-grading desk top computers to back  install Windows 7 or a different OS provider altogether instead! 

What were Microsoft thinking about alienating so many small business people?  

I've had Windows 8 almost a month & I still despise. loath & hate it!) 

RANT over, I needed to vent & now desperately require to sip a cup of sweet Lady Grey tea!