Friday, July 9, 2010

SPATS Monthly Meet - UP

YES! This will be a regular event. 2nd Tuesday of each month. A glorious chance for local Steampunks and the "steam-curious" to meet and realize, "You are not alone in this town."

Come with ideas for events, shows, anything you feel would benefit with the addition of our group of mixed nuts!

Main focus currently is SPATSFEST - our little steampunk convention in the mountains.
Scheduled for the weekend of January 29th. Any and all level of involvement is available, but not required.

Steampunk dress is encouraged, but by no means required.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Awesome Father's Day Gift for Gear Freaks

I have just come across the coolest piece of jewelry. It's a ring with working gears. Any steampunk, or dieselpunk, for that matter, would lose hours of productivity spinning gears and making friends jealous. I know I would. The coolest part is, there's a giveaway, but I'm fighting you for it. Check it out at:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bring Me a Doggie Bag

World Steam Expo is looming on the horizon, as well it should. A vast measure of steampunkdom is rolling, flying, time travelling, and patching little leaks in their airships to make it to Dearborn, Michigan. One, however, will be inconspicuously missing. Arbutus Tinkersmith - cracker packer by day, builder of exotic armaments by night. Some say he's a recluse, and shuns the public eye. Others say he stays too dang busy for his own good. Neither one is true for this week. Vacation time is here, but travel time is not. With the unwavering rigidity of a petrified duck, the schedule was not permitted to be split to get off the follwing Monday for the trip back. Petrified duck, huh?

With his trusty companion Tesla Underfoot by his side - well actually under foot earning his name on a daily basis - Arbutus prepares for the upcoming "weekend of solitude." In need of a project and a new vest, Arbutus bravely purchases the material for an endeavor outside of his usual skill set. Snipping away at the vest pattern with scissors that bind a bit as they close makes the task a bit tedious. Brocade fabric for the front pinned, Arbutus finds the cloth does not like to hold it's shape while cutting. The back and lining are a bit more compliant.

A new day dawns, and the time of departure draws nigh for all but the father of SPATS, Mr. "I got sewing to do" Tinkersmith. Katie Smithington finds herself laden with freshly printed SPATSFEST flyers. "Shameless self promotion. Take advantage of it whenever you can." How often has she heard that mantra. This time the task of convention promoter falls on her 18 year young shoulders. "Spread the word all you can. Learn all you can. Be awesome all you can. That is your assignment."

Katie accepts the flyers and assignment. "Anything to shut him up." she thinks.

The ladies in Arbutus' life are loaded up and ready to go. "Guess it's just as well I'm not going. There's no room for me or my stuff in this puny car now."

Hugs and kisses are exchanged, the pitiful puttering of a crap-for-crap car, and the home falls silent. The darts sewn earlier in the day call out to Arbutus. "When you gonna get off your butt and do the pockets?" The pockets. Nothing was that big of a challenge up to now.

"Fuse the welt. Fold the welt. Iron the welt. Baste the welt. Sew the welt to the front of the vest. Sew the pocket to the front of the vest. Cram the pocket thru the little hole in the vest. Sew some more crap. Hope to God you didn't screw anything up, cuz you got no ride to get replacement cloth." Some instructions. They come across with the attitude of, "We know you. You don't sew. You're a big fat phoney." About this time a tell-tale Tesla fart wafts silently up from under the table.

Arbutus shifts his focus to the computer. A fresh location with no dog flatulence - yet. "I gotta get some of this crap caught up." Emails, postings, replies to postings, self indulgent tweets. One message on twitter falls on something other than the usual deaf ears.

"I have a good cheater way to do welt pockets." Jill makes Arbutus the best offer he's heard all day. She offers to draw it up and email it to him. Bless her heart. Arbutus does not see himself as so macho as to not accept sewing advice from a woman he barely knows in the twitterverse.

After all, being "macho" is a sign on insecurity, right? If someone is secure in who they are, then they will gladly accept help without stigma. Yeah. This is what the SPAT Society is all about, anyway. Bringing artists, bulders, and enthusiasts of the world of steampunk together. As we help each other, we become a self sustaining force. Growing, pulsing, and throbbing with every drop of new blood that falls into the talent pool. Let's see what the morning brings.

Hopefully some welt pocket cheater plans.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A big thank you to all who came out for our grand organizational meeting this past Wednesday. A flyer design was submitted by Johnny Lemuria, altered slightly, scrutinized heavily, endorsed by all in attendance, and verbally abused by all passers by. This will be used for propagandizement and grand proliferation of the notion that Asheville will be the next Steampunk Mecca. At the very least, SPATSFEST will be a weekend of steamy fun and frivolity.
Yes, the VERY LEAST.

While this blog is intended to be the primary disseminal source for all your spattastic info, you are quite welcome to join in on your favorite social networking site:

MySpace: SPATSociety
Facebook : Tinkersmith
Twitter: Tinkersmith
Ning: Steampunk Empire - SPATS group

Hope to hear from you soon.

Oh, btw: Tinkersmith has nothing to do with tinkerbell. Think of a blacksmith, silversmith, goldsmith. Tinkersmith is the village smithy who tinkers new and seemingly useful things out of old discarded crap. Guess I'm kinda the Dr. Frankenstein of junk. Mwahahaha.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Pathetic Plea for Help

This has been an unproductive depressing winter. My presence in polite society has been quite infrequent. It has been a time of working my usual 12 - 14 hr days, come home, chores, eat, zonk out. Numerous painful dentist visits. (twitter - @tinkersmith -> #DentureAdventure) Several failed attempts at molding leather monogoggle mask. ENOUGH BELLYACHING!

Now to my real reason for all this blathering. SPATSFEST '11! If you want to be involved in sculpting this event into a spectacle of sight and sound, be at Hanna Flannigan's on Biltmore Ave. Wed. Apri 7 at 7 PM.

The greatest need to address right away is a flyer to hand out/post at upcoming AnachroCon (which I will be attending with Katie Smithington) and World Steam Expo. It saddens me to say I will not be attending, however, Katie will be there, representing and radiating with the glory of all that is SPATS! I was able to get the week before off, but have to work on Monday. BOO! The life of a cracker packer is a tale of missed opportunities and woe.

Anyhow, back to the flyer. The challenge we have before us is to make it vague and intriguing. Vague, because the details will not be fleshed out yet. Intriguing, because, well, duh. A few details we do have: it will be a one day event, unless, of course, we wrangle enough content to expand.
The date: Saturday January 29, 2011
Locations: Firestorm Cafe and Eleven On Grove, Asheville, NC
Entertainment: Hopefully, we can get our friends, Hellblinki again. Vaudeville/Burlesque, whomever else we can entice.
Author(s), panels, vendors. Attendee swap meet area.

If you are interested in getting in on the ground floor of this event - too late. But you can catch up. We've only made it up a step or two. There are several ways to contact me:

comment here

Myspace: SPATSociety

Facebook: Tinkersmith

Twitter: Tinkersmith

Email: Tinkersmith[at]

I'm quivering with anticipation. Oh, wait. That's just Tesla scratching himself against my leg.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

We have an extraordinary opportunity before us. FireStorm Cafe, the sight of the daytime events of SPATSFEST 2009, is looking to redecorate - and steampunk it, at that! We have been called upon for input. below is a reprint from Johnny Lemuria with some of their ideas. I will be pesenting some of my own, as well.

Here is the text of Scott's proposal for redecorating Firestorm, please pass along to the rest of SPATS:
Per your request, I have written up the following summary of our present redesign concept. Please share this widely. We are interested in getting community input and support in making this dream a reality. Specifically, we are looking for artists and hands-on creative types.Present AestheticFirestorm Cafe & Books has been open for around two years and, in that time, has taken aesthetic cues from several different individuals with significantly different visions. The result is a somewhat motley space design. Certain areas (eg. the rear stage) are a downright visual cacophony.

New Vision.
We desire a unified space design that supports a creative yet clean/orderly environment. In keeping with our love of playful, literary themes, the Firestorm Collective has decided to explore the use of Steampunk decor and wall motifs. To avoid confusion, we are describing this as a "Victorian storybook" aesthetic.At this point, our primary focus is repainting the walls and fixtures. An ideal design would be simple enough that numerous individuals could contribute within an accessible stylistic framework. Because of our basement location, an additional concern is avoiding an overly dark design.

Potential Elements
We are conceptualizing the space design as segmented into three distinct areas, corresponding to the three inner walls.
Starting in the rear of the cafe, we're envisioning the short wall behind the stage painted in a sold, dark color - possibly with our branding in the center. This would create a performance area with the least level of visual distraction (unlike our existing tinfoil+mirror+veil+curtain+graffiti insanity).
To the right, the long wall that runs past the bathrooms and kitchen would be painted entirely as a silhouetted cityscape, using Asheville's unique architecture plus fantastical embellishments. In additional to fictitious buildings, we might include things like flocks of birds, flying men, a gigantic robot, dirigible airships, Cthulhuian tentacles reaching out across the city from the black rear wall, etc. We have some other neat ideas, but I'll stick to overview here!To the left, the long wall that runs past the bookshelves and children's area would be painted like a lightly-textured canvas with images silhouetted in white. This low-contrast concept would juxtapose with cityscape on the right and would be comprised of enlarged mechanical and biological forms, inspired by daVinci's sketchbook and the plethora of steampunk desktop art available on the Internet.
Similar to the right wall, this would all be done in very clean, bold forms (vector-esque) to ensure ease of maintenance and continuity of style.InvitationThe ideas above are just an initial brainstorm and we are really interested in getting input and assistance from community members!
Beyond the walls, we are also interested in transforming cafe fixtures, but we'd have to do so without sacrificing utility (I know, sacrilege!) and within a somewhat constricted budget.

= Scott

PS - I was inspired in part by the now famous, themed shops of 826 Valencia (eg The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co). I'd love to create something that people traveling through Asheville are told not to miss."