Vell I ask you, if you were to come into possession of an ancient grimoire vhich contained (along wiz ze normal recipes for creating ze philosophers’ stone und cures for varts) a spell entitled ‘How to Traverse Time’, vouldn’t you be a little intrigued?  Vouldn’t you give up a successful career to explore ze secrets it offers?

Of course you vould.  Just as I did.

I had a huge laboratory, back in zose days.  Mechanical construction vas my bread-und-butter.  Alvays zer ver young men vanting automatons, adjustments to zer contraptions and votnots.  Fraulein Vorzington, my young assistant, vas quite excellent at such sings.  I left her to it.  For me, reading ancient texts vas far more important.  I had zis strong feeling zat vun day, I vould discover zat for vich I searched.  Und here it is – ein dusty old volume, standing on my small table in my tiny, dark garret.  Viz zis book, I vill conquer time itself!

Doctor Oskar Kopp and his alchemist’s study is one of my favourite 1/12 scale creations.  It started as a simple cardboard case, less than the length of a 12 inch/ 30 cm ruler, but now contains his glass and copper still (much distillation goes on in alchemy), arcane diagrams and jottings, a shelf filled with dusty jars of dubious substances and a table which holds his microscope, apparatus and more bottles.  Then, of course, there is the doctor himself, with his plasma- and aether-sensitive binocular eyepiece, not to mention the infamous grimoire.  Yes, it does contain that spell, although you might have difficulty reading it, since the pages are less than 2 x 3 cm.  I’d also advise caution, should you manage to read it.  The ancient book uses Roman numerals, you see, so if you were to attempt to consume one hundred and eleven of the mushrooms, for example, rather than the specified three, the results could be catastrophic.  In fact, even three is pushing things rather…

The Case of the Alchemist’s Study will be on display on my stall at the Glastonbury Craft and Vintage Fair on Saturday 29th April, 2017.  Other Steampunk – Shrunk figures, rooms and accessories are available at Rune Smith of Glastonbury, at 1 Monarch Way, off Glastonbury High Street and online at the Steampunk Dolls’ House (where you can find Dr Kopp’s erstwhile assistant, Lucy Worthington and one of her automatons).  The jar labels, posters and cover for the spell book are courtesy of the wonderful Betsy at Chocolate Rabbit Graphics. 

Mr Pettigrew’s Apothecary Shop

Good day, Sir and Madam.

You are most welcome to my humble establishment and, may I add, you are indeed my very first visitors, since the shop was only opened this morning.  I had intended to be up and running at the end of last week, but unfortunately there was a problem obtaining leeches.  As you see, though, there are now plenty in the jar, so all is well.

I have to say, I’m delighted with my small emporium.  Don’t you just love the medicine cabinet?  It was a generous gift from my dear friend Lady Grace and is ideally suited to my storage and display needs.  Oh, pray do not touch the scales, Madam.  They are most carefully balanced with a potion I was preparing for her ladyship when you arrived.

I’m very pleased, too, with my counter, which I put together myself from some iron and wood my cousin Amelia had left over from building a steam engine.

Now, how can I be of service to your good selves?  I notice – if I may be so bold as to mention it – that you have a slightly windblown appearance and are both somewhat pale of countenance.  Would I be correct in assuming that you have recently travelled in the dirigible just in from foreign parts?
Ah, I thought as much.
And would I also be right to suggest that Sir and Madam are perhaps feeling the effects of motion sickness? I understand that it was quite an eventful flight, one way and another.

Allow me to prepare you a tincture, Sir, which will have you restored to your accustomed vigour in no time. And for Madam – perhaps a small bottle of Mrs Mayhue’s Bitters. It is a most efficacious blood purifier and will return the bloom to your cheeks within a matter of hours.

No, no, the pleasure is all mine.

Is there anything else I can get for you?

Not wishing to alarm you in any way, my dear lady, but as you are newly arrived in this town, you may not yet be aware of the foul beast from the dark realms that roams the streets after nightfall.  It can break through solid walls and seems quite unaffected by the weaponry our citizens have at hand.

I have concocted a rather powerful substance which, when sprinkled around your dwelling place, proves highly effective at repelling this monstrous apparition.  It may be prudent to purchase a small vial for use during your stay.  I certainly sleep easier knowing that I and my home are protected in this way.

Certainly.  I’ll mix you a potion straight away.  And perhaps some smelling salts for Madam?


Ralph Pettigrew’s compact apothecary’s shop folds into a small case, complete with carrying handle, measuring just 25cm by 17cm and only 9cm deep when closed.  However there is ample room for customers when the front is folded down. (That’s 10 x 7 x 4 inches for those who use such measurements.)
Should you be in Glastonbury, Somerset on April 29th, do call into the Town Hall, where you can meet Ralph and inspect his premises for yourself.

Many of the advertisements and bottle labels displayed in the shop have been purchased from the excellent Chocolate Rabbit online shop, for which the link is here:

As always, many other OOAK steampunk characters and accessories are available from: , including the delightful Lady Grace and Ralph’s cousin Amelia.


It’s all in the detail

“Steampunked?” snorted the gentleman.  “What kind of word is that?  I don’t like the sound of it one little bit.  Nor does my good lady wife or our maidservant, either.  We are respectable people, I’ll have you know.  ”
His two female companions nodded in anxious agreement.

I smiled sympathetically.  These characters had only just arrived at the Steampunk-Shrunk workshop, wrenched (literally – their feet had been glued down) from a deceased elderly lady’s dolls’ house when her family were clearing out.

“I realise it must be very confusing for you. This not the most organised of places, but I promise you the end result will be worth it and you’re going to love your new look. It will certainly be more exciting than standing in a dolls’ house for decades.”

“There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with the clothes we are wearing,” he insisted.

“Well they look just fine from a distance,” I said carefully, “but – well, not to put too fine a point on it, they are glued to you! Your shirt, if you’ll forgive me, is a strip of poor quality fabric wrapped round your shoulders and stuck to your back. You have no waistcoat, no pockets, no hat…”

“May I be so bold as to ask what your plans are, ma’am?” asked the maid, dropping a slight curtsy.

“I will be hand-stitching all your clothes – even the shirts and the ladies’ undergarments.  Only the leather coats are glued, as stitching makes them too bulky, but they will open and have pockets you can use.  I love to include as much detail as possible.  Let me introduce you to some of the other people who have been transformed.”

First they met Isambard.
“Take a look beneath his greatcoat,” I suggested.

Their gasps as they saw his glass buttoned cotton lawn shirt and brocade waistcoat suggested that I might be winning the argument.  They noticed the gold watch chain and stared in amazement as I pulled his fob watch from the satin-trimmed waistcoat pocket.  Next I took the brass binoculars from his neck for them to examine and emptied the contents of his inch long leather shoulder bag on to the table.  There was a folded, rather battered set of engineering plans, the pipe Isambard can never bear to be without and a tiny leather pouch containing tobacco (made from shredded leather).

“Each of my Steampunk-Shrunk characters has one or two details like that,” I explained.  “Mercurius has binocular goggles, a map of the Antarctic in his coat pocket and a casket and key hidden under his coat.   Eve has a clockwork mechanism set into her back, although from the front you would never guess that she is an automaton.  Bella has an intricate mask made of watch parts, wires and black lace.  Why, even young Ruby has a tiny ticket to the steampunk fair tucked into the band of her hat.”

“I see,” said the gentleman, quietly, as he looked down at his own clothes.

“When do you think you can start to, ah, ‘Steampunk’ me?” enquired his wife.

“And me, ma’am?” whispered the maid, eagerly.


Some of the characters mentioned can be found at the Steampunk Dolls House if you click on their names.  Isambard and Ruby will be attending the Craft and Vintage Fair at the Town Hall, here in Glastonbury, UK on April 29th 2017.
As for the new characters, I’m sure they will enjoy their transformation as much as I will.




Hi, I’m Ruby.  They’ve asked me to explain to you what steampunk is, because loads of people are like, ‘What’s that?’

Well don’t be put off by the long words (‘cos I learned them specially, lol) but it’s a kind of retro-futurism.  Yeah, I know.  Took me a while to get my head around it, but there’s these old stories that were written like years and years ago, by Victorians and that.  HG Wells and Jules Verne and people.  And although they’re set in those times, they’re about the future – things like exploring to the centre of the earth or time travel and cool stuff like that.

Well some modern people thought it would be fun to imagine a world like those old people wrote about was really coming true.  It’s as if time took a different turn and instead of us getting into nuclear power and smart phones and everything, people had found clever ways to use the olden days technology like steam and clockwork.  I think it’s dead cool.

Those old stories I was talking about, yeah?  Well they had all sorts of terrifying monsters and stuff that the heroes had to battle against with their amazing steam-powered weapons, so steampunk is into that, too.  Loads of the guys go and buy nerf guns and do them up so they’re metallic and look really awesome, to protect themselves against all the evil stuff.  I know – bit weird – but boys and their toys, y’know?

Steampunk isn’t much like real Victorians, because they were quite dodgy really – no women’s rights and like exploiting the working classes and anyone who wasn’t British.  We learned about them in history.  So steampunk people have a motto about being splendid to everyone.  We kind of take the best of Victorians (like how good they were at inventing and building awesome machines and everything) and ignore all the bad bits.

I got into it when I read Northern Lights.  That’s by Philip Pullman and it’s what The Golden Compass film is based on, but I liked the book better.  And now there are loads of good steampunk writers about and we have conventions and festivals and balls and everything.  You might want to try reading stories by Nimue Brown or Phoebe Darqueling or go to some blogs like The Curious Adventures of Messrs Smith and Skarry or Cogpunk Steamscribe.

Anyhow, got to rush.  I’m off to a steampunk fair with Charles.  His costume looks awesome.  Oh, and if you want to check up on some of the others, go to The Steampunk Dolls House.  I might join them there sometime.