Sunday 10 June 2012

Waltz on the Wye 2012: (2 of 2) The Contraption Exhibition

I mentioned in the previous post (in great detail!) how I had a table at the Mechanised Market. As busy as it was I did manage to slink away from the stall for a short time to quickly pop to Chepstow Castle to take some pieces for the contraption exhibition.  A strange thing to do really considering how I didn’t actually have any contraptions this year!  The truth is that I wanted to make full use of this glorious location and introduce the public to my newest creations. So I took along some exhibits from my ever growing collection of ‘Wonderments and Atrocities’ the ‘Womblus Wimbledon Vulgaris’, ‘Mus Digitatus’ and The Finger of Paul Daniels.I then ‘hung around’ incognito for a short time to observe people’s reactions, which pleased me as they achieved the exact response I was hoping for.

Photographs the ‘Womblus Wimbledon Vulgaris’, The Finger of Paul Daniels and ‘Mus Digitatus
provided by Mr PP Gettins

My creations where in good company this year, standing amongst an amazing array of bright ideas, creative designs and ingenious methods! I had taken several photographs however my atomic blast camera flash didn’t do all of them justice so please forgive me if some pieces do not feature in this blog...There were several returning faces at this year’s exhibition, starting out with Mr. Matt McCall whose hats and goggles never fail to impress. Determined to make up for the poor selection of photographs I had taken of his work last year I took several this time round and here they are.

You will recall that last year’s winner was my arch-nemesis Mr. James Richardson-Brown, with his K-1909. This time he brought another famous robot with him, the Terminator!

I was pleased to see that organiser Andy Dingley had followed up last years ’s Pufferfish lamp with an Inflatable Glow Fish that did just that when you approached its cage! (He was also responsible for the amazing tentacle seen beckoning people into the castle to see the contraptions)

Other favourites included the HMS Victorian Enterprise (I am afraid I didn’t catch the artist’s name if this is you please drop me a line so that I may properly credit you.) and Vincent Swann’s Handyman’s Exo Spine

This exhibition had an extra coup to it this year as it had a special guest artist displaying his work, expert prop maker Mark Cordory! Obviously as a fan of ‘Knightmare’ and ‘Doctor Who’ it was fantastic to be able to see his work up close as each one was a splendour to see.  I sincerely hope to see Mark and his work at future events very soon. Once you have finished with these photos check out his site for further examples.

And the winner of this year’s Best Contrapion prize was awarded to Jarkman for his Skeleton pocket watch. This beautiful time peace was completely custom made from brass and ebony and was quite superb to look at but alas I have no photographs instead I urge you to follow the link and see how he made it! It’s worth noting though that not all fantastic designs and ideas where on display at the exhibition. Aside from the fabulously dressed folk that came in to look at the exhibit Miriam McDonnald (who recently, responding to my work called me the “Butcher of Trumpton”) was due to deliver a talk on how to knit ankle-less socks once she had finished minding the exhibit. As I was unable to attend the talk she very kindly showed them of to me and I thought they where simply marvellous, follow this link for more details and free pattern!

© Arfon Jones 2012. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.


  1. Thank you for the link to my pattern, Arfon, and Pete says thank you for linking to his photos. I always love the Contraptions, I think they're my favourite thing about steampunk.

  2. I had to include them Mim! As I say, not all fantastic designs and ideas where on display that day! :)
    I love the contraptions too, lovely unique ideas from everyone- I adore art, history and science and it seems to me that not an hour can go by at a steampunk events without engaging in a conversation with someone about one of them! As for Pete and his fabulous photos, he is most welcome. Thanks to him for taking such marvellous photographs! :)



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