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Merimask's Ball Of Wax
(Or, "how I've found yet another way to spend more quality time with myself"
Fun with goggles! 
20th-Dec-2011 01:07 pm
Okay, so I've been collecting some old antique Bakelite goggles and they're SO much fun to play with.

Initially I was buying them for use in my new steampunk mask designs, but I was so impressed by the design and sturdiness that it seems a shame to break up the pairs for use on a mask.  They're antiques and they shouldn't be messed with (in fact I'm keeping that pair I'm wearing above...they are just SO darn cute.  I'm getting some brown tinted prescription lenses fitted for them, replacing the strap, and just keeping them because they are awesome).

Here's another pair.  They have a neat retro look...

...but I have to say, with all that metal and thick glass they are quite heavy.  Also, not cheap.  I mean, I think they're worth every penny but I paid $35 for the goggles I'm wearing in the picture above.

So I started looking for cheap plastic repro goggles that are lightweight and that I can break up for use as monocles without a pang of guilt.  I found these...

...and the nice thing about them is that the lenses are removable and come in many colors.  So I ordered a few pairs with red and clear lenses, and they arrived yesterday.

With some paint, some brass clockwork gears, and some antique brass fittings I was able to customize them, and came up with this.

The effect is more "fantasy" than retro, but they weigh next to nothing and I think they'll look awesome paired with one of my mask designs (the new ones I'm working on are more integrated than the original "Fullsteam", and I can build the mask to fit the goggles).

The gears were a stroke of genius; I just popped out that plastic vent button and glued a small gear over it to hide the plastic-ness, then screwed a larger gear atop that with an antique brass post stud.  Easy!  The red lenses make everything look really, really neat.  I can get them in blue, amber, smoke and green too.  That strap can be replaced with a leather strap and brass fittings, easily, because I have all that stuff now.

So I'm having a bit too much fun with my goggles (old and new) lately.  :)
20th-Dec-2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
I love those goggles on you! I'd love to get a pair of bakelite driving goggles, but I wouldn't even know where to start looking.

I didn't get the chance to comment on the mask post with the integrated goggles, but I have to say they're some of my favorite things I've ever seen you do. I loved the half goggle masks best, but Fullsteam with goggles was totally badass. ^_^ I can't wait to see what more you can do with them!
20th-Dec-2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
Etsy! Etsy Etsy Etsy...the people on eBay are all looking at each other's prices and jacking them higher, but the "vintage" designation on Etsy is new and the people there are also new at i, so, flea market prices instead of collector's prices.

Here's a listing I ignored 'cause I have enough already...go snatch 'em before anyone else does!
Or this:
...and these are just like my pair with real Bakelite, but with dark lenses (the new repro lenses will fit as replacements) and only $24! He calls them "welding" but they are actually old driving/aviation goggles:
20th-Dec-2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Uh-oh. You've started sticking cogs onto goggles. Do we need to hold a steampunk intervention?
20th-Dec-2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
I may need a little help purging my new penchant for tinkering. :)
20th-Dec-2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
These are really cool Meri! Every time you make another post, I think of the steam fashion community and maybe you should hang around there if you don't already. You might get some fantastic inspiration from their outfits and perhaps you could post there and get some new customers as well! I love the picture of you with the goggles on, they look like so much fun.
20th-Dec-2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm really having fun with my new ideas. It's cool to try different things...
21st-Dec-2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
Where are you getting the metal gears that you're putting on your masks? I'm making a steampunk-ish outfit for mid-May and I can't seem to find any! -- Dagonell
21st-Dec-2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
Etsy is great for supplies...I got my gears here:
Clean, authentic, and MUCH cheaper than salvaged.
(Deleted comment)
21st-Dec-2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :) Yeah, I'm working on a Steampunk clockwork fox with one monocle goggle eye right now. Creepy-cute.
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