Tommy Utah

Steampunk Hero

Growing up during the 60s and 70s in Waterside, Stamford, Connecticut, there wasn’t much technology to entertain us; we didn’t have any video games, smart phones or computers. We watched cartoons, and even if there were smart phones and personal computers, we didn’t have the money to afford it.

My father, Sylvio, was a strict man. He started working at age fifteen after his father passed away. He worked hard, money was tight, but he would find a way to buy me plastic model cars. I loved building and painting them. From that point on, working with my hands brought me so much satisfaction; creating something fun with utility and makes others smile fills me up.

I continued to create as a teenager, finding supplies in junk yards to build go-karts out of plywood and wheels from shopping carriages. We raced them down hills, although we never quite figured out the brakes part!

My friends and I were crafty, making rings out of silverware, lamps out of bottles, organ lights, bows and arrows from tree branches and skateboards with two-inch by six-inch pieces of wood with roller skate wheels! As a parent, I couldn’t offer much support in subjects like math and history, but in art projects I shined!

When I retired from the Union in 2017 from my career as an electrician, I didn’t know what was next for me. The Waterside Kid in me came back out. It started with a pinball-themed table and branched out into simple steampunk lamps, themed steampunk lamps, custom-made corn hole boards, other custom art and plenty of house projects for my kids!

For the last few years, I’ve sold and donated my pieces to charity knowing they will make someone smile somewhere every day. I’ve also been commissioned to design one-of-a-kind steampunk creations. I’m currently working on a steampunk clothing rack, as well as experimenting with epoxy for an insert on a table I’m building. Feel free to contact me, I would be happy to create something special for you. ☐

[email protected]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Click to view the current issue of Venü, our 51st.
COVER STORY: Alexander Klingspor — Also featuring: Gary Player, Victoria Yakusha, Heather Gaudio Fine Art, Kelly Killoren Bensiman, Pologeorgis, Onare Greenwich, Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Berenberg Invitational, Tommy Utah, Alexandre Durandy de Naurois Turgot, WineaPAWlooza, Diana Skavronskaya, Vail and Telluride, Colorado, Oneworld Ayurveda, Napa, Sonoma, California, and much more…