Saturday, July 23, 2011


My first feature is from Jeff Keegan of RetroToRevolution (, a shop of handmade, upcycled steampunk jewelery and various vintage home decor. Let us take a step in another time...

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Jeff Keegan. I live in an old Stone Dutch Colonial House in Historic New Paltz NY. I spend lots of time ripping stuff out of the house and repairing the bones. I've been here 6 years. I'm on the ten year restoration plan, although I think I may need to extend that plan to 15 years. That's actually one of the reasons I have all those old shutter picture frames. I cleaned out a house from like 1789 or something about an hour from new paltz. I needed beams and floor planks to replace the damaged ones in my place. While I was there, I took a bunch of shutters so I could salvage the hardware. They were pretty badly rotted around the edges, but the panels were in fair shape, and the patina was amazing. Seemed a shame to burn them so I spent a few days cutting them apart and reattaching the trim. I use lots of them around the house here for the stuff I keep to myself.

How did you come across Etsy?

I've been on and off etsy for years now. This most recent store Retro To Revolution is the one I plan to keep. I think I've finally found my place with this format.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I'm a Motion Graphic Artist. I work from my house and my biggest client is United Nations. I help with a lot of training videos and interactive programming. I think the most notable project I did for them was Land Mine and UXO Safety. That's unexploded ordinance. I made that booklet completely digitally interactive and translated it into something like 20 languages all on one DVD. It's a huge problem all over the world. Just a few weeks ago, anti land mine activists discovered a UXO in Uganda being used as a school bell. It had a hollow bottom and a live fuse on the top. The teacher was hitting it with a hammer every day to call the kids to school. I'm all for upcycling, but that's just plain dangerous. I don't make UXO school bells. LoL

Where does your inspiration come from?

I'm inspired by stuff I like to look at and a lot of times other visions just pop into my head. Like the clockwork animals. I think it's a lot more interesting that sticking a ladies watch movement on a cufflink and calling it steam punk. That's not what it's all about.

How would you describe your creative process?

Recycling/rescue of those huge industrial revolution book plates. I just couldn't believe my neighbor put that out for recycle. It's crazy. Even though the prints are from 1972, you never see that kind of subject matter, especially in such a large format. They're amazing. I spent a lot of money to bring those back to market. Haven't quite made back my investment yet, but I know I will in time, and it's worth it to save them and let people school their friends about life in the 1850's.

What have you learned so far as a sell? Or, if you are fairly new/ inexperienced, what would you like to learn more about?

I'm pretty new at selling on etsy, I've had a few stores, none successful. This one is going much better. I'm always looking to learn more about tagging and promotion.
Your favorite part about having a handmade business?
My favorite part about this business is making the stuff. If I didn't play with all this old interesting stuff all the time I'd be like some kind of couch potato. This keeps me busy and the mind active.

Do you have a blog?

I don't have a blog, y'all think I should start one up???

'RetroToRevolution' by sunshineluvsu

This treasury is featured on my blog for my seller's feature: If you are interested in being featured, let me know!

Steam and Air Brakes. V...

Steampunk Clock Face Pe...

Picture Frame Made from...

Steampunk Clockwork Fis...

Pair of Upcycled Antiqu...

Picture Frame Made From...

Steampunk Clock Face Pe...

Antique General Electri...

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

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