It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you the ‘First Lady’ of Splendid Teapot Racing: USA – Lois Wallace. It also gives me great pleasure to state that her rig ‘Little Bird’ is the first recorded teapot racing rig in the USA. Little Bird was made in response to Lois viewing a video on Dave Lee’s page, after he came back from the Oamaru Steampunk Festival NZ in June 2015.
In our interview today, a giggling Lois confided to me that “she had never laughed so much in her life and couldn’t stop laughing”, and she knew that she wanted to have a go, so she built Little Bird. Even in our interview Lois’s great sense of humour shone through – so I can see how this appeals to her – a bit like the Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks.
Lois is a manufacturing jeweler, she has lots of handy bits and pieces and also makes steampunk jewelry which she sells in her shop, Victorian Magpie. Lois also made the medal for the first racing. She has also taught soldering to the Virginia group, “so that their teapots will stay together on the course!”
Her rig has lovely details, a steering wheel, a stick shift ( gear lever in NZ ) and even a tiny gauge. Little Bird – we might have to call Big Bird, unfortunately can’t get around the nasty Ramp of Doom, a bit heavy for the unit, so is undergoing a ‘chop’. I am really looking forward to seeing Little Bird Mark 2. Lois loves the tea party theme and thinks it’s a great fit with steampunk. Lois was attracted to steampunk because, “there are not really any rules,” – it is a personal interpretation of a theme.
Lois met Daniel Lee Hawk at an art exhibition that he was in and they have struck up a great friendship. Lois has been very involved in the organisation of the Virginia Chapter, but was unfortunately overseas – in France ( so we will forgive her) for the very first USA event hosted in August by the Virginia group. Lois has been successfully working behind the scenes to get Splendid Teapot Racing to the Steampunk Worlds Fair in May 2016 – so look out for this event.
Thanks Lois for your mahi (work) and matangareka (enthusiasm) in establishing Splendid Teapot Racing in the USA.