The First Lady of Splendid Teapot Racing -USA

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.

bullet case

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!”

Little Bird

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.

the Alice hat- Lois

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.

Bette's medal

Thanks  Lois for your mahi (work) and matangareka (enthusiasm) in establishing Splendid Teapot Racing in the USA.

“Gracie’s tea time table” – The first official USA Teapot winner of Excellence

Congratulations to the first winner of the Splendid Teapot USA Racing and a Lady Driver!  “Gracie’s tea time table” built and raced by Bette Cornette Smith from Virginia Beach, Virginia.  It was Bette’s first time ever racing her rig.  Bette who loves having fun, built it a week before the race with her granddaughter in mind as her inspiration.

Gracies tea time table

I chatted to the lovely Bette today, who confided to me that she is a pirate. She has a pirate shop and designs hats, jewelry and clothes! How cool is that! She did not really know what steampunk was until her grandchildren commented on her creations as steampunk. ‘Aunty Peaches,’ they said, ‘this is steampunk!’ Bette said, ‘Whats that?’ and went off to do some research. Unbeknown to me, Bette found Countess Simona’s site and then the Splendid Teapot Racing site. Bette befriended  Daniel Lee Hawk at a Comic Con and over several afternoon tea parties the subject of Splendid Teapot Racing came up and Daniel explained that he was going to host a race event. To which Bette duly attended, apparently with bribes for the judges. Yes, we are impressed!

Bette's medal

Bette Cornette Smith said  that she is in it for the fun and the friendship. Dressing up and meeting others is what motivates her and she didn’t set out with any competitive thoughts at all. When it was announced that she had won the overall award Bette was not expecting it. The beautiful  medal   was made  by Lois Wallace of Victorian Magpie! She said she can make them for $30 USA shipping included, please contact Lois.

Winning words from Bettte – ‘Remember to love what you do. And share that love. Always be kind and gracious.’

Bette sitting

We have the pleasure of adding that Bette’s beautiful photos were taken by LJ PHOTOS   by John Hudson – thank you John they are fantastic photos.