On the Road to Ruin…

What a weekend… we’ve been hiding out at a secret location in the South building at the Road to Ruin site since Friday lunch time getting the Marauders village frontage and first walls built. The weather has not been great for flat panel construction and lifting but we soldiered on. Of course, I decided it was just wabi sabi wall building – it’s mine, I’ve claimed it as a concept – and then we were off! We built doors that opened, doors that didn’t, pretty windows, gaps for severed limbs to poke through later, reinforcements, fake reinforcements, a storage cupboard, a dumping space and even a secret room called the playroom which you have to search out when you come to the festival.

the door that will open!
walls under construction
wabi sabi wall building!

We’re heading back in a couple of weeks to do more building so we’ll fill you in on more details then but until that date watch the Facebook page for the festival at  Apocalypticus – Road to Ruin 2018 


When the Apocalypse hit the NEC!

The Apocalypse came to the Creative Craft show in June when we arrived with our set up of wasteland trading stall, bikes and, of course, Rusty all under the roof  of the NEC in Birmingham. We spent the show demonstrating what it could be like to live and work after the Great Reset when all the skills that we have come to take for granted and even forget as we have technology that can do it for us become our means of everyday survival.

We took a wide range of our costumes and props as well as fabrics and clothing, but the favourite of the weekend was yet again the string of fairy lights made from rusty tin cans.

We had our warboy on the treadle sewing machine….

We demonstrated the ability to dye fabrics using rusty objects and our magic formulas…

And we even taught workshops in full post apocalyptic gear!

It was exceedingly warm despite the air conditioning but the warpaint survived to the end. We had a fabulous time and had the chance to meet lots of you lovely people in the flesh at least so thanks for coming to see us and we will see you again very soon.

Next Creative Craft show is in Manchester in September for us and our next show is The Asylum in Lincoln where we will be up by the University and have lots of exciting things planned!

keep making…

The Town That Never Was

The team have just returned from a fantastic weekend at the Town That Never Was. Set in the Victorian village at Blists Hill, it was a steampunk extravaganza. With monster hunts, street debates, parades, dance lessons, bad guys to catch, drill practice, live bands, a full size Tardis, fire eating, aerial dancing, flaming bagpipes and every character you could ever imagine. We can’t wait to go again next year!

Save the planet – new refills on cyanotype kits

If you have purchased the refillable amber glass bottle cyanotype kit from us you can send it back to be refilled. When purchased each bottle contains 100ml of sensitiser, however the bottles are able to hold 150ml.

When you have finished your kit you can send your bottles back and get them refilled with your choice of either

100ml refill at £11.99 (100ml in each bottle)

150ml refill at £15.99 (150ml in each bottle)

Never tried cyanotypes before or not had a kit from us? Then you need to buy the cyanotype kit (refillable) first if you want to use this service.

All you need to do is have fun using your kit and empty your bottles, then package them carefully so they don’t break on the way to us – if we sent them to you in the first place you can send them back in the same packaging! Then send them to us here at the Inventors Asylum and we will send them back to you filled with your choice of refill. If you order other products at the same time we will wait and send them all together unless you ask us to do otherwise.

Ordinary postage rates apply.

If you need bigger bottles/greater quantities just ask and we can quote for these.

Bored of just Blue? You can also try the cyanotype toning kit to make different colours including different shades of blue, browns, red, yellow and more…

The Inventors Asylum go on Live TV!

2018 really is a year of firsts here at the Inventors Asylum. Yesterday we had our first live TV appearance with Hochanda. The team at the studios were really friendly and were just as excited about the show as I was. Hochanda has never had cyanotypes before and they were really keen to see how they worked and learn more about the process. It was a brilliant opportunity to take our knowledge to a wider audience and secretly educate a few more people on a relaxing Sunday afternoon!

The Inventors Asylum team at home took some pictures of ‘mummy in the TV’. And the two year old was pleased to see this morning that mummy had survived and was now home and not in the TV anymore!

If you missed it you can watch it again at https://www.hochanda.com/Cinemas/24161/2018-04-15/16/Inventors-Asylum

The Inventors Asylum will be back on Hochanda on the 20th May at 8am and 10am with more cyanotypes and other amazing goodies so we’ll see you soon!


The Inventor Asylum team have just returned from the future! We spent the weekend at TimeQuake, the latest brainchild of the team that bring you the Asylum every year in Lincoln among other fantastic events. The idea is to blend many different genre together into one event and it was a resounding success.  It started with the landing party – SteamWars. A Star Wars Steam Punk fusion in the Cantina with a musical accompaniment of Victor and the Bully and the aerial antics of the Scarlet Butterfly. Phew…. and that was just the warm up night!

Jay and Bex loving the chance to wear their wedding outfits for the second time
Bex made friends with Victor and got hat envy
Day one of TimeQuake and the makeup gets bigger!

The Inventors Asylum were in the post apocalyptic zone which had the most amazing vehicles. Will brought along Fluffy and the ClatterKiller and Jay had Tesso his Rat Bike and of course Rusty was on on the show too.

meet Fluffy!
Jay on Tesso

The Saturday night was amazing too with music from Flesh Tetris and V2A keeping us all partying until midnight.

A rather tired pair of post apocalyptic traders at the end of the show!

So long 2017, and thank you

2107 has been an eventful year without a doubt. The Inventors Asylum has gone from strength to strength changing from a small business starting in the back of a community enterprise a over 5 years ago, developing into a larger maker space and then at the beginning of 2017 having to move out of that space into a purpose built studio so that Jay could concentrate on specialist projects, commissions and one to one tuition.  Yes we built it in January when the ground was frozen – it took a week to dig the ground flat for the foundations!

The real strength behind the Inventors Asylum is the ability to evolve and grow – it does not sit stagnant and let the world whizz on past; it is a business that responds to the changing needs of the world around it. One of the goals it has achieved this year is to educate beyond it’s local area by creating kits that are easily accessible to all ages and it has seen the team grow to include the two eldest children even more as they have been involved in this design process creating not only the ideas but the instructions and even helping construct the items themselves. These are the younger ones worry monster cushions that he designed early in 2017 before they hit the shelves – looks like he could be quite a trendsetter when he gets older. He made them from scratch, including zips. (he’s 9!)

The team have had some amazing success this year as well with members winning awards and getting commissions. The year started with Bex creating a huge Rockpool embroidery for Wetherspoons as they opened a new unit in Chester, later in the year Jay was part of a team called Swytchcraft who scooped second place in the National Open Textile Exhibition judged by a panel of industry professionals for his contribution to the piece the ‘Dragon Queen’ and Makani-Kai came 1st in the under 18’s and Kaida-Rayne 2nd in the under 18’s for the same competition.

Last summer saw the Inventors Asylum come out of the studio and onto the national show circuit joining Bex and taking the kits and demonstrations across the country. This has been hard work but extremely rewarding and we have had some amazing moments meeting people we have not seen for years and making new friends.

Then came the biggest task of the year….. the Treehouse Studios! In the autumn we built in 12 days from the ground up a brand new teaching space so we could run workshops onsite at the Inventors Asylum rather than having to rent space elsewhere. (we also did a show in between some of the days and had lashing rain for most of it – it is Wales!) It was worth it though and now we have a fabulous space onsite where we can demonstrate, teach, make big things and sell all year round. Here it is in the snow!

The Treehouse Studio in the snow

So as we finish 2017 we say “phew…, that was hard work”, but we don’t intend to sit on our laurels for January either so watch this space!

Snow doesn’t stop life…

A rather snowy Treehouse Studios

The Snow has arrived this weekend at the Treehouse Studios here in North Wales with great abandon! We’ve had well over a foot of snow and these pictures from the  beginning of the weekend made the world look beautiful and white but now we’re rather up to our knees in it!!

The mini inventors’ snowman

Work doesn’t stop around here though with so many outbuildings we’ve been out everyday clearing all the roofs to take the weight of snow off them to stop potential collapse – we did find time to build a snowman though and the youngest ones still went on the trampoline! Buddha was still as calm as ever and on Sunday when the sun occasionally broke through the clouds it was the most peaceful place in world.

Buddha’s first real taste of snow

Snow has the most amazing cleansing and calming effect whilst life has to slow down for a while so enjoy that aspect and take a bit of time to stop and just take it all in. We don’t get to do this very often here in the UK so make the most of it! Now….. off to snowboard to the shops…..

New website for a new era!

Welcome to our new website! We’re entering a new era at the Inventors Asylum and we’re really glad to have you along for the journey. This summer we starting building the beautiful new Treehouse Studio here in North Wales and we’re just adding the finishing touches to make it even warmer for the winter months.

We have been all over the UK this year demonstrating how art and science can work together to make amazing things happen and we have a full UK tour planned for 2018. We are also aware that however far we travel we cannot get to everyone so we are working on ways to extend our reach further with classroom resources and online courses.

Our team are returning to their roots and in the new year will be launching their own fashion house for one off outfits, wedding dresses, stage costumes and anything you can imagine. Think a fusion of tailoring, draping, head dresses and flashy lights and you will be getting close!

The new shop is under construction and will allow you to again be able to book your courses online including the 2018 summer schools and weekend courses as well as our regular workshops.

The shop will feature all of your favourite products again and some new kits and one off items. We will also have sections being added for guest artists and designers.

Over the next weeks until Christmas we will have regular open days so you can still get some shopping done so keep an eye on our social media for dates. The next ones are this Wednesday from 11am – 4pm and then Sunday from 1pm – 3pm.