Before steampunk became part of everyday vernacular, Saxon Reynolds said it was ingrained in his soul.
The high school art teacher - who moonlights as an sculpture artist - currently has a 88 steampunk-inspired creations at Wollongong Art Gallery, made from the "tonnes of stuff" he inherited from his late father.
"My grandfather and father were hoarders but they were hoarders of collections, they collected amazing things," he said. "They collected military objects, firearms, irons, they collected anything or everything."
Cliff Reynolds, a jazz musician of the big band era, passed away in the mid-80s and left his collections of wonderful things (like handwritten sheet music from times gone by) to his son Garry.
Garry, a man who longed to design sets for film, eventually passed on in 2012 which opened the floodgates of creativity for his son Saxon, whom with his family were left to sort through the multitude of artefacts.
"We stopped counting the stuff when we threw out up to 26 skip [bins] full of stuff - that's 26 tonnes of rubbish - and then we kept tonnes and tonnes of stuff too," Mr Reynolds said.
"You had to go through everything. You'd go through a book and find $500 then you'd go through an envelope and find some antique looking little doo-dad."
What began as illustrations of ideas from the items he uncovered as a way to deal with grief and the daunting cleanup, it then evolved into the illustrations coming to life as mechanical-esque sculptures - like props from the movie Mad Max.
Some look like robotic sushi cuisine, others maginificent birds, and some just a collation of once useful things.
Like his forefathers, Saxon Reynolds confessed to also being a hoarder of fantastical collections. He said if musical instruments break at the school, or the science department is having a clean out they will call him first in case he can repurpose the odd or broken things.
"I've always made things; I remember I won my first sculpture competition in Year 3," he said. "I was going down to dad's shed and finding bits and pieces and making 'a town in another million years', so a post-apocalyptic [project]."
The works on show at the Wollongong Art Gallery are the first major solo exhibition in Australia for the art teacher despite already having a sold-out exhibition in the US.
Most of his works are sold through Instagram or other social media platforms, often to fans of steampunk inspired things.
Mr Reynolds will be creating new works in person at the gallery for the public to watch and chat with on April 24; May 8, 9 and 23; and June 5, 6 and 20.