Steve Irvine is an incredibly talented ceramic artist, but he's been passionate about photography for almost as long as he's been working with clay. "It only seems natural," he says, "that the two passions should come together." And when they do, the ceramic pinhole cameras you see above are the result.

In the gallery above, each camera is followed by a sample photograph taken with the selfsame camera.

Most are made using a combination of throwing and hand-building techniques, glazed and fired by Irvine, and then improved upon with little antique dials, gadgets and other accents until the final product looks like something out of your favorite steampunk universe. As Irvine explains on his website, these creations are fully-functional cameras:

These are fully functional pinhole cameras. They have no lens, light meter, viewfinder, or automatic shutter, and yet they can produce gallery quality images. I use black and white photo paper in them for the negatives. The negatives are either 4 x 5 inches, or 5 x 8 inches.

You can find more examples of Irvine's pinhole photography at this link. And if you want to see how one of these cameras is made, you can find a step-by-step tutorial on Irvine's website here.

All photos by Steve Irvine and used with permission.