Thursday, May 28, 2009

Two days before Maker Faire

Another Maker Faire preview. I'll add photos here on and off till I leave I think.
Only two more days to get any jewelry listed in my Etsy shop, before it all goes off with me to Faire - some (or perhaps all) to never return!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Maker Faire

I'll be vending at Maker Faire down in San Matea next weekend, May 30-31. Come by and see me, I'll be in the Carnival Mechanique (also know as 'the Steampunk Area') with a whole bunch of friends, including fellow bloggers Choklit Chanteuse and Tom Banwell.

I'll have a whole bunch of prints, including quite a few I've never offered for sale before, and lots of new jewelry. Here are a few little sneak peaks at some new Koi. Only one week left to prep, so off I go to stay busy!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I discovered this watch, in an advertisement within one of those airline magazines in the seat pocket in front of you that you always flip through to avoid having awkward conversation with the person next to you who keeps starting sentences with the phrase 'the problem with women' and you can't begin the use of your approved electronic devices until you've reached cruising altitude (true story).
It reminded me that much as I enjoy gears and steam power and the 19th century, I'm really just very interested in the whole of history. And an era I have a particular love for is the 20's and 30's.
I've never been one to be restricted by reality or to take a particularly single minded view of any genre, and there is an aesthetic that each bit of history has that's all its own, from its graphic art, to its machinery.

Pulp adventure and detective novels, a public interested in organized crime dramatized (especially since its surge in visibility during prohibition), the Great Depression, the early whispers of Germany's actions that would lead to the second World War...lots of insteresting stuff in the 30's.

So besides wanting to own that watch ($99 from, this is a call to artisans for a broadening of influence. You guide the genre, it should not constrain YOU.

More pulp covers can be found at the University at Buffalo online database HERE an extremely wonderful and free archive.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Inspiration - Arts and Crafts Movement

I'm waiting for the Steampunk Arts and Crafts movement. Although, if we are using Steampunk as a social movement (as opposed to an imaginary future/past) then it already is an arts and crafts movement for our generation, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Arts and Crafts movement was an art movement in the late 1800's which was inspired by the renewed interest in history and folk tradition of the Victorian era, and was arguably a reaction against the industrial revolution.

As the industrial revolution was making mass production possible, and cheaper machine made goods became available, there was a backlash against what many people saw as the lack of craftsmanship an quality in machine made items. The Arts and Crafts movement had a heavy emphasis on the hand crafted, and everything from woven clothe, to furniture to wallpaper was created.

Hand made tile, and printed and bound books, and hand crafted jewelry - all of which were now being mass produced in factories, were all crafted as works of art with emphasis being placed on the crafting process.

Architecture during the period was often inspired by much older styles, and there are a number of gothic looking churches that were built during the Arts and Crafts period. After all, gothic cathedrals were all crafted by hand.

The movement was one of the inspirations for artists of the Art Nouveau period. As well as other later art movements.

In the sense that Steampunk is an imaginary future, in which steam power rules and industry and invention are the height of society, I think its about time for a steampunk Arts and Crafts Movement.

On the other hand, in a way, Steampunk is an Arts and Crafts movement of its very own. In an age where consumerism is a way of life, and 'planned obsolescence' is an industry standard, Steampunk is a movement all about what can be constructed by the individual. Its about what you can create and invent and build yourself rather then purchase, use, and discard. Its an Industrial Arts and Crafts Movement.

(I think I may have just done that thing they tell you to do in high school when constructing a paper, and begun with a summary and ended with a conclusion...I feel as though I should end with something else, just to avoid it. But...I can't think of anything. Alas, I hope at least its something to think about.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Netsuke and a Project just for me

As western fashions gained popularity in the east, Japanese carvers created a set that could be used both with tradition dress or with a vest and pocket.
This particular piece was purchased by Captain Rance Barret, a merchant captain who, although an excellent captain, was otherwise remarkably irresponsible, and purchased the piece after losing his 3rd compass.
Upon his death, having no heirs, the piece was auctioned off with most of his possessions, to benefit the Foundation for the Support of Widows and Orphans of Seamen - which he founded upon his retirement.

Its been quite a while since I made something just for myself (disregarding drawings, that is). The Etsy Steam Team had a little contest this past month with the theme 'Steampunk as a Global Phenomenon'. I'd been toying with the idea some variety of watch fob since I started working with the faux-ivory-resin casts. I didn't really want the extra step of casting a piece that was just for myself so I used a colored polymer clay - premo sculpey. Premo Sculpey is now my least favorite medium of all time (it has trumped gouache) - its far to soft and oily in texture to be easy to work with, and it took a few false starts and many pauses to refrigerate the sculpts in between detail work.
I also took the opportunity to try and put together a decent set and take photos that aren't incredibly boring. I more or less dislike the photos I've been taking of my jewelry overall, and I keep trying to figure out this product photography thing with little success. Though, these feel like a step in the right direction anyway.