February 13, 2008

Steam Week: Giddy-up!



Welcome to day three of Steam Week. Today, I am side tracked slightly into what may be a bit of a tangent. I don't know if this is exactly Steampunk, or if it is a variation, but I am thinking about this Old West themed science fiction genre. As I contemplated it last night, watching the first season of the television show "Firefly" I carved the above one inch buckle tile, which will become a component like the rest of the pieces I am working on.

Now I will be honest, The Old West genre does not inspire me much normally. Westerns, country music, cowboys, early American pioneers...that sort of thing is just not in my aesthetic vocabulary. Of course, this is different, "Firefly" has futuristic technology and spaceships thrown into the mix, so that makes it somewhat better for me. But I still have a hard time really getting into that look and the "cowboy" archetype. (***edited: I have been thinking about the "cowboy" archetype and I think that perhaps I was confused here. I think the proper archetype I am thinking of is the Outlaw or Gunslinger from the Wild West. That the Cowboy is generally a hardworking laborer, tending to the ranch, not as much an adventurer looking for trouble. See, I told you I don't watch Westerns!)I just thought of Han Solo (above) from Star Wars. He's sort of a cowboy too, in a futuristic way. Below, is the captian from Firefly, Mal Reynolds. He is kind of similar to Han, I guess, he's a rebel, into some shady deals, cocky, and sort of non emotional and enigmatic. That's the cowboy archetype to me, and is not really very appealing personally. There are some great female characters in the series that I enjoy much more, with some real depth...a warrior chick, an upscale romantic prostitute of sorts, a sweet and genuine mechanic gal, and a genius child prodigy with possible supernatural powers.(an aside...check out that old fashioned double suspender strap on the captain's pants. I sort of want to carve that to go with my buckle...we'll see) Anyway, I have been sort of thrust into the Firefly and Serenity world. You see, Firefly was the tv show that was short lived and was cancelled, and Serentiy was a movie made after it, with the same cast, as a continuation of the story. Both have since generated a huge fanbase, fans who call themselves Browncoats (after the long brown trenchcoats in the series). I was introduced to all of this by fellow jewelry designer Jen of Monkeyshines Beadery, who asked me to do a special exclusive, top secret project for her, for charity. You see, the Browncoats hold screenings and "shindigs", they engage in cosplay and costuming, and in doing this, they raise money for charity. How cool is that?!? Jen is the co-ordinator of the Raleigh NC Browncoat Can't Stop the Serenity. The Serenity fans raise lots of money for Equality Now, which helps women all over the world.

Ok, so that's my tangent for the day. For today's song, I am choosing "Lady Faire" performed live by The Cassettes, who seem to be known as a country/sea shanty/steam punk/vaudeville sort of band. If you go to Itunes and search for them, you will find podcasts, the first of which contains one of their albums, done up in old timey radio hour format, with old sounding commercials and all! Good times!

12 comments:

  1. I am LOVING your new pieces! And can't wait to see them with glaze!!! Robert is a HUGE Firefly fan. We were so sad that it was canceled. I'm not a western fan but they did a great job of blending the two genres.

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  2. Thanks so much! I am really enjoying the challenge and I have never showed what I am working on or my creative process so in depth to anyone (except maybe Chuck) before. Its kinda scary, but kind of cool too...

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  3. "Wild, Wild West" was a steampunk kind of Western, if you can get past all the cheezy humor and just focus on the giant mechanical spider.

    And of course, I love Serenity and Firefly!

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  4. Oh I am trying to remember, is that the Will Smith one? Gettin jiggy wit it? Yeah that would be entertaining, he's funny. See what the dislike for Westerns has me missing?

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  5. Yeah, with Will Smith! I think it was based on an old TV show, too. The movie is pretty corny, and I seem to recall that the show was said to be equally corny. Still, I think it probably serves as a good example of steampunk with an Western America influence as opposed to the standard Victorian England (of which I am admittedly a bigger fan).

    By the way, I picked up some seed beads during gem show that are going to be GREAT for steam punk jewelry! And lots of old keys, too! I'm so excited!

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  6. cool, I will check it out! And I agree about the victorian bit...

    I saw your old keys on your blog and drooled. Shh...I am planning a keyhole next. I hope i can find some time tonight...

    I also want to do a key as well, in a longer piece (1x2)

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  7. Oh yes! Keys and keyholes! I am a happy little goth girl now :)

    (I just need to de-rust my keys! the rust gives them a nice old look, but I wouldn't want rust coming off on my neck, and I'm sure my customers don't either)

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  8. I thought you would like it!

    I wonder if you could clear spray the keys to keep the rust? Either way they will be cool!

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  9. We all love Firefly and Serenity in the Green Girl household. We have heard rumors that they are going to make a direct to DVD follow-up. That'd be nice...

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  10. Andrew! hello! ooh, that would be neat. I don't think I have seen the whole Firefly series, I actually saw the movie first and then backtracked. It was for the charity research, seeing the movie...

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  11. The suspense is killing me! Hurry up and get these glazed. They are going to be soooooo cool.

    Jennifer
    Jangles

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  12. Hey thanks! I am curious how they will look glazed, too! I have all tehse new glazes to try! I have the first gear mold made and fired so I can start pressing today! Squee!

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