February 21, 2008

Steam Week: Time & Space: part two

Welcoem to day seven, part two of Steam Week. Does that mean it's over? Nah, I still have a couple of things to write about so I will wrap it up in the next day or two. Running late today, as I needed to get some work done. I also did not feel well last night, so I didn't carve. But this morning, I worked on the carving above in between tasks. It is a compass, verry generalized. I have yet to decide if they will be handstamped with the directions NSWE when they come out of the molds, with little antique letterpress letters. The picture was taken when the clay was in the state that I really like it in best, a very dry leatherhard. It is still wet enough that I could add some wet clay to it if needed, but dry enough to carve details in without the clay smooshing. A little water on a damp brush softens it up, but it is quickly dry again. Not so dry so it is chalklike, though. Just right. On something so small, it doesn't stay in this state for long.
Above, another compass test, with some big pendants and an actual tiny compass set in the center one. I am terrible with math (and directions, which is appropriate to mention while talking about compasses) I am pretty much not great with these left brain activities. I muddle through them, but they make my head hurt. Anyway, I tend to be more intuitive, so instead of measuring the compasses and trying to determine the correct size to make the cut out (keeping the clay shrinkage percentages in mind), I just rolled out a few pieces and stamped holes in them, hoping that one would work. And it did. So I do have a method to my madness, I guess...
I wanted to do a compass early on in this series, just because I thought it was a great old tool, and I thought of old brass and wood compasses that fit well in the Steampunk world. But then I discovered that the film The Golden Compass, which I have never seen, has some great Steampunk elements in it. Bonus! But alas, it is not on video yet, and I doubt if it is at the movies still, so I am only relying on video clips and images on the web for inspiration.
I did find a video on Netfix that was available, a behind the scenes, or beyond the Golden Compass, something like that. I watched it last night, and was first disappointed that it wasn't about the film itself, but about the novels. I found it very interesting and full of info...I had no idea this story had so much in it. There was analysis of historical, religious, philosophical, and religious influences of Bill Pullman, and it was fascinating. I will eventually see this film, and I am glad I have some background now.

Today's video is from the makers of the film, and it is full of lots of images of the steampunk machinery and scenery that are in the Golden Compass. I think this little clip explains the Steampunk genre very clearly and articulately.

Link to video on You Tube

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