Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Plastic Steampunk?

A brainstorm that came on suddenly one day seems likely to result in a new novel, a YA fantasy steampunk.  Steampunk isn't exactly my usual thing, but I certainly can't knock it because of that.  The last time I went outside my usual venue, the story I wrote got published, so maybe this is exactly the direction I need to go.

As a sort of fun activity related to the concepts behind steampunk, my older daughter and I decided to look into the notion of crafting a few steampunk objects d'art, in the form of jewelry, and possibly miniatures.  We knew we'd need a few things like gears and cogs, etc.

Now, you'd think one of the most obvious places to find gears and cogs would be to look inside an old-fashioned windup clock, wouldn't you?  We had one that no longer worked because something had broken inside it, so we thought, "Great; we'll take that apart and there will be all sorts of cogs and gears inside it that we can mine for parts."

No, not exactly.  We got it apart, sure.  But once it was apart, one particular thing which really bugs me about the modern world became immediately obvious: most of the innards of this clock were plastic.  Nasty, white plastic.  Obnoxious, cheap, and no doubt the primary reason the clock had broken in the first place.  Clearly, if we want metal cogs and gears, we'll have to look elsewhere.

Cheap white plastic cogs and gears.  In an actual wind-up clock.  Meh.


Mike Shaffer said...

Karen- Hi! I'm a follower but this is my firs post. I have a Facebook friend, Katharine Grimm who makes jewlery and some of her items are Steampunk themed. Her business site is: http://mirroredskycreations.etsy.com

Also, as part of the writing advice conference calls I host and help run that are sponsored by Epic Fantasy author David Farland, a month or two ago after a trip this Summer to the World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Reno, NV I interviewed one of the fathers of Steampunk, Tim Powers.

You might want to check that interview out even though its a "nuts and bolts" writing craft interview.

Its posted here: http://authorsadvisory.blogspot.com/2011/10/2-1-tim-powers-secret-histories.html

I hope that helps inspire/inform you.


KHurley said...

Thanks for the links, Mike! I'll definitely check them out.