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Current Rants and Recent Rambles

01-26-09 post to COC: A bit more about SteamPunk and then some...

There's been an uptick about the style "steampunk" in the polymer clay community and for a lot of clayers this is a new term. This is a reprint of a post to COC from 01-26-09, sharing that the steampunk style actually goes back over one hundred years in literary tradition.

Since I don't have any steampunk stuff I offer a picture of Cowboy Kai's Wrist Brace, close enough.

Check out the Wikipedia on SteamPunk. Jules Vern was the grandfather of such stuff. More contemporary examples in fiction could be the collaboration of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling (two of my favorite authors) and their novel "The Difference Engine".

Victorian and Edwardian time frames are most common for alternative history
settings for SteamPunk. So for me a work of art to be "classically" SteamPunk it should have that beautifully crafted busy and totally useless decoration mixed with an industrial/analog hit.

Now some of the clay items I've seen under the SteamPunk umbrella seem to me to be more CyberPunk in nature, gears and wheels and a hit of the organic. CyberPunk fiction is my absolute favorite genre. Where high tech meets low life. That's me. LOL

Then there's another genre where the Bio-mechanical meet in a horrific beauty and I'm speaking of H. R. Giger's art.

Most people have been exposed to him via the "Alien" films. He designed the
double jawed alien monster.

and some designs for the David Lynch adaptation of "Dune".

I'm glad this topic came up because polymer clay art, fiction, film are all
mixed in a stew in my head. To me they are all related in the act of creative
expression of an alternate universe. I do hope that some of these links I'm
sharing will goose the muse of some of the artists here.

The struggle I've had with the polymer clay and miniature community over the
years is the overwhelming influence of "cute". Not that I have anything against "cute" and other people expressing themselves through that channel. The struggle I've had is to capture the more dystopian urban techno energy that stirs within me and for me to find ways to express that through this dual medium of polymer clay and miniatures.

I think the closest I've gotten is the Lurking Man.

I can picture him in BorderLand.

That's another influence I have in the stew is the "BoarderLand"
:... a series of urban fantasy novels and stories created for teenage readers by Terri Windling. The series is set in Bordertown, a dystopian metropolis that lies along the border between "the Elflands" and "The World". "

If you've not read these short stories it's on a "must read" list in my head.
Interesting thing about the stories is the environment stays the same and the
authors are different for each story. So you get a different point of view of
being in that environment where 2 penny spells help keep a tire free motorcycle frame moving and where graffiti is written on the walls with fairy dust.

Anyway, I digress as always...

If this rings a resonant chord inside of you do let me know. I'll be inspired to
create some tutorials that we can use to express this alternate vision.




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