Friday, February 11, 2011

UK to make Massive Steam-Powered Computer

A friend showed me this article from Charles Babbage's analytical engine was originally conceived in 1837 and is now to be constructed in Britain. For more, I suggest you read the intriguing article linked below:
Check it out!

Trevor's Rating of Babbage's Analytical Engine: 99% (although I'm not entirely sure how it works).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Steampunk Palin!

Check this out! Amid several worldwide catastrophes, Sarah Palin touts Steam power as the solution to save the world! This is a real comic released by Comic Alliance. I must find me a copy. Classic.

Trevor's Rating of Steampunk Palin Comic: 95%
Trevor's Rating of Steampunk Palin's Hotness Factor: 110%

Velociraptor Specimen Jar Necklace

Found this on Etsy. Nothing's better than a Velociraptor in a jar! Follow the link to read the seller's description and history of the Velociraptor. This kind of item brings me back to The Lost World or even The Time Machine. Not terribly Steampunk, but something a Victorian scientist would faun over.

Trevor's Rating of Velociraptor Specimen Jar Necklace: 80%

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jules Verne!

In honor of what would be Jules Verne's 183rd birthday, I sought out the most expensive item of Jules Verne memorabilia I could find. Ebay!

For $6,500, you could own 3 first edition Jules Verne tales. I wish I had that kind of money to blow. They were made with actual Calf-Leather Bindings and appear to remain in good condition. Raise your hand it you like old leather-bound books! *Raises Hand*

Here's a link in case you can actually afford these volumes:

Trevor's Rating of 3 first edition Jules Vernes: 100%

Monday, February 7, 2011

Professor Alexander's Botanical Vasculum

Brilliant! I love browsing through etsy under the geekery heading just for this reason. You never know what you're going to find. This is actually a working terrarium. My geekometer is going off. The best part of shopping on etsy is the wonderful "histories" of the products. This is the seller's description:

"Whilst traveling in my handcrafted time traveler, I happened upon the laboratory of Professor Alexander, a somewhat unheralded Victorian botanist. I managed to take in trade this extremely rare instrument of study used primarily in the observation of moss-like varieties contained in an controlled environment."

Another great feature of this product is that the LED light creates a steampunk shadow pattern on the wall when lit. This belongs in a Victorian-era laboratory, or in my bedroom so I can play with it. I really want to play with it...

Trevor's Rating of Professor Alexander's Botanical Vasculum: 96%

Weave, Wrap, Coil Review

Weave, Wrap, Coil is a book I bought specifically to learn how to make wire-wrapped rings. The first 21 pages of the book provide step-by-step instructions for general wire-wrapping techniques as well as a detailed list of every tool you will need for the process. The book itself is not necessarily steampunk, but some of the tutorials in the book would only need a little bit of tweaking to make them steam. If your goal is making steampunk jewelry, I would only recommend this book for learning the wire-wrapping techniques. However, there is one tutorial for making "Key to my Steampunk Heart," which involves some clock parts.

A nice feature of Weave, Wrap, Coil is that it breaks up the twenty-five tutorials into beginner, intermediate, and advanced. This helped tremendously as I could filter through the book for the right level of difficulty for me, and then challenge myself with more difficult pieces. My favorite tutorial is the "Evolution Ring," which is categorized as advanced. With a little tweaking and a careful choice of materials, I might be able to replicate one of Daniel Proulx's pieces from Catherinette Rings.

I found out while writing this review that the editor is none other than Jean Campbell, author of Steampunk Style and Jewelry. I've heard there's a follow-up book coming out this year, which I have high hopes for.

Trevor's Rating of Weave, Wrap, Coil: 87%

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Steampunk Style and Jewelry by Jean Campbell

I found this book while working at a Barnes and Noble near Portland, OR. During my shift I paged through it and eventually decided to buy it. There are tutorials inside for making several pieces of jewelry and near the beginning there are tutorials for general jewelry making techniques (something that, as a beginner, I found quite helpful). It was this book that schooled me on the ins and outs of what constituted Steampunk style, as my earlier endeavors never passed the level of Victorian in nature.

I can't recommend this book enough to the beginning jewelry maker or to anyone who is new to Steampunk. The introduction also includes a history of Steampunk itself. One of the coolest things for me was seeing the exact ring (Catherinette Rings - Seraphinite) on a full-page display in the book. I was in the bookstore wearing that ring when I first saw the book. I had no choice...the book would be mine. I encourage you to click the picture and make it yours as well!

Trevor's rating of Steampunk Style and Jewelry: 96%

Steampunk R2-D2

I found this Steampunk R2-D2 on Etsy just now. I thought, how awesome is that? It stands 13 inches tall by 8 inches wide and costs $140.00. It looks like a lot of work went into it and the detail is really nice. There is a lot of Star Wars Steampunk geekery out there but this one strikes me as one that wouldn't even look out of place if inserted into A New Hope.

I haven't found a lot of information on it, so I have to go by the pictures provided on etsy..You can see a couple of clock faces in R2's chest, which is pretty neat. What do you think of R2?

A link to R2 on etsy:

Trevor's Rating of the Steampunk R2-D2: 76%

Jules Verne Victorian Pocket Watch

I bought this pocket watch back in November from a different seller. It didn't have the black necklace or the key, but the rest was identical. I looked up the name "CAIFU," which is imprinted on the watch face, and found out it was a Chinese company that makes replicas of famous/historical objects and oddities. This watch was a replica of Jules Verne's pocket watch.

Victorian Pocket Watch

The watch worked great and after winding it up it lasted for well over 24 hours. The internal mechanics were quite good and the ticking was surprisingly loud through the casing. The glass panel on the back allows for easy viewing of the inner workings, which is honestly more fun than telling the time. The face and numbers are kind of dark anyway, which makes telling the time a lot harder. I would recommend this piece as an aesthetic piece rather than a practical one.

On a final note, I'm a little disturbed that the sellers of this watch put it in the handmade section of Etsy, since it's clear it was made in China. The wording on their etsy sites suggests they handmade it themselves, when in reality, it was made by the hands of some Chinese kid.

Trevor's rating of the Jules Verne Victorian pocket watch: 82%

Trevor's rating of the integrity of the seller: 10%

Tristan Steampunk Guitar

I found this Steampunk guitar while shopping on etsy, check it out:

Tristan Guitar

Even though the body is a Washburn, the guy made it look ridiculously Steam by chopping the body and using that valve as the volume control. I have no idea how it would sound but if I were to buy it I would probably hang it on my wall anyway. I'm curious about the quality of the humbuckers, if they came standard on the Washburn or if he switched them out for better quality. In all honesty, I'm not sure I'd want to chop up anything higher quality than a Washburn for fear I'd ruin it beyond salvation.

Trevor's rating of the Tristan Steampunk Guitar: 78%

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Catherinette Rings Review

I was shopping on Etsy one day and came across Daniel Proulx's steampunk rings. He runs the company Catherinette Rings out of Montreal with his wife, who is a fashion designer. I ended up buying the Seraphinite Ring because I recognized it as the one Allison Scagliotti wore on Warehouse 13.

I received the ring in less than a week, which was surprising since it came all the way from Canada. The ring was beautiful and has held up well despite continuous wear and rough handling. There are dozens of ring designs on his Etsy as well as Steampunk Sculptures of a scorpion, spiders, and many other clock-part-driven designs.

The design of the Seraphinite Ring actually inspired me to start making my own Steampunk jewelry, though I'm still trying to learn wire-wrapping. The results of my tinkering can be found here:

And here is a link to Catherinette Rings:

All in all, I highly recommend Mr. Proulx's products and plan to buy from him again in the near future!

Trevor's rating of Catherinette Rings: 97%

The Master List of Steamy Reviews

Top Post:
Mechanical "Winner" Watch

Friday Segment: Is It Steampunk?

Etsy Shop Reviews:
Catherinette Rings
Clockwork Couture (Absinthe Lip Balm)
Old Junkyard Boutique
Royal Peasantry Designs
Tinque Designs

Comic Reviews:
Boston Metaphysical Society (Kickstarter Campaign Issue 5)

Film Reviews:
The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box

Author Features:
Adam Dreece (The Yellow Hoods Series)

Book Reviews:
Steampunk Style and Jewelry - Jean Campbell
Weave, Wrap, and Coil - Jodi Bombardier

Steampunk In Oxford
Steampunk Meal Time

The League of S.T.E.A.M.

Specific Product Reviews: 
Alphonse: Full Metal Alchemist Steampunk Cosplay
Altitude Mask (Steampunk) 
Android Phone (Steampunk)
Astronomical Steampunk Ring
Babbage Analytical Engine
Clutch Purse (Steampunk)
Coat (Steampunk)
Cybermen Helmets (Doctor Who)(Steampunk)
Eyepatch (Steampunk)
Feather Fascinator - OZION Design (Steampunk)
Flying Machine (Steampunk)
Gatling Gun
Gear Organizer
Goggles (Steampunk) 
Handstitched Original Journal
Industrial Lamp 
IPhone Stand (Steampunk)
Iron Man Helmet (Steampunk)
Jetpack/Time Machine
Jules Verne Victorian Pocket Watch
Light Up Bottles (Steampunk)
Lightsaber (Steampunk)
Linear LED Watch
Orkina Mechanical Steampunk Watch
Periodic Table Bangle
Plasma Teleportation Device
Professor Alexander's Botanical Vasculum 
Robot Arm Gauntlet
Robot Plush Doll
Sci Fi Super TESLA Steampunk Ray Gun
Sewor Watch
Steampunk Palin
Steel Corset Wedding Dress (Steampunk)
Swashbuckler Eye Patch 
Teapot (Steampunk)
Tornado 30 Kinetic Sculpture
Tristan Steampunk Guitar
Velociraptor Specimen Jar Necklace
Wall Tentacle

Personal Posts:
Comic-Con San Diego 2013
Steampunk Airship "Infiltrator"
Steampunk Beetle