Wednesday, 6 March 2013

World Of Steampunk

Even before we started  Purple Orchid crafts i was interested in the world of Steampunk. Over the last few years it seems to have become more and more into the light and much more accepted than it used to be. Many people have not heard of Steampunk yet it has been around for such a long time ( the amount of films that you watch and see hints of it ) . Many look at you gone out when you try and explain about it and what it is, so for thoses who dont know here a bits of blurb that explains a bit more

"Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Therefore, steampunk works are often set in an alternate history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American "Wild West", in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Steampunk perhaps most recognizably features anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, and is likewise rooted in the era's perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art. Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or the modern authors Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfeld, and China Mieville. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of such technology as lighter-than-air airships, analog computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace's Analytical Engine.

Steampunk may also, though not necessarily, incorporate additional elements from the genres of fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history, or other branches of speculative fiction, making it often a hybrid genre. The term steampunk's first known appearance was in 1987, though it now retroactively refers to many works of fiction created even as far back as the 1950s or 1960s.

 So does that make it any more clear............ hmmmmm maybe .... maybe not. The way we see it is incorporating steam, cogs, the Victorian times, heavy engineering with that of today’s technology. if you Google Steampunk, look at the images tab you will soon find yourself looking at the art, fashion and inventiveness of what people create

One of the first items that we created in the style of steampunk were cog pendants, clock parts, and resin ( top pictures and to the left ) . Before we moved into the world of glass, resin jewellery items were great fun to make , trapping items of interest in resin and seeing what we could make with it. We found lots of people enjoyed taking an interest in them and talking about the items we had made.

So where did we go from there, well since starting playing with glass i have been meaning to do something steampunk wise and finally managed to get around to doing it. We have created a set of coaster with steampunk images fused into the top, they came out much better than we were hoping for, take a look and see what you think.
Where do we go from here, only our imagination can tell you. i have many more ideas to create glass steampunk items as well as using other materials as well, keep an eye out on our facbook page and blog to see what elese we create

Monday, 4 March 2013

A Cheaper Glass Cutting Surface

A Cheaper Glass Cutting Surface.....


One of the many problems you come across when cutting glass is what surface to use. Im sure like many of you we started out by using a large carpet tile to cut our glass on. The problem was this if your cutting a lot of glass you soon find that the carpet tile would get lots of shards of glass on ( memories of little shards in the end of your fingers , not fun by any means )

Looking around there are grids you can purchase, an example of this would be the Morton Mini Surface ( there are others this is just an example ) , if you Google it you will find plenty of  places selling them, prices range around £30 – 50 depending on the size you look at ( mini or maxi surface )

For a cutting surface that’s more than im willing to pay especially when you need twice the area as in our case as there is two of us creating things out of glass. So what is the alternate ( or at least one of them ). One of my many hobbies in the past was keeping a marine tank with sea horses, as part of the tank we use something called Eggcrate. This material builds up the scenery for the coral. Its looks more or less the same as the Morton cutting surface. The only difference is that it does not have a solid back like the Morton surface ( collects the glass shards )  but in my opinion this is a bonus, the glass shards fall through the surface onto the table top away from your hands, when you are finished you pick up the surface and simply wipe the shards away into the bin. No cuts, no small shards of glass in your fingers for days, the world becomes a happier place.
What it looks like when it arrives at your door

It does take a little bit of work to create the surface as the way they are supplied to you they normally have a piece of plastic that goes around the outside of the grid that’s sharp or just needs tidying up. ( see below pictures for what i mean by this ) . We use the pliers and the knifes to carefully remove a block of squares around the outside of the grid and to tidy any sticking out bits .

To stop the surface from moving around on your table you can use Anti Non Slip Multi Purpose Mat, this is used in cars on the dashboard to stop things slipping around every where, its not very expensive £2.00 from ebay.
 I did think about gluing this to the eggcrate at one point but decided against it because the glass would get stuck and would be a pain to clean out.  Two long strips down both sides work well, but you can have them top and bottom as well. As soon as you lean on the glass to cut it the surface does not move

Make sure you have eye protection, bits of plastic fly in different directions

Things you will need to make your cutting surface:

Eye protection

Marine EggCrate  60cm by 60cm about £10 from ebay
Anti Non Slip Multi Purpose Mat Dashboard about £2.00 ebay

im in the process of making some attachments for the surface , but i will post more details about them at a different time.

i hope you find this helpful and will take away a little bit of pain from glass work 
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