Saturday, February 25, 2012

Upcoming Interviews with Abney Park

Captain Roberts has graciously agreed to an interview about their new members, their new RPG based on their back stories, their new album, the album coming up, and whatever other skullduggery they have been up to. Of course he still patently denies being a pirate, and airship pirate, or any type of pre-wreckage salvage and re-distribution agent.

( we believe that, and those aren't really Queen Victoria's Knickers I saw him wearing when last we met either. Oh I know he told me I had misheard what he was discussing with his crew, and that they really belonged to Chrissy, but honestly, she has much better taste than that!)

He did mention that trying to get more than one of his crew to actually sit down and answer questions at the same time might be so much like herding cats that it might be the next decade before this got written if I really wanted input from more than one or two, so I agreed to simply interview whichever were available and keep after it until I got round to each.

I know I'm curious about the new Guitarist as well as the new violinist. Aren't you? I'll also ask Jody for permission to share some of the utterly charming, but off the record conversation I had with her right after joining Abney Park back at Green Steam Circus in Austin, Texas in 2010 and how things have changed for her in the band since then. I will be contacting them again right away, but may need to catch them between.... er know salvage and re-distribution runs and such, so I can't exactly predict the actual date of the article.  It is actually more likely this will turn into a series of articles focusing on each separate member that is interested in sharing their story or point of view.  I'm sure you Abney Park fans wouldn't mind that too much would you?

If you have any specific suggestions of questions you would really like to see included, things you are just dying to know about them, send me the question.  If it is totally tasteless, I may ask it anyway, (we are a bunch of pirates after all here, Ms. Trent excepted of course) but definitely only after much rum and will probably not include it in the article.  If it is an interesting and somewhat dignified, well OK, lets say at least not particularly obscene question, then I'll try to include it in the format of the article if it seems to fit with the otherwise dignified format of this Blog.  Thanks

You should send such suggestions to my personal email at:  covenantofthekraken(at)

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Blogger Joins the Artofsteampunk Team!!!

I am thrilled to announce that a new writer has been selected, invited, and accepted a position of a contributing staff writer for the Artofsteampunk Blog.

Her name is Cheryl Trent, a regular in the Texas and Oklahoma Steampunk Community and a writer that impressed me with her insight and tact when dealing with topics ranging from Steampunk Fashion well done to conventions gone wild.

Her first article will be a repost with permission from another excellent blog that she writes for and anything handled that way will be clearly labeled as such.  She will debut here this Wednesday coming up!

Please Welcome Cheryl to our team!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Psyche Corporation in the News

Doctor Fantastique's Show of Wonders is easily one of the most interesting blogger contributions to our steampunk community. On their blog they recently published an article about one of my favorite Steampunk/CyberpunkDarkwave Bands Psyche corporation. Take a look:

Article about new video by Psyche Corp 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thank You Olivia

Thank you Olivia for performing at our convention and entertaining so many with your readings.

Thank you for being understanding when the hotel gave away your room and bearing with us while I got the event organizer to embarrass them into giving you another one.

Thank you for being a charming guest and being understanding of growing pains.

Thank you for being appreciative that we actually thought to stock vegetarian food for you in the Green Room.

Thank you most of all for this truly insightful and well written article about the trials with so many new events and realistic considerations needed so we all pull together to make this a good experience for everyone!.

Below is an recent article written by Olivia Grey, author of Avalon Revisited, who is a regular performer at
The Difference Engine Steampunk Convention.

Steampunk Chronicle article about difficulties at conventions.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Walk Through Steampunk History - Steampunk Convivials

I recently asked a new friend from England, Ben Henderson, about a new "Steampunk Convivial" that he is putting on near New Malden, UK.  New Malden is a small town and shopping centre in the south-western London suburbs, mostly within the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and partly in the London Borough of Merton, and is situated 9.4 miles (15.1 km) from Charing Cross.

Ben gave me the following information about his new event:

I am putting on this event that spans three boroughs and four venues pretty much single handed in an attempt to "steampunk a bus route" (that's my hidden agenda). I am attempting to bring local pubs, and community organisations together in order to promote local trade, historical literature, and create an excuse for a steampunk procession through the three boroughs and start spreading politeness and Very Silly Fun throughout the land.  [the three boroughs are EPSOM, SUTTON & KINGSTON-UPON-THAMES, UK]

Ben also asked me to tell my readers that The Wimbledon Guardian recently said the following about it:

If you’re looking for something a little different, then look no further than the annual Steampunk Convivial later this month. A corseted collection of ‘steampunk’ enthusiasts are set to descend for a day of events celebrating ‘steampunk’, a movement based loosely around science fiction of the Victorian period by authors such as Jules Verne and HG Wells.

Steampunk enthusiasts are expected to gather from across Sutton, Kingston and Epsom dressed in corsets, top hats, waistcoats and goggles typical of their style this Saturday, February 25.

The day will start at 10 am with a history walk through The Avenue in Worcester Park, Epsom which is the road that HG Wells lived in when he wrote The Time Machine, hosted by local historian Clive Popkins.

The group will then move to the HG Wells pub in North Cheam at 11am for food, drink and a chat.

An afternoon event will take place at The Royal Oak in New Malden from 2pm with a mini market full of handmade steampunk items for sale, a shadow puppet workshop, tea-dueling (a traditional steampunk sport), and snail racing (snails permitting).

Steampunk artists Tom Slatter and Moth with eclectic all girl band Smiling Knife and Dick Philpot will finish the day at The Royal Oak with music from 7 to 12pm.

Tickets for the whole event are £5.

Meet at The Avenue Worcester Park; 10am; for the HG Wells history walk.
Then. it's lunch at the HG Wells Pub, Cheam Common Road, Worcester Park; from noon.

Then head to The Royal Oak, Coombe Rd, New Malden; from 2pm to Midnight

For more information and tickets visit

Steampunk Convivial; The Avenue Worcester Park; 10am; HG Wells Pub, Cheam Common Road, Worcester Park; 11am; The Royal Oak, Coombe Rd, New Malden; 2 to 12pm; Saturday, February 25; £5;

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Steampunk World's Fairs

photo courtesy of Steampunk World's Fair

Contact: Jeff Mach
Tel:             201-724-7687      

Friends Don’t Let Friends Steampunk Alone

Steampunk World’s Fair amasses 3000 guests in camaraderie and steampunk celebration

This May, the Steampunk World’s Fair will hit Piscataway, New Jersey with a bustling three days of the largest steampunk festival this planet has ever seen. Says Jeff Mach, creator of the event, "We wish to create unbelievable and unforgettable pleasure, camaraderie, friendship, and joy for each and every single person who walks into our event." The steampunk-loving community, whose members flock to the annual fair from across the nation, appreciates such a mission. Their appreciation has made the Steampunk World’s Fair the largest steampunk festival in the nation; the 2011 festival garnered about 3000 guests.

Steampunk is a genre dealing with what the movement’s seminal author, K.W. Jeter, called "mad Victorian fantasy". It is three cups of Victorian-era style with a tablespoon of science fiction. Since its birth, steampunk has spread from a literary sub-genre to infiltrate film and fashion around the world, garnering a large gathering of devoted fans. But the World’s Fair is not solely reserved for the loudest fans; anyone with the least bit of interest in anything steampunk are invited to snap on a pair of aviator goggles and join the masses. The event has seen guests of all ages, from senior citizens, to toddlers. The atmosphere of acceptance and full-blown entertainment at the World’s Fair makes it the ultimate introduction to the genre. Festivals of the past have featured everything from Why Not Cake, an imaginative company of gourmet cake artists; to visits from award-winning author Leanna Renee Hieber.
Whether you’re a first-time steampunk, or you already have your corset and combat boots on, the Steampunk World’s Fair welcomes you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in a mystical world populated with potential friends and good old-fashioned entertainment.

The creators of Steampunk World’s Fair are also notable for their annual

Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire and Geeky Kink Event.

Photo Gallery from Steampunk Worlds Fair 2011

More information on The Steampunk World’s Fair can be found at

See also in 2012, the latest addition to the Steampunk World's Fair lineup:  Psyche Corp!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Multicultural Steampunk's Art Contest

Steampunk Art is, of course, very important here at "The Art of Steampunk" and nothing says it better than an interactive Steampunk Art Contest.  One of my very favorite bloggers, Ms. Kagashi, has put together an exceelent contest with very fine entries for your perusal.

Multicultural Steampunk's Art Contest

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kali's Hourlgass Recieves Fan Project Art

When the members of Kali's Hourglass, performance art and education troupe, and flagship of the Covenant of the Kraken Performance Art Network, first starting recieving Fan Project Art, frankly, we didn't know how to respond.  The first was, believe it or not, in true pirate fashion, a hip flask with a leather cover heavily embossed with, you know it, "The Kraken"!  Not only that, it was filled with Kraken Rum!   

We were speechless and didn't understand at first that he wasn't just showing it to us, but was actually giving it to us.  This first was a gift from John Wofford!  He was a bit confused, when, true to my Celtic Culture (and Native American Culture etc.) I offered to make him something of his choice in return.  He gave it to us at the First Difference Engine Steampunk Convention in June 2010, where we found ourselves in charge of the entire convention, while already committed to perform an elaborate Steampunk Murder Mystery Play throughout the event!

The second was a lovely colored pencil drawing by Joshua Bouton.  He gave it to us at Akon 2010, about a week later.  We just stared in awe at the drawing and he had to tell us repeatedly it was a gift for us.  That time we just gushed over how lovely his drawing was and how much we appreciated the effort.

The next came at The Difference Engine New Years Ball and Steampunk Convention for 2010-2011.  The was from John Wofford and  Alice Wofford.  John made more embossed Krakens, this time on large round leather medallions which we intend to attach to crew member's uniforms.  Alice and John together also made coffe cups painted with the tentacles of the Kraken working their way down the outside of the mug.  It seems they also do porcelain art - I'll attach a photo of their card. 

While some might find this a bit too bizarre to wake up to in the morning, we absolutely loved it!!!  Yes indeed, what better to get your eyes open from bleary sleep that the site of a baby Kraken slithering out of your mug of coffee as you drink it.  It was glorious!

In addition to that they included small baby krakens that gradually grow into much bigger karakens by simply placing them in water and watchign them grow day by day for our younger members of the crew.

Next we met an illustrative artist who drew excellent sketches of our characters from that event such as Commodore Charles Babbage and Admiral Radha Narasimhan.  These were drawn by Joseph Hernandez.

He is actually considering making graphic novels some day, so we are discussing the possibility of illustrating the extensive fictional backstories we already have for the Covenant of the Kraken.  The only thing they really need is more detail in the descriptive areas to make them a fully worked up tale, (right now they read like emotionally charged and adventurous entries in a Captain's logbook) but in a graphic novel, pictures will indeed say a thousand words, thus negating the need for such visual descriptions.   We will let you know if that actually comes to pass or no!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Emilie Autumn - Steampunk Done Goth Style?

Many of my friends really like a very talented and interesting singer by the name of Emilie Autumn.  While I was quite clear about her talent as a singer, writer, and bizarrely wonderful performer, I found the connection to the Steampunk Community interesting, but puzzling to some degree.  Yes, I am familiar with the concept of SteamGoth and have quite a few friends that still wear a lot of black on black, but this is a different matter, because we are talking music rather than clothing.  Besides, Ms. Autumn has a marvelous love of color!

Of course as a Steampunk Designer and writer that is generally classed a Steampunk "Lifestyler" myself, I could really relate to her feminist lyrics, the extreme "Punk" rebellion aspect of flouting her disdain of the beauty industry's Nazi Facist experiement to see how extremely neurotic they can possibly make American females, and the attitudes and behaviors of the average American Male toward women.

Just the same, I found limited connection to the newly forming music genre, so I took another hard look yesterday and found more than I expected to link emilie's facinating version of Goth Lollita Punk with the Steampunk Community, at least in the very fluid area of Steampunk Music.

Lets' see,  neo-victorian attire such as corsets, garters, and striped stockings?  check.  Occasional top hats? check.  Classical instruments blended with modern electronics? check.  Lyrics that tell adventurous or at least very emotional stories? check.  An attitude of wild rebellion against anyone trying to classify and homogenize them into a single straight laced musical type? check  x 100

Hmmmm.... OK.  I see the connection to Steampunk.  Anyway, who cares?  She is a fabulous artist doing what she likes, and telling both censors and control freaks to go ...well...I wouldn't use that language, at least not on this blog, but Emilie certainly would!  I love her work just for the sheer brassyness and attitude alone!  You really like her or you don't, but you will never get bored!
For a brief sample of her most "Steampunk/Dieslepunk style song see below:

Gentlemen Aren't Nice

For a sample of her extreme Punk like rebellion against things that are definitely wrong with how the mundane world see things, check this one out!  I really liked it myself!

Thank God I'm Pretty
Also be sure to visit her Official Web Site at the link below:

Emilie Autumn dot com

Also take a look at this excellent article about her music at: