Clockwork Doll Project in the works! Plus my store!

Hi there everyone! After Captain Robert of Abney Park posted on his Facebook about how he doesn’t see enough Neobedouins and Clockwork Dolls at Steampunk events, I decided to get cracking on finishing my Steampunk wardrobes… which are exactly those two types of characters!

Clockwork Doll – art by MANDEM – featured in the works of Abney Park

Until now, my Steampunk style has been somewhat… ambiguous. I was trying to cobble together a Clockwork Doll from scraps… Which is really hard, believe it or not! I have two different tutus almost finished (need waistbands), but they’re not my preferred type of tutu – I made the fluffy “strips of tulle” type a couple of weeks before realizing that real, honest-to-goodness tutus wouldn’t be very hard for me to make. So, I kind of fail. The tutus still look great, I’ll post pics when I get around to slapping a waist on them… But they’re not what I want. That’ll have to wait until I have money to go grab more tulle, though.

Since I have no face paint currently (it’s on my Amazon Wishlist though), I was struggling with a way to make what could easily be mistaken for a post-apocalyptic ballerina easily identifiable as a Clockwork Doll. The thing that says “clockwork doll” most to me is a large wind-up key on the back. I don’t have the supplies to make a really nice, moving key, so I thought of what I do have – leather!

I have lots and LOTS of leather at my house – upholstery, oil-tan, chrome-tan, veg-tan tooling leather, old belts, suede… I’m starting to try to think of ways to put it to use because I just have TOO MUCH LEATHER right now, but not enough of what I need for the big projects I want to work on (knee-high renfaire boots, backpack, corset, armour). I tried to use this key as a way to get rid of a lot of random leather and belts.

Lucy back

Here you can see Lucy, my duct-tape double, helping me visualize what the key will look like (as well as providing an extremely realistic sketching reference! Thanks, Lucy!). The sketchbook was made by my wonderful Dad from a pair of his old jeans. I love having this little book nearby in case of sudden explosive brainstorms! Plus I get to feel like I’m doing art stuff with my Dad, who is on the other side of the country 😛

Key Harness prelim sketch

Here’s my quick sketch (before I went to bed – I always get super-great ideas as I’m laying down to sleep!). The main “plate” (big piece of leather directly against the back) is a big piece of thick tooling leather, not a big rectangle but tapered to fit my back. In case you can’t tell from Lucy or my sketch (made from Lucy), I have an hourglass shape, which everyone seems to think is the perfect body type… In reality, I have the darndest time fitting things to actually… well, fit! (Case in point – I wore the bustle skirt I recently made to the Abney Park show last month, and apparently I am an extremely bouncy person at AP shows. The bustle skirt just kept jumping up and turning every time I danced bounced, causing me to have one hand holding my skirt in place, and one hand holding my kitty ears on my head.)

Anyways, the main piece of leather will have straps riveted to it – possibly old belts, which would give a neat sort of patchwork look. The straps should have places to hang things from (like a utility harness). The key itself may be made of leather (dyed silver) or it may be made of wire… It may also be cloth0covered wire. I’m not really sure at this point.

Somehow I have to make a little box-shaped “platform” (which will go between the key and the backplate) to simulate the wind-up mechanism… While also anchoring the key. I don’t think this key will move – when I do make a moving key for my back, I’d like to do it right, with LEDs and a proper mechanism and all. If this key *does* move, it will be ONLY by human force – that is, you can turn it so in a skit or dance it looks like someone’s winding up the doll, but it won’t be connected to any sort of mechanism (and thus won’t turn on its own when the “human” stops turning it). Think of those little paper dolls we used to make using “brads” (those little brass paper things with the two prongs).


*throws confetti*

I finally got my Etsy shop up and running! Please be patient, I am new to online selling and am still learning the ropes. I have a few things listed now, more to come shortly! No, seriously, I am always making things, and now I have an actual reason to LOL! Please visit my shop at the link below, and remember, I always love taking custom orders!

mermaid closeup

~I hope to see you there!~

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