For those of you wondering, I won first place from the 2018 Placer County (June 18-21) for “Kaladin & Syl and the First Ideals”. It was Awesome!
Amazing Microfiction is on a short hiatus while I do some work on my Fantasy novel Reflections of Ruin. I have made made more progress in the last month than in the last three years thanks to a program called Aeon Timeline.
In conjunction with writing Reflections of Ruin, I have a side project that is directly related. So here is a sneak peek at what might show up in my novel…
Hand made, custom designed Aetheric Wands…
This is a custom made hand carved wood home decor sign, inspired by Brandon Sanderson’s Epic Fantasy novel “The Way of Kings: Book One of the Stormlight Archive”.
The graphic is my own vision of the main character Kaladin and his spren Sylphrena (Syl for short). The words on the banners are known as the First Ideals of the Knights Radiant. An ancient order of protectors whom defend the world of Roshar against ancient invaders.
I designed the picture on my computer using Affinity Designer, graphic design and illustration program for MacOS. Then I simplified the picture for printing on a laser printer. Laser printers use a thermal transfer process to put toner (not ink) on to paper.
After printing the designs on paper you can transfer them from the paper onto another surface using a special flat tip on the end of a wood burning tool. You place the graphic against the surface you want to transfer it to, in this case the wood surface, and rub the heated tip against the back of the paper. The heat then transfers the toner to the wood. Uneven heating can cause the picture not to transfer.
The main background is made of Poplar (Populus alba) and the banners are crafted from Red Oak (Quercus rubra). No power tools were used in making this Design. It was done using hand tools with blades and Xacto knives. The piece is coated in Polyurethane.
I tweeted about taking it to the 2018 Placer County Fair and got a response from Brandon Sanderson about it! Here is the tweet and response.
Now I have to wait until Thursday June 21 to find out how I did at the fair. This is how I did last year…
Well ladies and gentlemen I am pleased to announce that I have finished my work on the Elite Aetheric Wave Disruptor Rifle Mark – I, and will deliver it to the Placer County Fairgrounds tomorrow for participation in the 2017 Placer County Fair which runs from June 22 – 25.
With all the problems and roadblocks I ran into while doing this project, I’m surprised it turned out so awesome!
The rifle stock itself is a Remington 700 SPS Varmint that was graciously given to me for free from the nice people over at the Rocklin Armory when I told them about wanting to make a Steampunk Rifle.
The rifle electronics runs off of 4 “D-Cell” batteries in the main power box, this powers the green LEDs in the Aetheric Coil Tubes, and the vibration motor mounted along the barrel of the rifle.
For more info check out this page.
This weekend I started to get things together so that I could make the stand for my Elite Aetheric Wave Disruptor Rifle Mark I. But the vision I had in my head far exceeded the allowable budget. I wanted use PVC piping to build it, but the parts envisioned only are available in metal, and at four times the cost.
After an hour and a half I left my “big box” hardware store disheartened, with my mind searching for alternate construction methods. But that is par for the course I’m afraid. This project has plagued me with nothing but obstacle after obstacle.
First of all I have a limited tool set. The only powered tools I have used on this project were a drill, a cordless Dremel, and a small hand sander. The rest of the tools, saws, Exacto Knives, etc, are all manual. I don’t have a garage or other work room, most of my crafting has been outside on the driveway or in my living room.
As per every step with this project I have had to change my idea of what and how I was going to build something. I wanted a brass nameplate on the stand for instance, but instead I have made a image transfer onto a wood plate that I made myself.
Inventiveness is often forced upon us by limitations (usually by money or time), and often then result is better than your original idea, if not more unique and interesting one. Try to remember that the next time you are confounded by your “Big Box” Hardware store.
Welcome to the Arcane Gearsmith!
This blog is about the creation of things, both of physical objects and of the written word. One often influences the other.
For example in one of my stories a lone survivor of a religious order crafts a magically infused Quaterstaff. I, as the author, crafted my own physical version of that Quarterstaff. I spent weeks designing, sanding, woodburning, polishing, and sealing my own Quaterstaff all to understand my character better. One of the results is that I was able to get deeper into characters thoughts. I could relate to the character as he burned the symbols into the wood because I had done it myself.
Familiarity can bring realism to your written work, and believability to your characters and stories. Creating the Quarterstaff was a form of research.
I also research areas of interest related to my writing as well, as do many authors. I have listened to hundreds of hours of college level lectures on subjects such as The Industrial Revolution, Victorian England, The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, Daily Life in Ancient Civilizations, and many other topics, all of which help me to ground my writing in Realism.
So long for now. Keep tinkering and writing.