Steampunk’d: The Eyepiece

Hello all and welcome to the first installment of my Steampunk series! I’ll be going step by step of how I created my Halloween costume starting with the most complicated piece: the eye piece.

It started with an empty pill bottle. I tore off the labels so that I was left with the just the translucent orange bottle. It’s a regular, prescription sized bottle that I am sure many of you at home will have lying around somewhere.


The next thing I did was use Crayola Air-Dry clay to do the mold. In retrospect, I should have used a stronger clay, as the air-dry one was very brittle when it dried, but  in the end it worked for my purposes. I went with it because of how light it was, as I knew that the weight would make a difference when it came to applying the prosthetic to my face. 
Afterwards, I sanded it down to make it smooth and flat on all sides and to clean up any of the dust left over during the drying process. As you can see, as it dried the clay actually cracked on the bottom. Oddly enough, it still held onto the bottle, unlike the top piece which I reinforced with craft glue. I actually ended up having an issue with Play-Doh the parrot where he bit off part of the top, but I was able to work around it and piece it back together. The clay was really easy to sand, so I had to be careful not to overdo it and shrink the size of the piece. I wanted to make a big impression with it and for that I needed it to be the size that I made it.

After sanding it, I gave my eyepiece its initial paint job. I went with copper and gold colors with a silver accent in the center of the eye. I also used black to accentuate the crack in the clay. When things go wrong, sometimes they can work to your advantage and this was a great case of that happening.

After the paint dried, I began adding liquid latex to the piece. I used small pieces of cotton in between the gear spokes to make it look like there was skin and muscle protruding around the gear. I also added a couple of golden clock hands which I submerged into the latex. In this photo you can actually see where Play-Doh bit the clay and cracked the top piece. Later, I find a way to make it work by adding a flat gear to the top, which actually made it look like it could be part of a gas mask.

I had to make sure that I applied the latex on a flat surface that it wouldn’t stick to, so I alternated between an upside down metal trashcan and the lid to an old shoebox. After the latex dried around the gear, I peeled it back to make it look as though it burst out of the latex.

Paint job #2! After the latex dried, I painted it with black and red acrylic paint. I also touched up the eye piece paint and added a flat gear that I got from Costume Holiday House to the top. I spatter painted red on the eye piece itself to help complete the illusion that it had burst out of the eye not too long ago.

And that’s how I did it! It ended up looking really cool though it took A LOT of spirit gum to keep on my face. Next blog, I’ll show you some of the accessories that I made to go with the costume and then a chest prosthetic that I made which features a working clock that lights up. Until then!

The finished product!

“To some, ‘steampunk’ is a catchall term, a concept in search of a visual identity. To me, it’s essentially the intersection of technology and romance. –  Jake von Slatt

 

Already Indie!

Hello dear readers!

Time for another update from yours truly and this time, I have stuff to report!

As far as the book goes, keep an eye out for a Kickstarter project that I am going to be putting up. More on that once I get that up and running, just a forewarning.

More importantly, I recently did some film work with a fantastic bunch of people for the web-series Already Indie!

Already Indie: Where you are a Film Maker! The web-series is designed to teach others about the basics of low-budget filmmaking. They go over things such as special effects makeup, making your own equipment, proper film techniques, etc. all for an affordable price. It’s incredibly informative and although I have done special effects makeup for a couple of years now, I still learned things that will definitely help me out in the future. In this clip, I am guest hosting the web show as well as doing the voiceover. I had a lot of fun, but looking over the clip a few times has told me that I still have a way to go about being in front of the camera. I am hoping to have more opportunities to act for these guys, but honestly, I am just happy to be a part of such a rewarding web-series. Even if I don’t act as much in future shows, they have already said that they would like me to help out with things such as writing and perhaps using one of my many skills to help them in future episodes. Tomorrow I head out with them again to work on some things and I am definitely looking forward to it!

One of the goals that they mentioned having was to showcase some of the local talent in this area and I couldn’t agree more. There is so much more talent around Northern Ohio than people realize. Growing up in a small town in the middle of Ohio has helped me to see why though. Despite their best efforts, schools don’t always have programs to aid students of different skills. For example, up until I was a freshman in high school, we didn’t have a drama club. Even when we got one, it was a struggle to keep it going, not for lack of interest, but for an initial lack of support from the school itself. Gradually, this changed over time as they began to see a need for it and now we have a wonderful program going that I can only hope will continue to grow. Unfortunately, in other schools this is not always the case. So much talent is wasted because the focus is put on one or two things (sports and academics, that was the school I grew up in). I am hoping that this web-series will not only create interest to do these sort of things, but also create an awareness that there is ALWAYS more talent around then what meets the eye. It just needs the chance to come out and for people to try to see if they can do it, rather than assuming that it’s all too expensive or that they will fail.

Aside from that, I’ve finally started hearing back about auditions and possible jobs in the film industry! It is only a matter of time before I start getting the opportunity to go out and start actively applying for acting positions and I couldn’t be more excited. Nor could it have come at a better time, especially with school loan payments being right around the corner. However, I am trying to keep a realistic mindset about things: I will get turned down. That is a given, but I will not always get turned down. So the goal is to stay positive, but to also realize that this is a rough industry and I’m not always going to be lucky. Despite all of this, this is what I want to do with my life, uncertainty and all. I would not have gone into this if I didn’t think I could succeed on some level or another. I won’t lie, I’m terrified about having to make payments and always being unsure of where I will find work, but I’m in way too far to turn around and crawl back out. I don’t want to do that either; I have never once doubted that this was what I was meant to be. Fear is merely a part of being alive and I’ve had enough of it in my life to know that I can not only handle it, but often times overcome it in ways I never thought possible. So here’s hoping for the best and should I fail, there’s always going to be other jobs to fall back on and I already know that I can fold myself into a box.

A photo of me during a scare-actor/haunted house kind of gig. The box is two feet deep, no joke!

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain