# Tales of The Navigatrix, Part 2 ~ ‘How The Navigatrix came upon The Key to The Unpronounceable’

by Sally-Ann Livingston with Catherine Moon

{Catch up with Part One here}

‘Mother of Rhuk’, Original image by Qsimple on Flickr, courtesy of Catherine Moon. Variation by TheNavigatrix

## That first evening aboard the decorated dirigible, The Mother and Al Khemeti led me to a private cabin. My teacher settled himself quietly in the corner, a cup of steaming Lapsang to his lips, whilst The Mother laid out a few scrolls of incomplete technical engineering drawings and diagrams on the table. From a pouch at her chain-belt, she drew four obscure, symbolic items and placed these delicately on the table. She withdrew to the corner table, poured herself tea from a different pot and settled in silence next to Al Khemeti, the two of them gazing at me intently. I looked at the table. None of this made any sense. What was expected of me? I studied each object without handling any and scrutinised the technical drawings. After a while, Al Khemeti pushed aside the scrolls and placed a blank, black compass-like item on the table in front of me. The Mother drew a chalk circle around it. Pointing to the four curiosities, she directed me, “Put the objects in the right order.” Having no further clues, I trusted my gut; that inner compass that guides us if we will but listen. I gently picked up one object and placed it on a compass point. I looked back at my examiners but their faces showed only enjoyment of their brews. Turning back to my task, I placed the remaining objects on the available compass points, each in turn. As I finished, the two nomads muttered something to each other and The Mother reached over, removing two of the objects from the North and West points. She handed me the chalk and said “Write the compass points.” Dutifully, I wrote clockwise N,E,S and W only to have her reach across and rub out each one with her fingers. In their place, she wrote V,A,S and M. I am a woman of efficiency and so I asked why she had bothered to erase the ‘S’. “Because of the difference in meaning behind the S,” she replied.

The Compessence by Sally-Ann Livingston

## ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Author’s Note

The material for these tales has been inspired by conversations between the listed authors of each chapter (thank goodness for Skype making it possible between the UK, France and The Netherlands!) and by posts on the private Aether Nomads creatives group on Facebook. Thanks to Catherine Moon for her ideas and use of the image above.

# Interview with Joshua Kinsey of J.W. Kinsey’s Artifice

Josh Kinsey

How did your shop get its name and what was the main inspiration behind opening your shop?
The word Artifice has connotations of astuteness, artfulness, wiliness and craftiness; all good descriptors of my work as well as my personality. I am also an Artificer, a skilled craftsman and inventor. I opened an Etsy shop as a way to sell my work online, as well as the advertising and promotion that results from being part of a large shopping network.

One of the first pieces that The Navigatrix saw and admired! Handmade Steampunk Newtonian Reflecting Telescope in stained cherry.

Another of my favourites., ‘The Perihelion Spindle’ (sculpture). This puts me in mind of an orrery and watching The Dark Crystal!

What do you create and do you have a signature product? If so how did it come to be?
I create unique, hand-crafted lighting fixtures, flat artwork, telescopes, Cryptex combination lockboxes and movie props, as well as large custom installations. As far as I am aware, I do not have a single signature product. I do however, have a signature style: all my work is entirely handmade with no repurposed parts- I don’t make Assemblage artwork.

The Cryptex Triple

Where do you find your inspiration and what makes you different from the other people that make what you make?
My inspiration comes from within, it is a constant companion. I am constantly designing personal projects: I have sketchbooks slowly filling with a lifetime of work.

My work is unique within the Steampunk community as no one makes anything remotely similar to the objects that I design and fabricate. My pieces are incredibly complex (the Mystarium table lamp has some 370 parts, most of which are shop made) made with heirloom quality materials and surface finishes. Most everything is attached mechanically: my pieces can be entirely disassembled with a basic wrench set and a screwdriver. Also of note, everything within a piece functions and has purpose: my rotary knobs and gauges all work. My telescopes are fully functional, and are made of various metals and solid cherry wood. My Cryptex is a fully articulating secret lockbox machined out of black walnut burl wood, billet brass, and alternative ivory: it’s parts hold tolerances of +/- 0.003″. The combination rings require some 40 machining steps to fabricate apiece, and if I make a mistake on any one step, the part is scrapped. My drawings typically take upwards of 50 hours to render: the techniques I utilize are extremely laborious and unforgiving.

I don’t know of anyone creating within the Steampunk community that works to these standards or to my personal design aesthetic. I believe that these are a few factors that set my work apart.

The Sullen Automaton

I enjoy the challenge of striving for personal improvement, the learning and mastery of new skill sets. I enjoy the excitement and creative fervor of working with clients that are open to pushing past their own personal perceptions- the chance to truly create something never seen before. I cherish the satisfaction of knowing that this newly crafted object of wonder will outlast my lifetime.
Where can you be found online?

The Braxtonian Lantern

What is it about Steampunk that you love and how did you become involved in it?

I enjoy the fashion sense and the attempt at a more refined social etiquette. I love the color palette, as well as the Victorian Industrial Age design motifs. I have been working within what I call a Vintage Industrial design aesthetic for the last twenty years. I was pulled into the Steampunk movement before I even knew what it was: an associate looked at a personal project I was working on and declared it was “Steampunk!” I had to google it to find out what he meant. Steampunk as a movement is not something I am actively involved with.

Cylindrium Table Lamp

The Colchester Table Lamp: a handcrafted Dieselpunk accent light in Black and Nickel with Isinglass illumination

Background panels.

Thankyou kindly for sharing your thoughts and work with us, Mr. Kinsey!  Beautiful, admirable ‘works of the heart’, one might say!

Some of the images contain links back to the Etsy listings where some of the featured items are available for purchase. Alternately, J.W. Kinseys Artifice accepts custom orders. Do pop by and say hello!

~The Navigatrix

# Telegram! Commissions now accepted!

### After much ‘umming and aarrring’, I have decided to enable the Request Custom Order button on my shop.

A peek at TheNavigatrix on Etsy

WIPSteamgoth

Materials!

# Winner of The Steampunk Chronicle’s 2015 Reader’s Choice Awards

Quite a few of the listed winners brought a congratulatory smile to my face. Well done, everyone!

Reposted by permission of The Steampunk Chronicle.

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# Interview – Matt of ArcaneArmoury on his trip to WWWCon, USA

## Wild Wild West Con was superb, I was lucky enough to be invited by Kato to hang out with her and the Steam Girls. I’ve known Kate about 4 years now and we are firm friends. I don’t really do the ‘steam-sona’ thing so if you meet me , you’ll just be meeting me in steampunk gear 🙂

Left to right. Sean Walter, A .Nomaly, Tia, Luna, Matt, (Rin , at his feet) Genevieve, Lumi,Littlebit Lizbit and Bailey
Group shot by Stephanie Rowe

## Really good! I only caught the gig Saturday, but that was Frenchy and the Punk and then the headliners Abney Park, they had the crowd eating out of their hands…it was just a blast finally hanging out and dancing with these people I’ve known for years through social media…and everyone of them was wonderful.

Matt is really good at making people smile 😉 Image courtesy of Alternate History Photography

## I was very lucky actually as I was with the Steam Girl group , it allowed me to go to all the panels and special events and I was lucky enough to assist on a couple of photo shoots with Genevieve, who also runs Alternate History Photography and shoots for Steamgirl.com. We had the wondrous setting of old Tucson as a backdrop so we took the chance to get some group shots etc.

Genevieve and Kato photo by ArcaneArmoury

## I will do everything in my power to ensure I make it back to WWWcon next year, a chance to meet with my friends and have a wonderful time in such a great setting can’t be missed!

Matt of ArcaneArmoury, image by Alternate History Photography

# Review: Skal 1

By the illustrator who created the iconic image for The Aether Nomads Project, Skal is one of my favourite graphic novels…and the story has only just begun!

Written and drawn by Jennie Gyllblad

http://www.skalsaga.com/-New pages of the story are put up here as Jennie finishes them

First collection available now for £11 including P&P

Mushirah has been sentenced to death and, to make sure she’s ‘safe’, had her mouth sewn shut. When she’s rescued, she thinks her destiny may not be what she always feared.

Voresh is a fast talking, fast running thief with mouths (And beaks) to feed. Her biggest problem is staying alive. Mushirah’s biggest problem is working out whether or not she wants to. Together in a bustling, dangerous city, they go looking for answers.

This book looks like nothing else on the market. Jennie is an extraordinary, one of a kind artist who shifts gear from watercolour to pencil and back with tremendous grace. Crucially, none of the detail is lost either and the world her characters inhabit…

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# Steampunk is NOT Victorian Science Fiction

I admire the simple clarity of this post, along with the positive, welcoming attitude of the author. Inspirational!

Boromir

This article is one of several that are an attempt to address the problems within the steampunk community. These problems are not the doing of steampunks who enjoy the culture, but of those who wish to only make profit from it.

It’s a common misconception that steampunk is Victorian Science Fiction. I fully believed this misconception until I discovered what I believe to be the truth. I believe this because it makes a lot more logical sense. This description of steampunk has been hidden under a veil of deceit by clever people who simply want to further their own career. It’s done by convincing you that their opinion of steampunk is the correct opinion and removing any that disagree.

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