The Clockyard

Aethertopia is introducing a new concept this year, with an experimental area we call The Clockyard.

The Clockyard is a functioning Steampunk Maker Space within the city, where guests can work on their own devices, outfits, or contraptions of any sort. There will be tools and supplies of all sorts, including hardware, gears, toy parts, containers, casings, cables, conduits, lighting fixtures… you name it. We’ve been hoarding stuff for a year now in anticipation of this event. And all of this can be done with the assistance and guidance of a seasoned Maker.

But there are three important parts for people to understand.

  1. People with Ultimate and Supreme Passes will have first crack at the place. They have prepaid their admissions. We don’t know how much “stuff” they might consume, so we can’t promise there will be anything left on late Saturday or Sunday to work with. We will try to hold back on some materials, but as with most things in the Steampunk life, the person who finds it first gets to build with it.
  2. We have a FEW “base units” on which you can build. Specifically, we’ve got a dozen or so toy guns of all shapes and sizes, from little “cricket” blasters, to big rotary-style machine guns. We will have an additional charge for these pieces. But there are other things, like jugs, foam, bottles, boxes, leather straps, and tons of other things that can be used for anything from making a rocketpack to a time machine… or both, as some have done before. Bring in your own RC car foundation piece, and then you’re off to the Teapot Races! One big caveat is that we cannot allow spray painting on premises. You can build your entire contraption, perhaps use some of our tempera paints, and then take it home for final detailing. We’ll even have people there to show you how to do that, too.
  3. This is the first time we think anybody has tried something like this at a show of this nature, and so we ask your patience and indulgence as we learn. The Clockyard symbolizes everything we love about Steampunk, and we want it to be a positive experience for everyone. Please work with us as we grow this activity, and this whole event. We KNOW we aren’t going to get everything right this first time, but with your patience, we can make this into a mainstay at our annual event.

Now that we have that out of the way let’s look at the process a bit more closely so you can be prepared.

The Clockyard is a community builder space.

There will be tables, benches, shelves and lots of containers of fun parts with which you can let your imagination run wild. Obviously for this to work we need everyone to be respectful. If you see fifty gears you really, really love, please don’t envision a rifle that suddenly requires fifty gears. Be respectful of the other builders.

If you haven’t got your ticket already as part of your Ultimate or Supreme Passport Packages, then you will be able to purchase an entry ticket at the front gate when you come into the event. We suggest you wait until the afternoon to do so, because we can’t give refunds if we run out of parts before you get to go in.  Anyway, you will hand this ticket to the Clockyard Keeper (Probably Commander Guiles, a genius with artificial leather and wearable props!) who will then let you in and guide you through the customization process of whatever you bring in with you. Or, if you need to acquire something of your own that we may have on the shelf, then you can purchase that (in cash, all in $1 and $5 denominations) to use as your foundation piece.

And then it’s off to the races. You will have access to everything from foam cutters to dremels to hacksaws, and from contact cement to hot glue to drywall screws.

Teapot Racers are a GREAT idea for something to customize. However, to do that, you MUST bring in your own RC car/truck base to begin with. You will probably want to familiarize yourself with the Rules of Teapot Racing before buying your RC vehicle. Size matters.

So… that’s about it. Oh… except the name.

Where did we come up with “Clockyard”?

Fans of Abney Park will recognize it. And it was with Captain Robert’s full permission that we were able to name this area in honor of his epic Steampunk song.

Have a listen. The message is pretty amazing. He is SUCH a philosopher!