A Fine Vintage

Spyralle Orrery Radio 1926 - Bijou

Spyralle Orrery Radio 1926 – Bijou

Vintage Fair, presented by Pale Girl Productions, is one of my favorite virtual events for a lot of reasons, not least the enjoyment of researching some new kind of thing I haven’t made before, followed by the challenge of building it.  I’ve seen and admired radio-style parcel stream changers before, but all the ones I recalled harked back to the mid-20th Century or later, and I wanted to go earlier. Besides, Bakelite!

I knew I couldn’t go all the way back to the 1900-1920 period I’ve been doing the last couple of years: Radios were not common before the mid 1920s. Of course, once they started being produced commercially, they were often, yes, bakelite!

Spyralle Orrery Radio 1926 - Lune

Spyralle Orrery Radio 1926 – Lune

Spyralle’s bakelite 1926 radios – our exclusive for Vintage Fair – are an original design inspired by the kinds of radios people had in the 1920s and 1930s, also developed onward from Spyralle’s 1920 Orrery Clock with new mesh and a lot more bells and whistles, mesh and texture-wise.

Our radios serve as music stream changers for a parcel where you have the right to set the music stream. This version does not work on group owned land because they are no transfer and cannot be deeded to the group.  If there is enough interest in a transfer/no copy version, we will release one later.

Spyralle Orrery Radio 1926 - Celeste

Spyralle Orrery Radio 1926 – Celeste

The Orrery Radios join Spyralle’s long running Steampunkish Orrery series, most of which are off the market awaiting updates. A few are emerging from time to time at Spyralle Mauna Waipi’o.

Here is the part that turned out to be the most fun…

Behold! Electric Power!

Behold! Electric Power!

Yes, Orrery goes all Modern and 20th Century and Jazz Age! You can detach the cord (and conveniently included wall outlet) if you do not have a handy wall.

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Bakelite Delight

Spyralle Orrery Clock 1920 'Celeste' Edition

Spyralle Orrery Clock 1920 ‘Celeste’ Edition

Inspired by my long-time interest 20th Century design and bakelite artifacts of the era, I created this table or mantel clock as an exclusive release at the Twisted Summer Sale, aka “Sockdolanger”, now open. All proceeds from sale of the clock go to Relay for Life, which is supported by the Twisted folks at this event through the Relay Rockers RFL team.

The word ‘sockdolanger’ is a bit obscure to track down, but in the 1920s it was a popular slang word roughly equivalent to ‘awesome’ in current usage. Mind, I’ve picked up some  1920s slang in my life from family, but this one was new to me.  Maybe it never got all the way west to where they all settled. However, I do think the choice is awesome. Those Twisted folks are never afraid to be obscure, creative and tongue in cheek – as well as inventively evil (or evilly inventive) when it comes to puzzles and hunts, which is why we love them. So the theme of the summer sale is, more or less, the 1920s.  Cool!

We tend to lump certain decades and eras in with design styles that were not neatly self-contained by year numbers. For example, when people say “The Sixties”, they’re often really talking about a style that arrived somewhat late in that decade and persisted through most of the 1970s. Art Deco is the same way. Yes, there was a lot of what we recognize as Art Deco in the 1930s, but it began far earlier (don’t get me started on Biedermeier!) and persisted much later, not even counting “revivals” and “inspired by.” In the 1920s Art Deco elements were definitely creeping in, but the ‘Arts & Crafts’ and other traditional styles were still very strong – and many objects and fashions blend more than one style influence.

1920 Celeste Clock - back view

1920 Celeste Clock – back view

Spyralle’s 1920 clock is mostly Arts and Crafts, with just a bit of Deco and, of course, liberal lashings of Steampunk, because I could not resist bringing in the fabulous Orrery textures for a new generation!

The Orrery clock face and hands textures are the only part of our original Orrery Clock that remains from the pre-mesh steampunk models – and they had to be remade from the original fractals for this project. I have been working on meshing the clockwork and getting it really low poly for a couple of years, on and off. This project motivated me to finally finish the job. The case is entirely new original mesh, a transitional mesh on the way to the next project, to be covered in a future post.

And the bakelite! Bakelite is an early form of plastic invented in 1909 (you can look it up!) that was easy to mold, took bright colors and was inexpensive to produce.  Bakelite quickly became popular as a material for jewelry, toys, and domestic objects and ornaments. It was a good insulator, so it was also used extensively for electric appliances like telephones and, especially, radios.

People familiar with my work already know that I collect bakelite, especially jewelry, and that I’ve released a number of items emulating the material. Which is not as easy as you might think. Bakelite was usually smooth (i.e. shiny, for our purposes), and usually one-color-per-piece, but it was not “solid” color. Bakelite could be manufactured to imitate ivory, tortoise shell, jade, wood and other natural materials. Even when a piece was intended to be “solid color,” there are often subtle color variations that show up as streaking or lighter and darker patches. In addition, you see areas faded by wear and UV light or darkened with age-grime or even painted details to set off shaping. Fascinating stuff!

Of course, any surface is imbued with detail like that. It is a continuing challenge for creators of virtual objects. The more deeply you observe surfaces, the less satisfying it is to simply paste on a simple texture, now that we can create forms from mesh and map the surfaces.

The 1920 Celeste clock is actually made of wood with bakelite decoration. Or it may be bakelite doing a very good job of imitating wood. Either way, it has a panel in the back for opening it up to wind the spring. The 1920 house may not have had electricity!



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Hidden Treasures and Simple Pleasures

Spyralle Jun Porcelain Teapot and Teacup

Spyralle Jun Porcelain Teapot and Teacup

To my regret, I’ve fallen behind on the Spyralle blog, and not for the first time! We had a couple of hunts this month, and I quite overlooked posting about the gifts from Spyralle.

The World Tour Hunt is one of the beautifully managed hunts presented by Kastle & Co. Events throughout the year.  The hunt provides separate hunt trails for each continent – hunters can choose to do one or all. Prizes cost 2 lindens. Spyralle is on the Asia path this year, which allowed me an opportunity to pursue further research into the arts of Asia, a topic which has always fascinated me.

I had been following the PBS “Story of China” and was especially interested in Episode 3, covering the “golden age” of the Song Dynasty, so, as a fan and collector of modern pottery, I started looking up Chinese poetry of that era, and found Jun ware. Jun was one of the “Five Great Kilns of Song Dynasty ceramics,” active for several centuries, into the Ming era – roughly the 10th through 15th centuries. Jun ware was prized for its characteristic blue and purple glazes.

What struck me about this pottery is how modern it looks! Some of it is 1000 years old, and yet it would look completely at home in a craft fair or art gallery gift shop of our time.

So, of course, I had to try my hand at crafting – in mesh – some Jun simulations. I made this simple drinking cup and then a small teapot, just big enough for a pair of scholars sharing an afternoon cup of tea and composing poems in some mountain retreat.  Or friends listening to music near the waterfalls of Spyralle Mauna Waipi’o, sharing a quiet sunrise.

But the greatest challenge and most interesting part of the task was trying to emulate a Jun style glaze in the textures – with the color variations, the deep indigo hues, the small details of ash spots and crackle. Consider these pieces a first generation effort!

The World Tour Hunt ended May 27, but I will leave the prize up for a few more days.

Spyralle Set of 3 Patio Lanterns

Spyralle Set of 3 Patio Lanterns

When the sun goes down, there on the mountainside, our scholars might light a candle or two and protect the flames from the breeze with one of these filigree lanterns. Or you can place them on tables to light your next patio supper or summer barbecue.

The set of three candle lanterns is Spyralle’s prize for the Peace By Peace Hunt 2, which runs through June 3.  Prizes are 1L in this hunt.

Please seek out the hunt kiosks near the entrance to Spyralle Mauna Waipi’o for hints and more information. And watch for more Spyralle releases bringing the poetry of craftsmanship to your home.


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Flowers of Spring

Spyralle Sunflower Adornments Full Set

Spyralle Sunflower Adornments Full Set

Imagine a Royal Wedding somewhere outdoors in a forest meadow! Human and fae, Seelie and Unseelie, all having one terrific party and wearing the most awesome hats! Spyralle’s wearable flowers might be a little over the top at an ordinary wedding, but they’re definitely demure and understated for our imaginary celebration.

Sunflower and it’s little sisters Moonflower and Windflower and Mini-Sunflower are Spyralle’s exclusive at the May round of 68 Main.

Spyralle Sunflower 4 Color Mini Set

Spyralle Sunflower 4 Color Mini Set

Each mini-set comes with four petal colors. The full set has all twelve. Each set provides all four of the stem colors in the convenient HUD.

Spyralle Moonflower 4 Color Mini Set

Spyralle Moonflower 4 Color Mini Set

The HUD also includes a resizing option. They do not go all the way to Petites size, but we expect to release a Petites edition soon.

Spyralle Windflower 4 Color Mini Set

Spyralle Windflower 4 Color Mini Set

Sunflower was inspired by a long drive to see last summer’s solar eclipse in Nebraska. At sunset we were driving through miles of sunflower fields. Sun shining through the golden petals looked like flame. It was a magnificent sight!

In this post: LAQ’s Neve bento head and skin with personal shape, Miya hair from Elikatera, IKON eyes. The dress is from Spyralle, unreleased.

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Time and Time Again

Spyralle Ageless Timepiece - Ocean

Spyralle Ageless Timepiece – Ocean

In case you have not heard, Fantasy Faire is open until 7 May! Official programming is over, but you can still shop, Quest and explore.

Spyralle is making good use of the time by releasing at least one more edition of the Ageless Timepiece in our shop in Sanoria at Fantasy Faire. This one is called “Ocean”, with an aqueous color palette and lots of rust. The rotating disks with amber lights look amazing at night and under water!

Like the earlier Timepieces, Ocean required a new set of textures – I think there are 19 in the object, maybe more – of which I did re-use one (the least visible) for Ocean. New textures and new fractals for the appearing and disappearing screen make production of each Timepiece a slow process. At least two more are in the pipeline. Yes, a goth one, too. Have patience.


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Fantastic Beasts

Spyralle Gryphon Mask - Gold

Spyralle Gryphon Mask – Gold

Spyralle’s Gryphon Mask was introduced in 2017 in one of the late rounds of Genre, but for some forgotten reason I did not get around to blogging about them. After the event, the masks were held for the opening of the new store and Fantasy Faire. Now you can find them in both venues!

Spyralle Gryphon Mask - Blue

Spyralle Gryphon Mask – Blue

The masks are currently out in five colors, all featuring new original fractal patterns from the same series that provided the colorful Owl Moon patterns. (Speaking of Owl Moon, all the dresses are upstairs at Spyralle Park Place and permanently discounted far below the original price. Time to complete your collection!)

Spyralle Gryphon Mask - Purple

Spyralle Gryphon Mask – Purple

I love the way the fractal suggests nostrils on the beak and little feathers at the top of the beak! Each of the mesh feathers was separately textured by cutting, reflecting and manipulating a small section of the fractal – done separately for each color.

Spyralle Gryphon Mask - Red

Spyralle Gryphon Mask – Red

The masks are as suitable for Dragons as for Gryphons. Fantastical Beasts, both of them.This red one is a bit more dragon-like and would work well at a goth masquerade ball. A black one has been requested to form a pair with the red one, but I have not had time to tackle those feathers yet. We’re aiming toward having it ready by Samhain.

The masks are unisex, of course, and can be resized using your Edit window.

Spyralle Gryphon Mask - Green

Spyralle Gryphon Mask – Green

Worn with the masks, Kerryth’s basic custom personal shape (often bald by choice, the better to be fierce) with skin, eyes and layered tattoos from Fallen Gods. The skin and eyes are from one of the Materica avatars – Marie Rouille; the tattoos are Legend Flame under Pi Gold. We await “bakes on mesh” with great eagerness.

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Fantasy Faire – A Timeless Folly

Spyralle Timeless Folly - tall gazebo

Spyralle Timeless Folly

Here is a dream of a memory of another time in the lost age of Sanoria at Fantasy Faire! This is what they might have built in their day, those vanished people. Pursue the Quest of the Ancients on Sanoria for enlightenment … or further mystery.

Fantasy Faire will remain open to shopping and Questing until the 7th of May!  This is an enormous gift to those of us who have not yet had time between program activities and physical world commitments to really enjoy the Faire. The official program ends today, but the sims and shops and quests will remain to encourage you to donate generously to Relay for Life. As of Sunday, 29 April, the Faire has raised almost 9 million lindens. The extension was awarded by the Lindens who were jailed  earlier in the week, in thanks for the donations that bailed them out. And thank you, if you have contributed!

Returning to our regularly scheduled program, the Folly is Spyralle’s second new original build for Fantasy Faire, all proceeds donated to RFL. A folly is defined as “an ornamental building with no practical purpose” – perhaps you could call this one a tall gazebo! A folly is just the sort of feature you might find in the extensive gardens of an English estate in the Victorian era.

Spyralle’s Fantasy Faire folly is built of several kinds of marble, bronze, steel and stained glass. It coordinates with our Dawn Timepiece.

Spyralle also offers a gift for those who complete the 2018 Fairelands Quest. In order to follow the Quest, you need to purchase a HUD. Look for the kiosks on each sim near the landing point. Spyralle’s Periwinkle Wall Lamp, a completely original creation in mesh, features a new fractal by Kerryth on the glass shade.

Spyralle Periwinkle Wall Lamp - Fantasy Faire Quest Gift 2018

Spyralle Periwinkle Wall Lamp – Fantasy Faire Quest Gift 2018

Fantasy Faire is not folly – though it does contain a due amount of whimsy and foolery – and beauty and wonder and camaraderie and joy. Fantasy Faire is a collection of magical worlds and moments built by a caring team of hundreds of creative people from all over the world. We all share one goal: ending the suffering caused by cancer. To learn more about the Faire, Relay for Life, and this year’s special Fantasy Faire project, please use the link above to visit their website and blog, and join us from now through  7 May!

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