I had the lovely opportunity to interview Samantha Merriweather, owner of the fabulous etsy shop, Agent of Chaos. In her shop you will be able to find adventuring gear, "aetheric" devices, and cosplay weaponry and accessories to please Steampunk, Neo-Victorian, Teslapunk and other cosplay enthusiasts. All of her imaginative equipment is one of a kind and never duplicated and custom orders are welcome!
How long have you been making your steampunk and teslapunk creations?
"About three years. It's amazing how much I've grown in that time. I keep photos of all my gear, and it's a little shocking to see how far I've come since I started."
What or who inspires your creations?
"What I find or have on hand. Nifty little bits of clockwork, or a cool gun base, or a really great color of paint. Usually, my inspiration comes from one element, that then gets broken out into a full piece.
Too, though, I am inspired by costume ideas or characters. I started out as a game writer, so when I come up with some neat identity I'd want to play, I think about what I'd need to make that identity a reality. (This is how all my Professor Pandemonium stuff happened.)"
When you sit down to create a piece, what first comes to mind?
“How long am I going to have to hold this till the glue dries? Me and glue are mortal enemies. Realistically, though, it's probably “can I do this to my satisfaction?” I always have a vision, the key is getting the gear to match the vision. Because of the nature of the way I work, I have trouble dismantling things (as in, they won't come apart), which means I have to finish a project once I start it, even if I'm not happy with the direction it's taking. I try not to start until I feel like the idea is fully in my head, or at least I have all the materials I'm going to use."
What are your favorite components/materials to work with?
"Oddly, I strongly dislike working with gears. It's too easy to cheat with gears, just to glue some on and call it done. I've worked with camera pieces before, which was cool. The weirder it is, the more I'm going to like it. I made up a pair of binoculars recently. That was fun! Oh, and lenses. I love playing with lenses."
What hobbies do you enjoy?
"I'm a table top roleplayer and LARPer. Big surprise, right? I run and write games for the most part, and am fascinated with putting together complex worlds for my players. I'm also a young adult author, and just finished my first novel, which is going off to potential publishers by the end of the year."
What other items might you like to create given the opportunity?
"I want to get into welding, and do more non-glue, non-plastic pieces. I like working in plastic because of the ease and the price, but I'd like to put together some higher-end things. I'd also like to work with jeweler's loupes and glass lenses. I'd like to make some telescopes or binoculars (NO goggles, please!) I have this antique fishing reel I've held on to for about five years, that I really want to turn into something, but I have no idea what. (always accepting suggestions.)"
What music do you create by?
"Classic rock/folk. (I know, I know.) I'm a CCR/John Denver/Jim Croce girl. Mostly I watch movies while I work, though, because I sometimes have the attention span of a gnat, so it keeps me focused. I tend to play the same movie over and over till I get so sick of it I can't watch it again. Right now, it's The Hunger Games."
Describe the most interesting piece you have worked on and what it meant to you.
"The very first piece I made is still my favorite. It was a arm-mounted computing machine, built on a leather gauntlet, out of aged wood that opened into a full-keyboard, with a little screen and everything. Looking at it now, the quality isn't amazing, but the idea was pretty unique when I made it. It was the first device I finished, and the first one I gave to someone else. As it turns out, the person I made it for ended up not needing it for the costume, but it was a pretty awesome device."
Where can we find your gear for the daring adventurer?
"My shop is known as Agent of Chaos, found here"-- www.etsy.com/shop/agentofchaos
"I'm also available on Facebook, here"-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Merriweather-Technology-for-the-Discerning-Adventurer/107677629256695
"And if you're interested in checking out what I'm working on gaming-wise, check out this journal for Clockwork Confidence: the Diamond Job"-- www.clockwork-con.livejournal.com
Please visit her links when you have a chance! Thank you for the interview, Samantha! Have a great week everyone!