Seven Victorians had their silhouettes made at a little shop in London, and then, they vanished. What happened? The letters tell all.
Laser Lace Letters is a series of tangible stories where you become a steampunk detective on the trail of a string of mysterious disappearances. At the heart of each story is a beautiful, laser cut cameo handmade in felt by artist Haley Moore.
The silhouettes represent seven fictional characters, and those seven people are connected by one common thread. They all had one of these unusual cameos made at a shop in London, and every one of them has disappeared.
What happened to them is too strange to take on faith; you're going to need evidence. All we have left are the objects they left behind: letters home and pages torn from diaries, newspaper clippings and old adverts, inventors sketches and photographs, love letters and suicide notes. It will be up to you to dig through the evidence and uncover their stories.
You'll come away from the experience, not only with the satisfaction of a good read, but with a wearable memento of the occasion. The cameos are perfect to pin to your a lapel, a hat, or a bag. Only these seven prototypes and a handful of others have ever been made, and now I'm asking you to help change that by pledging to outfit my studio with the right equipment.
Stories of Clockwork and Lightning
Laser Lace Letters features seven people from different walks of life, living in an alternate London where an all-woman airship corps keeps the peace, tiny robots ferry messages to secret lovers, and the rich build extravagant country homes in the sky. Photographers point their lenses to to sky for a glimpse of aethereal cities that appear in the bolt of a lightning strike. The government is building mechanical servants to free mankind from work, and soon the subjects of Queen Victoria will be the happiest and most prosperous in the world.
But tucked away in the shadows is a machine that could change everything - a device that can look into people's souls, and - if it sees fit - clip a hole in time and space just the right shape so they fall through.
Each story in Laser Lace Letters focuses on one person who fell prey to the machine.
Throughout the campaign, I'll be unveiling a little online experience for each character that gives you an idea of what their story will be like, without spoilers. So far, I've done a photo shoot, written a historical account of a murder done with tiny robots, solicited names for the Magician, and built interactive fiction out of the forms feature in Google Docs. Who knows what I'll do next!
To find all the characters' experiences in one place, go to LaserLaceLetters.com, and look for new updates throughout the campaign.
One-Woman Wonder Show
I'm a craftsperson with an undying love of story, and a tendency to take my projects to ridiculous extremes of intricacy and depth. I can prototype and write and design forever, but I can't make a project like Laser Lace on my own - and I definitely can't make it without you.
Ironically, these cameos from a steampunk world can only be made using third milennium technology. Laser Lace needs a laser cutter to go into production. We've been prototyping on a shared machine at the Dallas Makerspace, but in order to make more than a handful of them, we need our own equipment.
The laser cutter is one of my favorite creative tools, and one I've brought to bear over the last few years to make some awesome things. By pledging to Laser Lace, you're not only ensuring that this project happens - you're opening the door to a world of projects I could hardly imagine before.
NEW! Christmas Rewards!
We've added two very special rewards for those who want to give Laser Lace for Christmas. The stories won't be ready to ship until March, but we can send out some cameos in time for holiday gift giving. So, for the low price of $42, you can now order one cameo and the digital Letters, and have them arrive by December 24.
However, for $77 you can also order a special experience that will keep giving throughout the year. At this level, you'll not only get your cameo by December 24, but in March, you'll start to receive parcels containing the physical artifacts that make up each story. You won't just get the story that goes with your cameo - you'll receive all seven deliciously designed case files, one each month. It's like a subscription to mystery and adventure.
You can also get your custom wax seal by December 24, if you get your custom work specifications sent in by December 7. We will send out mini pins ASAP, but can't guarantee them delivered by the 24th.
Rewards - UPDATED!
We're now offering custom, laser cut wax seal stampers and signet rings, just like the ones we developed while designing our packages, and as seen in the award-winning Instructable. We will be doing fully customizable seals featuring your initials, message, or any art you provide.
The impression size is about 3/4" wide. Stamper seals come on a lovely wood handle. The signet rings are both ready to make a wax impression, and great for making a first impression. The band is unisex and adjustable.
When you order your seal, you'll also get a stick of sealing wax in red, gold, or silver, and a digital copy of the Letters. Larger seals (up to 1 1/2") are also available for an additional $3 shipping (the post office will require us to mail them differently).
You can add a custom seal to any other reward level by adding $40 to your total pledge.
For $25, you can get this charming little mini-cameo to wear to your next soiree. This poor fellow doesn't have his own story, but if you read carefully you might be able to find him in the digital copy of Laser Lace Letters that comes with your mini pin. You can also get the digital copy alone for $10.
UPDATE: All THREE alternate mini cameos are now available! Pledge at the $25 level to get either the original, Nikola Tesla, the Air Pirate, or the Gear Heart mini cameo! We'll send out an email at the end of the campaign to find out which you'd like.
You can also add more mini cameos to any other reward level by adding $25 per cameo to your total pledge.
For $50, you'll get one complete Laser Lace Letters story of your choice, including the cameo and story artifacts in one of these lovely packages, and a copy of the digital book.
Each story in the Letters is like an episode of a television series - each has its own internal arc, and each connects to others. While the series doesn't follow a single narrative from beginning to end, certain threads connect groups of episodes.
The Laser Lace Tales are collections of stories that share a common thread and come together to make a bigger picture. For $150 you get three cameos, three tangible stories, the digital book and the mini cameo. There are three Tales to choose from.
Of course, for some, three stories isn't enough. If you want the full experience, we've also got you covered.
For $250, you get a complete set of physical Laser Lace Letters, including all seven cameos and seven tangible stories, the digital book, and the mini cameo.
While we haven't nailed down all the details, the complete set will likely contain over 100 individual story pieces. It will be a rare and beautiful thing.
Several of our rewards are for custom services, including:
- Cameos with custom silhouettes and any lace from our lace library.
- A full Laser Lace portrait sitting and a new Laser Lace story starring you! This is a deeper story than most, with artifacts from the whole range of my propmaking and storytelling capabilities, using the new laser I'll soon have command of! Read more about the personal portrait sitting here.
- The "Secret Society Package" - Complete custom cameos of your art for up to 10 people.
- Laser cutting services for one year!
For complete details on these rewards, read our Custom Order Specifications.
Partnerships and Other Cool Stuff
When I said I can't make this project alone, I wasn't just saying that. Laser Lace has from a number of collaborators, from both the US and the UK.
Laser Lace Letters is an official spinoff of Clockwork Watch, a magnificent steampunk transmedia project that got its start on IndieGoGo one year ago. If you thought our world sounded similar to theirs, it's because they're the same! Many members of the Clockwork Watch team have already lent their feedback, encouragement, and even their voices to the cause. You're also going to see special Clockwork Watch cameos in the future if funded, and you can check out bits of Laser Lace in the new issue of the Clockwork Watch comic, Breakaway.
This project also incorporates LaMech, a one off tangible story about a tiny robot that I created in 2010. The LaMech robots will come to life in Laser Lace, saving one life and tearing another apart.
I'm also collaborating with a number of artists, almost all of them Texans like me. They're supplying things like illustrations, advertising art, circus posters, and sketches of terrifying machines. Without these people, Laser Lace wouldn't be nearly as beautiful as its going to be:
- Zack Turner, artist of the zombie webcomic Unlife
- Heather Williamee, contributing animator for Cartoon Network's Team Toon
- John Kantz, the creator of Search for New Lifeforms
- Fox Castillo, ghost enthusiast and official illustrator of LaMech
- Jolie Pagel, pug afficionado, sculptor, and creature illustrator
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Laser Lace Letters is a unique type of project, the like of which has never been done by an indie creator before. The thing that makes this story unique is the way it's told - through individual artifacts that you can actually touch. I'm a transmedia artifact creator of seven years. I've worked on everything from award-winning web series, to ARGs for interational films, to vaunted educational games, with object-based stories as my specialty.
The designs for all of the laser cut parts needed for the cameos and their packages are complete. I just need the equipment to produce them on, which the Kickstarter will pay for. I'll be purchasing the laser cutter equipment from a company whose machines I've already been trained on and have used for years, so I expect I'll spend a minimal amount of setup time for the new equipment.
Each packet of Letters involves a number of parts of different sizes, so printing will be an involved process. However, I'll be working with a digital printing house I've used for five years and proofing everything in print to make sure everything comes out perfect.
Even though the parts are cut by machine, every single cameo, every package, and every set of letters is put together by hand. I've planned carefully to allow enough time for everything to be made by our delivery target, but I'm also working out agreements with other local artists to step in and help, just in case.
If we fund, Laser Lace Letters will be available in the Clockwork Watch store shortly after they arrive for our Kickstarter backers. (We'll also be adding some special cameos as the years-long Clockwork Watch experience plays out!)
If we fail to fund, though, you won't be seeing Laser Lace cameos for sale any time soon. We can't produce more than a handful of these cameos on our shared hackerspace laser.
Want to throw in a mini cameo or a wax seal, and also get a digest reward or something larger? It's easy.
Claim the largest of the rewards you want.
Add the value of a second or multiple other rewards to your total pledge. (No need to add extra for international shipping.)
Send me a KS message letting me know what you're pledging additional funds for.
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Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
An ebook of the complete Laser Lace Letters, containing all of the artifact-based stories, and art of the cameos for your reading pleasure.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
A 1.25" mini laser lace pin, available only during this Kickstarter campaign - plus the Laser Lace Letters eBook.Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $40 or moreYou selected
A Custom Wax Seal or Signet Ring! Laser cut on my new machine in beautiful jade green acrylic, your seal will feature your initials, name, message, or any design you send in. Wax seals come on a beautiful wood handle, and signet rings come on a stylish unisex band. You'll also get a starter stick of sealing wax, and a digital copy of the Letters.Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $41 or moreYou selected
CHEAT CODE! You may have seen some other cameos floating around the internet - for example, the Chocolate Pig or Candy Pig cameos we made for Desert Bus for Hope, our awesome Teapot or Steampunk Octopus cameos! This reward is for one cameo of any of those variations (or any others I dream up), without letters. Each comes with the digital copy of the Letters, and will be delivered ASAP (we'll shoot for Dec. 24 delivery, but not guarantee it). If you want to replace a full size cameo in another reward with one of these, leave a message after choosing your reward.Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $42 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (25 left of 25)
A CHRISTMAS REWARD! Want to surprise a loved one with one of our cameos under the tree? You'll get your choice of cameo in a special limited edition package, in time for Christmas. Physical copies of the Letters won't be available yet, but you'll get a digital version for your reading pleasure when it comes out in March.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
One laser cameo of your choice, bound up with a packet of letters and other artifacts concerning the person depicted. Plus, the eBook containing the complete Laser Lace LettersEstimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $70 or moreYou selected
A limited edition Mechanical Companion - a tiny pocket watch-sized robot prop with red eyes in cold cast brass. Comes as a necklace or on a fob watch chain, and includes two tangible stories from Laser Lace Letters, your choice of mini cameo, and a digital copy of the Letters.Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $77 or moreYou selected
12 backers Limited (13 left of 25)
ANOTHER CHRISTMAS REWARD just for this Kickstarter campaign. You'll get seven months of tangible stories, AND have something great to put under the tree. We'll send you a cameo of your choice in time for Christmas. Then, beginning in March 2013, you'll get one physical story (without its accompanying cameo) each month through September. It's a gift that keeps on giving - AND we'll also give you the digital copy of the Letters in March, if you want to cheat and read ahead or keep a copy for yourself.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $99 or moreYou selected
INTERNATIONAL LASER DIGEST - For our readers outside the US. You'll get seven months of tangible stories, AND we'll send you one cameo of your choice. In March 2013, you'll get your cameo and your first physical story, then each month after that you'll receive a story (without its accompanying cameo). We'll also give you the digital copy of the Letters, if you want to cheat and read ahead.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
16 backers Limited (4 left of 20)
A custom silhouette! Send in a profile shot, and you'll receive a loyally captured cameo of yourself or a loved one. Choose any border from our lace library in colors of your choice - you'll even get the chance to get some lace colors that aren't available elsewhere! Comes in our lovely laser cut and wax sealed package; perfect for gift giving. It's also accompanied with a custom laser cut wax seal or signet ring, bearing your silhouette, and some sealing wax. Plus, the eBook containing the complete Laser Lace Letters.Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
The Letters can be read in any order, but when arranged in different ways, you find different meanings. Thus, we offer the Laser Lace Tales - collections of three Laser Lace stories that share a common connection. Choose from The Tale of the Disappearing Woman (Sarah, Lucy, and Everman); The Tale of the Stolen Brain (Linnaeus, Everman, and the Magician); The Tale of the Red-Eyed Army (Dorotha, Lucy, and Everman); or the Tale of Clockwork Men (Harold, Dorotha, and The Magician). You'll also receive the mini pin and the Laser Lace eBook.Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
You'll get one of the Laser Lace Tales, exactly as described above - only you'll receive one each month in March, April, and May. For those who prefer to savor their storytelling experience.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
The complete set of all seven tangible stories, including the cameos. Perfect for gift givers, retailers, and avid completists. Plus, you'll get exclusive mini pin and the Laser Lace eBook.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
The complete set of all seven tangible stories, exactly as described above - only you'll receive one each month from March to September 2013. Spend the better part of a year enjoying your Laser Lace experience!Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $290 or moreYou selected
The complete set of all seven tangible stories, PLUS a custom wax seal! You'll get one of our exclusive mini cameos, and the digital version of the Laser Lace Letters.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)
A personal cameo sitting. The Automatic Silhouettist has a little mechanical quirk - sometimes it portrays things as they truly are, rather than as they appear. In your personal sitting, your image will be transformed - perhaps you'll sprout wings or whiskers, take on the appearance of a queen or a great explorer. Your sitting will also include custom designed lace to reflect your personal style. Custom lace can feature anything from skulls to seahorses, as well as other custom features too numerous to mention here - you'll even get the chance to get some lace colors that aren't available elsewhere! In addition, your cameo will be accompanied by a series of original letters, telling the story of your encounter with the machine, and the chilling adventure that ensued. Your cameo comes in a rare special edition package and includes a custom laser cut wax seal or signet ring bearing your silhouette, and some sealing wax. You'll also get an exclusive mini pin and the Laser Lace eBook.Estimated delivery:Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)
The Secret Society Package. For up to ten members of your cohort, troupe, or secretive cabal, you will receive custom laser cameos featuring your group's sigil, crest, or logo (or any other art you'd like) along with custom lace as described in the reward above. Each cameo comes in a special edition laser cut package in colors of your choice. As the ringleader, you'll receive a mini cameo, and a wax seal stamper featuring your sign, to mark all of your official documents. Everyone in your group will get their own copy of the Laser Lace Letters ebook.Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
Um. You just donated enough money for me to BUY a laser cutter, free and clear. I'm not joking. Holy hell. What can I give you? I mean, you're getting the complete set of cameos and a mini pin the eBook and my thanks but that's nothing! You know what? I'm naming the laser cutter after you. Not only will I put an awesome plaque on the front of the laser honoring your patronage; from now on whenever I talk or write about it I will refer to my laser as "the (your name here) Laser Cutter for the Arts." Ok, but that's clearly not enough, because this is YOUR laser too. So how about for the next year, if you send me files, I'll send you laser cut parts; like your own little private laser shop? Yes yes THAT is more like it. (See conditions linked in project description.)Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
- (33 days)