Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

Soup Of The Day: With Doktress Melange


Hello! Mrs Albert Baker here, otherwise known as The Last Witch Of Pendle. Obviously there is no Pendle any more, since The Chronic Agronauts utterly destroyed it with treacle and sprats, but I’ve set myself up quite nicely here in Lancaster, running this little soup kitchen for the street urchins. There certainly are a lot of them and I’m always looking for helping hands to cook up and serve something delicious!

Helping me this morning is steampunk creator Angela Bruce aka  Doktress Melange! Good morning Angela, thank you so much for coming to help me in my soup kitchen today! Tell me, have you brought along some soup to share with us?


Yes it’s Spicy Butternut Squash….


1 small to medium butternut squash
1 onion
1 red pepper
2 large carrots
3 cloves of garlic
2 large red chillies
1 teaspoon of finely grated ginger
Chicken or vegetable stock (about 1 to 1.5 litres, enough to cover the veg)
Quarter of a teaspoon of ground coriander
Salt and Pepper
Roughly chop the squash, carrots and pepper and sweat in some butter until soft
Add chopped chilli and garlic and grated ginger (vary amount according to own taste)
Continue to sweat
When everything is nice and soft stir in the ground coriander , salt and pepper and add the stock and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes (if using stock cubes you probably won’t need the salt)
Use blender to blend
Serve with either a swirl of cream on top or some freshly chopped coriander leaves

Mmm, it smells delicious, I’m sure the little urchins will enjoy it immensely. Now while
that is simmering away nicely, why don’t we take a look at some of your stunning
creations, have you brought some along to show us today?
Yes, I’d like to present a melange of my recent creations; these include two canvases, 2 sets of mini drawers and my speciality, resin pendants.


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Your steampunk creations really are wonderful, what inspires you when you sit down to
create each one?
My inspiration comes in two forms; it can be dependent upon the item I’m creating or it can come from a found object which sets off sparks of creativity and invention.
I am inspired by reclaiming objects and giving new life to items that otherwise would have been discarded.
When I am creating a canvas a major influence is Sci-Fi film and TV. I’m particularly interested in the portrayal of post apocalyptic and dystopian futures; the essence of which I strive to convey in my artwork.
What I make largely depends on what comes into my possession, I have upcycled bottles, mirrors and made steampunk prop guns from assorted bits of brass and copper. Part of the excitement is not knowing what I’ll be doing next.
When it comes to jewellery, I try to simulate the capturing of time by embedding watch parts in resin. I like to arrange the parts in such a way as to give the impression of a functional item. During the artistic journey I find that there is a natural evolution of ideas which form the creative process. In other words I don’t know what the completed object will look like until it is finished.
The only appropriate place to keep your steampunk necklace when not wearing it is in a steampunk jewellery box. When it comes to boxes and drawers the process is again spontaneous and continuously evolving until such time that I feel it is complete. This often involves long spells of consideration and modification before completion.
And where do you source all those amazing materials?
Sourcing is a constant consideration involving imaginative recycling of anything and everything. I am always beady eyed as to what might be salvaged before it is forever lost in a land-fill site. I also scour charity shops and car boot sales in the hunt for treasures
Do you take custom orders?
Not as a rule as I find it stifles the creative process but there have been exceptions. I recently made some steampunk cubes to be used in a music video for the song Dead Air by the band Bless the Fall. I had a very short deadline to get them sent to LA but was given the leeway to make them however I liked so it was all quite exciting.

Splendid, and where can we find your marvellous creations for sale?
Marvellous, ah now I hear the kettle singing and so I must ask my final question, on which the fate of the world may hang… which is the brew that inspires you more when you are creating, coffee or tea? (and how do you take it?)
It has to be tea and to get those brain cells awake and the steam firing on all cylinders I have a refreshing cup of lemon and ginger tea.


Well here you are, my dear! Thank you so much for coming to help out in the soup kitchen today, Angela, it’s been wonderful to chat with you and I must say that soup smells delicious. I think it must be about ready and the little urchins have their rosy noses pushed up against the glass in anticipation so shall we start dishing it up?

As for the rest of you I will see you next week when another very special guest will be helping me serve up some splendid soup so, until then

Blessings on your brew my dears!



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