Mystic Radio – Hendrick’s Gin Curate a Box Give Away

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Nearly a year ago the nice folks at Hendrick's Gin contacted me to see if I'd like to do a box for their "Curate a Box" contest give away. Well, I had never tasted their product so I demurred until I had a chance to sample it at last year's SteamCon in Seattle. In fact fellow SPWS editor Libby Bulloff and I consumed quite a bit of it while we prepped for our "Queering Steampunk Fashion" panel.

The box is finally done and you should keep an eye out at Unusual Times to find out how you can win it!


The hardest part was coming up with a concept for the box. I knew I was going to etch a brass plate for it, but etch it with what?

To the 'stream of consciousness' mobile!

  • My friend and fellow SPWS editor Annie Dennisdottir Wright likes Hendrick's Gin 
  • Annie is from Iceland and has a really cool Vegvísir tatoo
  • Annie's Vegvísir reminded me of electronic schematics
  • {google image search} Whoa! this microwave tube schematic looks awesome with the Vegvísir!
  • OK, so it's about mysticism and radio. But wait, the Vegvísir isn't really mystic
  • Oh hai! this electronic kit I found at the dump would be perfect to put in the box.
  • Ah ha! it's about de-mystifying technology, oh that is fucking perfect!
And there you go, that is how my brain works.

And thus the official artist's statement:

Mystic Radio
The electrolytically etched brass plate on top of the box depicts symbols used in science, engineering, and alchemy. An Icelandic Vegvísir is featured prominently surrounded by the components of a modern magnetron microwave transmitting tube. The background features the schematic diagram for a vintage Heathkit oscilloscope. 
The  Vegvísir is often thought of as a mystical symbol but it is in fact a very practical mnemonic device for mastering navigational rules of thumb.

Opening the box, the seeker will discover that it is lined with with pages from the 1935 edition of "Modern Radio Servicing." as well as a "Junior Electronics Lab."  Interacting with said lab via the instruction manual will de-mystify the very nature of radio itself for the engaged participant.