Archive for the The Clockwork Quartet Storybook Category

Before & After

Posted in The Clockwork Quartet Storybook on 31 August 2009 by Ed Saperia

Book is coming along apace – almost all the illustrations are finished. It’s going to be touch and go whether we get all the layout and design done in time to have it printed for the October shows though, which is a shame.

A most perfect invention that still kept immaculate time

A most perfect invention that still kept immaculate time...

For the illustrations that show things happening directly on the train with the characters, we do shoots to make it easier on Lara. These are always great fun! One of our unreleased songs is called “The Case Of The Withering Eyes”, in which The Scientist asks The Doctor to give his eyes a quick checkup:

I stood in for The Doctor in this shoot...

I stood in for The Doctor in this shoot...

...turned out okay though I think!

...turned out okay though I think!


What the devil is it???

Posted in The Clockwork Quartet Storybook on 24 April 2009 by larajensen

So, Ed pointed out to me that after all of my waffling I had neglected to actually outline what the devil this little song/storybook project is actually all about. I agreed that it might be a good idea to fill in that rather large gap.

Ed approached me with the concept at one of his parties and, as I felt like being rather drunkenly enthusiastic at the time, I agreed to be a part of the project.

The Concept

In this day and age there is no longer the need to physically purchase a CD to get hold of the musical content, photographs or lyrics of the bands we love (the internet rules w00t!), but I for one still miss having that undiscovered precious something to open up and flick through when I visit iTunes or Spotify to get my musical thrills.

With the release of their first batch of songs, the Clockwork Quartet will also be publishing a limited edition, carefully illustrated pocketbook of lyrics, with the wish to fill this void left by those horrible cardboard limited addition box sets, all whilst fulfilling the curious obsession of Steampunk fanatics with beautifully made, tactile and aesthetically pleasing objects.

There’s a lot of storytelling that goes on within the songs of the Clockwork Quartet and so, in my book, releasing such an object seemed a fairly apt and genial idea from Master Saperia in my book (See what I did there?).

The Content

So, what will be in it exactly?

If you don’t know already the Clockwork Quartet (in character) are a band of travelling musicians who entertain the passengers aboard a train that travels back and forth between London and Dover. It is the individual stories of passengers they meet that the Quartet bring to life in song form.

Each of these songs will feature in the book, much like chapters, with their own title pages, lyrics and illustrations, showing the characters in situ on the train and scenes from the story. The lyrics will be annotated by the conductor with chords and music, so a reader can recreate the songs their self.

Why a pocket book?

What else would people carry with them on a short journey from London to Dover?

The Aesthetic

In line with Steampunk tradition we aim to create a high quality object, bound, embossed, litho printed and of a good weight. Pocket books of the late Victorian period and their methods of manufacture are being studied…


Posted in The Clockwork Quartet Storybook on 25 March 2009 by larajensen


The problem I’ve been tackling of late is how to convey to the reader which of the songbook’s characters is speaking at any one point without having to rely on writing their names constantly next to the relevant text.

So….I started thinking about FONTS with the intention of attributing each character their own one with it’s style dictated by variables such as their personality type, temperament, education, background etc etc.For example the character of the scientist I had imagined (along with the character description given to me by Ed) to be Germanic in origin…so that became my starting point for my search for his font. The General’s wife was described to me as being rather ‘prim and proper’, middle class and educated, so again, this aided me in finding an appropriate font for her.

The fonts will probably be first associated with each character within a group picture/illustration that will be featured in the beginning pages of the book. With each character’s portrait labeled with their name in their chosen style lettering.

After finding the fonts I began contemplating the layout in a much more serious manner, as I have spent the last few weeks looking at research an have got a rather good clue about how I want all of this to end up looking. The most important thing is being able to convey to printers (whom I have not yet approached) as best an idea as possible of what we are looking to create. This entails putting together storyboards of how we would like each page to be laid out as well as the style of illustrations, print type, colours and things like what paper we will require.

I would like to mention that the preparation requirements of aforementioned layout have been helped along and will be helped along by two sterling young fellows at whom have very kindly agreed to let me ask them a lot of questions and then give me a lot of answers. Their names are Oliver Lockett and Mike Scott. Mike studied book design for his BA and Oliver has a good few years of dealing with printers under his belt. Together they make up part of Team Awesome when it comes to helping me make this project feel very real and realisable.

I also had a good chat about programme use with Mr Simon Fox (thanks!).

Right so, where I am now is I have a layout idea and need to draw up an example of one of the illustrations that will be featured in the book (the style that I draw in will dictate the print type ie bitmap, full colour or vector graphics). This in turn will effect which printer we will use. I have already started some sketching but this is serious drawing time. Hopefully with this done I can approach printers sometime next week……..WATCH THIS SPACE.



la xx

The Clockwork Quartet Storybook

Posted in The Clockwork Quartet Storybook on 14 March 2009 by larajensen

Right then guys!

I’ll introduce myself! My name’s Lara Jensen (La). As well as being a friend of Ed’s and an admirer of his work and methodology I have been commissioned by him to design this little book of wonders aka “The Clockwork Quartet Storybook”. As part of that he has asked me to keep you all updated on my progress, so here I am, doing that. I will tell you now this is going to be somewhat of a journey for me as I have never done this before (the blogging and the book design). My formal background is in Fine Art, illustration and Costume Design, so lets see what I can do when I’m a little out of my comfort zone, ay? You can see some of my own work at to gauge my chances of success.

So far I’ve been researching into the basic layouts, illustrations and fonts that might be used as inspiration/foundations for the design. There’s a couple of photos below of the type of thing I’ve been looking at… not amazingly exciting atm, but room to build upon :) Ed and I took a little jaunt to some antique bookshops and looked through some ancient-ish tomes for ideas. We even got to thumb through a first edition copy of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” which was pretty awesome.

The storybook will most likely the size and shape of a pocket book. Hopefully leather bound, which will give the whole thing a lovely quality of look, texture, period and weight.

Other than that I’ve been spending my time reading up trying to work out what the rest of this book design thing is all about (there’s a hell of a lot to it) and I’m hoping to start honing my skills at drawing each of the band members faces for the upcoming illustrations. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with that one. I’m sure there will be some remarkable attempts.

Anyway, that’s it for now!


Book cover
Book coverLayout