The week is almost at an end, and am ready to leap from my office cubicle to my workbench to start casting the first of the 15 Dune crysknife replicas I plan to put out.
This week I’ve been exchanging emails with Mark Bennett, who runs duneinfo.com and we talked about the nature of the “glow” of the crysknife, as described in this quote from Dune by Frank Herbert when the Shadout Mapes confronts the Lady Jessica:
“She took sheath in one hand and handle in the other, withdrew a milk-white blade, held it up. The blade seemed to shine and glitter with a light of its own. It was double-edged like a kindjal and the blade was perhaps twenty centimeters long.”
I got into the crysknife replica project not just because I wanted my own Lynch version crysknife–I wanted to make a version of the knife that had a faint, flickering, almost organic glow.
Admittedly, it’s a pretty literal translation of Herbert’s description of the crysknife from the Shadout Mapes scene. In my head however, I thought it made sense because some of the blades are, according to my research, “unfixed”. An unfixed crysknife can only remain stable if it is in contact or proximity to a living human body; outside of the body’s electrical field, the knife seems to lose molecular integrity, weakening and crumbling within hours. I don’t know if this is just one of those inane non-canon Brian Herbert + KJA addenda to the Dune universe (to me only Frank’s six novels are canon); nonetheless it’s a concept I find very cool (does the knife respond to any electrical field though or only to it’s owner’s particular signature though?).
I thought it would be cool to portray this kind of interaction between the knife and its user–hence the motion-activated flickering version of the crysknife replica that I’m building.
Mark seems to think otherwise, saying: “I took that quote more to mean it was something like being iridescent, rather than literally being a source of light, although a subtle light effect might be interesting, but I’d imagine it being hard to get the balance right between either not being noticeable and looking like a short lightsaber!”
He’s spot on about that last part; the last thing I want is for the knife to look anything like the ubiquitous lightsaber! In any case, people who might not be fans of the glow-effect will be pleased to know that i’ll be casting non-glow versions, so don’t despair.
Anyway, have a great weekend! I’ll update you on the casting.