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Steampunk Stahp! Or the Appropriation of Prada

Numi Prasarn is an artist, producer, and maker who has cut her teeth on a multitude of mediums and roles in the fashion and photography industries. Obsessed with fashion theory and with creating avenues for people to gain aesthetic control of their lives, Numi has turned to writing in places like Coilhouse and Pork Pie Hatters (and now Steampunk Workshop) to get her ideas on style and culture out.

A couple of days ago I tweeted a mini rant about people tying Prada's Fall 2012 Menswear collection to the Steampunk movement. It went a little something like this (Read bottom to top):

Twitter rant...

I figured it was time to stop just complaining and start some conversations... (Read More)

Not Enemies!

Brand new from my bestie Nathaniel Johnstone and 2Tall Animation comes this re-imagination of a childhood classic!

The Music & The Theory: An Introduction To Your Place In Musical Culture

A big welcome to our newest writer: Aaron Shay!  - Jake

Imagine a world without a record player. A world without recording studios, or record labels, a world without even radio to play us the music that we’d like to hear. Imagine such a world.

Is that world depressing, or is it empowering?

...

[Read More]

Steampunk: Making The Future

 


          Neverwas Haul - Maker Faire 2009

This is an introduction to a multi-part series on Steampunk by Sally Applin (http://www.sally.com). I've been corresponding with Sally off and on for more than five years and we first met at Maker Faire in 2009. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to her insightful thoughts on Steampunk and the Maker Movement and I'm excited that she'll be featured here on The Steampunk Workshop. From her bio, linked above: "Sally is a founding member of AnthroPunk (on twitter) and is currently researching the impact of technology on culture, and the consequent inverse: specifically the reifications of Network Space in Personal Space. She is also a member of IoT Council, a think tank for the Internet of Things."  - Jake.​

In the United States,  Steampunk rose to prominence in the latter part of the first decade of the new century. At that time many people began to feel concerned about losing their privacy through a myriad of new security schemes, their security due to a plummeting job market and economy and, though in light of the former, seemingly less serious, increased awareness that a licensing agreement for software and hardware that had given ownership to items purchased by individuals, to the corporations that had manufactured them. The Maker movement also gained traction during this time and it is not unrelated. Many people who were tired of the system and unhappy with the future it indicated, took to their workshops to make their own future. Make it, they did. People began to learn how to grow their own food, raise poultry, keep bees, use gunpowder, cure meat, sew, weld, woodwork, can, preserve and various other skills that had been out of the public production as  mainstream knowledge for the better part of a half century. 

. . . 

The Nine Novels That Defined Steampunk

Johnathan Sebastian Greyshade has been involved with steampunk since the early days of the brass goggles forum. He and his wife kick started the steampunk community in San Diego California with a series of gatherings under the name Machina Fatalis. They went on to run Chrononaut, a steampunk club night that ran for two years. These days he DJs the occasional steampunk gig but his primary focus the Greyshade Estate where he applies steampunk philosophy to building a sustainable urban homestead.

I’m a librarian by profession, and a scholar by inclination, so when I got involved with the amazing confluence of ideas that was steampunk in mid naughts I naturally wanted to know where this idea of steampunk came from. Most steampunks know little about steampunk’s origins. We are part of a strange phenomenon in which loads of elaborately costumed people call themselves “fans” of books they can’t even name. This is not too surprising since steampunk didn’t become popular as a genre until after it inspired an art and lifestyle movement. The few histories of the genre are too lengthy for most people to digest, but not knowing the basics about where steampunk came from leaves its enthusiasts wallowing in a shallow puddle of clichés . . . (Read More)

Foundry Furnace - Final

[Updated. Click through for the details. I gotta stop saying "final iteration!" - Jake]

Here's the final iteration of my foundry furnace. I've re-built the burner to be fired with propane and waste oil rather than gasoline and waste oil. I built my oil injector based on plans from the wonderful folks over at Lionel Labs, it's essentially identical to "The Brute."  

I also added a light pole. Since I have a day job, night-time is often my only opportunity for recreation of the metal melting sort.

 

G.I.Z.M.O Duck sculpture

This sculpture by Deviantart user Timbone is insane and wonderful. I love how much detail, effort,  and care went into a character who's tagline was 'blathering blatherskite'.

Vintage Tomorrows - At Powell's Books Monday March 25th

Hey Portland! Don't miss futurist Brian David Johnson and cultural historian James Carrott at they explore steampunk, a cultural movement that's captivated thousands of artists, designers, makers, hackers, and writers throughout the world. The even is at Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing ​on Monday, March 25th @ 7:00PM. Hey! I really like the model they got for the cover photo!

From Amazon.com:

What would today’s technology look like with Victorian-era design and materials? That’s the world steampunk envisions: a mad-inventor collection of 21st century-inspired contraptions powered by steam and driven by gears. In this book, futurist Brian David Johnson and cultural historian James Carrott explore steampunk, a cultural movement that’s captivated thousands of artists, designers, makers, hackers, and writers throughout the world.

. . .

Making Joints in Telescoping Brass Tubing: Slip fit Press-fit Detent-fit.

Many makers have found uses for the telescoping brass tubing from K & S Engineering. This tubing is available in sizes from 1/16" up to 21/32" (modeltool.com is one retail source), and one of the useful features of this material is that each adjacent size telescopes neatly into the next. I use the tubing to make small organ pipes and tuned bicycle horns, generally working with the thin-wall (.014") variety, and I have developed a few techniques to adjust the fit between adjacent sizes, making airtight slip-fits and press-fits of adjustable tension, and also snap-together fits. These techniques all involve stretching or compressing the brass, and they don't involve the use of gaskets or adhesives. Whatever the tubing is to be used for, these techniques might give a maker some useful ideas for future projects. Len is a longtime friend of The Steampunk Workshop, fellow Wimshurst maker, and the creator of The Majectic Bellophone, among many of accomplishments. - Jake

Ayleen the Peacemaker at Roger Williams University: “Re-Racing Steampunk: Race, Memory & Retrofuturism”

Longtime friend of SPWS speaks at Roger Williams University on race and steampunk:  Re-Racing Steampunk: Race, Memory & Retrofuturism.

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