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Greetings and Salutations

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Good day, gentlepeople. I am Annie, and I am thrilled to be here among the contributors at Steampunk Workshop. This is especially exciting for me because though my day job also involves writing (and a lot of editing), it's generally pretty topical (and that topic is videogames). While I do love games-related things with the fiery passion of Eta Carinae, I also believe that variety is the spice of life, and PS3 controllers make my wrists hurt. So in short, I'm enthused to have the opportunity to cover things outside the usual realm of work, and more inside the realm of the unique and handmade. And yes, the obvious intersection here would be steampunk casemods, so if you've done them, let me know!

In the meantime...

Michele Lynch Art mixed media

Dark steampunk goth art just in time for valintines day.  Michele Lynch is a mixed media artist with a touch of steampunk.  Her creations have wonderful anime eyes that play well on the reused bodies of savleged machinery.

 

Another one of my favorites, the Surgeon piece is just after the cut.

A Scarf a Day!

Hey y'all! SPWS' own Meredith Scheff is doing a "Scarf-a-Day" project that you should definitely check-out!

Starting january 1, 2011, I will make one scarf a day each day in the month. I'll be using everything from traditional techniques and materials to the experimental, the new, the weird, the possibly edible. At the end of the month there will be an art show and interactive scarf making session.

Why a scarf a day? I love the idea of wearable art, silly but functional. I'm also really inspired by the works that have come out of the various [ ]-a-day projects- they push you to your limits and make you think of things you never would otherwise. Jewelry is OK for some, but for me, personal adornment is best when it's warm and fuzzy. And silly. And fun. Or weird.

This project is the recipient of an Awesome Foundation grant, but I need help to really pull this off with style. I'll be using all sorts of tech and materials- laser cutters, cnc machines, soft circuit tech, anything I can get my hands on!

I'll also be blogging the heck out of the project at www.ladycartoonist.com

Magnolia Pearl

I love small spaces, tiny houses, and non-traditional campers, so the Magnolia Pearl, an Airstream trailer, pushes all of my buttons!  Add to the lush sensuous interior the fact that the tow vehicle is a classic Rolls Royce on what appears to be a 4 wheel drive truck chassis and I am lost. Lost!

I'm starting to do some work on my bus again and these have photos inspired me to do something special for the master bedroom, there are some hints as to my plans after the cut!

Things used to be prettier: The Slant-O-Matic 500

Just look at it.

I'm spending my holiday getting ready for my Scarf-a-Day project, which means lots of looking at lots of fabric and sewing machines. I've thus far just been using a 1940's singer, but I think it's time for a change, and I want a machine that can do different stitches. 

In my research I ran across this beauty: The Singer Slant-o-Matic 500 Rocketeer. No joke, that's what it's called.  I immediately fell in deep machine-love, but I've learned my lesson and decided to do some more research. Turns out, the Rocketeer is kind of interesting- not only is all metal gears, it's only gears and no timing chain at all. Like a lot of sewing machines from this era, you change your stitch shape by using different shaped metal cams. Again, this machine does something different- there's a stack of cams, and you can select multiples to customize stitches. 

Ok, that's enough blabbing. Unfortunately, he's made his videos un-embedable, so check out the sweet action, over on BrianSewes

 

Steampunk Etch-a-Sketch

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Reddit user HaloKitty made this as a Christmas present for a friend. Well done!

Sub-culture friendly Gender Playful Marketplace

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UPDATED: Donate now at http://genderplayful.tumblr.com/ to get this off the ground!

One of the really wonderful things about Steampunk is that it, more than any other sub-culture, seems to want to teach us things. I have always been very interested in the technology of the 19th Century, it's been a passion since a very young age. this passion is certainly part of what got me interested in Steampunk in the first place. However, as I delved deeper into the history of technology I got really interested in other aspects of how the world changed during the Industrial Revolution.

In particular I became interested in the Women's Movement, which began in the late 19th century, feminism, and gender theory. Chasing down this rabbit hole has lead me to books like Marilyn French's Beyond Power, which is currently blowing my mind and has the feel of one of those books that forever changes to way you view the world. I also started to cultivate an interest in fashion which friend and co-editor Libby Bulloff has mercilessly encouraged.

Recently, Libby and I presented a panel at SteamCon II in Seattle we called "Queering Steampunk Fashion."  For some time now Libby and I have been interested in Steampunk garb that is fashion rather than costume. Clothes that you can wear outside of the convention environment but are still clearly transgressive and something other than a pure affectation of Victorian wear. Since the 19th century was a period in time where fashion became particularly rigid for both men and women, and since what we do in Steampunk is joyfully rip things out of context and re-mix them to our own desire, queering Steampunk fashion seemed like a no brainer. You can read all about our presentation here.

And that brings me to the subject of today's post. One of the points that Libby and I tried to get across in our presentation is that gender-bending fashion and re-mixing gender-typed garments presents a great opportunity in Steampunk fashion and personal expression as well. As Libby puts it: "Androgyny should be a gender Smörgåsbord not an absence of gender" which is why we are both excited about this new project from GenderFork creator Sarah Dopp. Please watch the video and click through and help her out if you're excited by it too.

Cheers!

Jake.

“Music, Merriment, and Men in Skirts”

Abney Park on the Main stage at SteamCon II

Well I had a fantastic time in Seattle a couple of weeks ago at SteamCon II! I promised to be a correspondent for Beyond Victoriana for this one so you'll need to head over there to read about the convention, the panels I did, the young lady I electrocuted, the skirt I wore, and the evening spent in Abney Park's hot tub

The Only True Steampunk Project on the Internet

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I can not express how awesome this is! Not only is it Steampunk, but the speed is controlled with and Arduino!  See the whole story here.
(this is new from Simon Jansen!)

Gift guide #1: Animal parts

be careful not to bite

By BillyBlue22, info below the cut.

I'm going to say right off the bat that I am not a fan of the greater american gift giving frenzy. I don't do black friday deals, I don't by things out of some obligation to do so. 

However, that being said, I do find joy in giving gifts. My friends and I used to practice 'Present Day'. Present Day was any day between December 15th and January 15th. You had the option to give (or not) gifts to as many or few people as you wanted- on any day in that month. It was spontaneous, it was fun. 

So, If you practice any kind of Present Day, I'm going to do a few gift guides. Just things I see around that I would be thrilled to receive, for whatever reason. This time: animal parts. Vegans, take note: animal parts of made of animals. Usually (hopefully) dead ones. 

 

"Une Saison En Enfer" - Ghost Illusion Automaton by Thomas Kuntz

Thomas Kuntz, who we've featured here before, wrote me a couple of days ago with his latest project and it is breath-taking! I particularly love the way that Thomas includes the whole story of the creation of his pieces in the videos he produces including the reference artwork and in-process sketches. I am also in serious envy of his miniature lathes and machine tools!

Polmugater

This is the first of what is likely to be many posts covering the New Zealand's The League of Victorian ImagineerThey have a great blog and run a yearly exhibition and fashion show.  The next fasion show will be at Oamaru Opera House on the 5th June 2011.

Here is the first peice I m covering called the Polmugater made by Literacy North Otago students:

The Intergalactic Promulgation Transmogrification Appliance is a draw card at the Steampunk Exhibition at the Forrester Gallery in Oamaru, New Zealand. It is the result of an outpouring of creative genuis from a group of people working together under the umbrella of Literacy North Otago. This project has brought people together from a diverse background and has allowed them to develop skills and explore new areas of creativity. Literacy for us includes a wide range of skills and competencies and a project like this has enabled many to be further developed.

After the cut there is a great video of the making of the Polmugater.

Blackbird Orchestra at SteamCon II

Update: It's even better because I just found out that Unwoman (Erica Mulkey) is playing 3 songs with Blackbird Orchestra at SteamCon!
OMG! Squee! her
Casualties and The Keys albums have been in my rotation since she issued them.

Oh Cool! I've just discovered that Blackbird Orchestra is playing SteamCom II next week (Sunday 1-2 PM in the Cabaret) so I will be able to see them live! I am really enjoying their latest Fables and Fields Green You should probably buy a copy now lest they sellout at SteamKaaahn!.

Steampunk Frankenstein Art

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Kevin Mowrer has started a blog to share some of his woderful art.  As you can see the art rocks but what I really like about it is the philosophy behind it:

Since I'm in the business of property development, the prevailing dogma says "Don't share anything publicly that you don't want used by someone else!" I think that we are now living in an age where putting your work out there for a larger community than just your clients is the right thing to do. I am inspired by work I see others posting and hope that some of what I do also adds to the energy and excitement. I hope you enjoy the strange things that come out of my head from time to time.

More art after the jump:

Steampunk comes to the Pier Show

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Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum are taking some of their Steampunked Home on the road, specifically to The Pier Antique show in New York. See the press release below.  -Jake


STEAMPUNK COMES TO THE PIER SHOW

NOV. 13 & 14, 2010

Think Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.  Think Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll.  Mix mad-scientist speculation with Victorian sensibility and throw in a bit of Sci-Fi.  What do you have?  Steampunk – one of the most fascinating design and lifestyle trends today.  At the upcoming Pier Show, Nov. 13 & 14 on Pier 94, Steampunk will take center stage when ten of its most avid admirers and practitioners present the Steampunk House - – a fantastic, futuristic exhibit devoted to Steampunk creations and design ideas for the home. 

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