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Project

New(ish) Sewing Machine into an Old Table

Some time ago I found an antique White sewing machine at the dump. At first glance it looked to be in really good shape but upon closer inspection it was clear that it had sat in a damp environment for a long, long time. The hide glue on most of the wooded parts was no longer holding them together, the machine itself had rust inside and out, and the cast iron treadle frame was broken in two places. The machine sat in the corner of my office for a couple of years until I found a portable sewing machine from the 1970's that was almost unused and worked perfectly. That's when I decide to combine the two and make this a useful piece of furniture once again.

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Guest Post: The Ferris Hybrid

I'm excited to tell you that we have a guest author today!  Brandon Boyer is an engineering student at Ferris State University who is involved with the school's team build a diesel/electric hybrid car to compete in the Formula Hybrid International Competition in New Hampshire in April and May. - Jake

By Brandon Boyer

In 1901, Queen Victoria of The United Kingdom passed away. The same year Ferdinand Porsche developed the first ever hybrid vehicle, the Löhner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid. Today the spirit of Victorian ingenuity and know-how lives on. In Chilly Big Rapids Michigan, a small group of international engineering students are working towards their common goal, competing in the SAE International Hybrid Competition in New Hampshire later this year.

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Victorian RV - Bedroom Redecorated

Steampunk School bus RV Victorian BedroomI've never been completely satisfied with the Captain's cabin of my bus. The original ceiling in this section was finished with perforated steel sound absorbing panels that did a good job making it quiet but collected soot and dirt and were virtually uncleanable. My solution to this problem was to cover them with cloth. At the same time I decided to cover the rearmost windows with insulation and to do some decorative wood working using the carcas of an old pump organ that was found in the trash by the roadside.

Click through for more pictures of the finished bedroom.

Girl Genius Radio Theater Microphone

Girl Genius Radio Theater Steampunk MicrophoneI generally don't do commisions. But occasionally a conversation will spark an idea for a project and I'll create something like this microphone. In this case it was a conversation with Cheyenne Wright, one of the artists behind the Girl Genius webcomic and it took place at SteamCon 2009. Cheyenne, along with Kaja and Phil Foglio often perform Girl Genius Radio Theater skits at conventions and Cheyenne was looking for a microphone with the appropriate visual impact.

The project sounded interesting so I agreed to produce something, sometime. Steampunk Workshop is all about the slack, so I commit to no schedule, ever.

It's done when it's done.

In this case the microphone was done in time for SteamCon II where I was able to present it to Cheyenne.

Click through for the build log!

 

Mystic Radio - Hendrick's Gin Curate a Box Give Away

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!

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Sub-culture friendly Gender Playful Marketplace

Articles:

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.

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