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The Steampunk Strat and the Creative Commons.

I don't make anything for sale. I write webpages about the things I make and consider this to be the real product of my work.

But I also hate telling people that they can't have something that they really, really want. So here's what I did and here's how it's working out (pretty well, I think!)


Datamancer Sojourner on eBay

A rare opportunity to purchase a complete Datamancer Sojourner keyboard on eBay!



1892 repro shoes

The always awesome Doctor Popular writes:

Hey Jake,

I believe you know about my recent sponsorship deal with Colchester Rubber Co. If not, you can read about it here http://www.docpop.org/2010/03/29/doc-pops-got-sole.html

They are extending their $18.92 sale for one more day and getting rid of the "email us to get a promo code" thing. So until 11:59 pm April 1st you can still buy a pair of shoes for the "Doc Pop discount". I noticed a couple folks commenting that these shoes could be easily modded to fit a steampunk aesthetic, so I thought I'd drop you a line in case you wanted to mention the deal on y'r bloghole. I'll also be donating my proceeds for the shoes sold to a local non-profit.

Hope y'r swell,

-Doctor Popular   [Thanks Doc! Hope to see you again soon at Maker Faire! -Jake]

These Shoes Rule - for the Ladies

Someone once told me that the first things people look at when they meet you are your shoes and your hands. It's very easy to tell if someone uses their hands to make things as they tend to have callouses, weathered skin, and may have curious stains or broken nails. Shoe choice reads just as clearly--do your shoes match your outfit? Are they stylish and functional? Are they impractical, well-designed, worn out, or coated in dust from the workshop?

I personally love how shoes complete an outfit, and I have a special lust for vintage-influenced footwear, both practical and whimsical. It can be very difficult to acquire antique footwear that fits a modern foot--our predecessors often had shorter, narrower feet--or that hasn't been worn to death. I am fortunate enough to own a pair of 1930s oxfords that fit my slender feet, a set of antique leather roller skates, and some killer scarlet pointy-toed punk boots from back in the day. However, if you're not so lucky as to have a real vintage shoe collection, lots of modern shoes still nod at the past in their design (and fit bigger feet). There is nothing quite like the curve of a Louis heel, mmhmm.

Here's a selection of shoes (ranging from totally casual to super decadent) for the ladies I've found in scouring the interwebs that all have vintage flair. I'll be doing a similar post for you gentleman types, never you fear. :) And hey, not all of these are brown and clunky! Yay! Let's get some SHOES!


I'm pretty excited about this! The author, Jon Munger is a friend and he along with artist Krista Brennan have done an amazing job!! 

Virtuoso is an alternate history of an Africa that never existed, one run by steel and springs, commanded by vast matriarchies and past the height of its culture.

Virtuoso is the story of Jnembi Osse, a professional weapons manufacturer for the most powerful empire in the world, and how her private rebellion becomes a full scale international incident.

Read the web version here and see where to get the full comic here!

Silver Goggles

I am really excited that we're starting to see sites dedicated to using the lens of Steampunk to examine social issues in both modern and historical milieus. Silver Goggles is one such site, examining issues of colonialism, imperialism and politics. From the masthead:

The purpose of Silver Goggles is to deconstruct narratives in steampunk, with a particular focus on the issues of colonialism, imperialism and politics, as they appear within steampunk literature and/or roleplay, in order to de-center the traditional Eurocentric focus. Using a wide range of postcolonial, post-structuralist, post-modern, race and feminist theories, Silver Goggles will analyze the language / discourse of steampunk that drive and/or reinforce current trends and representations of steampunk elements.

Silver Goggles is the work of Jaymee Goh who I've followed on twitter for some time and who I'm excited about meeting for the first time at the Steampunk World's Fair in May. Jaymee recently posted a particularly interesting and timely piece:  Countering Victorientalism. Folks, this is smart and important stuff.

World Steam Expo - Michigan!

Arthur writes:

The First Annual World Steam Expo is coming to the midwest!  Be there as we break new ground in the steampunk world with exciting guests including Abney Park and Tartanic!  See the Mad Scientist's marvelous contraptions at the Mad Science Fair!    Be dazzled at the Midnight Carnival!  Join the gentry for the charity masquerade ball to raise money for local educational programs!  See Thomas Edison's actual laboratory!  Go hands on in the museum dedicated to industry!  There will be panelists from all over the steampunk world that have stumped us with awe and amazement such as the Foglio's of "Girl Genius" and the mythic G.D. Falksen!  Don't miss out on the opportunity to see all of them and much more! 

The event will take place Memorial Day weekend from Friday, May 28th through Monday, May 31st!
This amazing exposition will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn along with the Henry Ford Museusm and Greenfield Village!

Etsy Fashion Finds #1

Etsy.com is indubitably Mecca for handmade steampunk clothing. Here are a few awesome pieces I dug up this morning. If you have any favorite Etsy sellers or items, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Read on for details!

Thank you.

Quaintrelles, Dandies, and Flâneurs #3


Back with another round of street fashion and casual, wearable steampunk! This week's featured soul is writer and critic Jessica Lawson. I stayed at her current residence in San Francisco last week as I toured with The Ghosts Project, and I was pleasantly surprised when she emerged in the following get-up. Jessica is employed as a teacher at the University of Iowa, and her clothing choices prove that one can be professional and fashion forward simultaneously.

We took these images outside Macky Hall on the California College of the Arts campus, Oakland, CA. Thank you to Jessica for posing for me and for letting me borrow her camera. I thought I'd be clever and leave my SLR at home for a change, but it seems I can't escape playing photog, ever. :) Read on for outfit details!

Yr Doin' It Right #2 - Flickr Favorites

5314mOne of my favorite late-night time-wasting activities is trolling Flickr for shiny bits. There are so many glorious puddles of inspiration nestled in photo sets and galleries, and I adore frolicking through them. I'd like to share with you some of my tasty findings in regards to vintage punk fashion. Delish.

Thank you to all of the models, photographers, artists, and designers whose work I reference below. Click through the photos for additional details. <3

[Image to the right is of Magdalene Veen, taken by The Dag Lab. Stained fishnet stockings make sexy arm accessories.]

Connections: Fashion, Social Networking, and Fabbing

Source: AYYA Wear

This morning I awoke to find that one of my bots alerted me that someone at the Wall Street Journal used the word "Steampunk" in an article in the Fashion section. It was only a brief mention:

A chief executive in the tech business may don Gap chinos and a blazer for work, while investment banking chiefs remain loyal to their Zegna suits. Others dress according to the mores of their own personal tribes: If you don't dress steampunk, you may not even know it's a style (think 19th-century mad scientist in leather waistcoat with goggles and a pocket watch).

However, what really caught my eye was the previous paragraph:

Rather than fuss about skirt lengths or the season's silhouette, people now dress the way they see themselves, choosing looks that flatter their bodies and fit their lifestyles. Most of us dress with our social groups or professions, rather than fashion trends, using clothes to flash messages about who we are.  [Read More . . . ]

Corsets and Cogs - A Steampunk Wedding Cake!

 Amanda writes:

This was one of the cakes I created for The Great Cake Bake produced by Wedding TV.

The category for this one was Steampunk and so far I have only come across one lady (after a comment on my blog) who knows what steampunk is.

Well, I'm sure everyone here not only knows what Steampunk is but shares my drop-jaw wonder at this fabulous wedding cake! Click through for a couple more pics!

Corporate Steampunk Fashion

In Jake's post on goth, via the comment thread, Sangori asked a fashion question I'd like to address:

"How do you really, I mean really, incorporate your subculture style into your everyday work life?

Call me a fence-straddler, (I have come to terms with the fact that I am) but I am having real trouble finding a way to incorporate my love of steampunk inspired Victoriana with my work wardrobe in a way that puts off a fully professional image. Being that I have a toddler at home and don't get out much other than to go to work I have to express myself through fashion mostly in a work-appropriate way. While in a creative field, I do spend my nine-to-five in an office environment. I certainly have a found a few choice pieces that do cross between work and steam well enough, and I have a covet/shopping list of a few more (think tall brown boots, tweed skirts and vests, a herringbone newsboy cap and camel coat to brave the cold weather in). However, while I feel confident in my steampunk styled toggs I can't help but worry that my sense of theme dressing comes off as a bit costumey to my employers and colleagues.

Is my worry more a facet of being unwilling to fully commit to the cultural aesthetic of steampunk style, or something more valid that others struggle with?"

Bloody good question. Ok, so, first of all, I don't think having problems finding work-appropriate attire means that one isn't entirely invested in a subculture. It's not a matter of lowering one's standards, per se. Being conscious of how your fashion choices affect both your own disposition as well as the way others perceive you is actually an incredibly mature way of looking at the closet. There is a fine line between being fearless and being foolish with your wardrobe, so I'm pleased that Sangori is questioning this.

Gothic Revival

I've been thinking a lot about Goth lately. I missed the advent of Goth almost entirely. In my youth I was a devotee of Punk and New Wave, a child of the second British invasion.  Goth didn't really get going until just about the time I was entering the workforce and my own attentions were focused on coming to grips with adult life in a capitalist society. Thus, it wasn't until quite recently that I started paying attention to the Goth aesthetic and musical forms.

Right now some of you are nodding knowingly and some of you are looking puzzled.  The puzzled ones are the folks who, like me, missed out on the Goth sub-culture and have no idea how closely Steampunk and Goth are related. 

Steampunk Cruise on Sydney Harbor

Patrick writes:

On the 19th of December I had the good fortune to be a part of a Steampunk Cruise aboard a restored 1902 Steamship called 'The Waratah'. It was a truly incredible Steampunk event and we were fortunate enough to have had a professional photographer onboard with us.

Click through for a few more photos and a link to the full set of wonderful images of what I'm sure was a fabulous cruise of Sydney harbor.  

I am most jealous of these fine folk as they cruise the warm waters of the Southern hemisphere whilst I sit through yet another New England Winter.  Brrrr....

. . .


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