Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why I Love Steampunk

Steampunk, a design style that based on how Victorians would have visualized the technology we have today, is one of my most favorite design styles. It is all about brass fittings, glass, gears, and  articulated arms.  And it has been, since I was a little kid! One of my earliest favorite toys was "Mr Machine." I got one for Christmas when I was about 5 years old. When you wound it up, you could see all the gears moving as it moved across the floor. I loved it! It also came with a little wrench, so I took him all apart. Of course, it was beyond my ability to put him back together. So Mr Machine went into a paper sack, and then, without my knowing, my mother threw him away! Tragedy!

My family was kind of Steampunk, as well. For example, we had lots of strange machinery. My father was an engineer, and he could make anything, if he had enough parts. So we had an old Teletype machine, and in the early 1980's, dad turned it into a printer for the microcomputer that he built. Dad used to say about the Teletype machine, "It looks bad, it sounds bad, and it smells bad." We also had an old organ (that was in Eastlake style) that he had connected to an old Electrolux vacuum), so that it was a pipe organ. The vacuum clearner was kind of loud, but the organ was louder!

My father also had a large collection of antique telegraph keys. Recently he started to slim down his belongings, and he sent me one of them. It is really a beautiful thing. So you can see, there was no chance that I was going to escape a love for Steampunk style.

As I grew up, I developed a love for Thomas Mann jewelery. Thomas Mann is a designer from New Orleans, and he describes his style as "techno-romantic." It is all gears and brass and rivits. Here's a sample of his work from his website.

I also love skeleton watches. I have kind of a love-hate relationship with watches, mostly because they seem to break on me all the time. I can't keep one running. Now I only wear one when I am traveling and need to check what time it is so I know when the torture (flying) will stop or when I need to get to the gate or if I have time to go to the bathroom (again!). Unfortunately, they don't seem to make skeleton watches for women.

Anyway, all these diverse loves and attractions have made me a sucker for all things steam punk!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kickstarter Project: The Manual

I love Kickstarter, a site for crowdfunding creative projects. Here's a project I have recently supported: The Manual. According to The Manual's creators, "The Manual is a new, beautifully crafted journal that takes a fresh look, in print, at design on the web. Published three times a year—with the first due this summer—each issue will have six substantial, beautifully illustrated feature articles, along with several additional pages of rich material."

Take a look at their video, and checkout Kickstarter.