Steampunk?

12 07 2009

I woke up today wondering how I could possibly find a way to talk enough people into paying me minimum wage, just minimum wage is good enough, for doing the quality of fiberwork-needlework-fiberarts you now usually only find in shops that sell antique textiles.

There are people who manage to do it one way or another. Some are costumers with high-end clients or costumers for period dramas where the work will be seen up close and has to be authentically done. Some have written books and are well enough known to be in demand worldwide as teachers. The lastest issue of Selvege

http://www.selvedge.org/

 features a studio known for the quality of its pleating. LeSage

http://www.lesage-paris.com/

 and Hand and Lock

http://www.handembroidery.com/

 do exquisite embroidery.

My version of “If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow why oh why can’t I?”

Tonight, for some reason, I decided to finally see what the word “steampunk”, which keeps entering my range of awareness, really meant.

As I understand it, the origin is a type of fiction that blends older times (often Victorian) and modern advances (think the old TV show/movie Wild Wild West) . What if the Hindenburg never happened and the dirigible was highly developed instead of the airplane? What if computers ran on clockworks? In fashion and furnishings, it’s related to punk. A corset made of a computer game based print might be steampunk. I’m still getting a handle on it.

If I understand it correctly, a cushion made of black muslin smocked with neon threads or threads that are essentially white until they turn colors in strong light would be steampunk. Free lace done all in black, perhaps. (I keep thinking black, but all the Victorian colors would work. I think I see the potential for using all those practically achaic skills I love and admire in a way that has a current market.

By the way, I finished my ethereal random-long-tucked machine knit shawl. I’ll scan and post a picture detail of it tomorrow. I like it. It gives the impression of well-worn tatters that I wanted. I’m going to do more with the technique.

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