1.- About Steampunk Hands Around the World
For fourth year in a row, Steampunk Hands around the World is taking place throughout the month of February.
As the promoter of this event, Kevin Steil, said, ‘the 2017 theme of the annual month long blogathon is “Making Life Better”. Each day from Wednesday, February 1st through Tuesday the 28th, contributors will share some of the many ways in which steampunk can and has made life better. Everyone, steampunks and non-steampunks alike, will be able to share in the information about who and what inspires us to keep exploring, expanding, and enhancing our community every day’.
2.- Our approach
Las year we explored how Steampunk influences other alternative lifestyles (we focused on the existing relationship between Steampunk and the fetish latex scene). This year we wanted to pay attention to one of the key facets of our lifes: our activity as jewelers. Not by accident steampunk inspired our Machinarium collection.
How has Steampunk made jewelry better? The truth is that there are many talented people that create costume jewelry with steampunk inspiration. And that’s lovely. However, there are less artisans that design and manufacture fine jewelry taking Steampunk as an influence. This is why we wanted to highlight their works.
We have gathered a group of outstanding international jewelers that have two things in common:
- They use precious materials (noble metals, gemstones, etc.) and professional metalsmithing techniques.
- They acknowledge Steampunk inspiration.
We do hope that you like our selection (and if you know of other fine jewelers that acknowledge Steampunk inspiration, let us know!). If you love steampunk, you will like it. If you love jewelry, you will be delighted. And if you love both steampunk and jewelry… well, you cannot miss this!
3.- Amazing Steampunk-inspired fine jewelers
4.- More #SteampunkHands
Remember that there many ongoing activities related to this initiative and that the best place to stay up-to-date about them is following the Official link list and the Airship Ambassador Official Website: www.airshipambassador.com.
This is the questionnaire that the Spanish writer Josué Ramos sent us in order to publish the corresponding interview within the scope of Steampunk Hands around the World 2014.
The interview was originally published at MundoSteampunk.Net on 21st February, including the answers of creators like Sally-Ann Livingston and Malcolm Sinclair. Josué did a great work with an outstanding series of blog posts regarding Steampunk Hands around the World, and having the opportunity to collaborate with him was a priviledge. Do not miss the results!
This is a bilingual Spanish-English document.
1.- The interviewee
Gretchen Jacobsen (aka Wilhelmina Frame) is a freelance producer, award-winning costumer, prolific crafter and frequent convention panelist; her alter-ego, Ms. Frame, Editrix de Mode for Steampunk Chronicle and Part Time Lion Tamer, travels the globe in pursuit of adventure and style. When not in the circus ring with Rajah, her tiger and the rest of her “Kitten Kabal” (seven lions, three cheetahs and a rather droll panther), Ms. Frame can be seen at the most fabulous parties, in the latest fashions, sparkling with wit in conversation. In addition, she is the founder and Tiffin Master of The American Tea Duelling Society.
2.- Steampunk media and fashion
Q.- Gretchen, your Steampunk persona is Wilhelmina Frame (part time Lion Tamer, full time Adventuress). Why did you choose this nom de guerre?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. In the summers when I was young my family would often take day trips up to various places in nearby Wisconsin. One of these was Circus World in Barabo. Circus World is a museum, showplace and historic site at the former winter headquarters of The Ringling Brothers’ Circus. One time when we visiting, the wild animal tamers were mingling with the visitors and carrying a tiger cub. They were quietly going up to select parents and offering a photo opportunity with the tiger. My parents were never the kind of to pay for these kinds of things, but due to the uniqueness of the offer and, most likely, my wide eyes, they agreed to pay for the photo. The trainers sat me down in front of a circus wagon, put a blanket of some sort on my lap, told me to smile and quickly put the dozy tiger cub in my lap. The moment lasted an instant but the memory and the photo will be with me always. This was the inspiration for Part Time Lion Tamer!
When trying to figure out a steampunk persona, I wanted something that could realistically support a variety of places, moods and adventures — and the clothes to go with them. A wild animal tamer seemed to fit that bill. Victorians were all about dressing for the occasion and being a lion tamer — even if part time — gave me ample excuses to vary my dress. I would have performance costumes, safari gear, outfits to mingle with the rough and tumble circus types, gowns for when I would mingle with the rich and powerful since I would obviously be famous and infamous. I would have reasons to travel and meet people from all walks. And I would, obviously, have lots and lots of lovely pets.
As for the actual name, Wilhelmina is very Victorian and has some family history attached. The Germanic derivation of Wilhelmina also reflects back nicely to Gretchen. I liked the idea of being referred to as Wil, although it seems that the more common nickname would have been Billie. Frame? Well it just sounded good. A nice sharp end to an otherwise obtuse name.
Q.- You have been Steampunk Chronicle’s Editrix de Mode for a long time. How did your collaboration with Steampunk Chronicle begin?
I was recommended to Deadline Dan, Steampunk Chronicle’s publisher by our former media editor, DJ Doctor Q. Doctor Q knew me and my fashion sense from various Steampunk events. The Chronicle was in need of a fashion editor so Deadline Dan asked me for a meeting. We met at my favorite bar, talked about our Steampunk philosophies and after a few rounds of delicious brews, I was the new Editrix de Mode of Steampunk Chronicle.
Q.- You have a wide experience as broadcast producer. From your point of view, what role does media play in the growth and development of the Steampunk community in the USA and abroad?
Honestly, not much! Traditional broadcast media — television, radio, film — hasn’t really picked up on Steampunk. While there have been a couple of music videos, Panic! at the Disco being a good example and Justin Beiber being a bad example, we really haven’t seen that much Steampunk representation. A lot of people point to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Firefly. They were released near to each other in 2002 – 2003 so they are little early for me to be representative of what we now call Steampunk. Really, we have yet to see our great magnum opus in cinema or television. Everyone is looking to Lantern City but we don’t have a confirmed release for that.
Where you are seeing Steampunk is in online media and in print. The internet is really what brought Steampunk to prominence. It’s also how Steampunks from around the world are finding out about each other. Steampunk based literature has been popular and many would argue that literature is where Steampunk truly has its roots. To a lesser degree, mainstream news media is picking up on Steampunk through its coverage of art, fashion, and trends in consumer goods.
Q.- In addition, we have to consider the famous Steampunk Chronicle’s Reader’s Choice Awards. We were among the nominees to the 2013 awards thanks to our Sky Captain Series and it was a fantastic experience. Do you think there should be a category for the ‘Best Steampunk Jeweler’?
About Laura Márquez’s Gallery
If you live in Spain and love art jewelry, you will have heard about Laura Marquez’s Gallery for sure. For those of you who have never heard about her, let us clarify that Laura Márquez is a renowned jeweller, expert gemologist and well-respected teacher with a long professional career and her own art jewelry gallery in Madrid since 1999.
My partner Irene López and I are most pleased to announce that some selected jewelry pieces from our Machinarium Collection are going to be exhibited at Laura Marquez’s Gallery until the end of February 2014. Taking advantage of the fact that not only art jewelry may be found at Laura Marquez’s Gallery, but also works of art of many other disciplines (painting, sculpture, etc.), an opening reception will take place on Thursday 12th December featuring our Machinarium Collection and the outstanding paintings of Natália Ruiz Llopart, a really promising multidisciplinary artist from Barcelona.
Why the Machinarium Collection?
Decimononic’s Machinarium Collection has been selected due to:
1.- The interviewee
Austin Sirkin, a scholar and writer who has been studying the Steampunk movement for nearly a decade, and is one of the world’s leading experts on it. His work can be found in various blogs around the internet, as well as in the recent anthology Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution
2.- Steampunk beyond conventionalisms
Q.- Austin, we love your sense of humour (try reading ‘15 Types Of Annoying Steampunks’ without smiling) and your irreverent approach to Steampunk because we are convinced that a fresh look is essential in order to develop a deeper and wider vision. You have been involved in the US Steampunk scene since 2006 with a prolific activity as divulgator: blogger, columnist, panelist, podcaster… Why is Steampunk so attractive for you?
Austin Sirkin (AS).- Thank you! I think that when you get involved with something you love a lot, it’s easy to lose your sense of humor. Since no one is making tons of money on Steampunk, everyone is involved because they love it. That can lead to a lot of ruffled feathers! As a result, I always try to include my sense of humor in anything I write so as to bring some smiles back into what can be an awfully upsetting dialogue for many.
Steampunk is attractive to me for a variety of reasons. First of all, I grew up reading as much sci-fi and fantasy as I could get my hands on, among which were the classics by Verne and Wells. I also grew up watching reruns of The Wild, Wild West, so I’ve always had an interest in Steampunk since before I even knew that it was a “thing”. Second, my clothing preferences have always leaned toward the fancy and Victorian, so when I discovered Steampunk, it was sort of a natural fit. Third, for the longest time, I wanted to be more involved in costuming, but until Steampunk took hold, it was exceedingly rare to find someone cosplaying a unique character. Practically everyone was dressed up as a character from a movie, or a TV show, or a comic book, or whatever, and let me tell you how hard it is to find characters in popular media that are a little on the heavyset side who have a goatee and glasses; it’s extremely hard! So when the metaphorical Steampunk ship pulled up with the prospect of cosplaying unique characters, I jumped right on board!