1.- The interviewee
Based in Bellevue (Washington), Kevin is a prominent figure in the international Steampunk scene, awarded by his spreading role of the Steampunk current events and literature. Go ahead reading in order to learn more about Airship Ambassador, promising projects and much, much more…
2.- The interview
2.1.- About Steampunk… and Steampunk Jewelry
Kevin, there is no doubt that you are a leading figure of the Steampunk international scene. We do admire your dedication to spreading Steampunk, specially knowing that this is a one man project. Considering that you have a worldwide vision, we are most glad to count on your participation.
Q.- Tell us a bit about your project. When and why was Airship Ambassador born?
A.- Thank you for inviting me for this interview, I am very flattered! Airship Ambassador was born from a desire to participate more in the community. I was at the Nova Albion convention in March 2010, meeting friends and making new ones and when I was heading home, I thought I had something to contribute to the community and thought about the ways I could express that.
It started simply enough with a blog, and after a few essays about my thoughts on steampunk, I settled into a niche of interviewing people in the community. James Ng, who does Chinese steampunk artwork, was the first person I interviewed. I was enthralled by his artwork, which now hangs in my living room, and we’ve become good friends since then.
After that, there were authors, artists and convention organizers, among others, and there have been a few more essays and reviews. But the ideas didn’t stop there and started flowing constantly about what could be done and what I could do in the community.
That’s when the website started, about five months later. There were so many websites to track and I thought it would be handy to share them all in a central place for easy reference. From there, it just kept growing and growing and now that steampunk is so popular, it’s getting more challenging to keep up with the news and information each day.
There’s also a new BIG project from Airship Ambassador already in progress. Hopefully I will be able to share, and show, more in a few months.
While it is a fair bit of work to stay up to date and in touch with so many people, it really is very rewarding. I also work to make sure that Airship Ambassador has a global view and presence, but it is difficult to keep up with groups and activities around the world. I’ve been ‘meeting’ people around the world, and their help has been invaluable in learning more of what is happening.
And so a quick plug – I know there are steampunk communities all around the world, and I want to hear from you. If your group isn’t already listed on Airship Ambassador, please say hi and send along your information.
It has also been a lot of fun to learn much more about cities all over the world and hear people’s first hand accounts of living there. It’s one thing to read about a place or watch a documentary, but it is so much more vivid and personal to read someone’s letter and see their pictures. Whether it’s Hong Kong, Bucharest, Sydney, or Barcelona, that connection to other steampunks around the world makes it a bit smaller, a bit more neighborly, and a lot more connected.
Q.- Have you found big differences between the different Steampunk communities around the globe?
We are very pleased to let you know that we have been interviewed by Elisabet Roselló, who is one of the most relevant figures of the Spanish Steampunk scene. Elisabet is the founder ot the first Steampunk forum in Spanish language, SteampunkSP, and the promoter of the Convención Steampunk y Retrofuturista that has been taking place in Barcelona every year since 2009.
The interview was published on one of her blogs, Steampunk y Otros Retrofuturismos, on 7th May: ‘Entrevista a Decimononic, joyería de inspiración Steampunk’. If you speak Spanish you can read the complete interview on our Slideshare account (document embedded below). If you do not speak Spanish, you will probably find useful some help from Google Translator.
1.- The interviewees
Iain Clark (aka Agent Darling) is an award winning manufacturing jeweller and the instigator of Steampunk in New Zealand. A time traveller of great skill and cunning, he is timeless. He lives in a little cottage in a botanical garden in a little town in SE New Zealand with his partner and fellow Steampunk organiser Helen Jansen (aka Lady Helen Steampunk La Falconesse). Over the last 4 years, with the help of several others and the enthusiasm of the local community they have made Steampunk a national phenomenon and Oamaru is now as the capital of Steampunk in New Zealand.
2. The interview
2.1.- Steampunkers in New Zealand
This is our first ‘group’ interview, many thanks for accepting our invitation. Having this opportunity to interview you is very exciting for us, both for your long path in the Steampunk community and your vast experience in the fields of fashion and jewelry.
Q.-You have been pioneers of the Steampunk scene in New Zealand. Would you be so kind to tell us about its development process and current situation?
1.- The Indian Empire and ‘The Raj Collection’ by Decimononic
Orientalism achieved great popularity during the Victorian era and this ‘exotic’ Orient was a fluid concept in its meaning.
Before the XIX century, the term Orient made reference to the geographic area we call the Middle East now-a-days, an area that runs from modern day Turkey to Egypt to Iran. During this period the Orient revolved around the areas controlled by the Ottoman Empire and other following Arab nations/empires. As geographic knowledge of continental Asia increased and spread throughout Europe, the meaning of the Orient changed to include all these ‘brand new’ areas; the Orient grew to encompass India and then China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia.
Steampunkers have traditionally paid a lot of attention to the western countries during the Victorian era. However, and even focusing on this historical period only, there are many other amazing geographical areas to ‘explore’. Precisely this has encouraged us to look at the British India.
If you are interested in horological history, you should have heard about Waltham already.
Waltham is located in Massachusetts (USA) and it was a prototype for XIX century industrial city planning. Naturally Waltham was named ‘Watch City’ because it was related to the watch industry. Waltham Watch Company opened its factory in Waltham in 1854 and was the first company to make watches on an assembly line, producing more than 40 million watches, clocks and instruments until 1957.
At present The Watch City Festival takes place in the ‘Original Steampunk City’, as Waltham inhabitants call themselves.
Probably you will understand now why we could not help, but creating a pendant named ‘Ode to Waltham’.