Crafting at STEAMFest 2012
Created by professor on 4/23/2012 10:39:29 PM

A short description of some of the crafters present at STEAMfest 2012

Any Steampunk event worth its goggles has got to have a plethora of crafters, builders, designers and artists. SteamFEST 2012 delivered all of these in abundance. Pretty much every area was represented: jewelry, clothing, weapons, leather goods, masks, goggles, art and even comics. I had the opportunity to chat with some of these vendors and exhibitionists and I asked them to share with me what draws them to steampunk and what it means to them.

First off, there was the exhibition hall where The Apparation Abolishers was well represented. Hailing from Nashville, TN, they have 10 members and cover all aspects of crafting. I got to talk shop with their seamstress, Leah D'Andrea, about their outfits and got a picture of her showing off some of her creations. 

Featuring the creations of Torque Laboratories, the Abolishes specialize in capturing and displaying the supernatural creatures using their amazing devices.  You could practically hear the sizzle of aetheric ectoplasm when observing their weapons.Nearby, the works of Mark Curtis show showcase both an elegenace and simplicity that mesmerizes onlookers.

Outside in the lovely spring weather, there were a plethora of vendors with yet more amazing wares.  Aegis Steamcraft, owned and operated by Matt and Dena Brown, presented durable and beautiful leather goods as well as brooches worthy of adorning the loveliest of ladies.

Nearby, Upstate Steampunk showcased copper walking staves and heirloom quality wooden boxes that will likely last longer than their purchaser. The owner, Gypsey, has been working leather for 50 years and along with her partner Marla run the Upstate Steampunk Extravaganza and Meetup. Marla and Gypsey both agreed that the best part of crafting in the Steampunk community was the sense of acceptance that they get from everyone for their works.  I managed to convince them to pause long enough for me to take their picture.

Professor Raven's Curiosity Emporium had truly unique steampunk jewelry and enticed us with several different flavors of knick knacks as well.

Further wanderings outside the festival led me to more incredible makers.

Bizarrmory by Thomas Johnson and Oz Dillman featured precision die cut worksin striking contrast next to natural wood inspired creations. Not to mention a lovely cannon that lit up the night once the sun set.  Thomas was a weaponsmith that discovered when he joined a local maker group that the other members were very disturbed with him making actual weapons. Seems that in the South, real weapons had real liability. To completley avoid that issue, he turned to crafting for his creative weapons outlet. All of the visual aesthetic but less of the actual danger. His co-owner Oz agreed taht steampunk was the perfect creativef outlet for makers such as themselves. Oz had always had a CnC machine and his imagination brought to life some stunning creations with it.

While meadering about, I was lucky to happen upon a small trio of artists sharing a tiny booth and packing an amazing amount of talent into a small space. Collene Toliver designed jewlery and other small crafts while her friend Erik Teague displayed a host of outfits designed and built by himself. Quiet but nevertheless impressive, their friend Bowman wowed us with several sketches
that showed her artistic talent.

And no event in Atlanta would be complete without Atlanta's own Penny Dreadful Productions. Matt Silva and company were out showing some of their props and builds from the REMNANT series that has been all the rage.

In addition to the festival exhibitors, there were dozens of festival patrons that also displayed their own creations.

Unfortuantely, I was unable to talk to all the creative makers present a length. But I would be remiss not mention some of the others that I briefly had a chance to visit: Costumes Etc who sells excellent starter outfits for those just beginning to express their inner steampunk, the Venusian Airship Pirate Trading Company that had dozens of of their characteristic weaponry on display, Throne Jewelry, The Bead Shoppe with More Beads Than You Can Imagine.  

I apologize in advance if I failed to mention one of the excellent makers present. I can assure you it was due to my own limitations and not due to a lack of quality on their part.

If you missed STEAMFest then you surely did miss a treat. And if you find your self in Atlanta next year then you should certainly make an effort to attend. The crafting alone is worth the price of admission.

Vernard Martin, aka The Professor,  is Interim Crafts editor for the Steampunk Chronicle and co-Cogspinner for the SPC website. He spends his day time hours pondering the mysteries of the Aether at the Emory Center for Comprehensive Informatics. His night time hours are dedicated to the enlightenment of students at local universities.

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