Reverie Fair Magazine - Page 3

steampunk

There are delicate shoots of tulip nosing through the thawed black earth that was a frozen crust only a few weeks ago. In town and country, people are waking to mornings that are warmer with each passing day. It’s spring, the time when life and possibilities explode from the ground. The world is ripe for change. It is a glorious cycle that we have enjoyed throughout history.

Consider the 1800s. As steam power and industry made survival less than a full time job, people began to have free time, and the world was waiting to be explored. Steamship expeditions crossed oceans to strange new lands, chugged up narrow rivers into jungles. Railroads crossed the American West. It was a time of intense creativity.

Before going out to gather our feature artists for this issue, I read up on Steampunk. It began as a literary genre, alternative future scenarios starting with the premise that, in the explosion of new technologies in the 1800s, all things were possible. From that fertile ground sprang films, books, television shows and games. Barbara Barrows takes an aerial pass over of the literary landscape of Steampunk in her regular feature, The Nook.

Steampunk has also grown into a worldwide counterculture. Rooted as it is in Victorian fashions and mannerisms, we embrace it to escape a 21st century that seems featureless and impersonal by comparison. Society in the 1800’s was more formal and refined than it is today. Social interaction had rules and manners. Clothing styles

were ornate, elaborate, and far more modest. Women had tiny waists and wore skirts that touched the ground. Men in

stovepipe hats carried walking sticks. Today, around the world, lovers of Steampunk gather at venues and events to revisit that time, and Cornelia Hess of Steampunk Decadence creates authentic costumes for them. We talked to Cornelia on Skype at her home workshop in Germany. Read about that conversation, and see just a few of her creations in The Thimble.

The machines that appeared and became common in the 19th century seem quaint to us today, but they were fascinating to the people of that period, intricate and interesting. Look at Tara Anderson’s Odditeapots in The Kiln. Her rustic hand thrown ceramic sculptures have an earthen personality so strong we can almost smell the soil. But she goes beyond the simple forms of bowls and pots, recreating them unto a complexity that channels mechanical invention in its infancy.

Nothing says Steampunk Spring like delicate green air plants springing from industrial gears and winch hooks. Zsuzsanna Bardu of Roots in Rust learned as a child in Hungary to incorporate life into art. Her work is well known in the United States now. Turn to The Nest to see some of our favorite

pieces.

The women you are about to meet are explorers, inventors, and romantics. Their creations are rooted in what they know, and spring from what they love. A sense of wonder leads these artists out on creative expeditions, building their works into things of beauty unheard of, or forgotten. We think they will draw you back to the seeds of projects begun in your own creative soil, and we can’t wait to see what grows.

Thanks for joining us.

Laura Slivinski , Senior Editor

Reverie Fair / FEB., 2015 4

Reverie Fair Spring Edition 2015

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