Just another Steampunk Monday


How about a little The Cog Is Dead for Musical Monday? 

 Seems to go well with this email from Bruce Rosenbaum. (Remember Bruce his amazing Steampunk Home? He stopped by in May for this fun interview.) Are you lucky enough to be in NYC this weekend? Into antiques or steampunk? If yes, keep reading. (By the way, you can click any captions for more info about photos.) If no, skip to the bottom for some Musical Monday links. 

Bruce Rosenbaum & the Victorian Organ Command Desk - photo courtesy of Jake Von Slatt



NOV. 13 & 14, 2010
Think Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.  Think Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll.  Mix mad-scientist speculation with Victorian sensibility and throw in a bit of Sci-Fi.  What do you have?  Steampunk one of the most fascinating design and lifestyle trends today.  At the upcoming Pier Show, Nov. 13 & 14 on Pier 94, Steampunk will take center stage when six of its most avid admirers and practitioners present the Steampunk House - – a fantastic, futuristic exhibit devoted to Steam Punk creations and design ideas for the home.

With everything on display for sale, this innovative Steampunk House marries the best of bygone eras with the comfort and convenience of modern day living.  The results at first boggle the eye, but are nothing short of spectacular!

“Steampunk design showcases how form and function, creativity and fun, reuse, restoration and reimagining can transform objects, giving them a second life.,” notes Bruce & Melanie Rosenbaum of ModVic, who have contributed their Steampunk expertise to the organizing of the Pier show exhibit and sale.  “In this sense, it is the ultimate expression of going green with antiques.”  Steampunk design takes the best parts of a bygone era and infuses the modern comforts and technology of the present day.

The Time Machine print from BristlesAndNibs.etsy.com
Steampunk is all about technology – a world where human intellect and wonder intersect with science.  During the early nineteenth century, a scientist could make anything in his basement.  It might be clunky looking, but it was compelling and interesting.  And, yes, it would work!  The whimsical bicycle sculptures that Jaak Demarest will bring to the Pier Show’s Steampunk House are a case in point.   Clunky, weird, eye-catching, they are classic Steampunk!

In technology today, most of the working parts are hidden from view. 
No one cares to see how the device or appliance functions, as long as it works.  Not so with Steampunk, where all of the working parts are exposed.  Steampunk relies on “modding,” an expression derived from the verb “modify.”  Creators of Steampunk will take an object – often an antique find – and modify it to perform a function that was not originally intended.

Unfinished "Time Machine". See the finished piece at the show - photo courtesy of Walter K/ Parker II
Examples abound in the Pier Show’s Steampunk House.  At the center of the exhibit is a Steampunk Time Machine Antique Master Bathroom Computer Workstation created by Bruce Rosenbaum and Plumber Artist Walter Parker from Old School Plumbing.  This amazing piece is made of mostly antique bathroom fixtures and parts, but serves as a computer station.  Steve Brook’s reworked Steampunk Guitars are another powerful example.  Vintage gages, working gears, such novelties as soap bar humbuckers, adorn his guitars, giving them new life as a work of art.  “Throughout history, the Arts and Engineering Sciences have been interwoven.  Leonardo da Vinci’s body of work is a prime example of this interaction,” he notes.  Todd Cahill, a professional model maker, creates and builds high-end model steam engines and mechanical sculptures. A skilled draftsman as well, his steam engine prints are as meticulous as a da Vinci drawing.

And nowhere will you find more material for your Steampunk project than at the Pier Show. Vintage pill cases, thread cutters, gardening and kitchen implements, cutlery, old plumbing, cast off iron parts from machines, gears and vintage watch hands – all become part of a Steampunk creation.  Dealers specializing in industrial design – furniture, fixtures, and lighting that comes from old factories, warehouses, and buildings – already are familiar with the basic concepts of Steampunk.  By recycling these industrial finds into sleek, polished furnishings, they have given us a hint of what Steampunk has taken to even greater heights.

Bruce's Study - photo courtesy of online property showcase
 How to live with Steampunk?  Imaginatively and beautifully!  Steampunk as a trend is gaining nationwide attention.  Major magazines such as Victorian Homes, Old House Journal, and Globe Home Magazine have been quick to pick up on the trend in editorial spreads that featured the Steampunk home. Decorating in “Steampunk style” can be simple.  A plain room can be instantly “steampunked” by adding a cog heavy clock or a wall display of “Steampunk” objects.  Theme rooms, such as a dirigible-inspired bath, a mad scientist den, or a library with an explorer theme – are also ways to integrate Steampunk into the home. David Erickson’s antique modernized Steampunk stoves are in demand for Victorian home renovations and in the modern kitchen where they instantly become the “center of attention.”  He will have several outstanding examples at the Pier Show.  Even a computer can be steampunked by adding an old-fashioned, custom-made keyboard.  Or try tucking your cell phone into a brass cover that looks like an antique cigarette case.  That’s Steampunk too!

Zephyr sleeve garters - photo courtesy of choklit.etsy.com , photomato & KrankBoomClank
In fashion, Steampunk flourishes.  You can see it in Manhattan’s “Alphabet City” where young female club goers don black combat boots, pink paisley bloomers, a white lace corset with a black flannel shirt.  That’s Steampunk at its colorful best.  Steampunk can also be “Fusion Fashion” – a mix of vintage garb with contemporary pieces.  Picture a pair of fitted jeans with a purple velvet waistcoat, white peasant shirt and finished off with a neon-colored silk tie.  You’ll find plenty of vintage fashion at the Pier Show’s Fashion Alley to complete your Steampunk look.

Who’s into Steampunk?  Everyone!  No, it’s not just for rebellious teenagers, although Steampunk is far less scary than Goth for concerned parents.  Vampires inhabit the Goth world and they’re very scary.  Steampunks take watches seriously and no one is scared of a pocket watch.  In fact, some folks see steampunk as a fashionable backlash to Goth and Punk.  You’ll find Steampunkers in their 30s and 50s.  After a trip to the Pier Show, you may become one too!

Show hours are Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm.  Admission is $15.  Pier 94 is located at 55th Street and 12th Avenue, New York City.

Time Traveler from ArtSnark.etsy.com

Sounds like a grand day out to me! If you go, I'd love to hear about it. And if you shoot any photos, I'm happy to post 'em here.

Looking for more Steampunk? Some entertaining reads include: The Steampunk Workshop, The Steampunk Tribune, The Steampunk Home & Antipodean Steampunk Adventure

Plus there are always fun finds over at Totus Mel's Wunderkammer, The EtsySteamTeam & TheSteampunkEmpire (This one is a ning site. You  have to sign up but it is free to join.)

And if you are near Waltham, Mass. check out the Steampunk Form & Function at the Charles River Museum.

Looking for more Musical Monday? Try Bloggin'withAmanda, Run DMT & The New Xmas Dolly.


I almost forgot; comment before 11/18 to enter the random drawing for a framed print of my "Secrets" illustration. Prize ships free worldwide.  Click here for image & details. Hope your week is off to a fantastic start! Catch you later.


  1. That song is the perfect match for your Steampunk post. I love your description of Steampunk, too. "Think Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Think Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll. Mix mad-scientist speculation with Victorian sensibility and throw in a bit of Sci-Fi. "

    Perfect. :-)

  2. I think Bruce has way too much fun and I am a tad jealous :)

    Happy Monday, T. :)

  3. Hey, that's my dapper husband, modeling my silver silk sleeve garters! Thanks for featuring our work!


  4. Thanks for a grate steampunk post, sound like a lot of fun to bee there.


  5. My hubby is going to love this song. Thanks for sharing and playing along. Hope to see you next week.

  6. I just love Steampunk!! It is so fun and creative. Thanks for all the info. Wish I could go to that show!!

  7. I love this group, I like their "Time machine " song as well great pick! did you know they have a Facebook fan page?
    thanks for playin' and linking back to me!

  8. This is my first time with Streampunk. Pretty interesting. Definitely the right song for your post.

    Glad you are joining in with us with the music fun.

    Enjoy the rest of your week.

  9. What a great song! And now I wish I were going to be in NYC this weekend to check out Steampunk! :)

    MMMM: Celebrity

  10. Thanks for the comments.

    The description of steampunk is Bruce Rosenbaum's (as is all the text in brown) - I need to push some text around around & clarify when I'm done here).

    I love this band - every tune has a different style yet they all work together

  11. Nice Steampunk post with a very appropriate song to go with it. Gosh, antiques! I'm so forgetting I need to work...:)