Friday, July 13, 2007

Interview the Designers of the Edison Bar -- Submit your Questions!

I have some very exciting news...

The designers of the Edison Bar -- Stacie Jaye Meyer and Tony Egan -- have agreed to be interviewed by The Steampunk Home.

Stacie is a decorative painter, and while most of her work isn't visible on Dave Bullock's popular flickr set, she does have some shots on her website (choose "commerical" -- the first 5 are of the Edison Bar). Here is a quick small sample:

I'm not entirely sure what Tony did, but I assume a substantial amount of "everything else."

I'd like to do this interview in a style pioneered by Slashdot -- with reader submitted questions. If you would submit your questions in the comment section below, I'll edit it down to 10 or so good ones, send it to Stacie and Tony, and publish the results. Of course, I'll give the submitters links/credits (don't forget to include your website if you want a link).

I'm about to leave for my summer vacation -- expect a blogging hiatus for a while, but some good Ottoman Empire Steampunk posts when I get back -- so I'm going to take questions in the comments for 2 weeks.

So -- start thinking! What do you want to know about the Edison Bar? Where they sourced all those cool generators? What was the inspiration? How you can get the same effects for your home?

Please help me spread the word so we get some good questions!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Decorative Imaging prints Traditional Wood Marquetry

The summer edition of O At Home has an article on a New York company called Decorative Images who generates extremely traditional decorative surfaces by printing them onto wood veneer with a large format digital printer.

The men choose wood from the the thousands of high-resolution textures in their digital library. "We have scans of 600 different sheets of oak," Kusek says. "It's like having a lumberyard in your computer." To simulate a patina, they add layers of computerized grime.



There is also an article about the firm online at the Wide Format Imaging website.

In addition to custom work for decorators, they are debuting a line of tiles, borders, and medallions that the rest of us could use in our decorating.

They are worth a look, and then at least an hour of draydreaming on how you could hack traditional design motifs to make them steampunk, if you only had access to a large format printer. (Or what you could do at home on your laser printer with a small piece of wood veneer. Perhaps a case for a obscure scientific device?)

Monday, July 9, 2007


An old post on Brass Goggles, and a new one on Boing Boing, both point to these Maschinenleuchten (machine lights) by artist Frank Buchwald.

Each object is manually produced from up to 200 individual parts (Including hand-made globe, type 01 or glasscylinder type 10). Each light is therefore unique.

Steel and brass parts produced from raw steel and brass, and burnished by hand, creating a black surface structure with a brownish hue. The brass parts are given a fine finish and the steel parts are treated with the silky matt finish.

The voltage is 230V (110V with voltage converter). Electricity flows through visible wires made of black and yellow textile cables and sometimes encased in flexible brass tubes.
Effective special bulbs and light tubes with partially visible filaments or yellow surface evaporation allow the Machine Lights to glow mysteriously.

The low volume production takes place in Berlin and requires a manufacture time of 4 weeks and more depending of the model.

There's even a short photo-essay on how they are made.

I loved the one above with it's art deco lines. (It's reassuring to me to find art deco and steampunk coexisting so elegantly, since I love them both so.)

It's implied they are for sale, but, as my father says "If you have to ask you can't afford them."

Curio Cabinet

A very surreal music video ("Motus" by Seb Martel) that takes place in a steampunkesqe bookshelf found by The Practical Archivist.

Delightfully cluttered, full of wonderful things, no?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Links for the week of July 1

  • Scientific Collectables -- Original scientific devices!
  • Japonaiserie from the Voyages of a Steampunk Physician. I've neglected the Asian influence on is the good doctor's remedy.
  • Cascade Coil Drapery via Apartment Therapy. Although you usually see it in silver/chrome colors, this chainmail style metallic drapery also comes in brass.
  • Brass Caning for Windows and Glass at HGTV -- an interesting way to "upgrade" your windows into a more formal appearance. I wonder if you could design some decidely steampunk motifs into windows? Gears? Cogs? Pipes?
  • Steve's Wierd House via Grow a Brain.
  • Johnny Swing and his amazing nickel couch. Thanks commenter Sara!
  • Thursday, July 5, 2007

    Edison Bar Analyzed

    I've been looking at the pictures of the Edison Bar since TinkerGirl posted them on BrassGoggles recently. I think this is the most complete example of steampunk decor I've seen anywhere, and there's a lot of ideas to use.

    Let's remember that good design has a tension that is created via juxtaposition, and I'd like to point out a few ways the Edison Bar's design team achieved that juxtaposition. I'm referencing pictures in the order they are embedded in the flickr slide show above. All images are by David Bullock (eecue).

  • An (assumed to be) hand painted mural greets you as you walk into this extremely industrial setting. (#1)
  • In picture 2, you get a real feel for the juxtapositions. You "see" a industrial basement. You "feel" a Victorian library.
  • Concrete floors -- scored and stained -- and then topped with oriental rugs. (Most easily seen in the 6th picture above, the dance floor.)
  • Shiny metallic tiles in the entry way (silver) and lavatories (copper) which contrasts with the decidedly rusty metal of the various engines and generators. (Picture 1 -- entry and 10 -- bathroom)
  • Dainty "Curly-Que" wrought iron tables offset by both blocky ottomans and the heavy weight of the pressure tank. (Picture 11)
  • Sinuous, organic lines of the banquette seats in photos 3 & 12 contrast with the hard edges and straight lines of the walls and floors.
  • The modern bathroom sink in picture 10 echos the turbine in 3 & 12 -- the same lines, just in contrasting materials
  • Space framing and defining using curtains, concrete columns, and rugs. (Can't you see it in an urban loft?)
  • There's a great end table idea in picture #6: use "equipment" -- these I date from the 1950s or 1960s -- with glass tabletops (easily found at thrift stores).

    If you picked it up, turned it over, and shook it out very little would be Victorian -- the Victorian feel is achieved entirely in the furnishings, but in very few of the built in features. (Good news for those of us who do not live in Victorian houses!) The space is industrial, modern, gritty. The warmth and comfort comes from the furniture, the fabrics, the rugs. This is an interesting answer to something I've been struggling with -- how do you decorate "steampunk" without having your home look like a Victorian knockoff?

    There are additional pictures on the Edison Bar's website (choose "Visual Tour") as well as here, here, and here.

    Readers, what else do you see that you'd be able to use in your home?
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