I believe that Steampunk is more than just brass and watchparts. It's finding a way to combine the past and the future in an aesthetic pleasing yet still punkish way. It's living a life that looks old-fashioned, yet speaks to the future. It's taking the detritus of our modern technological society and remaking it into useful things. Join me as I search for items for my house that combine the scientific romanticism of the Victorians with our real present and imagined future.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Modern Victorian Tea Set
There is a growing trend of what I'd call "modern victorian" home products. One of my favorites are these tea sets by Christine Misiak. She finds old silver tea sets and refurbishes them:
With this black set, when I sourced it at a car boot sale it was in extremely bad condition. The surface finish was rusty, dirty and scratched, also the inside of the tea pot was very unappealing.
Moreover, one of the little legs on the sugar bowl had been snapped off by the prior owner, therefore it had really reached its end life.
So I cleaned the set up and applied black to it, and now the surface finish is glossy and smooth and the set can actually be used again. The imperfection with the broken sugar bowl leg is still there, but it acts as character and the set aims to celebrate the imperfections.
I think the black one is the most steampunk -- for some reason I can see Mrs. Coulter in The Golden Compass using it.
There are pictures of the entire line on Flickr -- in addition to the black one she has an orange set and 2 green sets.
If you were really ambitious, you could try doing this yourself. Old silver plate (maybe start with just a tray?) is cheap and easy to come by at thrift shops. I'm not sure what kind of paint you'd use, but if I was doing it I would start with light coats of spray paint.
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Wow, these are amazing! The finish on these is powder coated. It's not really something just anyone can do at home, and it will be difficult to achieve the same finish with any other paint process, though you might get close at least with spray paint. It's a lovely idea.
Though, I'm not certain I would drink or eat out of anything that has been spray painted. That could certainly be a health hazard.
I know ceramics and pottery can be fired with a glaze suitable for turning them into eating/serving dishes, but I'm not sure that there's a similar process for glazing/sealing painted metal or how toxic any of them are. Anyone attempting this at home for use as opposed to decorative purposes, please do your research!
Powder coated. I seem to remember that Martha Stewart used to recommend powder coating (I think) for vintage metal furniture. If I remember correctly, it's something auto paint shops can do?
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