Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review of 1,000 Steampunk Creation's by Dr. Grymm and Barbe SaintJohn

If you are a fan of the steampunk jewelry style or in the process of creating your own steampunk period character, then the book "1000 Steampunk Creations" will appeal to you.
I often search the web for ideas and "how to" directions, when I am designing props for my costumes.  This can take hours, which I don't really have.  However, there is an easier way to find information on the steampunk genre, and see actual designs of an interesting assortment of artists and designers to suit a variety of tastes.  "1,000 Steampunk Creations", by Dr. Grymm and Barbe Saint John, can be a great source for costumes, accessories and inspiration for cosplay and other costuming needs within the steampunk genre.  The book has 1000 photos of steampunk style jewelry, specialized props, weapons, and more.

The book editors have also included the names (and contact information) of the many different artists and designers whose work is featured in the book, so that readers can contact them.  This makes it easier for those who do not have the time to make their own costumes or accessories to locate period appropriate items.  For example, if you are searching for head wear, then the examples of some of the accessories that are designed and sold by Topsy Turvy Design at their website may be of assistance.

Then there are accessories.  In the steampunk genre, most accessories have dual uses.  So going through the book can help the reader search for that perfect tool that compliments the character that they are working on.  The photographs in this book are well done and show the intricate detail of  the designs, as seen in the photo below.
steampunk spider piece
 Many of the items featured in this book are an interesting combination of history, science and imagination.  In the steampunk genre, each gadget you find on a costume has its own purpose and back story.  For instance, the horn below is also a communicating device.

 Piece by Annette Elizabeth
If you are a novice costume maker, you should know that the book itself is not an instruction manual. If you need detailed instructions on how to make costumes and/or accessories, then I would recommend a search on Amazon for an instructional project orientated type of book.  However, the novice costume maker can benefit from having this book on hand for reference.  Looking at the various designs in this book can be quite an inspiration, not only to see what others have created but to compare it to your own ideas and designs.

A good example of this is in the "Steampunk Fairy Catcher" costume below, the designer has combined science, history, whimzy and electrical knowledge in creating this cool costume.
Steampunk Fairy Catcher
The "Steampunk Fairy Catcher" costume has working gadgets.  From the lighted cage to the portable vacuum device.
     Again, this book is a handy reference when working on a costume or viewing someone else's creation.

The steampunk fairy in the picture below, is wearing a variety of interesting accessories that are

handmade.  You can see a compass on one of the arms, and the ring turns into a weapon of sorts. The circles on the armband and belt, are solar powered and light up.

See if you can pick up the gadgets on the costume in the photo below.

In the next photo, you can see that the steampunk couple have an interesting assortment of gadgets.  The female is carrying more gadgets than the male.
Another example of a neo-victorian/steampunk costume can be seen in the photo below.

Additionally, she has a wooden steampunk cover for her iPad (Infinite Purpose Access Device) that her husband designed and made for her.

You can see that the iPad cover uses a dial device that has to be turned to open the iPad cover, below is a view of the iPad cover opened.

Another fine example of combining science, imagination, woodworking, and electronics into a usable gadget.
   If you are new to steampunk and want to learn to make a fun steampunk inspired project, then the following video may interest you.  The video features Stefanie Girard with Barbe Saint John.  Barbe demonstrates how to make a steampunk style bobbie pin.

The video features the book "Steampunk Style Jewelry" by Jean Campbell.

The "Steampunk Style Jewelry" book has 22 steampunk style jewelry projects from various designers (including Barbe Saint John).  This is a great feature for those of us who like to get the perspective of several designers rather than just one.  Additionally, there is a great "how to" section for the novice jewelry maker that explains materials and techniques.


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