A Steampunk Outing to the DIY Festival

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It was Sunday November 22nd and after posting on Steampunk Empire that it might be fun for all six existing Chicago Steampunkers to meet up for brunch and a trip to the DIY Marketplace – four of us were actually implementing said plan and doing just that.

Joining us on this day would be myself, The Lord Baron

Don’t ask why I look brooding – also – yes I was the one who took this picture
The Good Rev, Cpt Samuel Flint
It is true, I don’t care enough about my co-patriots to take pictures of them myself.
The good gent Joseph F. Mason and his lovely wife (she only joined us for brunch though)
The quality of the pictures I am dredging up are quickly degrading, no?

And of course Mr. Auto-Technical – who did not dress up and thus I am henceforth going to refer to him as “The random mundane who decided to tag along”*

*To Auto-Technical’s credit, he does oft dress up quite fantastically.

First was an early brunch at Blueline a nice little joint with far and away the best brunch for your dollar in the city.  The good Rev. Cpt and myself showed up to find the lovely Mason’s seated and waiting for us.  We had not yet met in person and let me say, the good Mr. Mason’s taste in fashion, sensibility and general knowledge of those things strange were quite impressive.  The lovely Mrs. Mason was also a manager at one of our favourite locales for procuring the printed word – so needless to say – were all fast friends.

A half a gallon of coffee/participant and two $3 mimosa’s later we headed out.

Of course – since the Masons had never been to Bonnie & Clydes before we had to stop there.  We waited and conversed with the likes of Alex, Cue and Pasqel while waiting for Mr. Auto-Technical to join us.  Roughly fifteen minutes later we witnessed him wandering aimlessly down Division street – he was dressed like some kind of lower-class sewage repossesion man and smelled of cheap perfume and gin.  Immediately we understood… he had “after partied.”

“Mr. Auto-Technical” I called out as he starred blankly at a pay-for-parking machine.  He blinked, looked around, blinked again and this coughed up a piece of his internal organs.  “Shall we be going?”

“Oh, yes, of course… to the… fair?”

“Yes – to the fair.”

We left B&C for the DIY market – which I am sure you find to be a relief as the entire beginning of this article is most likely of no bearing what-so-ever to you.

From left to right, The Good Mr. Joseph F. Mason, The Rev. Cpt. Samuel Flint & some guy who smelled of harlots and booze whom we picked up off the street.

We arrived at the Pulaski Field House on Blackhawk Street.  It is quite a place.

Once inside we were impressed and surprised by the wide bredth of things available.  Though there were many MANY wondreful artisans, there were six that stood out for their fine mixture of ingenuity, re-purposing and general DIY-ness.
There first was Spinal Fusion.
It is hard to out and out describe them – aesthetically they were the most “steampunk” of all the vendors – but even so – their artwork was simply strange and beautiful.   A mixture of neo-victorian and post-gothic aesthetics.  They had things such as clock-arm earrings and pirate broaches.  I highly suggest checking them out.
These crafty ones re-purpose old hardware, fittings and the like to create jewelry “for men & women” as their aether-site proclaims.  Regardless I found their wares quite aesthetically pleasing.  I do suggest checking them out.
Now – pulling ourselves away from the world of finery we come to.

These crafty folk take glass bottles, might they have once held soda-water or a fine wine – and cut the tops off – then decorate the sides – to create purposeful, beautiful and one of a kind glassware.  Quite, quite nice indeed.

Next was one of the most original of the all the crafts at the fair…

Owly Shadow Puppets

Based on the traditional art of turning puppets into shadows or shadows into puppets (one of the two) these fine people have now given life to an entire line so you, the person at home, can re-enact your favourite scenes from where-ever they come.  These were most impressive as well, I do suggest taking a look.
Then there was Starshaped Press

This is one of the few printing houses left that does ACTUAL printing, with presses and type-sets and the like – much like my good friend out in Debque – Peter Fraterdeus.  They are having a soiree December 5th – check out their aether-site and try to attend – it should be a rousing time indeed!

Lastly – there was our good friend Natalie’s shoppe Cloudlover Yarn & Fibres

Natalie takes raw wool and hand dyes them then spins them into yarns and the like.  As you can see she even brough one of her spinning wheels with her to the fair.  Her wares are beautiful indeed, do not pass up the opportunity to take a look at them via her website.
And thus ended our affair with the DIY market.  We walked around the Pulaski Field House a bit.

Once we had our fill of good old fashion trespassing we ventured outside into the land of the living.  The sun was shining and we had an afternoon to do away with.  Mr. Auto-Technical decided that he had to retire to his abode to sew clockwork gears onto his jacket in lieu of actual buttons.

The rest of us decided to retire to the good Rev. Cpt’s porch with a jug of scotch and wax nostalgic on days gone by.  Mr. Auto-Technical decided to join us and thus we watched the sun go down, clinking glasses to a day well spent.

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Topics: DIY, Outings

1 Comment.

  • 1 Brandi Jul 30, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I love how I just did a Google search for “baron brunch” and YOUR picture comes up in the results. I thought to myself, “Huh. That looks like Joe.” Lo and behold… :) Random…

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