The Victorian Trading Co

There’s a website I recently discovered that is sure to be of interest for Steampunks looking to outfit their abodes with a Victorian flair.  The Victorian Trading Company has all manner of goods inspired by Victoiriana.

The Victorian Trading Co was started in 1987 by Melissa and Randy Rolston in Dallas, Texas and now operates as a small company based out of Lenexa, Kansas outside of Kansas City.

From antique reproductions and fashion to outdoor living and accessories, The Victorian Trading Company is a great resource for finding items to match your Steampunk decor.  They even have free e-cards for you Steampunks wanting to send a message to your equally steamy friends. You can check them out here.

Tom Banwell Masks

Tom Banwell’s masks are some of the most recognizable and unique Steampunk masks out there right now. With Halloween approaching fast, there is a pressing necessity for something unique and standout from  the crowds of cheap, pre-assembled costumes. I do believe I recognize one of his pieces from the Steampunk art exhibition at the Museums of the History of Science in Oxford, England.

Mr. Banwell runs a blog wherein he talks about his unique masterpieces. You can check it out here. His pieces are for sale on Etsy.

Mr. Banwell is a largely self taught artist. Here’s a brief bio about his background and artistic inspirations from his website:

I have no formal art training, and am largely self taught. I have dabbled in a variety of media over the years, including batik, woodcarving, mixed media art dolls and leatherworking.

Creating art in a steampunk genre suits me exceedingly well because it combines several of my interests—history, costuming, mechanics and fantasy—and I can bring these together and get wildly creative in my leatherwork.

As a child I was fascinated with helmets and other hats, and I collected them. As an adult I’ve had a business designing and making men’s Western leather hats that sold throughout the United States. My current business is casting custom resin pieces, and much of that work consists of imitating other materials: bronze, marble, wood, etc.

In my creative leatherwork I draw on this experience and incorporate resin components into my artwork. Today I find my greatest creative expression in fantasy masks and helmets. I love experimenting and seeing how leather will behave when cut and soaked and twisted. I love the shapes and the colors, and how my masks and helmets can instantly transform the wearer into a whole other character.

My studio is in the little town of Rough and Ready, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern California.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect mask to go with that Steampunk ensemble you are assembling for Halloween, or just looking for the finishing to touches to your Steam driven wardrobe, you won’t fun much more unique or quality work with Mr. Banwell’s works of wearable art.

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Silver Leaf Designs

Silver Leaf Designs is primarily a Renaissance and medieval clothier, but they’ve recently incorporated Steampunk into their repertory, and it was these products that were mostly on sale at A-Kon.

A lot of theirs stuff incorporates their primary genre, especially their skirts and chemises which have a certain medieval feel to them, but still could go with a Steampunk wardrobe if the correct accessories were employed. Which, by the way, they have covered because there is an excellent selection of goggles and leather top hats available at Silver Leaf’s Etsy store.

At their website, you can see more of the Renaissance side of their portfolio, as well as upcoming events that they are planning to attend. It’s kind of strange that A-Kon isn’t listed; perhaps they only list their Ren Faire events there. Again, for all my my readers in the DFW area, this is another locally owned and run shop, so if you like what they are selling, buy knowing you’re supporting the growing Steampunk community here in Dallas.

Steampunk Attire

A while back, I told you all about the wonders of Etsy and why I am absolutely in love with it. It’s ability to connect you with artisans making unique, handcrafted goods is totally in line with the Steampunk “maker” ethic which focuses on the inventor or artist as a prime economic power. I have more reasons to love Etsy, which I promise I will explore later, but today, I want to focus on another website which will invariably help you in your search to complete your Steampunk wardrobe: Ebay.

And, to be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of Ebay. I don’t like that I’m often not assured the item I want because of the bidding system. I also find navigating Ebay somewhat clunky.

But, I’ve found a website for you all which considerably streamlines the process of buying Steampunk accessories through Ebay: Steampunk Attire.

This site is wonderful for consolidating all of a certain accessory tagged as Steampunk on to a single website so you can effortlessly recall and watch items.

This isn’t the first place to look if you are looking to build an outfit from its foundations, but for the accessories that add a level of polish to the entire ensemble, this website cannot be beat!

Happy bidding, everyone!