Fall 2014: Steampunk Amigurumi Soiree

On the Back Page of the Fall 2014 issue of Interweave Crochet, you'll find a trio of steampunked-out amigurumi. This is but a snippet of the scene created by Donna Childs and dubbed Steampunk Soiree. The full array won second place in the Artistic Expression category at the Crochet Guild of America's design competition in 2014. (If you don't know about the CGOA's great crochet event, learn more at CGOA's website.)

Here's the full array of crocheted critters, along with Donna's description of who's doing what in this imaginative scene. Donna also provides a few details about yarn and what-not.

"The stuffed animals and amigurumi I make are decidedly anthropomorphic, and I started making up narratives for them," says Donna. "It was natural for me to start putting groups of them together and making dioramas."

 I got interested in Steampunk at the same time, so making up a Steampunk scene was the next logical step.

 

 

"Steampunk" explores what the past would be like if the future happened sooner–imagine a Jules Verne world set in the Victorian era, women hiding gamma ray guns in their corsets, pirates in airships, and mad scientists with time machines. I imagined a group of amigurumi animals getting together to plan their next grand adventure.

The animal bodies are all made in the same yarn to keep a cohesive look. I used Rowan Felted Tweed in grey mist (a discontinued color, alas). The DK weight-yarn has a nice feel and look, especially when using a small hook for a very firm fabric. In keeping with the Steampunk theme, metallic yarns (Vanna Glamour by Lion Brand, and Stardust from Red Heart) are featured in the clothing and accessories. Repurposed items serve as various accessories.

 

The octopus' name is Professor Octavius Cephalopod, a deep sea treasure hunter.
He sits upon a chest filled with the latest finds that will finance the group's endeavors.
His goggles are jewelry findings.
And he holds a tiny compass (a button with a real compass imbedded into it)
His underside is studded with textured washers to represent suction cups. (Pipe cleaners in his legs allow for posing.)
Baron Peter Scurday is a squirrel–a flying squirrel.
Along with his bomber jacket and flight scarf …

 

 

…he wears a propeller cap (top of a vinegar bottle and jewelry findings).
As well as an impressive set of wings (painted wooden pieces, gears, and rhinestones).
Madame Rowena Lapin, the rabbit, is a sponsor of the arts, a suffragette, and quite possibly a spy.
She sports a corset and her hat, with slits to accommodate her long ears, is topped with the requisite goggles (jewelry findings).
A bustle nicely sheaths her bunny tail. She carries a parasol (a repurposed cocktail garnish) …

… and a heart-shaped key–her secrets are locked away.

Her articulated limbs give her a nice kick. Instead of buttons, Donna used real watch gears, another nod to the Steampunk motif.

The elephant, Captain Eli Maximus, is a military man. His whistle (a working jewelry charm) is at the ready to call the troops, and he's not afraid of getting into the battle himself with his trusty sword (canape pick).
Dr. Maxwell Wallaby, the kangaroo, doesn't like to be called a "mad" scientist, but his experiments can get messy. He wears a lab coat, and his apron has a big pouch–of course. His cap is made from a salt shaker top, tiny lightbulbs, and springs from a ballpoint pen.
He holds a bottle with something bubbling over (real glass bottle, glass beads, mohair yarn).

His still (light socket, clock gears, tubing, rhinestones) is cooking up either an absinthe cocktail, or an ice cream float

 

"I had so much fun designing and making it," Donna says.
"I was thrilled to be able to share it with others."
You can learn more about this diorama at Donna's blog. She is currently hard at work on a book-length allegory with a different theme. You can keep up with this development as well.

You can find more of Donna's designs, including Sir Stephen the Bunny, in the Interweave Store.

Happy crocheting!

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.