Today I’m venturing into the world of STEAMPUNK!  I have to admit it’s one of the trends I don’t know much about, so I’m bringing in an expert.  I’ve asked Damon Samuel to help give us a working knowledge of the subject as he is well versed in the ways of this quirky little genre.  I think you’ll find his explanation very intriguing, here are a few highlights of our interview.

Give us your background.
D. Damon Samuel AIFD, AAF, PFCI,CFD, NAFD, NMF- “I have been in  the floral industry in various capacities , including retail and wholesale design positions, for over 30 years . For the last 16 years I have been the In-House designer for the Bill Doran Company-Omaha Nebraska as well as own an independent design consultation and event service: Design Expressions by D. I have served on many Boards and Committees throughout the industry including President of the Nebraska Florists Society, President of the South Central region of AIFD, and currently am on the PFCI Board of Directors.”

What is the definition of Steampunk?
“The textbook definition is: A science fiction sub-genre, typically featuring steam-powered machinery and a fusion of the Victorian-Industrial aesthetic combined with futuristic elements. The possibility of implied and fantasy time travel is a key factor in this movement.The movement relies heavily on elaborate costuming which is an eclectic meshing of the Victorian Era with mechanical and heavy embellishments including, metal gears,leather and aviator elements as accessories.”

 How does this movement apply to the Floral Industry? “This movement has spread worldwide and is now being featured in many events that apply to our industry such as weddings, funerals and celebration events. The trends that encompass Steampunk are also being recognized in many elements of the industry.  New products are emerging with this movement such as decorative chains, heavy brocade ribbons, Victorian-style brooches and natural, heavy containers. Gears and clocks are also appearing as accessories for floral design. Many of the new Syndicate Sales Products lend themselves to this feeling such as the Galvanized containers and heavy ceramic pieces along with Vintage collection which is very cohesive with the Victorian feeling.”

What is your experience working in the Steampunk genre?  I have had several opportunities to experience and learn about the Steampunk Movement. In 2010 a wedding couple asked me to do their wedding with the Steampunk theme (which at that time I had NO idea about), so I started looking online and discovered through a friend that we had a rather Large Steampunk group in Nebraska…so the research began. The Wedding was a wonderful mix of both Victorian and Futuristic elements with wind up clocks and gears being the main accessories for the decor. Last year, as a member of the SAF/PFCI Committee I was asked to co-chair the Sylvia Cup Design Competition with Heather de Kok which had a surprise theme: Steampunk!  We had an amazing competition with designers creating wonderful floral pieces including a sympathy tribute, a brooch for a Steampunk bride and a lobby piece for a Steampunk Ball. It was huge success!  Lastly, the Annual Awards Event for the Nebraska Florists Society had a Steampunk theme. Steve Barton AIFD and I invited several actual Steampunk of Nebraska members to attend and enlighten the group about the culture that they portray.  It was wonderful, edgy and something new for our members to experience.”

Can you give some tips for creating a Steampunk Theme?  The flowers that are characteristic of the Steampunk theme usually revolve around Victorian, lavish and opulent design. Fully realized garden-type flowers are a good choice. Other flowers that naturally work into the look include: Hydrangeas, Peonies, Garden Roses, Dahlias, Hanging Amaranthus, Berries, Celosia  and Soft  Foliages like Lamb’s Ear, Dusty Miller and trailing Ivy.”

Thank you Damon for your insights.  Take a look at these lavish creations below and get your Steampunk on!