Steampunk goes mainstream at the Pier Show

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NEW YORK — “Indulge yourself in guilt-free shopping. Everything at the Pier show is green.” This is the message that Stella Shows is getting out to consumers when their popular Pier Show returns to Pier 94, Nov. 13-14. It’s a timely message – one that reaches out to a new generation of consumers that are environmentally conscious and increasingly viewing antiques as a smart, new way to go green. Whether it’s vintage fashion, a far out collectible, or a beautiful formal dining set, this season’s shopper can purchase from the Pier Show’s 500 sellers knowing that they are also contributing to efforts for saving the environment.

The ultimate in Green recycling? Get ready for Steampunk! What started out as an underground fashion and design trend, has now entered the mainstream as a viable, entertaining and sophisticated design style – one that has pushed the idea of Green recycling to its limits. Steampunk can be thought of as one company’s scraps becoming a trendsetter’s treasure. Those old metal parts from industrial factories and abandoned warehouses have been repurposed, finding new life as futuristic clocks, computer workstations, office desks and even kitchen appliances that are hip, fun, and perfect in both older and contemporary homes.

Six Steampunk artisans have created the Steampunk House – an exhibit that is filled with all of the elements you need to complete your own project. And everything is for sale – from wonderful turn-of-the-century stoves with fantastic Steampunk fittings by David Erikson of Erikson Antique Stoves, to computer workstations such as the amazing Steampunk Time Machine Vintage Bathroom Fixture and Computer Workstation from Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum of Mod Vic Design – a piece that combines found objects with the latest technology.

And that’s what Steampunk is all about – a marriage of items from bygone eras, repurposed with modern-day technology and comfort. Check out the Steampunk guitars from Steve Brook, bikes from Jaak Demarest and Steam Machine Sculptures by Todd Cahill. These pieces boggle the mind and delight the viewer. It’s all green and great fun.

Born from the earth, hand-painted by artisans in the remote rural area of Kwa-Zulu-Natal in South Africa comes an art pottery that will be exhibited for the first time at the Pier Show – Ardmore Ceramic Art. These individually created (and therefore Green) pieces of art have been brought to light thanks to Fee Halsted Berning, the founder of Ardmore who has fostered talent in this local community for the last 25 years. (She is being honored in New York by Women’s Campaign International for empowering women and uplifting the lives of their families.) The Ardmore artists battle diseases such as HIV/Aids and the sale of each piece helps improve the quality of life in their community.

These exuberant, colorful pieces were discovered by Louise Irvine, a ceramic arts expert who is regarded as the world’s leading authority on Royal Doulton, having published more than a dozen reference books for collectors. A world-wide lecturer on Royal Doulton, Louise came upon this original and unique South African pottery during her travels. Louise will be flying over from London to give booth chats at the Pier Show on Royal Doulton at the request of Pascoe and Company.

Art pottery will also be well-represented in the show when exhibitor Susan Tillipman of Toj Gallery brings in three outstanding pieces of highly collectible, rare Boch Freres Keramis vases with bird motifs. Her stork vase, designed and signed by Charles Cateau is 13.4 inches high, while a magpie vase signed by Jan Wind, one of Cateau’s top designers, is the only vase in that shape in existence. Boch Freres Keramis pottery has increased in value over the years, with a small dove vase selling in Cincinnati for a record $6,900 in 2007. Tillipman’s collection of European pottery includes French art deco figural vases by Mougin, a figural by Vicke Lindstrand for Ekeby and an 18-inch figural vase by Pier Boncompain.

Another way to go green? Wear it! Fashion Alley at the Pier show has the very latest looks in vintage. Here you will find designer labels for less, with each era serving up a heaping helping of couture. This season it’s the 1920s, roaring back onto the fashion scene due to the success of HBO’s new Scorcese hit “Boardwalk Empire.” Fashion Alley is also the perfect place to buy designer Chanel handbags at prices that are as much as one-half of what you would spend purchasing new. Own a handbag that needs some repair? Bring it to the Pier Show where Joy Horvath of Gioia Handbags will be on hand to do handbag repair, restoration and appraisals.

Other special highlights at the Pier include pop culture appraisals by Gary Sohmers, who appears as an appraiser in collectibles, memorabilia and toys on Antiques Roadshow. The $5 appraisal fee will be donated to charity.

Show hours are Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is $15. Pier 94 is located at 55th Street and 12th Avenue, New York City. Call 973-808-5015 or visit for more information.


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