It’s more than a Steampunk store; it’s THE BOILER ROOM.
Have you seen Steampunk Fett? A little bit Star Wars – a little bit Steampunk, you know the guy; he gets around the Con circuit pretty well. If you have seen Steampunk Fett then you know at least one of the many things that Penny Dreadful Productions has made. Most of their stuff is unique, custom made, eye-catching and worth a picture (to save you a thousand words when you try to explain it to your friends).
Outside of a convention setting, finding Penny Dreadful Productions and that admirable handwork has been a challenge. They’ve sold all the custom work without the benefit of a physical shop or the benefit of having a reliable home base. “We’ve moved SO many times,” says P.D.P. owner Matt Silva, who is looking forward to the grand opening next month of his new workshop and retail space – called The Boiler Room – in Duluth, Georgia. He’s thrilled to have a larger place for his conceptual design and physical production company, one where he can build sets (like those used for the short Steampunk film “Heartless”), work on custom prosthetics and make up and create custom costumes, such as Fett.
Owner Matt Silva stocks a shelf at The Boiler Room.
Silva says the storefront part of the workshop will be split 50-50 between products made by P.D.P. (and associates of the company) and consignment items from other Steampunk artists, including fine art, sculpture, music, books, costume accessories, custom Hula hoops and even more bizarre things. The shop will also display some of the finished P.D.P. custom pieces before they are shipped off to movie sets, theaters, parties or whatnot. Several pieces in the shop at any given time won’t be for sale, but will be a wonder to see nonetheless.
Speaking of things that can’t be bought or sold, The Boiler Room is also a place for the exchange of ideas and knowhow. The crew at the shop is assembling a cadre of specialists with knowhow in the areas of art, acting, sewing, prop making, burlesque, etc. Silva’s partner Erin Bushko says she is working with these artists so they can teach classes at the shop from time to time.
Their philosophy of pouring what they have learned back into other people doesn’t end there. Silva says that the tools, space and resources of The Boiler Room are available on a monthly basis for people to try their hand at creation. “Part of what we do with this building is all about empowering all those friends of friends who need a space. For a small fee, someone can come and use the space for a month or more. Not having a place to work holds a lot of artists back.”
Silva says he now has quite a bit more elbow room to bring folks in. “Our last place was the size of a 2-car garage,” he says. The tool area at The Boiler Room is bigger than the old place, plus there is the paint room, fabric and makeup room, the retail space and gallery. “The His and Hers bathrooms are a treat, too,” says Bushko. “We’ve never had that before.”
Penny Dreadul Productions has come a long way since it began two years ago. The gang hopes The Boiler Room will help them continue to grow and look for “the next cool thing.” Silva says he’s thrilled to be making a living AND leaving a good mark.
The Boiler Room, located at 3067-B Main Street, Duluth, Georgia, will quietly open for business later this month with a grand opening February 1st. Interested artists should contact Penny Dreadful Productions through their website http://www.GetDreadful.com.
See MORE articles by Emilie P. Bush at SteampunkChronicle.com