The Art of Darkness

Color Me Ouchy

March 5th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Coloring BookEric Ruhling, the author of a history of torture implements entitled Infernal Device, has branched out with a coloring book. Each of the 20 line drawings is accompanied by a rhyme.

I’m not necessarily recommending that you introduce your four-year-old to the concept of a scold’s bridle (wait until he’s at least five), but if you like to color you might frame a few as conversation pieces.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Funny Peculiar, Needful Things | 2 Comments »

“Ripper” Museum Exhibition

March 4th, 2008 by Cobwebs

The news headline read, “Jack the Ripper Returns,” but disappointingly there’s no copycat carving up Whitechapel.

This April 3 will be the 120th anniversary of the first murder officially attributed to Jack the Ripper, and London’s Museum in Docklands is running a special exhibition about the murders from May 15 to November 2.

From police files and photographs to letters from the public and the supposed Ripper himself, examine, for the first time, surviving documents and artefacts from the investigation and follow the crimes as they unfolded.

Step back in time to the labyrinth of late-Victorian Whitechapel, and uncover the human stories behind the sensational reports and explore the lives of the victims, witnesses, suspects and police, and the world they lived in.

I was a college exchange student at Cambridge in 1988, the 100th anniversary of the murders, and Ripperphernalia was everywhere; you couldn’t walk down the street without running into morgue photos.* I also discovered that I was born on the 80th anniversary of the final murder, permanently interesting me in the case in a half-assed sort of way. (In other words, I know a goodly amount about the case, but not a creepy amount about the case.)

Anyway, if you’re planning on being in London, the Docklands exhibition looks intriguing and you might want to check it out.

This would also be a good year to have a Ripper-themed Halloween party. Have your guests come in their finest Victorian garb and party like it’s 1899.


*If an entire generation of London youth grows up slightly twitchy, we need look no further than the Ripper’s 100th Anniversary marketing team.

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Make Your Own Corset

March 3rd, 2008 by Cobwebs

ThreadBanger has a nice tutorial for making a corset, including instructions for creating a pattern customized to your measurements.

Whether you’re going for demure Victorian or sinister sex goddess, a corset can help get you there. Making your own takes a little time, but it’s much cheaper than buying one and gives you the opportunity to use interesting fabric choices.

The corset in this tutorial doesn’t include boning, but it’s easy to add. The Fashionable Past has instructions for a boned corset.

If you’d prefer to work from a commercial pattern, check out Beginner Costuming or Corset Making Supplies for patterns, supplies, and tips.

Corsets fall into the category of “things that look harder than they actually are,” so don’t be daunted. Go get some pretty satin and an eyelet tool and you’ll have your own custom-tailored corset in no time.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | No Comments »

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