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Captain Robert
Abney Park
Made By Makers - Save the World, Kill The Corporations 
21st-Jul-2012 07:17 pm

It occurred to me you guys might find this cool. All of the stuff we sell in our cart is hand made by independent artists and craftsmen. Every single thing. Our CD's are of course written and recorded by us, and they are mastered by a guy named Brian Hazard who has a world class mastering suit in his house. When he's done, he sends them to a friend for replication.


Things like t-shirts and scarves...anything "printed"...are made by our friend Gabe at Gryphon Art. Gabe is just a guy with shirt printers in his basement, but he does a flawless job for us, and has for years and years.


Goggles are currently made by Mac. He makes 'em all by hand...and you can see him at nearly all our west coast shows.

Fancy leather work like this High Altitude Mask is made by Thomas, who is the dude behind Brute Force Leather. Again, he's got a big ass workshop in a basement, and hires his friends to help him build and ship stuff.

Even our shipping girl Dizzy is just a friend who works from home (I'd do it myself, but I suck at it.).

The reason why I'm mentioning this is because I think its important to know that when you buy something online from a PERSON, your money is not feeding the corporate machine, its helping artists follow their dreams. Another important thing to know is that since everybody works at home, nobody is driving to work. "No driving" means less traffic, and reduces greenhouse gas admissions. Buying from a small business often is helping save the environment!

Buying from Abney Park helps Abney Park follow our dreams, and all the other artists we support! And in a small way its helping the environment while its helping give people a better life. That's really worth something, ya know?
22nd-Jul-2010 05:27 pm (UTC)

What Robert said above regarding corporations follows a theory I have been building for some time - that once a corporation gets to a certain size threshold, it becomes psychotic.

The reason is that once you go from managing individuals and considering individual needs to managing "herds" of individuals - basically a few slave drivers driving many slaves (called "internal span of control" in industry), and using a low common denominator to determine the needs of the herd... the balance shifts from "human" to "antisocial and driven entirely by profit and power over the marketplace." Basically "Ya get big, ya get evil."

I have been trying to work out the size an organization has to get to in order for this to happen...but it seems to vary from industry to industry. I have a business degree myself, so I know how to speak the language. I spent most of my life in the corporate and bureaucratic world. But I can't stand the culture of large organizations. I won't willingly return to it.

And I try to keep out of it with my money, but I still use gasoline to get to shows, and I end up stopping at Wally World for ice. I didn't build my own car, and I CERTAINLY don't tan the leather I make the goggles from. I re-use and re-condition old leather when possible though.

I love making goggles and stuff, and I love going to shows and watching the magic happen when people see my work and are delighted, whether they buy anything that day or not. I feel I've touched their lives somehow.

Abney Park are good family. And that's what it feels like... A pirate sky station where you know all the artisans and what they do to contribute. Thanks, Robert, for posting this. - Mac McGowan

22nd-Jul-2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
I also can't stress enough:


From personal freedom and happyness, to traffic, to greenhouse gassess,to less dependancy on forgien oil, to destroying habitates were all the freeways and workplaces are...its a fact that if EVERYBODY worked and home, the world would be MUCH better.
22nd-Jul-2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I find I use much less gasoline and consume less, generally. I re-use. I wear what I want (no monthly dry-cleaning bill). And I am MUCH happier! If you can find a way, work at home.
22nd-Jul-2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
I most heartily agree with you on this, sirrah.
I spent...well...not all that long, but long enough to hate it, working in a few different office buildings...local branches of giant, terrifying corporations...and though I was actually drawing a decent paycheck, I hated the work and I hated myself. So I quit my job once I realized it was not getting me where I wanted to go in life. Jobless, I ended up where I am now--working as an editor for my father (for almost no actual payment--food and a roof over my head more than making up for it) so that he will be able to travel the world this coming semester.

And that is why I have no cash to order your very spiffy merchandise (as soon as I get cash that does not go towards books or victuals, however, I'll change that).
I salute you and your crafting comrades.
22nd-Jul-2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Hey! I loved my ten minute tree-lined walk to my last job. :'(
23rd-Jul-2010 06:08 am (UTC)
This is so very true. I was a corporate engineer for the last fifteen years then got laid off a year and a half ago, and life has substantially improved. Learned a new trade - blacksmithing - never going back to corporate slavery.
Caught your show at the Little Red Studio, and loved every second of it. Scored the last shirt on the table, and I've gotten a ton of good comments on it.
23rd-Jul-2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
And, I might add, you scored an arm bracer from me! I appreciate the business!
23rd-Jul-2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
And a pretty piece of work it is, too. I'm putting together an outfit for this fall, and that bracer is going to work into it very well.
For my first exposure to the steam community, I am very impressed by the quality and craftsmanship of the wares I saw. I'm really looking forward to Steamcon in November.

22nd-Jul-2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
Not even just "corporation", but "organization", I should think.

I've worked in academia for the past several years. The college that was part of a big public system was a madhouse squared, filled with indifference and malice and led by complete assclowns. I'm now at one of the Seven Sisters, and although it's got its own levels of WTFery, there's really no comparison. I'm working harder than I ever have in my life, but I'm actually happy to do it.
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