Interview with Steampunk’d Maker, Tayliss Forge

This week we are talking with Tayliss Forge, who was one of the ten contestants on Steampunk’d, from GSN, the Game Show Network. Steampunk’d is the first steampunk reality show to be broadcast on cable television.


Airship Ambassador: Hi Tayliss, thanks for joining us this week.

Tayliss Forge: No problem! Thank you for having me. I always enjoy talking about steampunk.


AA: Being on the first steampunk reality show on TV is quite an achievement to have on the resume – how was the experience for you?

TF: Sadly, my experience wasn’t a very happy one. You can only prepare so much for the emotional and physical stress competing in a show like this requires. I knew it was going to be hard, but actually experiencing it is something else. The networking, exposure, and family that I created from being on this show are all amazing. Although it had its benefits, being a part of the reality show is something I would never want to do again.


AA: I’m sorry to hear that, and it’s certainly something for people to consider going into this kind of situation. We’ll talk more about the show but first, how long have you been involved in the steampunk community and what brought you into it?

TF: I have been a fan of steampunk since 2008 when I heard about it from some friends in high school. I didn’t become fully involved until I met the League of STEAM my first year at Anime Expo in 2009. I designed my first costume during their Anime Expo panel and then created it to wear exactly one year later.

tayliss-westernPhoto by GB Imaging

AA: Sounds like they were quite a motivating influence. How long have you been building and creating things, and how did you get started?

TF: My beginnings for crafting are all thanks to my high school theater teacher. One of the projects we had to do for class was creating costumes out of recycled materials. One of the ideas I had was creating jewelry out of recycled soda cans. Once I had done that for a few months, I moved onto making steampunk and gothic chokers. I kept designing my own accessories for myself and friends which continue to this day. I had no idea I could do things until I just…did them. I was and am self-taught and I love winging it.


AA: Good idea for people to keep in mind with anything they might be interested in – just try it. What is it about steampunk as an aesthetic that appeals to you?

TF: I was first drawn to steampunk because of the alternative history of the Victorian era. Later, I learned it was much more than just Victorian styles and simple character/world design. It is what I believe the world would be like if it was powered by steam. Since it is part of history, I can pull from styles all over the world. It’s not just Victorian, it’s everywhere.

tayliss-aristocratPhotograph taken by Simply Colorful

AA: Steampunk and steampunk worlds are truly global, so there’s plenty of ideas and inspiration to drawn on. What are some designs or materials that you tend to work with the most?

TF: A lot of my costume and jewelry designs are based off of real historical garments. Of course, my steampunk clothing looks completely different when I’m done with it because of my color choices and materials used. I tend to use a lot of pfaux-suedes and silky materials in my dresses, skirts, and tops. In most of my accessories and almost all my corsets, I use veg tanned leather. Working with veg tanned leather is one of the most enjoyable things that I do crafting-wise because it is so versatile.


AA: What are some signature elements in your work that make it stand out as recognizably something you created?

TF: One of the things that I am most known for is my stitching style and corsets. Almost every costume I wear has a leather piece that has something in common with all my other leather pieces. I hand sew all my leather work and stitch them in a way that is a signature style.

tayliss-Hextech-JannaPhotograph taken by Simply Colorful

AA: What is something that you’d like to create but haven’t done so yet?

TF: I am always coming up with character concepts which I tend to keep secret until I actually begin working on them. One of the costumes I have always wanted to do (and is currently in the works) is Steam Queen from the board game SmashUp. One of the unique and most challenging things about her appearance is that she has two mechanical arms on the left side of her body. Creating a completely poseable third arm that will attach to my body is something I’ve never done before. That piece is in the design phase and I can’t wait to begin working on it.


AA: Ha, that’s great! I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures! How has your work changed over time? What are some key lessons you’ve learned along the way?

TF: I believe each of my costumes have progressively gotten more complicated and cleaner in appearance over the years. I feel as though my sewing has improved the most because I’m learning as I go along. One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is to accept constructive criticism, but ignore anything negative. It’s extremely hard to ignore insults to your art, but I’ve learned to have a good humor about it. I recommend other artists to do the same.

tayliss-steam-aristocratPhotograph taken by Simply Colorful

Time for a break in our chat with Tayliss.

Join us for part two where she talks more about her experiences on the show


Keep up to date with Tayliss‘ latest news on her Twitter feed.

Also, check out her exhibit page at The Steampunk Museum.

Published in: on September 9, 2015 at 8:01 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Part one can be read here. […]

  2. […] Part one can be read here. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: