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Woman turns tornado debris into art

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Costume artist Paige Smith dropped by Talk of Alabama today to show off some of her "steampunk"-inspired work. You might ask, "what is steampunk?" {}According to Wikipedia, steampunk is "a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century.""Some of my works win awards and make a mark in the world of science fiction and fantasy costuming," Smith writes on that site. {}"Some costumes simply provide an expressive outlet to celebrate my interest in worlds not of my own creation or to enhance the theatrical element of my work as a fire performer. But I always consider it art."On Smith's website,, you can see examples of her work. {}A lot of the scenes are set at Sloss Furnace. {}After a tornado ripped through her town in 2011, Smith started making masks out of the tornado debris. {}You can find her work at the Alabama Phoenix Festival, May 24-26, 2013, at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center.


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