If you've never heard of Steampunk before, then you're about to be educated. Steampunk is a relatively new hybrid style (and subgenre) of old anachronisms and technology. So, for instance, a steampunk computer is one that's done in an industrial, victorian manner with brass parts.
Text adventure games, such as the well-known Zork series, were some of the first computer games ever made, second only to the likes of Spacewar! and the better-known Pong. So let's travel back in time for a moment, to a time that never was.
As I said in this earlier post, there's no easy way to explain or define the Steampunk aesthetic. There are a large number of Steampunk tropes or "cues", as I call them, that bring to mind the feeling of Steampunk. These cues combine to push past the "not-Steampunk" threshold into firmly "Steampunk" territory.
It's a controversial headline, I know, but bear with me and I'll explain in due course. Disclaimer: I was once a child, and I played lots of video games. I didn't look anything like this child.
There was recently a case that came to national attention where a gentleman was arrested at an airport for having a watch that looked like a bomb, among other things. As it came out, the watch was, in fact, not a bomb, and the man was just an artist who was probably trying to make a statement of some sort. Well, that message was lost amongst the hail of people shouting that either he had been stupid for bringing that watch on the plane and so deserved to be arrested, or that it's a free count...
The trailer for the new Bioshock game, Bioshock Infinite, takes the series away from its dieselpunk roots and into the realm of steampunk.
I don't know how many of you had this experience in your youth, but when I was a kid, I used to actively think about what would happen if I suddenly woke up in a fantasy land, or were to pass through a portal into another space and time. I knew it wouldn't really happen, but when you're a kid, these can be important issues to you. So I slept with my glasses on every night, just in case. Photo from George Pal's The Time Machine.
If you want to make clothes for your cat, you're on your own. As I recently said in this article, cats will just totally flip out if you make them wear things. Your dog may also flip out, but I've found them to be more tolerant, personally.
We frequently associate plastics with the modern era, starting at around the 1950s with the prevalence of bakelite. However, for all of you "you can't use plastic in Steampunk" purists out there, I have bad news for you:
There are tons of uses for a flashlight. You can turn it into a laser, hack it into a night vision flashlight, or make it super bright. Or if you're a Steampunk Jedi, you turn it into a steampunk lightsaber. Jen from EPBOT started with a vintage flashlight and attached a piece of plumbing extension pipe. Screen splicing was glued on with E-600 for the grip and brass mesh with buttons and rhinestones makes up the 'control panel.' She added a silver gear to cover up the logo on the end. The LED...
Steampunk is a tremendously interesting phenomenon because of its reliance on science fiction, and fiction in general. Steampunk can arguably be broken down into two categories: the fiction, and the aesthetic. Sometimes these categories cross over, but they're often more distinct than most people suspect; that said, the aesthetic is firmly based in works of fiction.
There are many opportunities to make Steampunk clothing. Clothing can be elegant and relate to the aristocrats of the 19th century. But Steampunk also can be rough and dirty, inspired by the adventurer from stories like 2000 miles under the sea or even movies like "Mad Max" or Wild "Wild West".. There are no rules how Steampunk has to look...
So I have been wondering this for a while now. What exactly is steampunk? I know a little bit about it but I feel as thought the internet definitions can only give so much information. What do you guys think? Is steampunk a lifestyle? A fiction base? A for of a art? I think that steampunk has way more potential than people think. Share your ideas on what you think steampunk is and what you would like to see be done with it!
Wow, nearly 2013! This is the time I look back over my body of work in 2012 and assess where I am creatively. With large gaps in the year due to moving into a new studio and two extended hospital stays certainly took a toll on my productivity mid year. I'm really proud of the pieces I submitted to "The Antipodean Steampunk Show", an exhibition that will be touring for three years in regional Australia.
Do you listen to a lot of music on your smartphone or MP3 player? Ever wished the built-in speaker was louder? You're in luck, because this simple amplifier can increase your volume by 14 decibels and make your device look totally steampunk while you're at it. What You'll Need
Since it's October and Halloween is fast approaching, it's time for a series of articles on how to make the coolest Steampunk Halloween decorations for your home! In this installment, we'll look at some jack-o'-lanterns, skulls, and a few other things that are easy to Steampunk, but will still keep that "spooky" Halloween feeling.
I happened across this in my Steampunk Facebook group, and I had to share. A company called oneTesla is running a Kickstarter campaign for a DIY singing Tesla coil.
Hardly anyone writes by hand anymore, but I would consider starting again if I had this pen.
This ship is over 4 ft. long with many moving parts all run from a live steam engine. There are two videos, one more detailed about the story and one blog showing how it was built. Hope you enjoy.
This post has been brought to you by the letter S. With the Christmas season fast approaching, it's time to ask one of the most important questions of our lifetime:
Thought I would cross-post a piece I did a while ago.
I just returned from a trip overseas and I came across this great article over at The Chronicles of Harriet about the role of black men in the evolution of Dandyism. Dandyism rose to prominence at the end of the 19th century, so there's a clear connection to Steampunk. I hope that many black men embrace the fashion and find their way into steampunk!
I came across a really cool article about armor that the Americans wanted to use in World War I. Since it was before kevlar and modern body armor but still needed to stop bullets, they designed it to be similar to medieval armor. It looks terribly uncomfortable and ineffective. Just look at this helmet design: The flaps could be opened when not in combat.
Not that long ago I wrote an article discussing what it would be like, realistically, if you were to accidentally travel back in time to the Victorian era. At the end of that article, I mentioned that the best thing you could bring with you on a time-traveling adventure is a Kindle, or similar e-reader, stuffed full of the knowledge of the 21st century. Why a Kindle? Well, I own a Kindle, and I love it. However, there's far more to it than that.
I've tried my hand in the past at defining Steampunk, but as anyone else who has made a similar attempt will tell you, there's a significant backlash from the community against working to create a real definition of what Steampunk is. That may sound ridiculous to some, but it's a very serious matter to others. With the recent announcement that TeslaCon 4 will be called the Congress of Steam, I think it's appropriate to talk about why all of this stuff is worth it. In this article, I'm going t...
We don't generally think of medicine as being very relevant to Steampunk, but it was a big part of Victorian science fiction. Notable examples that you may be familiar with would be Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
With the new year right around the corner, it's time to talk about the end of the 19th century, a time which plays an enormous role in Steampunk. If you've done any reading of British books written from about 1890 to 1899, you may have come across the phrase 'fin de siecle' and wondered what it meant. You also may have come across this term in reading about the late Victorian era. No worries, I'll tell you all about it! Image by Giovanni Dicandia
You (or your partner, or both) are a Steampunk. Let's get away from all the mindless, unfeeling commercialism for a few minutes and think about dates instead of gifts—where do you take your significant other for Valentine's Day? What would be the ultimate Steampunk Valentine's Day date?
The upcoming web series "Crypto-Historians" does for cryptohistory what Indiana Jones did for archaeology. For those who don't know, cryptohistory is the study of supernatural or alien elements throughout history, and yes—it's a "real" field.
Not two random broke girls, but the television show "Two Broke Girls". I think this show is hilarious, and I think Steampunk getting "dissed" by the show is sort of like a song getting parodied by Weird Al: it's a rite of passage for anyone who's famous.
I've seen some pretty ugly steampunked guitars in my day, but this isn't one of them. This one's about as beautiful as they get. French company Wild Customs made this Gibson LesPaul into a steampunk masterpiece.
Many of us in the Steampunk community have pets that we love and cherish, myself included, and we want those pets to share our joy of Steampunk. In reality, they couldn't care less, but for some reason we still love to dress them up. Their reactions usually range from bemused acceptance to temper tantrums, but the awwwws we get from onlookers usually makes it worthwhile.
Hello, I'm new to this group. Thought you might like to see one of my latest creations—my interpretation of a Tesla power generator. Tesla Power Generator Painting by James Christopher Hill.
As you know, it's impossible to be a Steampunk without a pair of goggles. In fact, there are entire communities dedicated to judging other Steampunks based solely on their goggles. A Steampunk without goggles is like Samson without his hair, or a duck without a beak—totally powerless. As I'm sure you also know, the right pair of goggles can instantly render any outfit Steampunk, no matter what it looks like.
The Recycleart Facebook group frequently posts awesome pictures of steampunk-friendly sculptures. Not all of them look steampunk, but enough do that it's worth checking out.
Cross-dressing and gender-bending are nothing new, but the realm of Steampunk seems to be especially accepting of role-reversal in dress.
Jake von Slatt of The Steampunk Workshop kept breaking the rear glass panel on his iPhone. So, he ended up making his own gorgeous replacement out of brass to replace the standard Apple logo ones who kept getting. The only problem was that it made his signal strength super weak, so he figured out how to transfer the etching onto a glass back. Here's the basic rundown of how he accomplished this feat...
I know, "Steamdown" conjures images of a hoedown, but "Steampunk prop breakdown" is a bit of a mouthful, I thought.
While the pope himself may not be Steampunk, you might be amazed at what is: the coronation stove. For those who don't know, it's been a tradition for a very long time to signal the election of a new pope (or the lack of a new pope) via colored smoke. More specifically, once the cardinals have all voted for the new pope during the conclave, the ballots are burned in a special stove in the Sistine Chapel, and the smoke is visible in St. Peter's square.
Steampunk music is an oft-debated genre, full of bands playing all sorts of different sounds. While this can make it difficult to generalize about the genre as a whole, it means that the average person is bound to like at least some Steampunk bands. That's why it's a great idea to support some independent Steampunk bands this holiday season by buying their music for yourself, or sharing it with someone else.