Let me start out by saying that Steampunk isn't about being historically accurate, and that everything I'm about to tell you is entirely optional. That said, let's take a look at the history of screws! What many people don't realize is that before we had metal screws, wooden screws were in wide use for things like wine and oil presses. Generally, the invention of the screw is attributed to Archimedes in the 3rd century BC. That was a long, long time ago. Metal screws and even screwdrivers hav...
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.
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.
First off, let me say this—using real steam power is dangerous, and heavy, and just generally not worth it when you have modern alternatives. Except, you know, if you're a Steampunk. Or this guy:
Not sure if this is specifically counts as steampunk, but it's awesome nonetheless:
Sometimes I forget that I'm also a fiction writer, so I thought it might be a nice change of pace to share one of my stories with you. I wrote this piece awhile ago for an anthology that never came together and I'm tired of just sitting on it.
"Jef with one F" from the Houston Press compiled a list of the 10 best steampunk songs, but it's really a collection of the best steampunk music videos. There are some amazing videos in the collection, such as this one, "Brass Goggles" by Steam-Powered Giraffe. It's not the best-looking, but it's a great performance.
LEGO has not attempted a blimp, zeppelin, or similar airship since 1999, the 5956 Expedition Balloon which used highly specialized parts. This is unfortunate as these vessels are well and truly part of the pulpy adventure and steampunk scene.
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.
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.
We don't spend much time thinking about bicycles today, do we? Sure, they're a "green" alternative to driving everywhere in cars, but the vast majority of America has dismissed them as simply being too much work, or more importantly—too slow. That wasn't always the case, though, I assure you!
I can imagine you sitting there thinking to yourself, "I've played a lot of games! I bet he won't have any that I don't know about!" Well, that's entirely possible. I'm only drawing from my own personal experience here, so you may, in fact, know of all these games.
I'm not entirely sure how to describe band Frenchy and the Punk, but if I say things like cabaret, punk, and fun, you'll probably get the idea. Their website calls them "rollicking flapper folk punk cabaret", which is about as many words as you need to describe them. I wouldn't call them punk per se, but you can definitely hear the punk influence in their sound.
Even most non-video gamers know who Lara Croft is, thanks to Angelina Jolie. The movies were pretty awful, but even I'd go see the next one if it looked like this: The photos are from LJinto. And the character design is from Tess Fowler.
A man named Tom Hardwidge has taken it upon himself to create an army of steampunk insects from a bunch of different found materials, including bullets and pocket watches. He's made a ton of them—and they're really awesome. They're modeled after real insects, too, and aren't just fantasy creations. His website has them all categorized by species, with clever, robot-inspired names. His arthrobots are for sale, too, so if you're interested in owning your very own horde of steampunk insects, you...
The lovely Kato of Steampunk Couture has gone hardcore. For those who prefer to exercise their imaginations a bit more, Voila! Veronique Chevalier in Gearhearts Steampunk Glamour Revue- click here should do... A recent kerfuffle unfolded on facebook's Steampunk Revolution group when a discussion was started by Steampunk R &D''s very own Austin Serkin on the subject of Kato's new foray into steampunk porn, which was, ahem, examined in detail. (Well, figuratively, not literally, since her websi...
One of the hardest, most intimidating parts of making your own Steampunk guns from scratch is the wooden stock of the gun. To be fair, it's probably the hardest part. It requires the most artistry, and is the easiest to mess up.
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.
A Steampunk's Guide to Sex was the subject of a recent successful Kickstarter campaign, and I now hold the finished book in my hands. As such, I can say (mostly) unreservedly that you should buy this book. Allow me to tell you why, before I get into the nitty-gritty about the book itself. Sex is something of an odd topic in America because it's perfectly legal, and yet taboo. Unlike things that are illegal and not taboo, like drug use, murder, theft, etc. What this means is that children can ...
Nearly everyone of note in the Steampunk community has tried at one time or another to define what Steampunk is, myself included. Every time someone tries, it's met simultaneously with both backlash and support for either being too open or too closed.
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!
Imagine a world where the Rococo period never ended, and it had a lovechild with Sid Vicious. Sounds unlikely? Well, it is. Still, historical accuracy wasn't the goal for this motley group of costumers.
Adventure Time is one of the best TV shows for kids that's currently on the air. It's so good that it has real appeal for adults, too. Just do a Google image search for "Adventure Time costume" and you'll see what I mean.
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 obviously do a lot of Steampunk projects, but there are a ton of things out there that I haven't tried yet. So, in an effort to broaden my horizons, I recently taught myself how to use Arduinos, which I plan to incorporate into some of my future Steampunk builds.
As practically the entire Steampunk world knows by now, IBM has predicted that Steampunk will be the big new trend from 2013 to 2015. They based this prediction on their computers, which sift through broad swathes of the internet in order to see patterns that may help commercial industries. According to them, Steampunk has been on the rise for the last few years, and they predict that it will explode into peak popularity within the next two years. But what does that mean and how will it impac...
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.
Cross-dressing and gender-bending are nothing new, but the realm of Steampunk seems to be especially accepting of role-reversal in dress.
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.
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.
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...
Need your hands free, but still want to use your cell phone? Tormented Artifacts has the solution for you, with their Communication Bracer. It's a custom-made leather bracer which fits standard smart phones and covers them with an easy-to-open leather flap so that you don't have to ruin the illusion of your steampunk outfit but still have your phone in easy reach.
I chose to make this a Steampunk iPad case, but you can change the details and make it look as modern as you'd like. As I said earlier, Steampunks probably shouldn't buy iPhones or iPads, but if you're going to get one, you may as well make it look cool, right? The iPad pictured below was borrowed from a friend of mine, though I should add that this design will easily work with tablet computers of any variety, Apple, Android, or otherwise.
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:
We could use some more cool steampunk films, and this one looks like it has pretty high production values for an independent thing. So far as I'm concerned we can use more steampunk horror, too. I love that stuff.
Swing music was later than the Victorian era, but electro-swing music can call that retrofuturistic era to mind. I recently saw this review of an electro-swing album, "Electro Swing For the Masses" by Good Co~, who features one of the musicians from the well-known Steampunk band Abney Park. Electro-swing is just what it sounds like: a fusion of electronic and swing music. For anyone who hasn't heard any of it, check it out!
I came across this leg piece on the internet made by Skinz-N-Hydez and I just had to share it. I see a lot of steampunk arms on the internet, but I don't often see legs. This one is really well done, and I love the construction and design.
If you're a steampunk enthusiast looking to give your bathroom an extra kick, this just might be the project for you. This stylish and functional "vintage" toothbrush timer knows when you've grabbed your toothbrush, and will visually count down two minutes before alerting you when you've brushed long enough. All you'll need to put one together yourself is a microcontroller (the designer used a ATmega328p), a weight sensor, light bulbs, brass cups and a tray, an alarm clock's chime, and some w...
This bicycle was found through website CustomMade, which is sort of like an Etsy for people who will custom make things to your specifications rather than selling things they've already made. If only I had the money...