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.
Concept artwork of a Toronto based video game studio Incubator Games upcoming steampunk turn-base tactic game: Trudy's Mechanicals. The military's boat-like Battle Platform. Butler-bot variations: pantsless four-arms and sleek tuxedo. Denizens of the Clockwork Labyrinths and various fashion. A placard for the Aerie and its floating islands connected by cable cars. Incubator Games » games.
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:
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?
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.
Say whatever you want, but Steampunk is primarily a maker culture. Consider that Steampunk has existed since the 1960s and yet more or less languished in obscurity until approximately 2005, which is when it made the leap to costuming. That costuming was what provided the leap to the tangible, despite the fact that Steampunk art had also existed for years.
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.
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.
This claw glove by Curiomira, called "Von Richt's Mechanical Glove" is really, really impressive. In addition to the amazing craftsmanship, it also has cool moving parts that make it look mesmerizing in action.
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!
Religion is one of the most-ignored topics when it comes to Steampunk, which is surprising given how important religion was in Victorian England. Even the hot-button issues of race and gender are confronted with a greater awareness than religion.
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.
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 collect straight razors from the Victorian era and then add some steampunk style. Step 1: Remove the Old Scales
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...
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
Ever since the mid-2000s, there's been a lot of bandying back and forth on the Internet over what exactly Steampunk is. Some people think it's one thing, others another thing, and some think that it shouldn't be defined at all.
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!
President Andrew Jackson was a pretty rough guy. He routinely fought in duels, and even used to beat people with a stick. That's not very funny.
So I noticed that a lot of the writings on this section of wonder how to are by a great author known as Austin Sirkin. I would just like to throw a huge thank you and keep going his way! Thank you for all of the stories and topics Austin, they have helped me learn a lot about Steampunk. So keep on writing Austin, you inspire us all and make our lives 10x better! I hope to see you keep writing and making even more good stories and topics for us to discus. Maybe you could even write a book or a...
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.
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...
For creating my costumes I try to use only authentic materials, such as old leather, steel, brass, copper, wood and glass. Nearly nothing is glued, most parts are reversible connected with screws.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Cross-dressing and gender-bending are nothing new, but the realm of Steampunk seems to be especially accepting of role-reversal in dress.
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.
So, you want to throw a steampunk party and you have almost everything in place—your steampunk persona and iPhone are ready to go, and you've even got your own steampunk straight razor. What's missing? The Elixirator, that's what. The Elixirator is a steampunk cocktail-making machine by Botronics that can hold four different ingredients and mix up to ten drinks. It has a Picaxe microcontroller for a brain and was built using a lot of pieces from thrift shops. It has a plasma globe at the top ...
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:
Once you have the skills to bring your ideas to life, the hardest part is coming up with ideas. What do you do when you can't think of something to make? What happens when your well of inspiration runs dry?
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.
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!
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.
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.
Not sure if this is specifically counts as steampunk, but it's awesome nonetheless:
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...