I’m still not dead! and also some thoughts on Steampunk

Ok ok ok! I’m really sorry I haven’t been keeping up the blog 😦 Is it that I’ve run out of eclectic thoughts?! Perish the thought dear reader :p There’s a positive bottleneck of them haha Maybe that’s why I haven’t done much lately, that and the heat. It’s middle of summer here and horribly humid. I’m absolutely hanging out for the winter! Dieing to break out my vests and blazers; my winter coats!

But enough of that.

'Pilot Project' wings test animated

Wearable arts entry for a small charity competition (I won the open section)

A few days ago someone asked me if I was available to maybe work on a project involving steam-punk. Now, I’m sorry to say I turned it down. I did so because I didn’t feel like doing anything too stressful at the moment and I’m trying to work on some personal projects, maybe start some sort of venture of my own. It’s a bit of a lame excuse, but oh well, I’ve been using it for a while and it’s stood me in good stead ;p

Anyway it got me thinking, what is my view of ‘steampunk’? What does it mean to me? What do I like about it? Well, I’ve seen some amazing steampunkesque stuff in my time, and I’ve also seen some things that quite simply left me cold.

So Steampunk:

Mad Digi-Cultist portrait

A treatment I did for a 'mad digi-cultist' (sort of a audio/visual cargo-cult thing I envisaged) costume.

Yes, it’s the craze of the last couple of years. It seems to be everywhere! And it’s great! It’s fun; it’s classic; historic; retro; and futuristic! Sometimes it’s somber; then it’s wild and exciting. It’s ornate and yet functional.

But the thing I hate! Absolutely Detest! Is when it’s not functional. Er what? I hear you say. Yeah, think about it. The basis, the very name sake of the aesthetic movement we call steampunk is ‘steam’. But we’re not talking free steam, the gaseous water vapor. No! We’re talking about taking that hot, compressed steam, produced in coal fired boilers and harnessing it to power great machines; or send delicate armatures; springs; cogs and tiny little flywheels into motion. We may not know what these things, these beautiful; sculptural; kinetic creations do. But they jolly well do DO something!

Sorry to rant, but it’s something I feel particularly strongly about 😉 Of course, this is just me, and I’m sure many will disagree, in fact I know many do because I’ve seen their version of steam-punk, and felt cheated and disappointing. I feel great shame to admit it, but sometimes I even feel just a little superior. Not because I could or would necessarily do better, but because something says to me I know better, oh the shame! But it’s fine, and it really doesn’t matter, because if they’re happy with what they do, that’s wonderful. It’s just not for me. Choice is a wonderful thing 😉

But for me, the bottom line is, if there’s a big ‘brass’ cog,  on your hat for example, I want to be able to tell whether it’s intended to be purely decorative, or meant to actually do something! And if it is purely decorative, does it need to look like brass? Well obviously, why not? But think about the weight of it, and think about what other, perhaps more suitable material it might be made of. One should always conciser the alternatives and not leap straight for the obvious or cliched. That same cog idea might be much more effective were it embroidered or appliqued in lace as a motif, a symbol or logo of the ubiquitous cog. Or keep the cog real enough, but do it as a broach or pin, a sign of membership to some guild; company; or club etc.

The possibilities are unending of course! I simply urge my fellow steam enthusiasts to look for some other materials and textures to add to the kaleidoscope of brass and rivets 😉

I don’t have time, just at this moment, to back all that up with some examples of my vision of steampunk, but fear not, I shall return and justify my bombastic claims :p

Until then, take care, and if you’re actually one of the few reading this, I love you deeply and forever (or at least until you stop reading my blog) ;p



About tobias 'lockhart'

Hello there, I’m Tobias. I’m male; in my late 20s, straight and eccentric. I’m finally beginning to accept that I’m really not your typical bloke; but that’s probably alright. Although my interests are many and varied, my primary areas of said interest tend toward art; fashion and costume; and that which sits or sprawls somewhere between them. I have a Diploma in Performance Technology, Majoring in Wardrobe/Costume; and you might say a Doctorate in being indecisive with post graduate honors in being not entirely sure what I want to do. Welcome to my musings on life, fashion and other things. etc.
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