Thursday, May 3, 2007

Am I an oxymoron?

From the sidebar of the Steampunk Anime and Manga site:

"If you can buy it in a store, I don't see it as steampunk..."
Anonymous user of The Steampunk Forum on a Sci-Fi genre as social revolution.


Tinkergirl said...

Course not. Everyone's got their own opinion on Steampunk, and you may have noticed that the owner of that site didn't think too highly of the "if you can buy it..." theory as an opinion. Good luck on your site (and Dressr too!) (Sorry if this is a double comment, had trouble signing in).

Tinkergirl. Brass Goggles.

Sapientia Magazine said...

I think there's a limited amount of truth in that. Of course you can buy lamps, tables, curtains and such that are Victorian and Edwardian! And you can buy items that are gearlike. All of these things can fit into a steampunk decor. But are they necessarily steampunk? At this point, unlikely. Usually the item requires some work to make it look steampunk.

However, I would say (and this is my own personal opinion, for which I've been slammed) that a steampunk object looks like it could work, even if in reality it can't. In other words, no matter how unwieldy and impractical, it looks like it could shoot rays or contain souls or punch holes in the atmosphere or emit light, or something. Or it is a decorative object that looks like it was taken from a larger usable object, like the tea-light holders you highlighted. However, the object should with luck improve on the actual nineteenth century by not looking like gimcrackery. That's the joy of making things for yourself or editing what you buy.

Sara said...

Hmm... I wonder if I would recognize gimcrackery if I saw it. :)

I'm working, albeit very slowly, to develop a philosophy of what a steampunk home would be like, inspired in large part by Steampunk Magazine's recently published manifesto. Watch this space!

The Professor said...

I think a large steampunk project (like a room) almost has to contain purchased elements. The "make-ing" element of steampunkery in this case involves the arrangement and juxtaposition of objects as much as it does actually altering them.


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