Some of the best Steampunk Lights for your home can be found on various artists websites throughout the internet. We've stumbled onto one this week that blew us away. While we like our beer cold and frosty, we never really thought about turning the empty bottles into lamps. The fine folks over at ZAL Creations on the other hand not only thought about it, they went out and made some ridiculously cool looking Steampunk Lights that you can purchase.
The craftsmanship that goes into these lights is exquisite. Fine detail work and an eye towards composition is quite evident. While you may need a decent sized room to house some of these lamps - they do produce smaller versions for a more intimate space. If you are a bar owner or restaurant that has an industrial feel these would make great additions to the decor!
The latest Steampunk Magazine is now available. You can get your copy by heading on over to steampunkmagazine.com. Its free, but they put a lot of time and effort into it - consider donating a few bucks to help them out! This edition comes in at 118 pages of mad science, history, interviews, fashion, and fiction - defiantly worth a read through. If you are not familiar with Steampunk Magazine they have a bunch of back issues available as well. We highly suggest taking a look through the back catalog as there is a ton of great Steampunk material to read over.
Clockwork RPG is a great Steampunk rpg. It has a ton of back story and well developed world in which to immerse yourself. It is definatly worth checking out for those of you who are a little more old school RPG mixed with the Steampunk style. Clockwork has a great collection of players and writings within the Steampunk realm. Go check it out today!
From the Clockwork site description:
"Clockwork is a steampunk-fantasy roleplay which takes place atop a floating island. The world below has been ravaged by an eternal acid rain: the product of an over-zealous industrial revolution. With nowhere else to go, the citizens of New Tottenham saddled up their island and took to the sky. Under a chaotic mismatch of genres that includes fantasy, steampunk, dystopian society, and post-apocalyptic, Clockwork is truly a roleplay like no other. We welcome mature, creative thinkers of all levels of experience and from all walks of life."
As I was surfing the web yesterday I stumbled across an interesting online steam punk mmo web game called Iron Grip: Marauders. This is a turned based MMO style web game based in a steam punk settting. It looks to be pretty well coded and artistically has a great deal of depth. It is free to play via facebook login or steam account - with the expectation that you will need to purchase in game "boosts" at some point which is how the game makes money. If you fancy a steampunk style MMO for free this would be a good place to start. Take a tour of the game here.
From the site:
In Iron Grip: Marauders you’ll assume command of a horde of marauders with a simple goal: raid and plunder your way to power. Use the plundered supplies to fund units and research, and don't forget the healthy income you can get through smuggling!
This a great short film on Steampunk artist and Steampunk clock maker Richard Birkett of Fantasy Clocks. Be sure to check out his website for some seriously delicious Steampunk clocks and other assorted goodness. Richard takes a base clock and makes it a truely unique and one of a kinda Steampunk clock by infusing new life from old lost technologies like the insides of a vcr or old cameras. Great Steampunk clocks that you can purchase directly from his website, or you can find him at art shows - schedule on his website. Please take a minute to check out his website as there are some really good pieces of Steampunk art there - and he's a cool dude.
One of the major problems any Steampunk craftsman or maker runs into is a good source of Steampunk parts to make steampunk objects from. While you can find pipes, nuts, bolts etc at any local big box store those are only a piece of the puzzle. To be a good Steampunk craftsman you're going to need a good supply of Steampunk parts in many different types of objects, both new and old. I've put together a list of my favorite spots to look for Steampunk parts below, as well as some of the auctions I watch for Steampunk parts
Antique stores are great sources for your base Steampunk item. While you can craft entire Steampunk pieces from scratch, I find working on older vintage items and adding Steampunk parts to them to create something entirely new is what I end up doing most. Now this doesn't mean just slapping a few gears and time pieces on with some duct tape and soldering iron. To create a true Steampunk crafted item you need to take your time and apply some hand loving craftsmanship to each piece. The finished piece should look like it was made as one, and not combined. Antique stores offer you a great way to experience vintage pieces in person versus buying online. Each piece will have its own feel. Search around each store and go back often as dealers will usually change up their booths if its a multi vendor store. Get to know the vendors, they have sources that they can go to for specific items if you are looking for something in particular - and usually give you a good price!
Online shops have become a great resource for Steampunk parts over the past few years. There are a lot of options out there so be sure to do your homework and find an online Steampunk shop that you can trust. If you are in the gears and time pieces market make sure to look at the weights and number of pieces for each bundle you buy. You want to purchase bundles that have a good variety of different pieces, but have enough weight that your going to be able to weld them into whatever Steampunk piece you might be working on. One of my favorite shops is Steampunk Shop on eBay where you can find a ton of really good deals if you do some research you'll end up with a ton of Steampunk parts.
Yard sales can be a treasure trove of Steampunk parts or a colossal waste of time. Depending on where you live and the climate you can find yard sales year round or at least a good majority of the year. I find that yard sales are great places to find vintage clothing for super cheap prices as people want to get rid of items they no longer want laying around their house. Yard sales can be a great spot to pick up Steampunk gears and clocks for super cheap as well. I've found some old wall clocks that the sellers didn't want anymore and haggled them down to under 10$ per clock. Once those were safely home I dismantled and had plenty of gears for my other projects. When scouring yard sales for Steampunk items be sure to keep a mind for what is inside of an item and not as a whole. Most Steampunk projects require the ripping apart of several items to create something completely new. Do your homework here too if you have a big enough city where the news paper lists yard sale contents. This will be a huge help in time savings.
Your attic or basement
(more precisely your grand parents)
If you're lucky enough to still have grandparents alive and well be sure to visit them and learn about their past. If they have older items that don't have a ton of sentimental value ask if you might be able to have them for your Steampunk projects. Be sure to ask about how they came into posession of the object and its history. Having a story and background of your Steampunk creation is just as important as the craftsmanship you put into it. Revitalizing an older object and breathing new life into it is as top notch as it gets. So be sure to take some time and explore the past with your elders!
Resource / Reuse Shops
With the global warming and environment much more on people's minds the past few years, there has been a surge in the number of reclamation and reuse shops springing up across the nation and world. This is not only a good thing for the planet and an effort that I highly support, but it is a gold mine for Steampunk craftsman that are searching for unique and interesting older Steampunk parts. I find myself going to a reuse shop at least once a month to pick over items and see what is new. Depending on the volume of the shop you frequent you may want to adjust your visiting schedule so that you can time your visit to the new arrivals. Most shops will get a weekly turnover if they are near a major city. Dig deep, look in nooks and crannies you'll find some great items for your Steampunk projects. A lot of shops will even let you take pieces off of larger items as they want to make sales however they can. Don't be afraid to ask for the hardware off of a cabinet if you find something you like - they'll probably sell it to you! The best part about these types of shops is that they are usually cheap, and sometimes go to a great cause. Habit for Humanity for example has a reuse store in many locations, proceeds go to a great charity!
Steampunk craftsmanship is definitely something that I seek out and when I find a true craftsman I want to share. I happened across the fantastic article on Jake's Wimshurst Machine - an electrostatic generator of electricity, a Wimshurst Influence machine. The article goes into detail on how to make your own from various parts found around the home and your local retail shops.
The important part of the article that I find truly amazing is the level of detail and craftsmanship that went into the design and creation of this project. One of the best parts of being a fan of Steampunk and Maker communities is that you can find a level of Steampunk craftsmanship that you rarely find in the modern world of machine built products. While the technical aspects of today's world are spot on there is a personal and loving feel not found in products. Steampunk craftsmanship brings back the personal touch, the knowledge that someone built an item with their mind and hands.
Take some time and read through Jake's article, it has multiple parts, but is well worth the read. You'll find some insight into Steampunk craftsmanship and how to build your very own Wimshurst Machine. It makes a very good piece for your office. Clients will have a fascination with it and you'll be hitting it off in no time. While its not the easiest build of all time it is a build that most people can accomplish in a few weekends with a few hours here and there, but its not a beginner project.
IBM the big blue machine has done some serious research and found out that Steampunk is here to stay. Using the mega power behind its search analytic systems IBM has seen the future and has a Steampunk prediction that it is encroaching more and more on the social, personal, and fashion trends through out the world. Using its Social Sentiment Index mind probing, IBM has once again inserted itself quite cleverly into pop culture. The info graphic below is a very trendy and well done piece on the influence of Steampunk across multiple genres
All good characters have a strong name that can define and sometimes undermine their place in the world of which they inhabit. That is true for Steampunk persona's as well. In order to delve deeper into the Steampunk world you should take care and consider your persona's Steampunk name, title, and rank for the world in which you will find yourself exploring.
I found a great website that will take a lot of the preliminary work out of creating your Steampunk Name. Spencer Rhodes has created a Steampunk name generator that takes into consideration several key factors when creating Steampunk names. You can produce a range of names with titles based on the gender and social class that you wish to be. The options for social class are - Aristocracy, Clergy, Commoner, Enforcer, Military, and Scientist. These options will give you a great place to start when deciding which class you wish to be.
For my character I have chosen the name of - Grand Duke M. Price Howell - kindly created by the Steampunk name generator.
As I was perusing the inter webs today I came across a truly unique piece of steam punk functional sculpture. You can jump to the full break down of the steampunk art build here if you want to see all the build details. I find this build quite impressive due to the simplicity of design and the elegance of the nuance. A traditional segway follows some of the same form and function in the sense that its interface is intuitive and visually simple.
Below you will find some images from the build that Bdring did as the creator - mad props to them!
Take a look at the Steampunk inspired wheel, such an elegant presentation and craftsmanship which was obviously lovingly built - hard to find in today's modern mass production schedules. I'm tempted to try and build one of these for myself, but not sure my balance is good enough to ride one. Would love to see a video of someone putting this Steampunk Segway to the test and actually riding one through the town!
The detail on the handle and instrumentation panel is very well done. Would like to see if the inside wheel gear could become a working piece that would actuate on usage - that would add a brilliant bit of mechanical interest to this piece. I also love the woodworking and care that was taken to inset the speedometer - would love to see that upgraded to a real working dial and some other gauges to keep tabs on distance, speed, air volume etc.
Always need to keep up the Steampunk Stats! Especially in the digital era, the cross over between the Victorian Steampunk and digital era devices is still one I'm not sure which side of the fence I'm on. Currently I'm leaning more towards the Victorian era winning over the Digital in regards to artwork, but on functional Steampunk sculpture pieces like this one I feel that the digital aspects have a place in the final design implementation. What are your thoughts on this piece?