About Me

My photo
I am the creator of steampunk reviews, a woman in love with history, mystery, and the fine things of life, though not necessarily in that order. As a self-styled aristocrat, I've aimed to cultivate an old world (real or constructed via movies being irrelevant to me) sense of elegance and taste, and have been going to great lengths to fulfill that goal. It is my aim to live a life that is enjoyable, rather than one obsessed with being 'perfectly good for me in every way'.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Trial by Hand, Head, and Heart

A cookie to whoever gets the reference in the title.

Well, as a lovely way to start this blog, here’s a post about the pitfalls on the glittering trail to becoming a Steampunk.

The fact is that there are a lot of things one may or may not consider when one first gets into the subculture. There are many difficulties to be navigated, but most can be solved with a trio of attributes. Simply put, one must possess these three things: One should have skills in crafting items with your hands, some spare money, and self confidence. You won’t go anywhere without them.

The first thing I will handle is the beginning pair, and their import is obvious: to decorate one’s life with the trappings of the late nineteenth century, one is going to require either considerable skill with their hands, or else one must have a large amount of money kicking about so they can purchase the items elsewhere. The former of the two is ultimately the more favorable, since Steampunks as a rule laud handcrafted things and most of the finest items one will find, such as Steampunk-ed laptops or personally fitted corsets, are manually assembled. Thus it is that being able to craft at least some of one’s Steampunk clothing and equipment is very helpful.

At the same time, however, money will inevitably be a necessity, since not everyone will be able to make everything. I’m a fairly expert seamstress and specialize in corsetry, so I have a leg up in the clothing department, but I have no skills with electronics or metal-work, so I’m naturally going to have to shell out some cash if I want, say, a Steampunk lamp.

And finally one must possess the self confidence to act the part. I often get ‘stage fright’ when I go out in full Victorian dress, and this can be exacerbated when I’m at college where, while many of the men dress however they please, there are few women who dress in any unique or eccentric way. It’s hard to force myself through the door sometimes, but inevitably I put on my big girl bloomers and march out anyway. The reason I do it, I remind myself, is that this is what I really love. This is who I want to be. To hell with fitting in and all that it entails. So I hold my head and my parasol high and keep right on walking.

Being a Steampunk is a wonderful thing. Don’t get me wrong. But knowing the difficulties one will face before one enters the fray is always a good strategy. And everyone is different. Some will find that the confidence that often eludes me will come naturally to them, and others may be able to make anything that they put their mind to. It’s all a mix, and that’s one of the wonderful things about Steampunk: you can make what you will of it.

Safe flying, airship pilots!

1 comment:

  1. I’m a steampunk newbie and I just want to tell you it makes me feel better knowing that you’re not one of those people who are just super confident in everything they do. I just started to feel comfortable with my normal self and it helps to hear that someone has gone through the awkwardness and survived.