Steampunk inspiration and resources

DIY and Crafts

Steampunk Short Film: Arms Race

Like Steampunk gadgets? Of course you do! So check out this short little film with some cool gear, and check out the It’s A Trap! channel for more episodes, plus tutorials on how to make what you see.


“Time” Altered Canvas is my Favorite Steampunk Alchemy Illustration

As I suspected, right when I got firmly back into my art-making mindset I had to pack up all my tools, paper and adornments and ship them back the US. There isn’t a lot of downtime on an archeaogical project, so I have to put my creativity on the shelf again for a bit. This is the last of my pieces for the upcoming Steampunk Alchemy book. I actually finished this one back in May, but I wanted to space out posting the various illustrations.

"Time" Altered CanvasThe perfume recipe it will accompany is called “Time.” Of course, when thinking about Steampunk artwork and time I immediately thought of a clock, but I didn’t want to go so totally literal and cover the canvas with clock faces and hands. I had been toying with the idea of using the four corners to show the lifecycle of a flower, but then the Mister suggested a pendulum and I loved the idea. I have always been a fan of the early Impressionists who tried to capture motion, so this is a nod both to them and the idea of using a lifecycle to express “Time”. I also chose sepia-tones to give it an old-timey feel.

The image above is more or less the original piece with only the contrast upped, but the real illustration as it appears in the book will likely be enhanced further through various digital effects.

See my other Steampunk Alchemy illustrations: “Lighter than Air“, “Magic“, and “Brass”


“Magic” 3D Top Hat Illustration for Steampunk Alchemy

Hello friends! I have just finished my second illustration for my upcoming project with Penny Blake. Steampunk Alchemy will be a how-to book about making your own perfumes and lotions, with an alchemical steampunk twist of course! This is my contribution for the perfume called “Magic.” If you missed the first illustration for “Light than Air”, you can see it here.

I decided to go with a magician theme rather than a witch, wizard or fairy because of the rise of magically inclined performers during the steam era. If you want to learn more you can check out my Steampunk Sourcebook for The Illusionist, which features a Steampunk magician gallery.

Magic edited

When you see it straight on in a photo, it may not be quite as obvious that the hat and the magic bits (which were salvaged laser cut wood scraps I bought at Weekend at the Asylum and painted) are coming out of the canvas and toward the viewer, so here a couple pics that are less polished and meant to show you a bit more about how it works.

 


Three New Pages of Steampunky Goodness

Hello friends

Over the last two weeks I have added three new pages to this site to help give easier access to related articles that have been published several days or weeks apart. Many of you probably saw these articles when they were first posted, but as the number of Gear Heads (as I refer to my followers) increases, some folks may not have gotten in on all the fun. Here are links and descriptions of each new page.

Steampunk Sourcebooks– So far I have published 11 of these long articles about a single subject such as Sherlock Holmes, H. G. Wells and Jack the Ripper, with fun facts and information about what has come before and ideas for further punking.

Tips for Makers– Articles about working with metal, plastic, foam and paper.

How to Punk Your Steam– I am publishing one article per month over the next year about different ways to mess with the Victorian era. There is advice for how to do things yourself, as well as links to the work of others to serve as examples. So far there are only two, but the page also lists the upcoming titles for the rest of 2015.

Also, if you weren’t along for the whole ride during my escapades in London, you can get the whole feed by visiting the Steam Tour: An American Steampunk in London page.


Steampunk Valentine Cookies

Just a little something sweet to add to your Valentine’s Day! I don’t have the kitchen right now to attempt something like this, but they are gorgeous 🙂

by amber's hands

Sorry for the late post– there are still a few hours of Monday left in this time zone!

Ok, true confession: I’m kind of a geeky girl. I mean, I don’t go to conventions, but I grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation, am an avid Doctor Who fan, still mourn the cancelling of Firefly, and watch dumb SyFy movies for fun. The latest sci-fi related thing I’m getting into is Steampunk. I realize I’m kind of late to the party on this one. But the more I read Epbot, the more I’m loving it.

But since I don’t go to conventions and the husband hates costume-related parties of any kind, there’s a limit to the useful steampunk crafts I can make. But then I realized steampunk would be a wicked cool theme for Valentine cookies. I’ve been crazy excited about making these for weeks, but haven’t…

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Fashionable Predictions from 1893

As an artist I am always on the lookout for public domain images that I can use in my artwork. As I was looking around for some botanical illustrations, I stumbled upon a delightful site devoted to posting and blogging about these kinds of images. Here’s a series of gems from an article called “The Future Dictates of Fashion,” by W. Cade Gall, and appeared in The Strand in 1893. The author claims to have found a book that is from 1993 and gives a “history of fashion” for the century to come. Time-traveling books?! You can’t get much more Steampunk than that!

Future Fashions

Future Fashions 2

Future Fashions 3Future Fashions 4

Future Fashions 5

FF 6FF 7FF 8 FF 9


Steampunk User’s Manual Release

User Manual coverJeff VanderMeer is a heavy-hitter on the Steampunk book scene, and, along with co-author Desirina Boskovich, he released a new book in October entitled The Steampunk User’s Manual: An Illustrated Practical and Whimsical Guide to Creating Retro-futurist Dreams. 

“Steampunk, the retro-futuristic cultural movement, has become a substantial and permanent genre in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction. A large part of its appeal is that, at its core, Steampunk is about doing it yourself: building on the past while also innovating and creating something original. VanderMeer’s latest book offers practical and inspirational guidance for readers to find their individual path into this realm. Including sections on art, fashion, architecture, crafts, music, performance, and storytelling, The Steampunk User’s Manual provides a conceptual how-to guide that motivates and awes both the armchair enthusiast and the committed creator. Examples range from the utterly doable to the completely over-the-top, encouraging participation and imagination at all levels.” (From the Amazon page)

I have a copy of his Steampunk Biblebut along with several other volumes it had to be left behind in the US when I moved to Europe for the year. Luckily, I have family visiting in the Spring who will bring it to me, and maybe if I ask Santa really nicely he will leave the User’s Manual in my stocking this year.

Have you read anything by VanderMeer? Please share your thoughts below!

 


Celebrating a Wonderful First Year with some Steampunk Cakes

Hello friends!

Halloween marked the first anniversary for For Whom The Gear Turns and it has been a great first year. Thank you so much to The Steampunk JournalThe Obsession Engine, Hive Queen and Country and Airship Flamel for your reblogs, to the World of Penny Blake for your support, and to all my readers for sharing almost 3,000 things, including the campaign for Steam Tour.

So as a little “happy birthday” to the blog, I collected some amazing examples of Steampunk cakes.

I reached and exceeded my goal of 25,000 views for the first year, and gained 711 followers. Wow! But I need your help to shape my calendar for the year to come, so please give me your feedback below. You can vote as many times as you want, so feel free to reload this post and choose as many options as you like.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to share with you all the articles that have been the most popular in case you are new to following or missed them the first time around. It is really interesting to see what interests you the most, and it helps me decide what to write about, so keep up the good work sharing. commenting and reading! The titles are all active links so feel free to explore these top picks by readers.

Most Shared

This is one of my favorite statistics to check, and it tells me so much about what my readers might want to see more of.

1. Steampunk Scrapbook Paper
2. Free Vintage Images
3. Music to Steampunk by: Lindsey Stirling
4. Steampunk Sourcebook: Captain Nemo
5. Treasure Planet
6. Of Coke and Culture Clash (Multicultural Steampunk)

Most Viewed

You can’t imagine how much it warms my heart to see that the two pages that are most personal, about me and the pictures of my artwork, are in the top 6 most viewed things on the blog.

1. Van Helsing Mixes Monsters for Movie Magic
2. Brothers Grimm Punks Your Favorite Fairy Tales
3. About the Author
4. The Dolls of New Albion at Ed Fringe Review
5. My Artwork
6. Hustlers, Harlots and Heroes Book