Sunday, July 10, 2011


Think - H G Wells' The Time Machine, or K. W. Jeter's Infernal Devices.

Think - Victorian era Great Britain.

Think - alternative history, or, history of speculations for the future. But, that the future is still technically in the past.

"Steampunk" has been used since the 1980's to describe a certain aspect of science fiction which embraces inventions, building, technology, and contraptions, as they would have or might have been from about 1830 through about 1930.

Imagine people in Victorian style dress trying to invent or build something mechanical. Imagine steam engines and steam power as the forerunner of known technology. Picture lots of gears, and steam, and smoke, and tubes. Picture grease, tools, holding tanks, factory stacks. crude wings and confounding contraptions.

Since much of this science fiction of Victorian history deals with travel, think about lots of globes, goggles, maps, compasses, clocks, wheels and wings. Ships, and captain's wheels. Travel trunks and big iron shipping containers.

Since this is fiction, there is no right or wrong to Steampunk. That means there is no such thing as something being out of place or time. If the contraption or decor involves a piece of technology like a can opener or a lighter that wasn't quite put together in that way until the 1950's, that's OK. It would be understood that you must have travelled forward in time, and brought that back with you. Or maybe it's from an alternate universe or another dimension.

Imagine lots of buckets of water for cooling things that got too hot. Imagine mason jars of bits and antique cans and boxes for greased cogs and thigamabobs. Picture pails of screws, clamps sprockets and whatnots.

And then take it all out of the garage and into every day life: the old leather suitcases, the Victorian gloves, jewelry, cloaks, scarves and hats. The travel wares and the daily essentials. The farm tools and kitchen items an inventor would be using and repurposing for his inventions; the inner workings of an old clock pulled apart, the lens from a camera, the alchemists's tins, the gears off of a simple kitchen hand mixer or whisker, the large claw hay baler used for something else. The coal stove, the fire extinguishers, the old books and recording instruments. Early soft helmets and high boots. Picture the creative garb of the inventor, the thinker, the Steam Punk.

Steampunk is about trying and inventing. It's about seeing something as solid as history in a completely changing and innovative way. It's about what could be. It allows you to think far beyond any limitation of fact, history, science, time, or Earth. It combines our fondness for antiques and remembering, with our desire to create and believe. It says all things are possible; anything can be. Then, and now.

Steampunk is accessible to all; historians, collectors, sci fi fans, believers, and found object artists.

Your Steampunk decor is what you want it to be. If you're into the clothing, the styles as you perceive them to be in your view of that world, or if you're exploring a creative and inexpensive way to re-imagine your home, consider reclaiming your love of antiques with your wildest imagination.

Scranberry Coop is a treasure trove of options. Travel back in time and see the future the way you want it to be. Have fun, invent, create, enjoy, and come visit Scranberry Coop.

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