|Pretty, pretty non-functional gears. These may give an|
ILLUSION of functioning,
but that's all it is. (From this store.)
This attitude just really pisses me off. It's elitist and actively discourages newbies from trying their hand at steampunk crafting. Look, I am in awe of makers who have metalworking skills who make these functional works of steampunk art. But I also know that I cannot do what they do, and have no desire to learn the skills they have. That's not my thing. That's their thing.
Here's the big thing that gets me about this attitude: it is seeking to define and limit what's "real steampunk." Real steampunk crafting, by their estimation, involves a workshop and heavy machinery. It involves skills that take years of training to achieve. It's also, by the way, an attitude that elevates traditionally masculine skills above traditionally feminine skills. When it comes down to it, I don't want to be part of any conversation that seeks to define "real steampunk" over "poseur steampunk."
|I adore the embroidered gear designs on this outfit.|
But I also want to be clear that I have chosen to attach decorative gears to my steampunk creations not because I wish I could do more with them, but because I really, really like the look of decorative gears. Gears are PRETTY. I like them as objects in and of themselves, not just for their utility.
The Victorian period was the height of decoration for decoration's sake. Every object was OVER decorated. They used sometimes strange motifs in their decorative arts, like the plethora of pineapples they put everywhere. So I believe that in an alternative Victorian period, where technology is elevated to a higher level within the estimation of society, that the Victorians might very well have started embroidering gears along the borders of their clothing. In my mind, the fictional steampunk world that we all have created is a world in which people wear goggles as a fashion accessory and use gears to decorate things.
My Steampunk Cleopatra is a partial recreation of a historical fancy dress costume. In a steampunk world, I think that this costume may have very well been made with decorative brass gears in addition to Ancient Egyptian style jewelry. And finally, I just like the way it looks, and I don't have time for anyone who wants to take an elitist attitude about it.