PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
One universal aspect of the Steampunk genre is the ownership and embellishment of equipment and more specifically a primary weapon. This weapon can range from a sword to a pistol, long rifle, battleaxe or any combination of ranged and melee weapons to further develop the character that each person takes on. Not only are the weapons chosen based on innate appeal but are then further embellished by the owner to suit their own style.
When choosing a weapon for your Steampunk persona, it’s important to consider the type of person you are in real life. Perhaps you are the type of person that would shoot first and ask questions later? You could be the type that would only shoot when necessary. You might more inclined to pick off enemies at a distance or shoot someone in the back!
Then again you could do away with guns entirely and wish to settle things with a good old fashioned long sword duel. Whatever way you decide to settle your disagreements, it’s important to be properly equipped for every situation. That is the reason why so many Steampunks design and craft their own weaponry.
The major advantage of the Steampunk genre is that it is a seamless amalgamation of vintage, contemporary, and science fiction design. Weapons can be as low tech as a club to smash down a door or open a treasure chest, and can be as advanced and futuristic as a disintegrator ray gun! Either way you go you will of course wish to and be expected to embellish and ornament every piece of equipment that graces your tool belt and find a way to fit each piece into your overall persona.
How you choose to personalize your equipment also says a lot about the type of person you are or the type of person you are trying to become. Some practitioners will lean towards the gritty and industrial functionality with very little ornamentation. Others want their gear to be so ornate that they are pieces of art first and functional devices second. I personally gravitate towards the latter.
This is one aspect of the genre that I have not pursued as extensively as my fellow Steampunks. While I do love weapons of all shapes and sizes, I also see that there is a virtual glut of weapons already present and available for purchase in several markets. What I find there is little of is personalized equipment. I tend to think of what would happen before, after or in between fights in our world and not how to resolve them.
I have made everything from holsters to harnesses, First aid kits to lock picks. This is where I feel that metal art can really find its own and shine. There is an amazing number of cheap quality and cheap looking pieces of Steampunk weaponry, equipment, clothing and jewelry, to make no mention of art. We as craftsmen and artisans can seize upon the opportunity to produce items of quality which will be very well received by people who are willing to invest in unique and well made objects.