I have been very lax in sharing doses of steampunk lately. I'll admit, being brain-deep in mythic fantasy, I have to sometimes set aside the glamor of brass, cogs and gears for the other "glamour" of lily pads, inkwells, and straight razors (don't ask...more to come soon!) but everyone needs to stop for a breath of fresh air, a chance to recharge, and clear the mind of myopic cobwebs. And for me, that's snuggling down with a warm scone and a steamy cup of punk!
I know "steampunk" is all the rage and yet manages to still defy description. I can say a lot about what I think is steampunk-y, but it's a very subjective "I know it when I see/read it" sort of thing. But the one thing I can say that I like most about the genre is that it is so accessible; open to interpretation and cultural spin-offs, drama or humor or adventure or romance, even making room for paranormal tropes and magic--like the little black dress, steampunk goes with everything!
This popped to mind when I recently stumbled across a bunch of brilliant "steampunk sculptures" by an artist that struck me as having very French-like black humor, sporting brown leather and thick goggles and a touch of Burton-esque, child-like macabre. I have no other way to describe Belgian artist, Stephane Halleux's work, but it's close enough for grenades.
My favorites may have to be his "Beauty Machine" and his little bat-winged "Homme Volant":
Both awesome pieces, and many more, can be found on his Portfolio page at www.stephanehalleux.com.
Be warned: you may want to set aside time to gawk!
These reminded me of something from Nightmare Before Christmas meets The City of Lost Children sprinkled with a liberal smattering of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Despicable Me. (And if that doesn't turn your brain over in butter, I don't know what will!) It was just the right thing for my palette cleanser, a blending of whimsy and eerie mecha that was impishly delightful. I've decided Inq would have one in her collection...if she had any place to put it! I could imagine epic stop-motion stories of adventure and excitement in a dark world on the edge of science and monsters. Inspired, I feel ready to tackle the rest of Book Two! Huzzah!
Go take a peek and come tell me what you think.