Back in 2007, I had just re-subscribed to the idea I needed to get back to design work; Casting, Leather, Wood and Metals. In addition to my normal paths (Historical, Medieval, Gothic) a newer thing made it into my peripheral vision.
Steampunk. I kept an eye on it and found myself from time to time contemplating the norm for me: "If I do, what can I contribute to it's presentation and later, history?"
I started where I always do. I looked at the roots of the subject and began first with what I liked. Science and Industrial discovery of the period. You'd have to know me a bit to understand I have always been a dreamer, innovator and to a fault, purist in my own conceptual beliefs on materials I choose to work with.
My first ideas were simply re-creative of already established items that were on the market, but with my own flair. In a short time I found myself bored before I even had a few dozen prospects lined up for production. I'm glad I stopped there because it took me awhile to figure out what it was, that gut feeling that told me to just, wait. See, when I make something, it has to have more to it than a visual enticement. Anybody can slap a pattern on something and call it specific. That's exactly what killed the "Celtic" and "Viking" art resurgence we enjoyed in the late 80's and/to mid 90's.
That same year, a piece I re-read on Arthurian subject by Chrétien de Troyes, and then Le Morte D'Arthur by Mallory left me with a rekindled desire to tell a story, and reflect those inspirations in the work I do. One conversation between Merlin and Morgause always stayed with me. It was the reasoning behind the old ways giving ground to the new. It's been mentioned, and probably believed by various cultures that "The Gods" and their influences are related to the belief in and of them. Old Gods lose power to make way for new. My way of working out this system in my own mind takes into consideration the possible way the elements and energy in our physical existence and perhaps, may be also the way the "spiritual" or non-material existence can relate.
So, I approached the historical decline of [in this case] the Norse mythos using my line of thinking; since what we can understand of material and energy is that they never really go away, but change form- and that being they became disconnected from this world. My storytelling of Steamgard involves a re-connection and manifestation of the Norse Gods because of an alternative or forced alignment due to our (re?) discovery and manipulation of electricity, matter, (and through story) aether during the era we are using for subject. It works out beautifully in my mind and has allowed me to bury myself in many, many footnoted scenarios just from the awakening itself.
This is a very large project, and I know I'll never be able to see all of what I'd like to accomplish with it to fruition. I also fully expect, and hope that once the groundwork has been laid that other artists, authors, and dreamers find worthy cause to add to it. On to the drawing board to bring the work thus far into a medium that can be shared...