Hey all, it’s me again with another interview of a steampunk maker this time it’s Arwen from Slovenia. Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
My real name is Arnea, however, most of everybody who knows me call me Arwen. As Hazel Grace would say, “I am quite unextraordinary.” I am an INFJ personality type, I love Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy, books, Florence and the Machine, WoW (World of Warcraft), LoL (League of Legends), Skyrim, LOTR, apple and cinnamon tea, and chocolate. Haha!
I am a 20-year old who has found herself, due to a series of rather fortunate events, living in a world much different from what I was used to.
I moved to live in a small town in Slovenia that is surrounded by untouched large forests, hills, and mountains. The nearest bigger town is around 90 kilometers away. However, this country has a touch of Shire to it, and that’s what I absolutely love. Technology wise, we have some cellphones, a laptop, and no TV. It is the way of life my parents along with me chose to have.
Being able to fully understand how life works “outside the system”, I discovered certain affiliations and talents I couldn’t have exercised before, when I was completely integrated into the ordinary schooling and living system, along with the much familiar factor of the “internet disturbance”. In other words, being “outside the system” and away from usual obligations, I learned a lot about myself, including how I am very much a tinkerer! (something like Tinkerbell, only the hair being red and minus the wings,and you know, magic)
Having abundant free time led me to the idea of creating, and modifying pretty much anything I could get my hands on. From drawing Lion King characters, to making home decorations, to messing around with carpentry in my stepdad’s workshop, and finally, creating and modifying steampunk weapons. I realized it is only when you have “nothing to do ” that you figure out your hidden talents.
Is there much of a steampunk culture in a country like Slovenia?
Slovenia being a tiny country, I have not yet had the impression of it being into the theme of Steampunk. Perhaps it is because, to a certain extent, steampunk isn’t defined as much, or maybe the “geeks” of this land are just hiding in their holes and I have yet to find them. I hope it is the latter.
The only people who I have “met” so far who are into steampunk, is a bar in Murska Sobota, called ” Bunker postapocalyptic steampunk bar”. I haven’t visited them yet, but so far , they seem really cool. They serve foods and beverages you’d find in a fancy post-apocalyptic restaurant, their staff is fully dressed into steampunk clothing, and you get to enjoy your food and stay in a very cozy, steampunk themed place. I invite everyone in Slovenia or close to it , reading this, to come check them out.
What inspires you most about steampunk, and what elements do you like to incorporate?
For me, steampunk is all about being able to improvise. Let’s imagine you really do find yourself living in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world. You have accustomed yourself to the brutality and dangers of your surroundings, as well as the scarceness of resources. Your weapons are rusty and handmade, but there is your personal touch to them. You shot dead a coyote in the wilderness and ripped out its tooth, used that old strap of leather you had and strapped it to your shotgun’s barrel. Or you traded some fur for a mechanic to improve your crossbow, and now it’s a semi-automatic with gears turning. Thinking of steampunk like that, I try to incorporate the very “mainstream factors” of steampunk, as well as everyday objects like watches, chains, little copper jewelry, leather…anything you’d scavenge in a real dystopian world. I believe that adding a bit of the unordinary makes steampunk items the real deal.
Do you have any favourites of the pieces you have made? Why?
Being fairly new to this sorta thing, all my items are my favourites. Someone else might see a cool looking Strongarm nerf gun that was modified into steampunk, but I see 26 hours of work, 6 layers of acrylic, and that pesky mechanism that wouldn’t work at the start, so I had to call my stepdad, whip out 7 million different tools I can’t even name, and firemen, to be able to repair it. This is, I believe, the case with all beginners that decided to create something out of nothing. You see the process in which the item was made, and you are proud that you made it to the end.
My very first shotgun, aka Harold, was sold just a few days ago on ebay. I wasn’t emotionally attached to him anymore, but just the thought of my creation being somewhere half the world away, gave me this amazing sense of accomplishment and joy. I still have two guns for sale, as I am trying to make some money so I could continue my projects.
You can find projects on Ebay under http://www.ebay.com/usr/arwendor1997?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
Final question, unlimited resources what do you make?
If I had unlimited time and resources, I would definitely embark on bigger and more requiring projects. I don’t know what that would be, but I always strive to do something new. Would it just be bigger guns, or maybe even some other steampunk stuff like decor, furniture, cars, spaceships, aircrafts? Haha! I don’t know. However what I do know is that I have discovered something that brings me joy when I do it, and I think that is the most valuable thing I could get. The money that I’d get from selling my items is not and never will be the top priority. I would also love to have infinite resources so I could just give my items away to friends and other people, who would be joyous to have my stuff in their homes.
That would make me really happy. Too bad everything in our current world costs money, you know. Thus even our passions and hobbies depend on it. But one must not lose hope. The system should and will fall one day, and if we do find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic world, the most valuable thing we should clean, sharpen, refill, polish, repair and keep safe, is our humanity and goodness.
Thank you so much for your time and I will definitely visit Bunker when I make it across the pond.