Tuesday, April 13, 2010

MIA one Steampunk Jeweller...

well I been MIA for a while now - not just on the Blog but in life too. Maybe I'm hitting that age where I start to fall apart and then need cyborg parts? ... perhaps not quite yet! Actually its a bunch of kidney related issues but I'm hoping those will pass (ha!) soon.

Anyway, since i've not been feeling well I thought I would do a collage of some of the more recent steampunk jewelry that I've been creating. It's an okay collage - most of the stuff is still up on etsy (http://www.clockworkzero.etsy.com/) right now. A few pieces are going to be up and as of 20 min ago one of them (the flower) is prob going to be sold.

Its been a slow month so far on etsy. amazingly slow. I suspect because all the little things I do to keep it going haven't happened. No real updates, no new work. But now
that I'm feeling a bit better.. its time to get rolling again.

So in the collage starting at the top: Beetle wing necklace, a dragonfly in flight against a large clock gear, one of the cyberpunk Industrial necklaces - this one made from part of a cash register, The Claw (recycled chainsaw blade and a pocket watch piece), lovely unusual patterned brass pocket watch piece with vintage glass drop, a smaller "honeycomb" made from recycled hardware and layers of industrial glue, Vacuum Tube necklace, Dangerous queen's necklace, another vacuum tube necklace but with some longer glass tubes, Pocket Watch Bunny - part of my steampunk Alice series, 3 locket lockets, pretty watch face with brass flowers.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New steampunk jewelry Designs for 2010

Well, it looks like February 2010 will bring a new selection of designs into my small range of steampunk jewelry designs. I've been working on a much more "industrial" look, thanks to a customer who wrote to me asking if I could create some "masculine, industrial cufflinks".

The first series, I've not quite decided on a term/name for yet. It will be using a lot more modern parts - think nuts and bolts and washers. Strong geometrics. There will be a minimum of watch parts, gears and "steam" elements, though if I can find some real brass bits, I might include those.

This will be primarily focused on pieces for men - heavier chain, more industrial chunky pieces, Hardware Punk... a very Dieselpunk selection. I know it can be worn by women as well, I'll be wearing some of it and already some preliminary pieces were worn by some models... but it will be much heavier and machined. I've showed sketches and actual pieces to some of the guys I know and had a hugely positive reaction.

"Industrial Victorianna" is the next line of jewelry. It will be VERY gear-oriented. The gears will be larger clock gears, all brass, with some silver "pretty" elements thrown into the mix. The main theme is again the mechanical aspects of the work - the gears and a small selection of hardware - but as well some little symbols that were developed during the Victorian period. I'm going to include in this line some of the "gear only" jewelry, until I can figure out a name for the line.

During the Victorian times there were many symbols that represented a variety of ideals. There's probably hundreds of sites online that discuss the "Meaning of Flowers". But the Victorians also loved to adorn their gravestones with a huge variety of decorations - each one with meanings.

A good example of Victorian imagery is often tied in with religious ideas. The flame often denotes eternity, keys often stand for (spiritual) knowledge or the means to enter heaven, flowers convey love, grief, happiness and a variety of emotions.

I suppose, if one were to imagine a single symbol that represents steam, it might certainly be the Gear.

The necklace here is made with some stunning large brass clock gears. They are quite thick (2?3?mm or so), which means they won't bend or distort. They are a nice light brass colour right now but I hope over the years they will darken as they get worn, creating a patina. Won't that be nice!

Haiti Fundraising update...

Just a quick update.

The necklace went for $40 to a good customer I know. :D She'll be paying me this week and I'll send the cash off to the Red Cross.

Next, the $5 / per sale of stuff on esty = 13 x5 = $65

so the total for January in contributions will be $105.
Not bad.

I'll be making a piece for the "Hearts for Haiti" fundraising that Etsy is doing as well. Photos will need to be taken. I think I have a few pieces in mind.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Update: FUNDRAISER for HAITI - Auction piece...

I finally finished and photographed the piece I'd like to present to you, my very tiny audience, up for Auction. 90% of the money raised here will go towards the Red Cross - towards the assistance of those in need after the Haitian earthquake.

First.. a few details about how this will work. The Auction bids close on Sunday January 24th at 9pm Eastern Standard Time. The highest bid wins the Auction. I will pay for the postage to any of the following countries: USA, Canada, UK, Australia, France or Japan. Outside of that we'll have to see ... I know how much it is to send to these countries so that simplifies things for me. The bid winner and I can figure out details if necessary.

Final bid closest to 9pm Eastern Standard time wins. That person paypals me the money. I will take 90% of that and donate it to the Red Cross. I'll make some kind of post / proof of it when I confirm the payment. Should the highest bidder fail to make payment - then it goes to the 2nd highest etc etc. (I reserve the right to tweak this a bit if necessary).

Second: What do you get? See the details below. Paid shipping, a custom designed necklace with a chain, and the knowledge that you are getting something cool AND helping. This piece is named,"Swift Wings to Haiti" - because of the outpouring of prayers and thoughts that have gone to this poor island. As I said, 90% or so will go straight towards the relief efforts.

Third: Where do you make your bids? HERE. On this post. everything should get date / time stamped. Just make a Comment....


Currently the bidding (just leave a comment in this blog with your bid) is at $40~! Thanks Ninde for starting this auction so strongly.

If you don't like it, or don't want to bid, or don't think its a deal, or whatever... no probs. I would ask that you spread the word if you can. That would be great. Maybe someone else You know will like it. Twitter about it. Post about it. Mention it. Hopefully someone will love it enough.

DETAILS About this Creation...
The intaglio was special ordered and is a vintage intaglio that is glass, and was hand painted. I believe it dates from the 1950's. I chose the sailing ship as it is a beautiful piece, hard to find, and appropriate for the island - and all those who are sailing to her rescue. The Compass is sterling silver. It represents the people from around the world who are sending money, prayers and thoughts to Haiti. The wings represent the prayers and hopes, and of course angels too.

The pocket watch base has lovely patterning on it - a star field like design. I've set layers of small gears around the piece - behind and above the compass. There are a few watch jewels as well. The wings are silver plated, and have lovely detail. The pocket watch base, from a swiss pocket watch is on 4cm round - about 1.6 inches. I'm including a nickel-free chain that is 15.5 inches or so long.

Regards to you all, ClockworkZero

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Okay, so those who know me, know I do a few fundraisers. Usually I just donate something that I've made towards events... But organizing an event takes ages. I would really prefer to get some money donated to This time I'll just do the fundraising myself and send the cash to a charity.

I will admit I almost started to cry seeing our Governor General, Michaƫlle Jean on TV yesterday. I've always admired the woman. She was born in Haiti, and has an adopted daughter from Haiti as well.

I'm going to start making something Very Special - steampunk jewelry wise - for one item for Auction........... and better get my arse in gear for it. In the meantime I do have a piece I've been working on that is pretty cool. I'll try and put it up tomorrow - get some photos done - complete it.

Right now, for the moment, I'll donate $5.00 out of any sale on etsy. Starting with the one that sold yesterday. :D

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Steampunk Fashion Shoot - Auxiliary Magazine February 2010!

Personally, 2009 ended with a whimper and started with a Bang!
I contracted some kind of viral stomach contagion from TheHusband. First I looked after him, and we thought it was food poisoning. No such luck (!?) - since on the 30th I started getting sick. I won't describe it. Far too horrible.

After 3 days in bed though I had to get my shaking, quivering arse over for a photoshoot that prominently featured my jewelry. I was working with Tasha from Pretty Deadly Stylz who asked if I can provide some of the Steampunk Jewelry for the photos. Since I had spent weeks working on things for this shoot - at least 15 pieces - I figured sick or near dead - I better get there. It was also a balmy -25C out. lovely.

Anyway, I arrived at the location - an artist's studio - and the PhotoShoot was InProgress. There were 2 models, 1 Hair Stylist, 2 Make Up Artists (MUA's), the Photographer, and Tasha - The Stylist. A Wardrobe had been up - Racks of clothes - tables of make-stuff, a small shoe store had been gutted to provide shoes, and of course Lights, Bounces and Set.

Holy Crap, I thought, wtf am I doing here??? Me. artist/jewelry-maker, normal person.
I had brought the cases of jewelry and a bunch of tools to lengthen/shorten/adjust and create-on-the-spot work. Good thing too since I ended up doing a lot of that for the next several hours.

Evidently the photos look Fantastic. We'll find out in February when Auxiliary Magazine puts out the issue. I can't wait!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Steampunk Jewelry in Toronto

So every once in a blue moon I do a Craft show around Toronto. Eons ago when I did them in Montreal they were fantastic. Toronto though has more of a mixed reaction. I'm not complaining though - I always sell something at the shows, even when people around me aren't.

Last week though I had a strange experience. A couple came over to me and asked if Iworked for another person. (Dave?? I can't remember). No, I make all my own stuff all by myself. Sometimes the cat keeps me company but mostly its me & parts.

"But your jewelry is a lot like his!"
"Well, not really. Your work is very nice."
"We should tell Dave(?) to come and see your stuff. He's going to be Furious. He'll be soooo angry! We should tell him to come see your stuff!"
um... no really. Perhaps you should NOT send Dave(?)-the-Enraged-Jeweler to come see my stuff. I really don't want to meet him anymore.
"Oh it will be FUN! He'll be really upset but he'll get over it!"

This coming Sunday I'll be at the TRANZAC - a little space just south of Bloor Street, at 292 Brunswick Ave. I'm going to have a bunch of new work there. I love the vibe at these craft shows - its always amazing to meet other crafts people.

Somehow though I'm not sure I'm looking forward to meeting Dave(?) though. If you hear about an incident at a craft show.. think of me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

TIPS for ETS Sellers #2: Whats in a Tag - ETSY Tagging Tips

Last night at the Speakeasy Craft show in Toronto I started talking to someone about the tags they use on Etsy. I'm fairly certain that this would apply though to many, many other sites perhaps like artfire.

Most people think of tags as descriptions - and in Etsy's case they have some general rules around tagging. Certainly the right tags will get your product found - when you search for something on etsy after all you will notice the various categories. Mis-tagging can get you in trouble sometimes... listing something as vintage when it isn't... but general mistagging can just get your work buried.

If you ever browse the categories (and really - you should! Not only is it a good way to stumble over a great gift but its a great way to see how others are tagging their items) sometimes you'll find some piece of jewelry (or whatever) that is completely mis-tagged. Perhaps it is a newly created necklace that has somehow ended up in the "Supplies" category. These mistakes often go unnoticed by the seller - and what will happen is that your work will be buried in the zillions of supplies.

General rules - lets call these the Basics:

1. CATEGORIES - not all my work goes into the Geekery Category though certainly some of it does. The JEWELRY section is hundreds of pages deep but if that's where your item goes... thats where it should be.

2. SPELLING: is of course critical. One thing to consider though is that American vs British spellings can make it difficult to find some items. Since the majority of buyers are from the USA - consider your options carefully and I would suggest that if the majority of your customers are from the USA - then certainly appeal to them.

3. APPROPRIATE: its really critical that the tag you use is appropriate. You do yourself no favors by marking something with an inappropriate tag. No one wants to look for shoes and find your piece of jewelry made with a doll that happens to be wearing shoes. They won't click on it - and you have wasted one of your Limited number of tags. When I search for supplies it irks the crap out of me to search for steampunk and end up with teddy bear material. My reaction is WTF followed by annoyance. I immediately know someone is trying to take advantage of the popularity of steampunk............. or they just don't know what they are doing. I will NOT buy from someone who can't be bothered to find out about Steampunk Jewelry, or what is a good tag to use for their product.

There are only 14 tags on etsy so use them wisely!

Create a list of possible TAGS. Have a close look at what other people are using for their tags - it might not be the best choice but when you are trying to brainstorm some appropriate tags it can be easy to overlook some.

Now to the nitty-gritty of your Tags...

Tags help the buyers find your work, but with 45,000 tennis bracelets what will help them find you???

This is where a little site called CRAFTWEASEL will really come in handy. Here's the description of their Tag Finder tool: "Tag finder helps you choose the best set of tags for your items" - and pretty much it does what it says.

So lets have a look how this works - and I can give you an example. Since I'm fairly familiar with the term Steampunk... lets go with another tag that sometimes applies to my jewelry: GOTHIC.

Craftweasel tells me were 1100 items or so listed with this term - and the prices - the Mean/Median price. Right away I can see that most of my items will be out of the Mean And the Median price range. (google up the terms for an explanation). Immediately I know that this might not be a good tag for my products. Why? Because my price range is higher so if someone searches and lists "low to high" price my work will be buried...
Does this mean I should not use the tag "gothic"? Not necessarily... so lets look a bit deeper into the stats provided.

Personally the 2nd chart I look at is the graph: "Graph of related tags with most views/day"
Under the term "gothic" I find that jewelry is very low in this list - clothing related items being HIGH. It would be a great term if I made gothic clothing. Alas, its already dropping in my list of Possible tags.

Is that it? No.. Dig around look at the "RELATED TAGS". This is actually a fantastic bit of information. I always sort it by "Average Views per Day". What are the top few average views that are related to what YOU sell? Are any of those tags related to what you sell? What is the average price? Is there any YOU can use...

keep building your list of the best tags for your work you can find. It is how people FIND you on etsy. Check back periodically and see what getting more hits using CraftWeasel. Ask some friends - "if you were looking on google what terms would you use to find my work?".

And one final tip..........
every so often tag your shop name (or your personal name) in with the tags. You might also list your city or town. Not everyone knows to use the "shop local" option - and that only shows 100 shops anyway - so put your city down as a tag... not on every item but at least on one or two in your shop.

Did you find anything interesting in this post? Please let me know!

Monday, November 23, 2009

some Steampunk Earrings...

I don't make a lot of earrings. No idea why - probably because they are a bit of a PITA for me personally. Or maybe it was the trauma of all the ugly earrings I wore back in the late 80s? hm. So when I make earrings I really try and come up with something pretty, and unusual.
Anyway, one of my most popular designs are simple and elegant. They are the ones I call my "Silver and Black Star earrings". I have had more compliments on these ones then just about anything else. They are, for me "steampunk earrings" but... I suspect they are just the perfect combination of elegant and classic. Maybe one day I'll make a few variations but right now they are my fav. The black star-gear washers are a lovely matte black - which works well against the shiny silver discs. I love working with sterling silver - but I just wish I could afford to use more :)

The next pair of "steampunk earrings" are really much more (IMHO) Cyberpunk. I often wonder if cyberpunk though is as popular as steampunk. I love it. That modernistic slick look, which is to me much more MATRIX-BLADERUNNER oriented then the gear-driven, brass and watchparts look of the steampunk jewelry. This pair of earrings will be quite limited in their run. Alas! sigh. I think they are very difficult to find - the main component being the Magnetic Switches - which are Just Super cool.

I'll have to dig up some other photos somewhere of some of my other earrings. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tips for Esty Sellers - Successful Marketing Ideas - part 1 of ?


Alrighty! I don't have the biggest esty store, nor the most sales, nor am I the premier of steampunk jewelry designers. (heh). But I did 8 years of web-hosting server-side support for UUNet/worldcom/mci/verizon - and a lot of that involved Stats. And sites. And marketing. So I picked up a few things, and spent a lot of hours talking to web-designers and marketers. Maybe You can find a few tips here in this article about how to become a bit more successful - or at least give it a try! :D As a person who's worked for a company more than some change their socks, I've seen Names come and Go..... so...


Have you googled your personal name lately? What kind of results do you get?
Are there 10,000 similar names, or just a few pages?

One of the most important things you can do when you are choosing a shop name is to come up with something memorable - and unique. If you have gone by a standard default *myname1234* or something along the lines of DebbieDoesEarrings - chances are you might be doing your shop a disservice. Someone will find your shop - but will they remember it two weeks from now? Or will they think, "hmm.. debbie. earrings." and use that as a search and get 5 million pages - with your shop name buried somewhere 108 pages into the results?

You want something unique - and perhaps reflective of what you do. I chose clockwork = because its memorable and reflects the materials. Zero was my old Nickname. Google up "clockworkZero" and you'll notice the first 10 pages or so all link back to me - and thus to etsy. When I first started out all the results led to someone else who had a similar name who has now vanished under my tagging.

Is it too late to rebrand? Not really. If you realize your old name was/is a poor choice - there's a few things to do. Contact your old customers and let them know you've changed your shop name - use it as an opportunity to create hype! "I'm relaunching - just an FYI! Come see what is new!" etc. It gives you a great excuse to send a simple email to friends, family and customers - without banging them on the head begging for sales.

Include your old shop name in your etsy tags for a while - this will give people the chance to search and find you - so add your OLD name to all your current listings...

BUT My cards .... My Marketing ! All the time/money/ideas I've already put into Debbie74832x!
Ask some tough questions: 1. is it working? 2. can it work better? If someone doesn't have your business card In Their Hand - do they remember you?
Luckily you can still have your old shop - BUT - redirect the customers over to your New Shop Name! Use up those business cards (though personally, I've never minded someone crossing out old info - for enviromental reasons - and printing in the new name/tel #).

1. Add your shop name to you signature as well - everywhere you can.
2. Add your shop name to your tags on etsy. It doesn't have to be in every listing but put it in a few. People don't often realize when they go to etsy that they need to define their searches by shop name.
3. Use your old name in tags in your blogs etc. Some places will allow name changes but you might need to pay a fee. It can be worth it. If they can't do it ... start planning the name change and announce it where ever you can. "I'm moving my blog to..."

Brainstorm with friends or hold a contest for a new name. Create hype. Get excited about your relaunch and people will get excited with you.

How do you check to see if it is working? Obsessively google your name?
Too much work. You might do it for a few days but 3 weeks into it you will forget.
There is an easy solution: Google gives you tools.

1. STATS. If you haven't set up stats on your esty page.. hie thee hence and find out how. There is a ton of info on the etsy forums. Stats are your friends. View are lovely - but 80% of visitors will only look at your main page you need to know if your Old name and New name is working. Stats will be a critical critical ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY tool. kinda like fingers. really.

2. ALERTS. Every time someone mentions ClockworkZero and the word Steampunk (and a few other things) I get an email from google. I want to know who mentions me, why, where and when. Its a great tool to see how often your current name is getting mentioned. When you've rebranded with your new shiny name... see the difference. Set up your own google alerts here: http://www.google.com/alerts and then see what happens.

And if you are Debbie74832x - you can rebrand. DebbieDoesEarrings is currently available. ;)

And do let me know what you think about this article. Want more tips? should i bother?