Tuesday, November 11, 2008

creating steampunk - a personal history

yes, 2 posts in one day!
I'm stuck at work.. can you tell? :D
Anyway someone asked me about how I got into making steampunk jewelry and its rather funny. i have been making jewelry now for ... a long time. Since highschool actually. Then in the 90s when I was living in Montreal, I opened a tiny bead shop. At that time I had a strong interest in Victorian jewelry - in particular jewelry made with hair, and keepsakes. I made some really awful stuff then - but some nicer things that got sold in a gallery as well. One of the first pieces was a pendant with my BF's photo - set into a watch case - and covered in gears. I found it just recently... lol.

By the mid-90s though i had to give up jewelry. I made an attempt to become a silver smith - took courses etc - but my hands/wrists were getting wrecked. Carpel tunnel! Finally by '99 I quit it entirely and got into tech support.

I'm sure there is some direct relationship between goth, steampunk, SF and Geeks. Heck, I know what it is - cause that's me. Aging goth who has written SF forever becomes Tech support Geek, finds other geeks, phases out of Gothdom and transitions into ... steampunk.

I started hearing about steampunk as a more modern goth alternative a few years back. Then, a friend used to send me a bunch of links and we would chat about it, and I continued my non-jewelry making life. Then one day he sent me a photo of some steampunk jewelry that was really, really terrible. Just - poorly made, cheap and well.. ugly. Even in the photo I could see the glistening glue glob, the fact that the jump-rings weren't closed and that the weight (which appeared considerable) would cause the necklace to hang crooked AND break.

so i started making my own stuff.

I feel lucky actually - because most of my customers are amazing people. Sweet, interesting and so far, pretty happy. I always try and correct any issues (and trust me, even I can make some mistakes when making jewelry even after all this time) and they seem happy.

What more can i ask?
Maybe one day to do it full time. Call it a steampunk jeweler's dream. Though, i must admit, I love the cyberpunk stuff too.

i guess, really, it isn't that interesting a story after all.

New Steampunk Jewelry update

I'm finally getting the chance to write and update my etsy site with some new steampunk jewelry. Its not been easy. I'm getting over bronchitis. yuck.

Still, I've got some wonderful new materials, and have started using some of my treasures. Treasures you say? yes, steampunk jewelry treasures! I have some great materials - but finding the time and inspiration has been a challenge.

This piece feels really inspired though to be honest. It is made with a wonderful fused quartz glass tube that was originally used in stop-motion photography. Although it is glass - it is very sturdy because originally a current was used to trigger this bright flash. The shape of it makes for a stunning pendant. I've already sold 2 of a similar design....... and omg! one of my customers was so thrilled she sent me a present!!! how cool is that? Amazing! heh. AND the other lady wrote today to say she loves it very much and has sent me a commission.

::does a happy dance::

I designed a very silvery based chain made with bits of industrial hardware, similar to the designs of my Vacuum Tube pendants.