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.