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.

1 comment:

gryphon said...

Hi Just wanted to write and say I love your work. I've only recently discovered steampunk and fell in love straight away. Seemed to cover all the areas I've always liked. All rolled into one :) I made some steampunk goggles which went down well so now I'm trying my hand at some jewelry for xmas pressies. You've made some great pieces and have some neat supplies.
Amanda