Steampunk has been described as a magical mixture of fun and funky – an altered image of the distant past, filtered through a dream future world that might have been. The term “steampunk”was coined by writer K.W. Jeter in 1987 to describe an emerging science-fiction genre, and has since spread to music, games, movies, and art.  It also has roots in Victorian England, when electricity had not yet been harnessed and steam was a major power source. It has only been since the early 2000s that it has become more known. There is so much more to Steampunk Jewelry than cogs and old watch parts glued to rings and pendants.  With the repurposing of these components there is an intrinsic appreciation of the skills and artistry of the past.  The world of Steampunk is enjoying a renaissance.

image of old compasses

Securing vintage watch parts is no easy task, as enthusiasts are snapping up old timepieces, and contemporary watches are comprised mainly of plastic, making them irrelevant. Old-fashioned keys are also very popular, as are bits of antique cast-offs, such as compasses, pill cases, and optic lenses.

Steampunk jewelry is designed to reflect the culture and fashions of the Steampunk subculture, the pieces are usually handmade and almost never mass-produced.  Great importance is place on unusual or antiquated ideals with the designs reflecting strength while appearing feminine and intelligent.  Authors such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells are important influences within Steampunk and its fashions.  As such, Steampunk jewelry often has a salvaged dark appearance.

Today, with the Steampunk movement, the intricate and beautiful objects of years gone by have been given a new lease on life.  In opening watches and clocks of yesteryear it’s like opening a treasure chest; finding rubies along with the elaborate and gorgeous movements.  With the resetting of these movements and rearrangement of components, these artifacts take on a fresh life in an intricate art form.

image of purse and found objets

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