Steampunk is retrofuturist fabrication, technical and computer art,
props, contraptions and gadgets which is highly ornamented with a
This area of art is something that I find compelling. Simply stated,
the art form itself, is a combination of high tech meeting highly
ornamental art or “scientific romance.” If you saw the film Golden
Compass, many of the utilitarian tools such as the vehicles or
objects were animated in this art form. One of the main tools in
searching for truth from the film “Golden Compass” was an
Alethiometer. More than a compass, it was highly ornamented with
The film Dune directed by David Lynch in 1984 was my first exposure
to an art form that would be come away from the screen and become
real objects. A simple light source in the castle in the movie "Dune"
had exquisite gilded wings and would travel with you illuminating
your path. It served both areas.
If you look at the website: http:www.steampunkworkshop.com, there
are all kinds of DIY projects that embrace this esthetic.
What I am looking at is not just the jewelry, but a new genre of
highly ornamental and detail forms in areas that are presently
gaining steam (not meant to be pun here!), where aesthetic is as
important as utility. Jewelry is a whole different area. The closest
I can think of is a hybrid between Victorian jewelry and mechanisms.
One reason I think it is difficult to find is because it’s not out
there and still in its infancy.
Slapping on a few disassembled watch gears and calling it
"Steampunk" is missing the point. I like gizmos and whirling
mechanics thoughtfully produced combined with highly detailed, very
old world, not just bang it out from overseas.
Here is an example that got me started.
It is a utilitarian bicycle basket which has black ribbons and is
all the rage now. It’s on Amazon and movie stars are carrying theirs
to the Farmers Market for their veggies.