What is Steampunk Jewelry?


Ok, I have to say up front that this is just a general description of what Steampunk Jewelry is. It’s not my idea of steampunk, and I’m not sure if it’s your idea?

Maybe you can tell me what your idea of steampunk jewelry is, at the end of this post?

Here goes the generic description:

Pocket Watches with exposed gearing are especially popular with steampunks. Steampunk jewelry is relatively recent, though the aesthetic goes back a few years. The term steampunk was coined in the 1980’s. It was a joke term that referred to cyberpunk, like literature set in the 19th century. By the early to mid 200’s, the literature and aesthetic had spawned Internet communities and fashion. Since then, these communities have been growing, and interest in jewelry making and other steampunk crafts has grown with them.

Steampunk is not a descendant of the original punk movement, the two subcultures do share a DIY ethic. The most desirable jewelry is made by hand, and shows the mark of being handmade. Mass-produced components are often assembled into had-made jewelry pieces. The steampunk community often emphasizes older techniques, such as home casting and metalworking, over newer ones.

The most popular steampunk motif is the gear, symbolic of industry. Watch faces and clock hands are also popular because of their connection with clockwork. A decorative pocket watch is a preferred type of steampunk jewelry. Other popular motifs may not be obviously connected with the movement. Many steampunk pieces also use antique keys solely because of their Victorian look.

The default source of inspiration for steampunk jewelry and fashion is the 19th century Western world, a significant range of other time periods is also used. Jewelry makers use elements from as early as the 18th century to as late as the 1940’s, though some argue that 18th century elements are gearparts; and 20th century elements are diselpunk. Indian, East Asian, Ottoman and North African influences are also sometimes seen. While gears are common motifs in steampunk jewelry, it’s cliché’. Clock hands and keys are all common. If you are going to craft steampunk jewelry or buy it you should take some time and look at period sources. Simply coping objects made by other artists, could result in a cookie cutter look that many find undesirable. The use of motifs from non-Western cultures can result in beautiful jewelry objects. It’s important to choose motifs carefully and to use them with consideration. Mimicking behaviors associated with 19th century imperialism and colonialism could serve to alienate steampunk with non-European ancestry. Steampunks interested in these motifs should strive to use them respectfully.    By G.D. Palmer


Obviously this person has never made a piece of steampunk jewelry in his/her life!

My opinion is as follows:

“Conformity” and “Artist” do not go together! Like myself, most artists are square pegs that don’t fit in round wholes, and we don’t want to fit!

I believe tha you should create jewelry and/or any other art, based on your passions/abilities/imagination. What do you want to communicate to yourself and to the world? Granted I’ve used the word “Steampunk” on one of my jewelry shops on my website My idea of steampunk is anything goes. You can take a bag of junk (to others it may just look like junk) and make a spectacular piece of jewelry (or two, or three….) from it, and call it whatever you want. Who says you have to go with the status quo, and make sure that you follow all the rules of steampunk?

Personally I’m the quintessential square peg! I always have been. If I had to describe my jewelry style, I would say my passions lie in very pretty, delicate jewelry with an antique hard edge. I also find that I love mixing metals. I likely to throw in copper with silver and gold. Whatever moves me when I’m creating. I don’t stop to think well I better add some african pieces here, or some 20th century pieces there. Never enters my mind! Where do my ideas come from? Who knows they just come. I never analyze my work. I do get most of my inspiration from watching people, and I’ve also been born in the wrong era. Occasionally I’ll look in a book or magazine. Maybe, I’ll even read a couple of lines, then I’ll throw the book/magazine aside and do my own thing.I can say that as an artist, I NEVER COPY anybodies creation, you can’t consider yourself an artist, if you copy someones elses work! You’re a thief! Anyway, I believe inspiration for creativity comes from many sources, the first being within you, and the rest beginning external. If you want to add a watch face, keys, clockworks, insects, flowers, cameos or anything else, do whatever moves you, and let the critics figure it all out. As an artist the word “Conformity” should never be in your vocabulary! For me conformity is just another word for “BullS**T”! and it never describes my work.

What do you think Steampunk is? What’s your style? What do you like? Where do you get your inspiration from?

All great questions, how about some inspiring answers?


About jewelsdesignscreativecorner

I'm a designer/artist/crafter and all around creative professional. I've been honing my skills for the past 47 years. Since I was a small child. I sold my first piece of art when I was about 7 years old. I'm an entrepreneur and a business owner (JewelsDesigns.org). I display and sell my designs on many different art and social venues. From Facebook to YardSellr to Myspace to LinkedIn, and many more. I'm always interested in featuring my peers in the art world, and do so regularly on my website. My motto is: "If something is done with artistic intent, then it is considered art." I am a mother of one 30 year old daughter and a grandma to a 6 year old grandson, who is the love of my life:-) I love to go camping and fishing, and I've caught some huge bass and catfish! I recently got married for the second time, and I'll be married, to the other love of my life, four years on Sept.1st. I love to read, watch movies with my husband, spend time with my little man, listen to music, and........

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