|Some of you might remember Cynthia Newcomer Daniel from last summer when I showed off her amazing beaded necklace entry in the Battle of the Beadsmith. I admire the way Cynthia makes those little seed beads of hers do the most amazing things like mimicking needle-woven lace. Her self-supporting bangle bracelets made with off-loom bead-weaving stitches are architectural feats of skill and craft, and I'm thrilled that Cynthia brings us today's guest blog on Beading Daily all about steampunk jewelry!|
|Flights of Fancy by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel|
Steampunk is, first and foremost, a genre in science fiction literature. Set in an alternate universe that resembles 19th century England or America, Steampunk is all about big, complicated machines and Victorian style, but with a decided twist. Think steam engines, trains, the Wild West, lace doilies and time travel. Imagine bustles, parlors, boots, big skirts, tight pants and transporter technology. A place and time where jewelry isn't just jewelry, but a portal; with a flick of a switch, or the glow of a crystal, gears will start to turn and the wearer will be whisked through time and space.
It's not just about adding some watch guts to a necklace, though that's a good place to start.
|Time and Tides by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel|
Before you start crafting a piece of Steampunk jewelry, you'll want to think about the world it comes from, and its purpose in that world. Will it protect the wearer, or is it a transportation device? Does it have settings? How is its purpose concealed from others? Does it belong to a gunfighter, a lady, a pirate, or a street urchin? Has it fallen into the hands of someone who is unaware of its true purpose?
Once you know all that, it's time to start collecting. Watch parts are a great place to start; they're small, easy to find, and fun to take apart. If you don't have an old one in your junk drawer, look in antique shops or on-line. Hardware stores are another good place to browse; look for small gears, nuts, hinges, or anything that can be bezeled around or strung.
Bead embroidery, soutache work, and beadweaving are naturals for Steampunk style jewelry; intricate beadwork evokes a Victorian sensibility, and lends itself to the engineering aspects of Steampunk.
Start creating! And please share your jewelry, and its story, when you are done.
One of the things I love about creating my own stories with steampunk jewelry are the fabulous focal pieces around which I work my favorite bead-weaving stitches. There's a little bit of mechanical skill involved, doing things like punching holes, wire wrapping, and layering different elements to create unique jewelry-making components.
Don't be put off by the industrial jewelry-making skills of steampunk jewelry! Take a look at our Mixed Media Steampunk-Style Jewelry DVD with Jean Campell. Jean walks you step-by-step through easy techniques like cold connections, resin, and wire wrapping to show you how you can make your own fabulous, romantic steampunk-style jewelry pieces. Get your copy of Mixed Media Steampunk-Style Jewelry and give your jewelry a story to tell!
Do you have jewelry that tells a special story? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us about it, or better yet, post a picture of it over in the Reader Photo Gallery and share your jewelry story with all of us!
Cynthia Newcomer Daniel is a jewelry designer and creator who lives in central California. She loves to work with a wide variety of materials, and her work displays the perfect combination of elegant simplicity and over-the-top opulence. You can find her tutorials for sale at Jewelry Tales, or follow Cynthia's Jewelry Tales blog to read more about her amazing bead-weaving creations!