Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How to Create Steampunk Jewelry Part II

In Part I of How to create steampunk Jewelry, I gave a definition and brief history of this fascinating new genre. The most important part of this creative art is finding interesting and unique items to recycle in your jewelry designs. You can find a great list of places to start your hunt in Part I as well.

In Part II, you will find a step by step "How to create a steampunk necklace." Of course, all the same design elements that are important in all jewelry design are still important when creating a steampunk piece.

These include,
a. Rhythm
b. Pointers
c. Planar Relationships
d. Interest
e. Statistical Distribution
f. Balance
g. Dimensionality
h. Temporal Extension
i. Physical Extension/Finishing
j. Parsimony
We will discuss these element designs in How to Create Steampunk Jewelry Part III
Here's the necklace that we will create today.
Step 1. Gather your materials

Chain, chain, chain- approximately 6 feet (I used silver, but copper or brass would work as well. )
Clock hands
Filigree Shape for the focal (I used a triangle, but any shape would work.)
Vintage watch parts
Silver jump rings
E 6000 or soldering iron and solder
Hope charm

Step 2. Using jump rings, attach a 30" chain to the top of your shape and several 3" chains to the bottom of your shape.

Step 3.  Glue or solder on some gears.

Step 4. Glue a clock hand, watch face and dust protector.
Step 5. Glue a watch hand and a winder to the face.  And for added interest add some watch parts onto the gears.

Step 6. For the final touch, glue the word hope in a prominent place on the design. To finish it off and add a little bling, I added two tiny rhinestones.
Which brings us to the final piece, the Steampunk Hope Necklace!

Come back for How to Create Steampunk Jewelry Part III

Friday, May 23, 2014

More Steampunk Style

This first necklace started its life as an earring. Doesn't it remind you of a four leaf clover, steampunk style?    

This is a swank tie clip turned steampunk!  
This vintage pin reminded me of an octopus soooo I steampunked it and made it a necklace.
How do you like these funky urban chic cuff links?
Stay tuned for
How to Create Steampunk Part II

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Bead Soup Reveal 2014 is Here!

Today's the day to be dazzled by some incredible jewelry designs. Lori Anderson is our hostess. She says this blog hop will take a rest after this year. So enjoy it while you can. Basically, Lori pairs up designers from all over the world to swap bead soup. Each bead soup consists of at least one focal, a clasp, ribbon, and coordinating beads. Each partner creates jewelry with her bead soup and supplies from her own stash. The results are incredible! Here is a map of last years participants to give you an idea of the scope of this event.

For a list of this year's 500 participants from all over the world go to Lori Anderson's bead soup blog:

I have an incredible partner this year, Lori Bergmann. She has over 400 projects published in numerous books and magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens, Paper Crafts, Bead Trends, The Flow, and Bead Style (formerly Bead Unique).  She likes to experiment and use a wide variety of artistic mediums and techniques in her work. She has written a book on Creative Painting, teaches workshops, and designs and consults for several companies.  She's currently "obsessed" with making her own handmade glass beads and metal clay charms, and incorporating them into her gorgeous jewelry designs.
Here's the beautiful soup Lori Bergmann sent to me!

Turquoise and copper is my favorite color combination! The focal bead located near the lower right hand corner is actually a small bottle with a cork and everything. You could put secret charms, a lock of hair, your pet's ashes or even perfume in that precious bottle. I couldn't miss making some fine jewelry with these fabulous ingredients.

Unfortunately, Lori has some physical problems right now and was not able to create her bead soup designs in time for this reveal. She has promised to create them when she is well. I do recommend that you visit her blog, facebook page, and shop to see more of her incredible work.

Ta-Ta-Ta-Dum       Here are my designs!

Firstly, I worked on the focal which you see to the right. I ended up tweeking it a little later on.

Then I put my first necklace together!
I used more of her gorgeous beads and some of my hardware finds. I finished it off with chiffon ribbon for comfort and ease of wear. I love how it turned out!

In the next necklace more of Lori's handmade beads decorated the copper dragonfly I fashioned. The ribbon she sent along with a copper chain I added for strength and durability finished this piece nicely. I'm pleased with how this necklace turned out as well!

Because I still had a few beads and that beautiful clasp left over, I decided to make a bracelet that would work well with either necklace.
That's all folks. Be sure to visit the other designers in this'll be glad you did. Go to this link:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How to Create Steampunk Jewelry Part one




noun: steampunk; noun: steam-punk
a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

Steampunk is influenced by, and often adopts the style of the 19th-century scientific romances of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Mary Shelley. The oldest precursor of this genre in film, Metropolis (1927), may be the single most important early film to represent steampunk as an emerging stylistic genre.

Today, people use the term "steampunk" beyond its literary meaning to refer to a style of art, design and jewelry. Simply put, Steampunk jewelry uses industrial and mechanical "stuff" with an elaborate and romantic Victorian twist. What sort of people create steampunk jewelry and what sort of materials do they use? Keep reading to find out.

Steampunk has a bit of an obsession with time. As such, watches of all types, including wristwatches and pocketwatches, are popular. In fact, clock parts are often used in the construction of individual pieces of steampunk jewelry. Gears and watch hands are used to decorate larger pieces. Old-fashioned keys are also very popular, as are bits of antique cast-offs, such as pill cases, thread cutters and tiny knives.

The photo on the left is an example of a necklace I created with an antique escutcheon as a backdrop. I applied a watch face, gears, a key and some vintage watch works. Then I punched a hole near the bottom and added a clock hand dangle for some movement.

Steampunk artists regularly use certain materials to achieve an antiquated appearance. The most common materials in steampunk jewelry include:
Metals like copper, brass, steel, iron
Gears and cogs
Antique light bulbs
Watch and clock parts
Keys and locks
Antique hardware (keyholes, draw pulls, escutcheons, interesting shapes)
Certain animals (Octopus, lizards, spiders, fairies, dragonflies)
Word charms or engravings (love, dream, inspire, invent)
metal filigrees
vintage jewelry with interesting shapes
Computer and camera parts
Old radio and TV parts
Jewelry patinas
I use tiny gemstones and sometimes rhinestones for bling
charms and lockets
There aren't any stores that sell all steampunk supplies, so most jewelry artists have to search for interesting materials. I scour arts and crafts shops, pawnshops, garage sales, thrift stores, garbage bins, flea markets and antiques shops for parts. I regularly search the Internet for material as well.

Like other non-mainstream movements, steampunk places great importance on the value of beauty that reflects unusual or antiquated ideals. The jewelry is often bold and aggressive in appearance, but usually attempts to retain at least an echo of femininity.

Although it does exist, you will rarely find colors such as gold or silver in steampunk jewelry. In order to reflect an antique feel, steampunk avoids the use of these bright, new colors. Instead, favored colors are brass, bronze, copper and dark silvers such as gunmetal, brushed aluminum and titanium. Black and white are not popular; ecru, rich browns and shades of gray are much more common. Of course, rules are made to be broken. In the following necklace I used blue jewelry patina on the escutcheon base and added vintage watch parts on top. Notice I even added some rhinestones for bling!

Steampunk jewelry is usually handmade and almost never mass-produced. As such, it can be quite expensive, often $100 or more for a single piece. However, there are jewelers who produce quality pieces that are more affordable. Craft websites host many steampunk jewelry artisans who often have offerings in a wide range of prices. If you can't find a piece that you like or that is affordable, make it yourself. That's the beauty of steampunk jewelry; you don't need to be a skilled jeweler to create beautiful and unusual steampunk pieces.

Here's a steampunk hat I created! Barbizon Modeling Agency in St. Petersburg, Florida purchased it from my Etsy shop. That's my beautiful granddaughter modeling it.

Don't forget to come back for How to Create Steampunk Jewelry Part II.