Liber Luvs Steampunk!

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In the spirit of being a well-rounded individual, I thought I'd share with you one of my chief obsessions. It's not makeup and beauty related, but I do consider it one of my major creative outlets, and like makeup, one of the ways I express myself. I am fascinated by and adore all things Steampunk! This cultural aesthetic, (a mash-up of Victorian and futuristic elements..imagine rusty watch gears and dirigibles and ray guns and aviator goggles) has been gaining a bit more steam (ha!) recently it seems. More people seem to know what it is and you see it's influence in art, books and movies. One of my favorite Steampunky movies is Stardust, based on the Neil Gaiman book by the same name. It's a fantasy and has a Victorian feel to it, but then you have things like dirigibles that go on lightning capturing expeditions, etc. I think I'm drawn to it because I've always loved antiques and old things and the history and secrets they hold, and like the idea of these things paired with futuristic elements to create an entirely new reality.


I consider my style Steampunk Lite...I don't go out in full costume, corsets and such, but I like to incorporate small details, like a bit of light lace paired with something dark. No Renaissance Festival-style ruffles, but something like metal hardware buttons on vintage looking lacy cardigan is nice. I look for clothes with those components, but mostly I express my Steampunk love via my altered art jewelry. I love making necklaces from old watches, and use a lot of classic art or ephemera  or even old family photos paired with sayings or poetry that expresses how I'm feeling on a given day. I work in a place where I feel like I have to water myself down and am not really seen as a real person, so wearing a necklace with words is how I say what I want by stealth. I get comments on these pieces pretty much daily, which surprises me because the people I'm around aren't especially observant. I get asked all the time if I sell my jewelry, which I don't (yet). I'm still very new to the techniques and really want to get a durable product perfected before I considered selling it to anyone. It wouldn't break my heart if a piece broke on me, but I would hate for it to happen to a customer. That said, I've never had a piece break on me yet. One of my oldest, most used pieces needed a glue touch up once, but now it's good as new.


So I thought I'd share some of my pieces with you. I'm not too terribly worried about anyone "stealing" my ideas, these pieces are pretty much one of a kind and if I inspire someone to make something similar, that wouldn't really suck too terribly much. Thanks for checking them out :)


One of my first pieces, made from a piece of hardware I found in an antique store, and the chain is from my mom's jewelry box.  You can get lots of steampunk components like gears and wings and brass birds on Etsy! This piece is actually all glued together with E6000, no soldering needed.


Picture simply glued onto wooden tag, burned at the edges and sealed with Diamond Glaze (I am now working with more durable resin). The words are a reference to a compliment an old boyfriend (who passed away a few years ago) gave me: he said I was a mystery in the religious sense. I have no idea what he meant, but I always liked it.
A HUGE excerpt from my favorite poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot. I resonate so deeply with this poem, I just couldn't choose a small caption. The words were simply glued to a wooden tag, sealed with Mod Podge, and burned to age. I like the teacup charm as a reference to the poem.
A pretty characteristic Steampunk piece-it's a locket that contains a picture of my boyfriend and I. I painted part of the locket black so the gears would show up more clearly.

I made this from a bit of ephemera I found online, and it's all tucked into a cute glass frame. I like her expression, and I chose the words as a compliment to it. It's both a bit of snark towards dumb people and a desperate plea for a moment to gather one's thoughts in a crazy world.



This is a dual sided Christmas themed piece-I was in a whimsical mood, and I wanted a piece with my cat Maisy on it. This was a picture of her literally sticking her tongue out-no joke, she does this all the time. I thought it was the perfect defiant, naughty picture, and the other side is her being sweet and angelic (usually to cover up something naughty she's done)

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This is an old family photo found lurking in a dusty old album. (Not the original, of course!) I scanned and edited it. It was such a striking picture, an even more desperately sad "American Gothic" that the idea of leaving it hidden in that album was simply not acceptable. I love the idea of imbuing such things with new life, letting the subjects breathe again, in a way. This is what I imagine the couple thinking about each other, and it's how I often feel in relation to the world. I sealed the picture with Diamond Glaze but it has yellowed over time so I wish I had used real resin.



This is a another homage to Rene Magritte, using his piece "The Lovers." The Latin expression roughly means "what nourishes me destroys me." I think this phrase, paired with the picture of the masked lovers, makes a pretty powerful statement. I wear it when I'm feeling particularly guilty.

 The picture is sealed in resin over an old stopwatch, which is really, really heavy and substantial. I glued on the bail with E6000 and it has held for a year, much to my surprise. This is a classic picture by Surrealist artist Rene Magritte, and the text is a quote from EE Cummings, which I found fitting given the artwork: 
To be nobody-but-yourself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.


This is a collage using a picture of my grandma when she was about 5, circa 1923. I love the incredulous expression on her face and think she must be upset about wearing that hideously huge bow. It's all set in a pendant tray and sealed with resin. Resin is tricky, as you can see in a couple spots, if you don't seal the paper perfectly with Mod Podge first, the resin will soak through the paper and cause dark patches.



























 









 












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3 comments :

  1. I love all of these, especially the watch and gear pieces! If you do decide to sell any Steampunk jewelry, I'd love to know about it! ;)

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  2. Thanks so much Emily! I swear people ask me almost every day at work about my jewelry and whether or not I sell it. The universe is telling me something, but still, the business side of such things confounds me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great steampunk jewelry! I also make some steampunkesque jewelry, the aesthetic really appeals to me!

    You could start an Etsy shop, that´s what I did!

    ReplyDelete

Please leave me comments if anything strikes your fancy or if you have any helpful suggestions. Remember, I'm no expert and am just sharing my truth. Hopefully you will find something useful to take with you!

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