Steampunk Style Jewelry by Jean Campbell is a fairly recent book written for people who are interested in steampunk.
A lot of people still don't really know what steampunk is, they haven't heard of it or they don't realize some of their favorite movies and tv shows have a steampunk influence. The movement defies simple explanation, I remember spending a good hour with my teens helping trying to explain to my husband. Finally he said "So, like Firefly?(the television show)" Well, yes. That would be a fair example of some of the style, although it seems set in the future. Journey to the Center of the Earth or Tin Man (the SciFi channel show) are better examples, or Wild, Wild West, either the tv show or the movie. Steampunk is futuristic technology from the past. It's the idea of lasers powered by steam and sunlight, clockworks running AI intelligent robots. It's an aesthetic that's very romantic that pulls clothing styles from the late 1700s to the late 1800s. So that was a quick introduction to steampunk. You can find out a lot more by searching for more information about it.
For beaders and jewelry makers, this book is very timely given how popular steampunk is becoming. Gorgeously printed in full color throughout, Jean Campbell who is very well known in the beadwork community provides projects and information about steampunk. Some of the history and a lot of wonderful examples of steampunk art. I loved the fact it's not all projects and has so much information about the lifestyle and fashion.
For a lot of jewelry artists, some of the parts will seem like they are hard to find. Part of the style is gears and clockworks. Having a goodly supply of broken watches is a big part of being able to make really good steamy jewelry. Check thrift stores, garage sales, online auctions and ask friends. You'll be astounded how many people keep watches that don't work planning on maybe fixing them someday who are happy to give them to you.
Not all the projects call for difficult to find items, and the book is worth having for the ideas and the information. Brass and copper are used extensively in this style jewelry which makes it fairly inexpensive to make.
The author explains the techniques and skills you'll need, as well giving tips that are just great. For instance she suggests heating brass components to darken them. I tried it on some brass buttons for another project and it worked very well.
Favorite projects include Dirigible Aviatrix Necklace which showcases a lovely image with washers, bolts and brass beads. It's a little complicated to make, but you'll learn lots of great skills making it and it's gorgeous.
The simpler Tick Tock Drop Earrings feature clock hands which you can buy many places and brass beads and jump rings.
The Time Travelers Necklace is an assemblage piece that reminds me of my mother's jewelry and I will use it as inspiration for a piece made from some of my mother's old costume jewelry.
You don't need to follow her examples exactly to get a lot out of this book. It's full of great ideas to inspire you to try your own steampunk pieces.
You can get a copy of it either from Creative Publishing International or below from Amazon.com.
Creative Publishing International provided this review copy of Steampunk Style Jewelry to me free of charge.
To learn more about BellaOnline's review policy, please check our review policy.