Thursday, November 24, 2011

Now It's Called Steampunk

When I did more art experimenting and artist trading card swapping and crafting, there was a trend. There were Victorian themes and things like skeleton keys, padlocks, clocks, gears, wings, hinges, and doors. There were metal charms and stickers and rubber stamps showing these themes. Using antique ephemera in collage was popular. The look of distressed things, everything sepia, and using products and sandpaper to make something look old and worn out was popular. Alongside, nature themes were popular such as butterflies and bees and flowers.

Somewhere along the way something called steampunk started to happen. I knew this to be related to books such as the Leviathan series by Westerfeld.

While in Barnes & Noble yesterday I spotted two books highlighted in a display. One was about making steampunk jewelry and the other was about making little knitted stuffed dolls that are embellished with metal objects and calling them stempunk.

When I looked at the books what I saw was the same design element which was being used a lot in 2006-2009 when I was busy crafting. Only now, people are calling it steampunk. The designs include metal pieces, gears, keys, locks, and chains as well as wings, butterflies and bees. The metal pieces are combined with glass beads and metal beads and chains to make pins, rings, necklaces and bracelets. They are perhaps embellished a little more heavily rather than being dainty and "nice", to look a bit more confused and combined into nonsensical "objects" that never existed in real life.

In order to make jewelry, collage or art objects we followed basic directions but used the elements of our choosing. Now the directions are available but specifically instructing you to use this or that element that they feel is steampunk.

Well it's just surprising that what was popular five years ago is still popular today but with a new name and so it seems like a new fad. Or maybe the trend grew and it needed a name to keep it going? I find it all a bit odd, the naming of it and pretending it is something new, I mean.

I still like art with clocks and butterflies and keys. I'm just not sure that I like steampunk or that I need to call those things "steampunk style".

Well if you like steampunk, enjoy it, that's all that matters I guess!

Polymer Clay:


1 comment:

heavy hedonist said...

It's always the way, isn't it? You do something that doesn't quite catch enough to sell well, then 5 years later, when you're well done with it, it explodes and some 23 year old makes a million off of it in five days.
Peace, Mari