Steampunk is the world of imaginary airships, corsets and goggles, mad scientists, and strange literature. Picture your modern conveniences — smartphones, iPads, computers, air travel — but power them with steam and dress it with Victorian flair. Think brass and copper, glass and polished wood, engraving and etching, and details for the sake of details, that’s steampunk.
I’m sure you are familiar with steampunk’s most revered heroes, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. While Verne and Wells are regarded as part of the foundation of science fiction, they would be listed as “steampunk” authors if they were writing their works today. Stories filled with gadgets and transportation, complicated and fanciful for the time. A recent movie Sherlock Holmes, (starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams) captures the era of steam perfectly.
Think clothing and jewelry being made in a “steampunk” style. The clothes are not exactly Victorian, adding in technological bits or hints of a more adventurous life than a typical Victorian citizen likely enjoyed. The jewelry seeks to reflect strength while still appearing feminine and intelligent. Steampunk jewelry often has a salvaged, dark appearance. Clock parts are often used in the construction of individual pieces of steampunk jewelry. Old-fashioned keys are also very popular, as are bits of antique cast-offs, such as pill cases, thread cutters and tiny knives. The necklace pictured above is my own design using steampunk ideas: feminine, intelligent, and salvaged.
To me, Steampunk honors an era when people thought big, and worked hard to make things that last. It is not like the disposable culture of goods that we have today. Care, artisanship and craftsmanship were put into everything that was created and talent was cherished.