Steampunk trend gathering steam

Posted by: dragonkaty

In the late 1980’s, fantasy and alternate history authors, influenced by 19th century writers like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, began to create a fiction sub-genre, termed “Steampunk”. Many have called the genre ‘Victorian science fiction’, as the novels focus on anachronistic technology and innovations which were created based on Victorian perspectives of fashion, culture and art. It is a world filled with dashing characters, clockwork mechanisms and the genteel manner of the Victorian age.

Not surprisingly, the daring aesthetic of the steampunk world caught the eye of designers and crafters. Utilizing the visual style of the steampunk world, whose primary images includes dirigible airships, goggles, Victorian dress, gears, windup mechanisms, and clock pieces, crafters have embraced its nostalgic feel and daring creativity.

Moyra Rile (Radically Riley), likes to think of steampunk as “anything reminiscent of the early industrial age. Think steam engines, gears, or looking at the world from the insides of machines, where all the moving parts work synchronously to produce power and force.“ Riley likes to integrate “upcycled goodies” with polymer clay to create her fun and funky Steampunk items.

Sailor's Delight necklace
Sailor's Delight necklace, $40.00 CAD by Radically Riley

"I prefer to create pieces based on a fantasy-world steampunk concept with a more romantic, old-world flavor," says Yolanda Pang (Poetic Designs). Pang began making steampunk items because she enjoyed “creating old world fantasy inspired pieces through recycling, repurposing found objects and vintage components, and that is led me to steampunk.”

Somewhere in Time necklace Steampunk Owl Clock Pendant Necklace
Somewhere in Time necklace, $40.00 CAD by Poetic Designs
Steampunk owl clock pendant necklace, $70.00 CAD by Poetic Designs

Steampunk has shown up in movies such as Pirates of Caribbean at World’s End, Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes, and in the upcoming Sucker Punch and Monsters and Aliens, where inventions powered by steam and gears are featured. Storylines, which showcased steampunk fashions, have also showed up on episodes of popular television programs such as Castle, and NCIS.

Victoriana Pillow in Brown Rose Velvet
Pillow in Brown Rose Velvet, ON SALE, $20.00 CAD by Pillow Throw Decor

The steampunk look is most evident in jewelry and accessories.“Old buttons, watch parts, gems, sparkles, and metallic finishes come together to make chunky funky wearable art,” says Riley. This combination of Old World Victorian style or gear and clock parts make unique pieces that embrace both the nostalgia of the style, with a modern feel.

Summer Romance earrings Steampunk brass filigree watch movement ring
Summer Romance vintage style lilac earrings, $16.99 USD by VintageSteampunk
Steampunk brass filigree watch ring, $25.00 CAD by Erinworld

Steampunk fashions and crafts are still growing in popularity, with no sign that they are losing ground.  Will it soon run out of, well, steam? Pang doesn’t think so. “The younger generation is fascinated by retro vintage, gothic novels, movies, fashion and decor. Moreover, there is the growing trend of 'going green' and a push for recycling. So Steampunk is definitely an important trend on the rise.”

Find more Steampunk products on iCraft.

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Apr 6, 2011 | Fairy Cardmaker

I love the steampunk look! Unfortunately, I have an accute metal allergy so I can't wear all this cool looking stuff without getting a rash within a couple hours. :(

I have grown up unadorned and wouldn't even have a clue where to start but I definitely would incoprorate Steampunk somewhere if I could!

Apr 6, 2011 | Radically Riley

Looks great Katy. Nice work!

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Vancouver, BC, Canada

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