Pick Your Technique: 3 Fun Ways to Make Steampunk Jewelry
So, you say you just don't know where to get started with steampunk jewelry? We have a saying in the practice of yoga and meditation: in order to begin something, just start where you are!
I still love the look of steampunk jewelry, even if I don't make it very often. Part of my hesitation with making more steampunk jewelry was that I assumed it all had to be done with metal torches and files and saws. Not so, I discovered. No matter what your favorite jewelry-making technique is, you can get started with steampunk jewelry making ideas right now!
Steampunk Jewelry Made with Bead-weaving and Bead Embroidery
Let's just say that you love bead-weaving or bead embroidery. If you need some inspiration for how to incorporate steampunk style into your beadweaving, take a look at the gorgeous steampunk work of Cynthia Newcomer Daniel. A big part of creating successful steampunk jewelry using bead-weaving and bead embroidery is allowing yourself to think outside the box. It's not easy — even we beaders get comfortable in our own little bead boxes — but letting yourself approach steampunk jewelry with a spirit of play can result in some truly fantastic beaded jewelry design ideas.
Don't be afraid to learn how to use a metal hole punch, make your own chain out of wire, or even learn simple metal jewelry-making techniques like simple soldering with a micro torch to help you fully express your creative steampunk jewelry ideas!
Steampunk Jewlery Made with Mixed Media Techniques
For me, designing a successful piece of steampunk jewelry comes with knowing the story behind the finished piece before I start working. A huge part of what makes steampunk jewelry so appealing to some jewelry makers and beaders is the idea that there is a history behind each piece of finished beaded jewelry. Let the viewer and the wearer be a part of that story!
While I don't do a whole lot of mixed media jewelry making, I thoroughly enjoy making my own jewelry-making components out of resin-filled bezels. These are a great way to get your feet wet with steampunk jewelry — I love playing with the arrangement of the elements in a bezel before filling it with resin, and learning how to use my beading tools and jewelry-making pliers to modify these elements (like learning how to clip off the pointy parts of the watch gears, and how to sand down the sharp edges of other metal watch parts) before using them in your steampunk jewelry-making projects.
Steampunk Jewelry Made with Basic Bead Stringing Techniques
Of course, you can always make steampunk jewelry with just basic bead stringing techniques, too! There are so many steampunk-inspired focal beads and jewelry-making components out there that you really don't need anything other than a good pair of crimping pliers to make your own steampunk jewelry.
To really enhance the steampunk look in jewelry made with bead stringing techniques, think about combining natural freshwater pearls with edgier handmade ceramic beads. Pair them with handmade or pre-made metal chain if you think the overall look is too "soft" for steampunk, or include some hand-painted vintage metal components in your finished jewelry design.
Of course, if you're inspired to start learning more metal jewelry-making techniques, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine is a great resource for learning everything you need to know about making metal and gemstone jewelry. Subscribe to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine and find out more about your favorite gemstones, jewelry making tools and techniques, and inspirational projects from jewelry artists all over the world!
Do you have a favorite technique for making steampunk jewelry? What's the best thing you ever learned about making steampunk jewelry? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog, and maybe you can help inspire someone to try some steampunk jewelry-making projects!