Steampunk Fashion Jewelry and Polymer Clay

Steampunk Fasion on Etsy

Edgy, New, Old, and Mechanical. These Are the Words I Came Up with to Describe this Sub-culture Fantasy Genre:

The other day, a jewelry designer (Wild Heather is her name) mentioned something about Steampunk Jewelry on Etsy. Of course with me always in the know (not), I said "Yeah, there sure is a lot of cool stuff on Etsy alright!"

Well after doing some quick follow up research, I  discovered that not only is Steam Punk cool and edgy (what I had correctly assumed by the name), it is an entire sub-culture that is quickly gaining popularity!

Similar to how cyber-punk fashion taps into computer gidgets and gadget types of things, steampunk style follows more of a Neo-Victorian fantasy genre based on steam engines, cogs, gears, clockworks, etc. All with a spooky Goth-like, highly decorative, yet also mechanical feel.

Those of you who know me well, know that Edward Scissorhands is my all time favorite movie. So when I saw the steampunk art on Etsy, I was very excited! How fun would it be to make some steam punk jewelry out of polymer clay! I’ll have to dig around in my junk box for keys and clock parts to make with some really cool polymer clay beads or pendants or something.

Now don’t worry, I most likely will never be seen wearing a black lace bustier with copper rivets and a periscope. But I may have to put on my steampunk diy hat and come up with some fashion accessories to go with my jeans and T-shirts.

After all, I do like it when the other Moms on the playground ask me, "What it is that you’re wearing?" Who really wants to get lost in the crowd anyway?!!

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  1. I love Steampunk / Neo Voctorian. My apartment is done in it! I own more that $5,000.00 in corsets not to mention the long curtian dress made from silk, satin and chaffon. Then there’s the bustels. Looking for a good parasal now.. maybe a couple to match all those corsets. White goth makeup and fangs just seem to set it all off – not unlike Peta Wilson’s charactor. (I even have that exact outfit!)All I have to say is.. Keep it coming!

  2. I found Steampunk a few months ago and love it.I’m having sooo much fun taking old watches and broken jewelry and making something totally new.I have some pics on Flickr.

  3. Nelda: Oh my, I LOVED your jewelry. I recently bought 2 big bags of old jewelry at a garage sale and have been weeding through all the twisted chains. But I LOVE finding treasures and saying “Now how ugly is that!!! It is the ugliest thing I’ve seen but it’s a keeper.” I also purchased some old watches but most were batter operated, they still have a nice face and a few other parts to use.

  4. Cindy,
    I’m so excited about the possibilities of this! I have a couple of boxes on my closet shelf of stuff my dad had saved. Just little odds and ends…and I have the coolest vintage tie clip of a gold hammer. Also old watches. I’m anxious to turn them into wearable art. Problem is, I don’t know if I’ll be able to part with them once I create something.

    Question: Do metal pieces bake well w/polymer clay? Does the baking time have to be adjusted? What do you suggest as a finish for these–Future floor finish?

  5. I have just finished a SteamPunk project and had no problem baking metal parts with PC; baked according to PC directions. My only suggestion is with watch parts to be sure what you have is metal and not metal colored plastic. This will not be a problem with really old watches but many are battery operated and have some metal and some plastic parts hidden amount the metal. I am not try to don’t want to insult anyone but be sure to open the back of a watch to check for a battery and throw out the battery before baking anything. I found a lot of “old looking” watches were not gear driver and a small battery looked like a watch part. . I did not sand or use any finish on my SteamPunk piece as I wanted a matte industrial look. I used Pearl Ex powders to darken some areas. I also used acrylic paint to tone down some of the shine on metal pieces.

    I know what you mean about not wanting to part with things you have made.

  6. @seedplanter: Metal bakes wonderfully with polymer clay. Sky’s pretty much the limit, so just be creative with it!

    @Anna: What wonderful advice you gave to seedplanter! I have not come across plastic gears that look like metal, so I would have never thought to warn about those! I’ve seen some white plastic gears in watches before but not metal looking ones. All of your other advice is excellent as well. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge on this!

  7. Forgot to mention I put a thin layer of liquid Sculpy on the raw clay and then gently pressed in the metal piece. Another option is to bake the piece first and then attach gears with Super Glue.

  8. Thank you Anna for this information! It is very helpful!

    BTW I just finished making a steampunk jewelery pendant that I will post about in the next day or two. It was really fun to work on it!

  9. Another way to attach pieces is to use very thin silk plant wire, loop it around the part or through the bead, twist it tight then cut all but about a 1/4″. the twisted metal works great as an anchor, I’ve never had to use anything else to attach my decorations

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