Steampunk is a style of literature, film, and art that explores the alternative history of a world that diverged from our timeline at some point in the Victorian era. Inspired by authors like Jules Verne, the technology of the past, and sometimes a dose of mythology or horror, steampunk enthusiasts create functional modern items and decorative accents alike with roots in, or at least an aesthetic nod toward, antique craftsmanship and obsolete technology.
Supplies can be acquired through various means. The "purest" method would be using actual clockwork and hardware from broken antiques beyond repair, like I did with the steampunk can opener project I posted some time ago.
Crafts stores and hobby shops have lots of jewelry findings on hand though if you can't find the real deal, and many of these findings are easier to use for art projects because they are not designed to be sturdy enough for real use, and thus weigh far less.
Lace, ribbon, and leather can be used for more formal designs, while hardware like retaining rings, nuts, bolts, and washers can create a more industrial look.
I will be using super glue for this project, but some people prefer E6000 or 2-part epoxy. I suppose metal could even be soldered in some cases.
I began this project by purchasing an assortment of commercially-produced clockwork jewelry findings from my local Michael's Store and decided to make a lapel pin. Lapel pin blanks (AKA tie tack blanks) are a small tack with a butterfly clip that can be used as a foundation for your deign. Shoe clips could be used the same way to make a pair of accents for womens shoes.
I glued one of the large gear pieces to the back side of the pin blank to start the assembly. This should help ensure it holds together long-term with this level of support.
On the front, I started adding smaller gear pieces. I want this to look layered, since the individual elements are so thin. Note the experiment with adding a key charm to the bottom. I'm not sure how well this will work, but I decided to try anyway. Also note the stacked gears ready to be applied to the main assembly.
Now I have the layered look I want, along with what I feel is a good assortment of materials. Whether you want a more homogeneous look or this variation of tin, copper, and bronze is up to you. That's the fun of making stuff for yourself, after all - you get to decide what suits your own idea of what it should look like!
I added a few more pieces, including the all-important clock hands, to achieve my desired slightly-asymmetric clockwork badge!
If you like this, I strongly encourage you to give it a try. Whether intricate or minimalist, authentic or imitation, it's individual artwork in which you can take pride.
I also made a smaller piece to be added to the #SteemGnome as he continues on his journey!
(whale shenanigans be damned)
I post a how-to.
All photos taken by the author with his super-glue-affixed Android phone.