As I wandered through a bookstore, I paused to inspect the craft section on the off chance I might find something about the creation of Steampunk objects. Imagine my delight when I struck gold! I discovered a slim volume purporting to tutor me in the ways of creating Steampunk jewelry.
Steampunk Style Jewelry, by Jean Campbell, features a variety of pieces by a variety of designers interspersed with informative blurbs on the origins of Steampunk, goggles, the community, and other useful things for a Steampunk jeweler to know. The pieces explicated are a wide range of Steampunk flavours. With this book, you can create adornments for all occasions, pieces that can take you from the ballroom to the boiler room. Perhaps the most valuable sections of this book are those in which Ms. Campbell suggests where one might find resources for things such as clock bits and copper wire. She also describes handy techniques on how to distress or “age” materials in order to make them look antique or “time-traveled.”
I have a good theoretical grounding in jewelry-making now. I did not attempt the pieces demonstrated because I am an amazing klutz and could most likely get into a fatal situation with a pair of pliers and a pillow. I found that I would be able to, after a careful study, use the directions in this book to approximate the items in the photos. Safety tips are included to keep emergency room visits to a minimum. I do wish there were a few more “in progress” illustrations. Some projects feature several of these, but not all. Some do not have any.
I give Jean Campbell’s Steampunk Style Jewelry three and a half gears out of five. The pictures are inspiring, the directions are mostly clear, and the blurbs on Steampunk are accurate and helpful. I would not recommend it for the absolute novice. If you have sliced open your fingers whilst wrapping gifts, as I have, this book and the entirety of jewelry-making is not for you. If, however, you have played with wire and have not poked yourself in the eyeball with it, you would likely do well to get this book. This is a perfect crafter’s introduction to the genre.
Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,
Penny J. Merriweather