Book Review: Steampunk Emporium

Image from Indigo/Chapters - click for the original

A few posts back I mentioned a book that I had been going through – and this is it.

Steampunk Emporium is an interesting craft book; the first I’ve seen (at least in person!) all about Steampunk arts & crafts specifically. The book, by Jema “Emilly Ladybird” Hewitt, is divided up into five main themes; ‘Atlantis Expedition’, ‘Zeppelin Pirate Attack!’, ‘Absinthe Fairy Interlude’, ‘Jurassic Valley Exploration’, and finally ‘Clockwork Tea Party’. Within each of these themed chapters, are four different jewelry items. Many of the jewelry items are geared towards the feminine, however some could be adapted for a more androgynous appeal – though of course pretty isn’t gender-specific!

Specific projects include pins (hatpin, brooch, medal & cravat pin), necklaces (plus pendants and choker), bracelets, a ring, chatelaine, wine charms, earrings, and cufflinks.  More importantly though, are the techniques.  A wine charm could easily be adapted to a cufflink or earring, a technique used on a bracelet could be used on a necklace, and so on.  I can also see using some of the techniques for magnets, scrapbooking elements, and other craft projects.

The mixed media techniques that really appealed to me include:

  • Filling the spaces of a cog with lightly-tinted (absinthe green) resin (I think I’ll use this technique on my upcoming raygun…)
  • Tinting brass stampings with metal paint and alcohol inks
  • Charms with shrink plastic (I haven’t seen shrink plastic at Michael’s craft store though – perhaps a trip to PMS is in order!)
  • Images applied to polymer clay (in the book, she’s used a black and white copy and hand-coloured it with pencil crayons, but a similar set of instructions are available online.)
  • Bezels filled with images (the author recommends sealing the images first because resin can blur the images if used directly)

If you want to check out a small sample of the projects in the book – Google Books has some of the projects listed.

I really like this book – the techniques are all really accessible – there aren’t any serious tools needed, most of the supplies can be found at local craft stores (like Michael’s).  The photos are large and clear, and although not every single step is illustrated – there are enough for each project that each project seems very well-guided.  The results are whimsical, fun, wearable and PRETTY!

The Steampunk Emporium goes well beyond the too-often-seen ‘glue-a-gear’ method of steampunking jewelry, and is definitely worth a look.

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2 comments on “Book Review: Steampunk Emporium

  1. […] taking a look at Steampunk Emporium  I thought it would be interesting to see what other Steampunk books are out there. Well – […]

  2. […] book that I looked at was Steampunk Style Jewelry by Jean Campbell. This book is much more like Steampunk Emporium , (than the previous book I looked at – The Art of Steampunk) and is geared (har har) towards […]

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