09 April 2009

Steampunk Cleopatra

"This will bring you luck", the stranger said.

She put on the strange, scarab necklace, and felt a slight shiver, but it passed too quickly to notice.

It soon became her favorite necklace, and after wearing it for a while, she noticed a curious thing. It started when she was sitting in a coffee house, fiddling with the necklace, when she saw a person she really wished to avoid talking to enter the shop and wave to her.

"Oh, no!", she thought.

She glanced at the scarab and saw the tiny gears start to move. Suddenly, the unwished-for person turned abruptly and left the shop without saying a word to her. Then the gears stopped again. How strange!

"That was lucky!', she thought to herself.

Soon, she noticed other times when the gears in the scarab would move, and then good things would happen. She wished she could ask the stranger who gave it to her about it, but who knew if she would ever see him again.....

I imagined this piece as a sort of temporal vortex device. The filigree wings, wrapped with fine silver wire (very conductive!) act as antenae, The gemstone crystals align the correct frequencies, and the gear work moves events in a positive path for the wearer.

I have always been a sci-fi geek, and the Steampunk genre appeals to my inner nerd. According to Wikipedia: Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality.

Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk and steampunk is that steampunk settings usually tend to be less obviously dystopian than cyberpunk, or lack dystopian elements entirely.

Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual craftpersons into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style, and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as steampunk.

One of my favorite steampunk/cyberpunk novels is The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson.

This is my first steampunk piece, one of many to come. The theme of this series is Tempus Fugit - time flies. The necklace is a stylized scarab with wire wrapped filigree wings. Tiny gears and jewels range along the bottom of the wings, and the Swiss clockwork body makes the body of the scarab. The wing span is 3 inches, and it is wrapped with over 14 feet of fine silver wire.

I was hesitant to post this piece in my shop, as I love it so much, I want to keep it for myself, but musn't be greedy! Besides, I know I will be making more of these!

thanks for looking!


Kathleen Krucoff said...

Wow Pippi. It's amazing and I love the story behind it too. This is another beautiful piece. Love seeing your ideas become reality.

Lola_D said...

I totally dig how you mixed your piece with other photos! Very cool!

Lola D

The Beading Gem said...

It's a beautiful creation and I totally understand why you find it hard to part with it. Pearl

MartaCoimbra said...