9/10/14

Steampunk Summer: Top 5 Steampunk Shops on Etsy

So far this summer, we've looked at the do-it-yourself side of steampunk.  Make your own jewelry.  Sew your own outfits.  Adorn your own hats.

But maybe crafting isn't your thing or you don't have time.  That's where Etsy comes in.  Since everything on Etsy is either handmade, vintage, or supplies you can use for your hobbies, it's a goldmine for steampunk wearables and gadgetry.

There are numerous shops selling everything from gears and clock hands to goggles and waist cinchers.  These are my hand-picked top 5.  My judging criteria?  Creativity, quality, visual interest, and how well the pieces represent steampunk.  Some of the shop owners were even willing to tell me a little about what they do.

The Shop: Seamstress of Steam
What They Carry:  Clothing, hats, jewelry, accessories, decor, and spats

Here's what Katherine at Seamstress of Steam had to say about the genre: "Steampunk for me is all about those small details. I'm always attracted to the shiny copper and buttons like everyone, but it is the ribbon and lace and other small trimmings that put it over the top."

Photo Courtesy of Seamstress of Steam
Her favorite item? "I love everything I make and put a great deal of myself into each and every one of my creations. If I had to pick a favorite, I guess I would say my classic black spats. They are so cute and playful and easy to work into almost any outfit."

Katherine also told me what kind of experience we can expect when visiting her little piece of the world: "When you purchase anything from my shop you are getting a handcrafted, one of a kind item. One of the reasons so many people are enamored with Steampunk and the Victorian era is the attention to detail and craftsmanship that comes from handmade items. I embrace that ideal wholeheartedly with Seamstress of Steam. I love the little details and finishings that make an item one to treasure for years to come. Any item from Seamstress of Steam is professionally crafted, made to last, and will come carefully wrapped in tissue and string like you just picked it up at a Victorian seamstress's shop."

I'm quite fond of Katherine's selection of spats and several of the jewelry pieces.  For classic, classy steampunk - and some items that are modern but retain the vintage/punk vibe, check out Seamstress of Steam.

Photo Courtesy of EDM Designs
The Shop: EDM Designs
What They Offer: Jewelry, cufflinks, goggles, and glasses

Although my path crossed a little too briefly with Ricky, the jewelry designer/artisan for EDM Designs, due to time constraints, her passion for steampunk is obvious.  She's endlessly creative and strives to be unique in more than just her creations.  I'm completely fascinated by the different colored glasses and goggles in her shop.  Her jewelry carries the same aesthetic of metal and shine, complexity and simplicity.

For some serious conversation starters and statement pieces, browse Ricky's handiwork at EDM Designs.


Photo Courtesy of JK Steampunk Design
The Shop: JK Steampunk Design
Their Specialty: Jewelry, cufflinks, and tie tacks

What makes JK Steampunk Design such an intriguing shop is the heavy use of clock and watch parts.  All of the jewelry and accessories have a feeling of movement, industry, and solidness.  These designs would look great on any time traveler, antique dealer, or animal aficionado.
Photo Courtesy of Catherinette Rings


The Shop: Catherinette Rings
What They're Known For: Rings, watches, tie tacks, and sculptures

I've had my eye on Catherinette Rings for over a year.  Their rings have a unique, striking style.  Some of them feature an animal eye motif.  Others have owls, watch parts, and painted buttons. Their metal insect sculptures are gorgeous - perfectly suspended between gothic, terrifying, and beautiful.

I know I promised my top 5 picks, but since the 5th shop is temporarily closed, I'll feature it separately when it reopens.  If you want to bookmark it or save it as a favorite until then, go to Velvet Mechanism.

There's only one week left in Steampunk Summer!  Award-winning author and queen of steam Ginn Hale wrote an amazing piece for us for next week.  Sign up for my brand new newsletter (to the right or on my Contact Me page above) to make sure you don't miss it!

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