Jema “Emilly Ladybird” Hewitt is the author of Steampunk Emporium: Creating Fantastical Jewelry, Devices and Oddments from Assorted Cogs, Gears and Curios. Today on the blog, she talks about how the Steampunk movement and crafting go hand-in-hand, and how both bring people together.
One of the loveliest things about crafting in general is the way it brings people together. Sharing ideas, swapping materials and learning new techniques together all serve to bring us into a special relationship with the other creative folk around us and online.
A shared passion for making things has introduced me to some of my best friends, many of whom are also active in the Steampunk Community! After sharing art classes and moving in similar arty circles for many years, losing touch and getting back together online, we were amazed to discover the other friend’s work popping up at Steampunk events and in Steampunk exhibitions; indeed, the people themselves were attending Steampunk Events!
The Steampunk Community is a very jolly one here in the U.K. There are lots of social events like picnics and balls for which people love to dress up. Most people create at least part of their own costumes and small companies design and sell lovely, unusual, unique pieces of costume, which are supplemented by thrift store finds. So really I should not have been surprised to find my old friends (who in the main love dressing up) were out at Steampunk gatherings, eating cake and making amazing things!
Maybe it was because we were all friends that we discovered the same influences together, inspired by the same things early on, so although developing our work separately there would always be a common thread of knowledge and influence.
For this reason I like to think of Steampunk as almost more of an art movement akin to the “arts and crafts” or Pre-Raphaelites than an alternative subculture or genre. All ages, abilities and races are welcome to come and be creative with us, taking influences from music, art, literature and modern media like films, installations and computer games, and in return filling those things with new life and creativity once more.
Jema Hewitt is a jewelry artist and costume designer. She designs and creates unique fanciful objets d’art and also writes books and articles to inspire others to do the same. She lives among the rolling hills of Derbyshire in the United Kingdom with her husband and beloved menagerie.
Miss Emilly Ladybird, Adventuress, is Jema’s steampunk alter ego. In the character of Emilly she travels the world searching out artifacts for her employers, Dickens and Rivett. You can follow her ongoing adventures on Twitter and read more about Dickens and Rivett Steampunk Emporium at www.steampunkjewellery.co.uk., and join Emilly at www.facebook.com/emillyladybird.