We have ben told recently that using watch parts to make jewelry is nothing original. Obviously we are aware of that, but our use of watch parts has nothing to do with ‘Etsy fashion’. Didn’t you know that victorians themselves did this? As a proof of our previous research:
The urge to cut-up and repurpose old watch parts into new artistic forms was something the Victorians appear to have been aware of in the 1880s. But although the results look very much like steampunk they appear to have been made as a direct result of changing times in the watch-making world rather than a desire to embrace a new aesthetic.
These cases however were only the exterior cover for the highly sophisticated piece of precision engineering inside and this mechanism also contained ornately engraved and artistically finished details. One stand-out feature was the ornate balance-cock attached to the back of the watch movement.
It was these balance cocks which were repurposed to make the necklaces, brooches and earrings in these photographs. While it is clear they weren’t targeted at the highest end of the fashion world, as the finished work is quite rough, they must have been reasonably popular because surviving examples are not rare.
We invite you to read the complete article in Powerhouse Museum’s website: ‘Victorian Steampunk Jewelry’ by Geoff Barker.
We will never get tired of repeating that our aim is to create handmade fine jewelry pieces inspired by retrofuturisms, biomechanics, art-nouveau, ancient civilizations, XIX Century, industrial culture and steampunk, among others.
Obviously one of the best possibilities to achieve this objective is showing you how we work, so we have decided to share with you this video. It was shooted and edited by me and features my partner Irene Lopez and her teacher, jewelry master Alejandro Allocco. We have to thank Mr. Allocco once more, as he let us film in his studio in Madrid.
In only one minute you can see many silversmithing professional techniques: melting, casting, hammering, rolling, sawing, soldering, filing, polishing, etc.
There are many people out there claming to be jewellers, but… can they prove it? Here it is our piece of evidence:
As you know, after Romanticism a Realist political and aesthetical ideology prevailed, receiving different names all over the world (Victorian era in Great Britain). From the 1870’s onward, the ideas that history and civilization were inherently progressive and that progress was always good came under increasing attack, questioning of the axioms of the previous age. This was the seed of Modernism, a wide array of cultural movements derived from deep changes in the Western society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
You have probably heard of Barcelona as the greatest exponent of Modernist architecture in Spain with its ‘Modernisme’. It usually refers to the movements known in other countries as Art Nouveau, Modern Style, Jugendstil, Stile Liberty, Sezessionstil, etc. It is a style derived from the English Arts and Crafts movement, the Pre-Raphaelite movement, the Gothic revival and the Aesthetic Movement (a restrained prelude to Art Nouveau), as well as from Symbolism. It is characterized by the predominance of the curve over the straight line, rich decoration and detail, the frequent use of vegetal and other organic motifs, and the taste for asymmetry and dynamic shapes.
Vigo, my home town, has also a very rich Modernist heritage. Like Antoni Gaudí, architects as Antonio Palacios, Jenaro de la fuente, Manuel Gómez Román and many others were inspired by organic forms handing down to us numerous architectonic treasures.
It is said that Art inspires Art. This is what happened to my partner Irene when she saw this architectonic detail in this building designed by Mr. Jenaro de la Fuente in 1913, located at 28th Urzaiz Street.
The result is this oval pendant made of copper and matt sterling silver, which includes a 17 jewels Phenix watch movement.
As Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger stated in 1999 (if you want to know more you can take a look at the corresponding Wikipedia entry), markets are conversations.
The Decimononic crew are true believers and for this reason we have an active presence in many social media. We can be found in Delicious, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, You Tube… and this activity let us share relevant information with our community, get feedback and, to sum up, keep in touch and interact with our supporters in a convenient way. Social media give us the opportunity to bring real value to our community day after day.
If theory sounds interesting but you are still wondering how we put all this into practice, you will probably find interesting this simple example. It all began with active listening -as always- and we seized the chance that this #SteampunkChat gave us to ask for some feedback. As you are going to see, we received not only this, but some valuable ideas to develope new designs too.
— Decimononic (@Decimononic) October 22, 2011
— Captain Syfer Locke (@SyferLocke) October 22, 2011
Some months ago I happened to read this article published by The Economist under the title ‘Print me an Stradivarius‘. If you know nothing at all about this disruptive manufacturing technology, this video will give you an insight into its implications:
Monitoring this kind of technical advances is something I love and obviously I can’t help but trying to predict its impact in our daily activities. Do you think that it’s too soon to think about this? Probably not, as I have found some companies that are already creating their jewelry pieces using the lost-wax casting process using a high-resolution 3D Wax print.
The world-wide spread of this technology will make mass personalization of products very affordable. I have been asked how could this affect Decimononic… well, naturally it would be really exciting to have access to this kind of technology, it offers vast possibilities. Anyway, there is something to be taken into consideration: one of our main commitments is offering unique tailored pieces and this is not going to change. After all most of Decimononic creations are handmade fine jewelry pieces that include elements with real historical value (therefore non-reproducible): antiques like vintage watch movements, collectible coins, natural semi-precious stones, etc.
There’s absolutely no doubt that we are living in a full of possibilities time.