I really love some of the steampunk jewellery I’ve seen by some (very ) talented artists, and while I don’t quite have the skills (or components) to piece things together for a ‘real’ steampunk piece, I really wanted to try my hand and putting something together inspired by some of the more common motifs.
I also have a distinct lack of jewellery specifically for men, usually just going for chunkier materials or using square wire rings for a more masculine edge, but no genuinely original designs, so I decided to take the steampunk theme and try to create a distinctly masculine piece, and I’m fairly happy with the result.
The focal chain at the centrepiece is a mix of links – the silver gear connectors, solid faceted round silver rings, and square wire brass rings formed into mobius units, all linked with round stainless steel rings. The pendant is a simple wing stamping attached to another gear connector with plated copper wire.
The rest of the chain is just a simple 3-3 link using smaller and finer gauge stainless steel rings for a ‘rollo’ effect, which also reminds me slightly of a bike chain, so I thought it was in keeping with the theme. I would have actually preferred the two cog connectors at the side to be smaller, but beggars can’t be choosers, unfortunately.
Still, although quite often things I try to make masculine somehow inadvertently take on an obvious feminine aesthetic, and despite thinking this piece could just as easily be worn by a woman, I think I managed to achieve what I was trying to with this – and for once there’s no skulls, spikes or dragons in sight!
This is my first attempt at weaving a distinguishable pattern into chain mail, so I went with a very simple diamond shape, which works quite well as a stand-alone shape, though it became a little less recognisable as a diamond when as part of a fuller weave.
The weave is a standard European 4-in-1, made with plated copper wire rings each with a total diameter of 4mm, so it’s a fairly fine weave. The rings are slightly different gauges, though – the gold rings are 0.8mm thick and the silver are 0.7mm. Originally, I had intended to border the bracelet with silver rings (which would have made the diamond shape a bit more distinguishable), but due to the slight difference in size, they would have been a little loose and messy, so the gold rings pulled it together quite nicely in the end.
I finished it off with a 3-strand silver-tone magnetic slide clasp, but I think it would work just as well (probably better) with a gold clasp.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with the result, so will be looking to incorporate more inlays into my work in the future.
I was experimenting with colour combinations when I made this, although blue and gold isn’t really something out of the ordinary, but I’m not actually the biggest fan of gold as a colour, so wanted to test how far I could push it for my own liking.
The weave is a very simple Hana-Gusari (Japanese 2-6, or at least it would be if I had woven a wider strip, in this case it’s a 1-2), using 18 gauge, 3/16’s (4.75mm ID, AR is around 4) in glossy royal blue anodized aluminium rings and 4mm plated copper wire rings (they’re about 20 gauge, so an ID of around 2.4mm, or AR 3).
I tried to use a few different beads to adorn the chain, but none of them worked nearly as well as these translucent yellow topaz coloured crystal beads (4mm bicones).
All up I thought the result was a little flashy and bold, but still quite elegant, so a successful experiment I’d say.