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Monthly Archives: June 2010

At her recent Rocky Mountain Bead Society Steampunk lecture, Jean Campbell mentioned that she likes digging around her local hardware store for jewelry supplies. A generous member of the audience mentioned their favorite “stuff” store. The shop is Surplus Tools and Commodities at 1411 W. Alameda in Denver, a treasure trove of well, hardware chaos. Piles and tables and boxes of things that can find new repurposed life as Steampunk or hardware jewelry. Earth-friendly, green jewelry.

Hardware Store Glory

They are closed for inventory until July, but once they’re open again, I’ll be back to dig for more bits and bobs.

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist of creating out of void, but out of chaos” – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley


I’ve just returned from Jean Campbell‘s steampunk jewelry class from Rocky Mountain Bead Society.

Yes we lucky few spent most of Sunday playing with chain, gears, and rivets making a steampunk cuff. Jean is a great teacher – fun, engaging, and encouraging. The encouraging is very important! Some of us struggled with parts of class and she gently guided us through multiple times to make sure we’d get it right. Check her website to see if she’ll be teaching near you this summer. She’s also going to be teaching classes on so watch for those!

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.” – Henry Ford

We’re both interested in Steampunk, the collision of Victorian style with technology twists. Think Victorian England, Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes, Golden Compass, and the tv show Wild Wild West. There are some remarkable artists out there in the genre, making stunning beads and jewelry pieces.

Two new books to check out:
Steampunk Style Jewelry by Jean Campbell

Steampunkery: Polymer Clay and Mixed Media projects by Christi Friese
Each of her creations is a tiny, detailed sculpture that amuses and amazes.

And Jean Campbell will be in Denver teaching next weekend!

“Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.” — Jules Verne (apocryphal but good)

I found my first yarn bomb last night whilst out walking a dog. At least I think it is a yarn bomb, but I haven’t yet found an artist who is claiming it online.

Urban Yarn Graffiti in Boulder, Colorado

I rushed out this morning to get a picture and someone has already begun unraveling it. If you want to learn more about this urban yarn graffitti, check out:
The Lady’s Fancywork Society
Yarnbombing on Facebook
Or follow on Twitter by searching for “yarnbombing

Like modern art, I kind of get it and kind of don’t. I’m just too fond of my yarn stash at this point to give it away as a form of public art!

“The strangeness will wear off and I think we will discover the deeper meanings in modern art.” – Jackson Pollock

The latest crafting adventure has begun: wheel-thrown pottery. We’ve got 8 weeks and 25 pounds of clay (to start). Thus far I’ve managed to figure out that I want to use an electric wheel, not one you have to keep kicking to rotate. Seriously, this pottery business is difficult and I cannot both kick the wheel continuously and attempt to make something out of the clay. Trust me, it is not as easy as that old Sesame Street video would have you believe.

New accessories have been purchased, of course, because every crafting adventure seems to begin with spending money. The most important purchase will probably turn out to be the clay-colored overalls from the thrift store. I showed up at the first class in my traditional all-black – not a smart idea.

One of the ultimate goals is to figure out how to do this using reclaimed pottery, not just reclaimed clay (the messy left-overs from your pottery efforts; you can dry out and reuse this clay). Allegedly you can take broken pottery and remagic part of it back into clay.

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. ” – Clay P. Bedford