The Semi-Secret World of: STEAMPUNK JEWELRY DESIGN

A few things about Steampunk…

It’s described as literary genre (science fiction or fantasy) that includes social or technological aspects of the 19th century.

It has an influence of the Victorian era, with an adventurous-industrial twist.

You may recognize the style in graphic novels such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and movies like Sherlock Holmes.

“To me, it’s essentially the intersection of technology and romance.” – Jake von Slatt

Those drawn to this style have handcrafted everything from jewelry to cars and much more following the same design aesthetic characteristics:  Using materials like Brass, copper, glass and polished wood; and engraving, etching, and adding details over more detail. Sometimes it features anachronistic innovations; like the use of antique, or obsolete artifacts.  Such pieces bring to mind the worlds of authors such as H.G. Wells and Jules Verne.

“Steampunk simply embodies a time and a place. The time… the late 19th century. The place… a steam powered world, where air travel by fantastical dirigibles is as common as traveling by train or boat (or submarine). A place where national interests are vastly different than our own version of history. A place where the elegant and refined are as likely to get pulled into a grand adventure, as the workers, ruffians, and lower classes. A place where the idea of space travel is not so far fetched. A place where lost civilizations are found and lost again. A place where anything is possible, and science can be twisted to meet ones own ends.”

Joshua A. Pfeiffer 

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A Love of Japanese Gardens

Nothing in a Japanese Garden is left to nature or chance.  Every piece is carefully selected and placed in a specific way to create a series of vignettes or moments of interest throughout the garden.  

The Japanese garden is a miniature representation of a picturesque world.  Techniques used vary and designers often play with proportion to create the illusion of depth, and utilize smaller scale items such as rocks and water features as symbols of land and sea.  Items outside the garden such as temples or rolling hills are incorporated into the landscape to make the spaces seem much more expansive.  Balance is also incredibly important, but not necessarily symmetry.  The spaces and pathways are meant to be soothing and welcoming to its visitors; but also provoke moments of curiosity by concealing elements from certain angles, encouraging further exploration.

Some traditional elements found in a traditional Japanese Garden:
Rocks, Sand, Bridges, Stone Lanterns, Water Basins, Fences, Gates, Trees, Flowers


Maker of Modern Fantasy: JAIME HAYON

Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon pushes the boundaries of design in striking form. Hayon was born in Madrid in 1974 and spent his University years studying industrial design in both his hometown and Paris. Although Hayon excelled in his studies, he never felt too connected to the traditional and logical design curriculum. Rather than subscribing to a specific category, Hayon felt compelled to lend his designs a unique touch and take risks.

Times magazine has included Hayon as one of the 100 most relevant creators of our times and Wallpaper magazine has listed him as one of the most influential creators of the last decade. With offices in Italy, Spain and UK, Hayon’s main interest is to find challenges and new perspectives. His vision blurs the lines between art, decoration and design bringing back a renaissance in finely-crafted, intricate objects within the context of contemporary design culture: creating furniture, product, interiors, sculptures and art Installations.

His unique style was first fully exposed in ‘Mediterranean Digital Baroque’ at London’s David Gill Gallery, followed by many exhibitions and installations set up in major galleries and museums worldwide. His concern for the conservation of craft skills and his way of challenging design has led him to develop renowned work for Baccarat, Fritz Hansen, The Groninger Museum, Bisazza, Bosa, La Terraza del Casino de Madrid, Lladró, MagisEstablished & Sons and Fabergé among many others. Hayon has also collaborated with such reputable names as Benetton, Metalarte, Coca-Cola, Adidas, and Camper. He continues to keep busy pushing limits of design well into his career as has from the start. With the definition of design in a constant flux, Hayon excels in the void. “Today I don’t know my definition of design, but I do know it’s a very interesting moment for design, because there is more acceptance, it’s more hybrid.”

Hayon explains, “At a certain moment I was absolutely not interested in [traditional design], so I went through a different road. I was more interested in underground art, it opened my mind to see things differently.” This urge to create holds deep roots in his adolescence spent in Madrid where he immersed himself in skateboard and graffiti cultures, expanding the already whimsical imagination that is ever-present in his work today.

Sources: Hayon Studio & Cool Hunting

All sketches in this post: Copyright © Jaime Hayon

La Purificadora Hotel

Located in the city of Puebla, Mexico, La Purificadora Hotel has colonial heritage and is registered as historical patrimony. The building used to be an ice factory where water was bottled and purified. Now fully restored as a boutique hotel, it was designed with the following facilities: 26 guestrooms, reception-shop, restaurant-bar, kitchen, ballrooms for events, patio with a 4-floor-height, meeting rooms, offices, and cave.

The facades have the same treatment as the old building, extending plaster and stone along all its height. Main materials used are: stone (from the original construction) and old wood that contrast with the contemporary materials such as glass and steel incorporated in to the new design, as well as specially designed tiles for the bedrooms floors and onyx in the restrooms. During the intense remodeling process, the archeologist found many glass pieces that belonged to the original building and were incorporated into the graphic design of the hotel.

Dive into La Purificadora

Source: ArchDaily