Knits from Binky-Bird

Knits from Binky-Bird

I was preparing to put together some of the newest creations at Etsy for you, highlighting some of the ones I find particularly inspiring that relate to steampunk and Victorian inspired pieces, when something hit me. You know, here in the States we’re teetering on the edge of financial ruin. I know we’re feeling it here, where we’re now down to one income–granted of our own choice, but still, it’s not easy.

The holidays are right around the corner. And most of us go like lemmings toward the mega-malls, Walmarts, Targets, etc., to purchase convenient gifts that commercials tell us to get. The holidays have become very packaged, very usual, and extremely commercial (yes, yes, I know you’ve heard this a thousand times). But what I’m asking is that you consider something different this year. Think about the thousands of artists out there who are going to be feeling this money crunch, and who are going to be needing the help certainly on a much larger level than someone like Target. Many Etsy artisans are moms, dads, grandmothers, artists, college students, people trying to brighten the world a little with their work and, hopefully in the process, make their lives a little more comfortable.

It’s about taking care of our own. If you love art, if you appreciate it in any way, you ought to support it. And sure, most of us can’t spend 2.2 million on pricessless art, but you can afford something from an Etsy artist that will, I promise, be both unique and worthwhile.

And it’s not to mention thrifty! Because the artists at Etsy aren’t going through galleries, you’ll be amazed at the prices. You can get incredibly high quality prints at bargain prices.

Over the last year or so I’ve sent a lot of clicks to Etsy–and I want to send more! To get you started, here’s a few artists that I’ve met through the great Internet that might tickle your fancy.

Noadi – Whether it’s her signature pseudopod, or her whimsical gargoyles, Sheryl Wesleigh’s art definitely speaks for its own. She can do amazing things with polymer clay! Personally I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love a cuddlefish necklace, but that’s just me.

Pink Water Fairy – For those of you who want steampunk jewelery with a feminine touch, this Reading, UK artist is a great bet. These little clockwork designs often imitate the shape and form of flowers with gear and wire–really, really gorgeous stuff. She does traditional work, as well as steampunk and custom.

Binky-Bird Handmade Frivolties – Jennie is a commenter here (as well as Pink!) and I adore her hand-knit creations. I’m a knitter myself, and I really admire her work. The wrist warmers are particularly lovely. And what’s even better is that she’s donating 10% of her sales in November and December to Feeding America. And considering that some of her listings start for as little as $5.00 well, what have you to lose?

Brigid Ashwood – I can’t express just how much I adore Brigid’s work. Words fail. Her portraits, fairies, clockwork bees. You can also purchase prints of her work through her website. I’m particularly enamored of her most recent work, La Fee Verte, the absinthe fairy.

There are thousands of artists out there, and Etsy’s a great place to start. Consider shifting gears (bad pun, I know) this year and going for something unusual for the holidays, and support these incredible artists!

I am an Etsyholic. I am just so in love with the crafts there, and especially the Victorian/steampunk inspired art that I’ve wasted hours (hours!) going through the listings, and have yet been able to make a purchase because, ugh, I want them all.

Eventually I will buy more pretties, but in the mean time, I thought I could share some more great makers and particularly lovely listings for you to enjoy. You can start by searching for “steamteam” which will automatically generate a great bunch of artists, but here’s some more highlights:

edmdesigns – If you like gears, this is the place to go. From rings and pendants to cufflinks and brooches, these incredible beauties really are spectacular. And if you don’t believe me, you can see they’ve been linked by BoingBoing and Wired, too. I particularly like the men’s steampunk gear rings.

BoilerGoth – In the market for some gorgeous goggles? I was incredibly impressed by the work on these sets, both in craftsmanship and design. Whether you want something industrial, or tinged with Victorian filigree, this is the place go to.

19Moons – Combining antiques and reclaimed materials, 19Moons is whimsy and mystery. I love the combination of material and color, and the use of letters, numbers, and symbols.

MadArtjewelry – While some steampunk artists are decidedly industrial, inspired by the smooth lines and clockwork of machinery, these designs combine both that aesthetic with ornate Victorian inspirations. These beautiful pieces will certainly turn heads, and, in my opinion, accent just about any outfit if done right. Not only is this a local artist to me, but egads–this Seven Seas Steampunk Necklace has got to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen, like, ever.

I’ll be adding to this list in future posts, hoping to send some traffic their way. Not only is Etsy just an amazing place for artisans, but it has been a true source of inspiration for me. Just trying to share the love!

Through BoingBoing I’ve become well-acquainted with Etsy, which displays a host of incredible crafts and arts for sale in all sorts of mediums, colors, and flavors (okay, maybe not flavors… but I’m being slightly metaphorical here, yeah?).

As I’ve grown older, I’ve had less and less time for my maker hobbies–including and not limited to knitting, sewing, corsetry, beading, quilting, model-making, sculpting, and oil painting–due mostly to the fact that I have a child, a husband, a job, and a vocation that require most of my attentions.

But it’s with utter awe and amazement that I approach the artisans and craftspeople at Esty who are collectively some of the most creative people I’ve ever seen. Sifting through the listings there is like being at a never-ending gallery, chock full of things I never knew I simply had to have.

BoingBoing posted today about slurkgirl, and the delightful steampunk artwork she has for sale (some of the work is NSFW, FYI). But Etsy doesn’t stop there. Oh no. A simple search for “steampunk” opens a truly astonishing treasure trove of sumptuous and whimsical designs including jewelry, clothing, and art.

As I’ve been drooling at them with envy, I thought I’d collect some of my favorites for you to gaze upon.

birdsNBees – Mostly pendants and jewelry, combining Art Deco/Steampunk flavors and lots of (as you guessed by their most clever name) animals and insects and whatnot.

AlliesAdornments – Beautiful reapportioned vintage buttons that become works of art in and of themselves–it’s recycling and it’s antiques!

VelvetMechanism – If gears are your thing, this is your heaven. Especially for a little more masculine look–I particularly adore the cufflinks; now to see if I can get Michael to wear some.

VintageFiligree – If you’re like me, and you have an eye for ornate, shiny, sparkly, colorful designs, this is your stop. Unique, expressive, eclectic jewelery that combines stones, gears, and metals for some unbelievable results.

There are many more I could name, but these are the sellers that just had that special something and caught my eye. If you’re curious, check out the links, or go to Etsy proper. I’m sure you’ll fall in love, too.