Thursday, June 13, 2013
Steampunk By Dr Brassy- Standing out in the crowd that's getting crowdier.....
Oh the joys and sorrows of something becoming the "It" thing. First it was Disco and there was no way that could end badly. Falsetto voiced, hairy men, in satin pants so tight you could count moles in places only their Prostate Doctor knows about. Now it's "Steampunk" this and "Steampunk" that.....and those of us who have been happily paddling away in our trusty canoes are getting capsized by the sheer volume of the mega ocean liners filled with Steamclones heading to the shores before we can possibly bail ourselves out enough to see the lighthouse.
Steampunk has become the "It" genre (or aesthetic according to Erica "Unwoman" Mulkey), and with it, we have a landslide of newly enamored devotees as well as the bandwagon jumpers that attach themselves to every popular aesthetic, genre, mocking jay or sparkly vampire to cross their paths.
Don't get me wrong. If you are putting forth an honest effort, huzzah and more power to you. If you are sincerely trying to do Steampunk, I support and applaud your effort. Full Steam Ahead!
As the market becomes increasingly crowded, it is becoming more and more critical to remind people why the hand-made makers are different and unique in this new competitive, increasingly flat, world. It's also good for me to check myself from time to time, so you can trust Dr Brassy to do what is right, ethical and not necessarily the get-rich-quick thing that many seem to be embracing (example: those horrific glue a round paper sticker on it and call it Steampunk, mass-produced factory necklaces). There are so many of these "Shop in a Box" showing up on Etsy that they often dominate not only the first page in searches, but all the pages in the top 10.
So what is different or special about Dr Brassy?
Mass Produced Factory Pieces: First off I am Not a mass-producer or a mass-reseller. I don't buy a bazillion pieces from a factory, often made with pot metal or what we call "Mystery" metal, (that can include anything from lead to nickel to cadmium). Glue a sticker on it and call it a necklace, isn't what I do.
Sweat Shops and Outsourcing: I also don't employ underpaid overseas labor or have my art "assembled" by others then put my name on it.
Now that everyone is completely on a downer by the reminder that indeed, there are a vast number of people doing the above, let me tell you about me, Dr Brassy.
Made in the good ol' USA: I use Made in the USA materials. I use brass, sterling silver or fine .999 silver plated brass, copper plated brass, glass, crystal, leather and wood. I love using vintage or antique pieces including Czech glass, camphor glass, Swarovski and uranium glass. I put a great deal of effort and time into each piece I make and when it's done, it is beautifully gift packaged and shipped to you.
One Woman Show: I make, package and ship everything I sell. Unless it is a vintage item, I made it. My hands, my ideas and my passion goes into every piece I make. I have the scarred hands, the aching back and the 16 hours days that are badges of honor, to prove it.
Charitable Giving: I share my good fortune by donating to charities that support worthy causes such as Animal Rescue, Endangered Species Funds, Spinal Cord Research and Lupus Research. I routinely provide support for Kickstarter's that involved the Steam community. I give back to the community that has been so good and generous to me, and I always will.
Supporting Other Artists: There are people who, without their help and support, I would still be the crazy lady who makes stuff out of watch parts, instead of Dr Brassy. I will always give credit to the models, photographers, makers, suppliers and fellow artists I am honored to call friends and acquaintances. Do I promote other artists that make things similar to mine? You bet I do! Encouragement is the gift that replicates it's self.
So I am making my little boat sturdier and more seaworthy, while I have a few more people cheering me on from the shore. I make this voyage and ride the tide in hopes it will be more "Endless Journey" than "Titanic".