Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CATHERINETTE RINGS | STEAMPUNK JEWELRY

Situated along the Eastern portion of Quebec, Canada, flanked by the Bay of Chaleur and the St. Laurence River, is a small island known as the Gaspe Peninsula. The area is peppered with gorgeous mountain ranges, beaches, and seascapes. Canada is also home to featured jewelry brand Catherinette Rings – Steampunk Jewelry.

Imaginary machines, and fantastical technology steeped in Victorian sensibilities are focal elements of the steampunk genre; an outgrowth of science fiction that became popular during the 1980s.

The genre has since developed into its own “culture” that has become an ongoing fixture at the San Diego international convention Comic-Con.

The fanciful “culture” encompasses music, clothing, and fashion accessories namely fashion jewelry.

Montreal-based designer Daniel Proulx always had a deep-set interest in the imaginary worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, and The Lord of the Rings; however, cultivating his own world would come through the use of a simple brass wire.

“It was April of 2008 when I stared to make rings just for fun,” says Proulx, “My wife, Catherine, learned how to make simple wire rings during a two-hour lesson and after I watched her make them I tried it.

I then spent several hours each day perfecting and developing my own technique to create original designs, and I quickly started making very retro-futurist models of rings. I did not know at the time I was making steampunk jewelry until a friend of mine told me. When I researched it, I fell in love with the culture.” And with that, his brand Catherinette Rings came into existence.



What I love about doing this blog is learning about so many unique aesthetics and artistic visions. I have seen so many variations from the classic, timeless jewels of Cartier (France) and the House of Harry Winston (USA) to the extraordinary contemporary jewelry of Alidra Alić (Denmark).

Steampunk is something completely new to me—actually I have seen it before without knowing what it was. I like its strange mix of conventional and traditional. Proulx’ jewelry ultimately pays homage to vintage jewelry styles cloaking it with a stunning futuristic vibe.

The undulating wires and coils of brass and copper provide a rustic and gritty mechanical quality that adds a sense of weightiness. The dead-on jewelry sculptures in the likenesses of praying mantes, dragonflies, spiders and scorpions are beautifully executed with striking clockwork minutiae and possess a creepy aura of self-realization.

The brand’s finger adornments of coiled brass include Swarovski Crystal rings, amber rings, and varied taxidermy glass eye rings that overall blend futuristic with classic and the macabre.

The assortment of gemstone pendants and coiled rings featuring pink agate, ametrine, blue chalcedony, and boulder matrix opal easily soften the mechanistic grit of the jewelry; however, the heart of Proulx’ collections is the dark, moody almost Gothic overtones.

This jewelry is a vivid and complex representation of edgy modernism. They are easy conversation pieces with wonderful visual character that maintain a high level of stylishness.
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Photo 1 (top right): Copper, Brass and Czech Glass Cranberry Spiral Button Bracelet
Photo 2 (center): Volcano Cherry Quartz Victorian Pendant Necklace
Photo 3 (bottom left): Orange Reptile Taxidermy Eye Ring
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