Thursday, 25 April 2013

Mr Darcy in Steampunk Wonderland

Rod Barker Benfield

What would Jane Austen, or Lewis Carroll for that matter, have made of Rod Barker Benfield naming his steampunk-style wares after them, and of his market stall inside a lovely old London pub?  

It would have seemed a strange, if entertaining, Wonderland indeed.

Lewis Carroll brooch £12.00

But to me, as I arrived at the Boutique Market at the Rocket Pub in Acton, it all made perfect sense. An atmospheric Victorian pub setting, a beautiful sunny day and Rod selling his delicately reworked old watchworks. Alongside him, other stall holders selling everything from Spanish doll brooches to naughty underwear biscuits decorated with lace-fine icing to general bric-a-brac.

Rod is the sort of guy who welcomes you with a warm friendly bear hug and a bushy-beard-brush on the cheek! First and foremost a photographer, he has a creative mind, a good business head and a clever idea - the watchwork accessories are unusual, extremely well-priced and truly desirable.

Lady Emily Pendant 16.00
Mr Darcy Cufflinks £24.00

He sources old broken watches from eBay, flea markets and jewellers, extracts the innards or individual components.

He then effectively reinvents them to produce these intricate pieces of costume jewellery. 

The inspiration for names came as he was reading a Dickens novel prompting  him to think along literary lines. He unexpectedly discovered that fans of Steampunk enthused over the accessories and he's more than happy to accept this embracing of his work. His cufflinks, brooches and pendants retail for between £10.00 and £30.00 and seriously, they make fantastically good gifts.

Lady Anne Earrings £24.00
Rod plans to extend the range to use computer parts and even discarded board game components. He'd also like to use watches like Rolexes to produce a more financially rewarding item that could be sold through higher end stores like Selfridges.

Lewis Carroll brooch £12.00
Lewis Carroll brooch £10.00
Creatives like Rod deserve our support: producing attractive costume jewellery by adapting discarded wristwatches.  

You've just got to love it back. And buy one.

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