Brenda Mattson is an artist living in the Skagit Valley of Washington state who has been doing found object art for many years. She now takes her enjoyment for taking things apart to see how they work and incorporates it into her current work of ass'mblage. The creation of stylish Steampunk jewelry is the latest artistic endeavor of Brenda's. She holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary art from Arizona State University and has shown at galleries throughout the United States.
Steampunk explores the recesses of the industrial revolution to reflect on the present. People are fascinated by the aesthetics of the Victorian era. Also, in the age of consumerism where manufactured products are made to be thrown away so soon after purchase, the sturdiness of the mechanisms designed to last indefinitely is a significant draw. The possibility of up-cycling old manufactured goods intended to last many lifetimes, the creativity to re-imagine those authentic products from an earlier time in a way that is both artistically and functionally relevant today, serve as statements for those who wear and display and utilize Steampunk. Steampunk is not a design fad, but an art form that speaks to something more solid and inventive in our modern human experience. Come join me on my journey to invent, recreate and reassemble these amazing pieces of wearable art.
"Often when I find an unusual watch part, it speaks to me and I let it drive the direction of the piece I'm creating. Sometimes I have to dig through thousands of bits and pieces to find that perfect gear, crown, or etched bridge plate I need to compliment the design I'm working on. I do have a few pieces that I can recreate or "reproduce" as far as the style goes, but the majority of my pieces are one of a kind due to a limited inventory of parts. I only use vintage watch or pocket watch pieces, rather than reproductions. The patina or wear is different on different parts, depending on their age and how they were cared for and it is the beauty in this kind of jewelry. I love that my pieces are unique and speak to a time when the utmost of care was given in the creation of things. I appreciate the history of a watch or pocket watch and think about where it has been and how long it's taken to reach my hands. Part of my creativity is in honoring the history of an era where machining and assembling finely crafted timepieces was an art form in-and-of itself. "I often feel this steeped tradition embedded in these broken pocket and wristwatches."