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Steampunk Chandeliers and Steampunk Lighting

Steampunk Chandeliers and Steampunk Lighting

Michael McHale Designs' chandeliers have sympathetic elements with the steampunk aesthetic, but the differences are too many for our modernist industrial style chandeliers and designs to be considered steampunk.

Steampunk has certainly emerged as a design and artistic aesthetic.  Insomuch as it can be concisely defined, steampunk is a mix of classical styles with rudimentary mechanical and industrial components and a dash of stylized high tech.  The word itself seems to be a kind of play on “cyberpunk” wherein “steampunk” the futuristic has been supplanted by the Victorian or Dickensian.  This is an interesting development stylistically as our culture – with all of its accelerated and celebrated high-tech accomplishment – seems to be looking in reverse for inspiration in style and design (the “hipster” retro aesthetic comes to mind, as does the myriad of filtering programs that soften digital images and give them a polaroid-y vibe, and in general there seems to be a longing for simplicity in the wake of the tech boom.)  Volumes have already been written about this modern-turning-to-the-past-for-inspiration trend, and it gets academic and boring very fast – but steampunk has pretty cool elements with which Michael McHale Designs is comfortable being associated.

The Steampunk Home weighs in on the steampunk quality of our chandeliers. click on the photo for more.
Our lighting design is not without its steampunk elements – raw steel pipe and unhidden seams and fittings provide the strong timeless industrial feel that is central to steampunk.  Our modern chandeliers are made of bold re-purposed pipe, with its beautiful wear providing a sense of reliability and resilience to elements that seem contrary to the plastic high tech fragility of our high-tech age.  These qualities are, without a doubt, sympathetic elements to steampunk.

And that’s sort of where Michael McHale Designs and the steampunk aesthetic part ways.

Michael McHale Designs’ high-end designer modern chandeliers and lighting fixtures offset the bold raw steel piping with the fragility and irresistible glamor of optically pure Bohemian or Swarovski crystal.  This restaging, in our opinion, separates us from the genre of steampunk.  Steampunk lighting typically maintains the raw industrial context.  This opulent crystal in our chandeliers complements the raw steel piping perfectly while spreading luxurious light across the room.

Perhaps the fragility of crystal, isn't entirely antithetical to the steampunk design concept, but we'll leave that for others to debate.  In the end, Michael McHale Designs seeks to create modern beautiful lighting incorporating the raw with the beautiful, and we think that the steampunk genre has a similar goal – so we are content with the association whenever it’s made – even if our modern chandeliers and contemporary lighting are not exactly directly inspired by or reflective of the steampunk genre.

A good example of a steampunk chandelier. A beautiful chandelier made from a Model T steering wheel. From the site VandM Vintage and Modern

We've found VandM to be a great resource on the steampunk design genre, definitely, check them out.
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