Steampunk, for the unfamiliar, started out about 30 years ago as a literary subgenre taking its inspiration from the aesthetics of the pre-modern technological age, where 19th-century visual styles combined with mechanical innovations. Instead of the sleekness and simplicity of modern design, steampunk is all about the details and naked engineering — struts, gears and pipes are exalted and out in the open instead of being hidden behind walls and cabinets, for example. According to the handy “What is steampunk?” card that is available at the desk of Lotus Jewelry Designs, “Steampunk is a fashion, design, and popular-culture phenomenon that combines romance and technology. Among its many influences are futurism, time travel, and the Victorian Age.”
Oroszi’s Signature Steampunk line features jewelry that is made to appear as if it has some sort of mysterious function. Composed mostly of brass and copper, and laden with clock gears, computer parts, chains, charms and beads, Oroszi’s meticulously crafted pieces can take you to another world.
“It sounds kind of silly, but when I make this stuff I come up with these little scenarios in my head because it’s fun,” said Oroszi. “How do you explain this to someone? Well, you’ve got to make up a story for it.”
Oroszi recalls a young boy who came into the store with his mother and couldn’t take his eyes off of a clock-like pendant that was featured on one of the shelves. He told the boy that the pendant was said to unlock a secret time portal, and the boy’s eyes grew wide with amazement.
Oroszi’s handiworks look like they came out of a Jules Verne novel — Verne’s fin-de-siecle predictions of how the future would appear are a major pillar of steampunk. With its indefinite functionality, antiquated appearance and cryptic design, each piece has a unique personality, and a history waiting to be imagined.
self also has a remarkable history. Between his experience in graphic design and photography, and his wife Kathy’s experience in the fashion industry, the Oroszis came to Kingston from New York City with an extensive background in art. Kathy started making jewelry as a hobby, but after finding great success at an art fair, the Oroszis opened up Lotus Jewelry Designs on Fair Street in 2005, and moved their shop to North Front Street in 2009.
David Oroszi started jewelry making with his wife two years ago, and he progressed with incredible speed. He began making traditional silver jewelry, but decided he had to find something different to attract a younger crowd.
Lotus now offers a variety of styles and attracts a wide demographic, including men and women of all ages, by selling both Kathy’s more traditional jewelry, and Oroszi’s unconventional designs.
“The age span of our customers is remarkable, from 10 years old to 70-plus,” said Kathy. “It’s interesting that you can make something so very feminine that started with a piece a brass, a gear from a clock, and come out with some beautiful pendants and pins. David never ceases to amaze me.”
The prices of Oroszi’s steampunk collection range from $55 to $250.
Lotus Jewelry Designs is open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for shopping, repairs, special requests, or just meeting the creators. Call (845) 340-1012, or visit visitvortex.com for more information.