Snake and Monkey Studios Bringing Steampunk to the Lake Area
By Danny Allain
Depending on whom you ask or what you reference, Steampunk can mean a few different things to different people. One source states Steampunk as an inspired movement of creativity and imagination. With a backdrop of either Victorian England or America’s Wild West at hand, modern technologies are re-imagined and realized as elaborate works of art, fashion, and mechanics. Needless to say Steampunk is an interesting and unique way to see the world. And a local group of artisans are going forward full-steam ahead.
Snake and Monkey Studios is a team of two that have been around for the past four years. Kelli Sargent and Leah Dubois work together and take vintage, non-working watches, pocket watches and clocks and repurpose, reuse, and create new pieces of jewelry. In addition to their regular line of jewelry, the duo also does custom, personalized memorial items.
We all have a moment in our lives when it felt as if time stood still. Snake and Monkey Studios can take a watch that was passed down from family, or one of their 50-100 year old watches, and transform it into a new item to mark a special date or time for a loved one or to commemorate a date of personal significance.
JAM: Kelli, is Snake and Monkey Studios just you two? Do you have others who work with you? Do you have an army of steam work automatons that do your bidding?
KS: We are the collaboration of Leah Dubois and myself.
JAM: Would you consider your work Steampunk?
KS: Our jewelry is what we think of as everyday wearable Steampunk. Our items are not the typical over-the-top cosplay Steampunk items; our jewelry is something anyone can wear with any attire. Now, don’t count us out on doing cosplay accessories. We have made quite a few commissioned items for cosplay events but we focus on making something that you can wear every day.
JAM: What materials/tools do you use to make such intricate pieces?
KS: The watches that we use are vintage, all being 50 years old and older. They are all items that just about everyone has in the bottom of a jewelry box, an old wind-up watch that no longer works. Why toss it in the trash when so many craftsmen went into creating a beautiful timepiece. We can create something another generation can cherish.
JAM: Where did you learn how to make pieces like this?
KS: We are completely self-taught. We started with a few personal watches, pulling them apart, taking each little gear, hand, dial, everything out and then we start placing those little items together to make a new piece of jewelry.
JAM: Do you have any favorite artists that inspire you?
KS: We take our inspiration from so many things, not just one artist or one style.
JAM: What do you do when you aren’t creating?
KS: Leah works as a dog groomer when she’s not making jewelry or upcycling vintage jewelry boxes and I work for a surgeon.
JAM: OK… Lightning round!
Peanut butter jelly sandwich, toasted or untoasted.
JAM: Who from history would you want to punch in the face?
KS: And take a chance in breaking a bone? No way
JAM: Marvel or DC?
JAM: Even numbers? Or odd?
KS: Always odd
JAM: Super power. Fly or invisibility?
KS: Invisibility no doubt
JAM: Rain or shine?
JAM: Where can we find your work and what is your contact info?
KS: Our jewelry is currently located inside Flock of Five Gift & Art Emporium at 217 East Thomas Street in Sulphur. We share a space with Tab Typewriter Key Jewelry. You can find us on Facebook and we participate in a lot of local events such as Flea Fest, Arts and Crabs Fest, Arts and Humanities events, Chuckfest, Shrimp and Jazz Festival, and Steampunk and Makers Faire in Lafayette. I’m sure there are others that I have forgotten but when we are participating in an event, we list it on our Facebook page, so you can keep up with where you can find us.
JAM: Is there anything else that we should know about Snake and Monkey Studios?
KS: If you are looking for a unique item, one with history, one that celebrates a moment that is special to you, we can provide you with a wide selection to choose from or design something just for you. Don’t toss that broken vintage watch in the trash– let us transform it into something new!
So there you have it, folks. If you’d like a highly detailed and original gift, or you just wanna “treat yoself,” Snake and Monkey Studios definitely has something for everyone.