Steampunk by Bullfrog I-Ching Beads

Courtesy of Suzanne HoppingOne of the best things about writing a blog for charms jewelry is that I get to research and window shop different brands; every once in awhile I’ll come across a piece that is so spectacular and unique that it takes my breath away.  The Steampunk charms from Bullfrog I-Ching Beads is one of these times.  Steampunk is a popular literary genre where the mechanical marvels of the Industrial Revolution marries with Victorian elegance.  This fictional era has been brought to life in fashion by a cult following and enjoys its own style.  Amazingly, the tenants of steampunk have been translated to charm jewelry by James Jones of Bullfrog I-Ching Beads with his amazing one-of-a-kind creations.

The Steampunk beads are created from repurposed gears and cogs rescued from salvaged machinery along with glass and semi-precious stone inlays.  These parts are soldered together and threaded with silver tubing to create the charm.  As James writes on his website, “They are a nostalgic link to the past machine age or in the Steampunk tradition, a bridge to a past that has not happened yet.”  Since each piece is made depending on the types of materials James has had the time, no two are truly alike.  He makes a batch of charms about every other month, they’re incredibly popular and sell out within minutes.  Here are some other wonderful examples of how the Steampunk charms are used courtesy of our very own Suzanne Hopping, combined with her wonderful PAXSUZbeads charms.

I missed his last set by mere minutes and after much begging and whining on my part, James agreed to make my dream Steampunk charm!  This beauty came to me a couple weeks ago and I haven’t been able to stop staring at it.  It features cogs and numbers with olive jade and the coolest thing is that it rotates!  Most of Bullfrog I-Ching Beads are on the larger side, and mine is definitely a focal piece and it’s showcased in the center of my bracelet.

These beads have small diameter cores meaning that they only fit on Trollbeads or other bracelets without threading (unfortunately not Pandora).  Because of the intricate components and detailed craftsmanship, these charms costs a bit more than regular ones but they’re worth every penny.  James makes these in his studio located in Oregon and ships worldwide through his website, Bullfrog I-Ching Beads.  What do you think of these fantastical Steampunk beads?  Do you have one?  If so, post your picture in the comments as I would love to see what you’ve done with it!


Bead index (starting from left, Trollbeads unless otherwise stated): chess lock, WT Switzerland pocket watch, goldstone, unique green ornament, nightingale, unique orange blossom, artisan olive jade, LE viking knot (retired), unique green/orange feather, LE rhyolite, rosary, bullfrog i-ching beads olive jade steampunk, angles tip (retired), LE rhyolite, unique green/orange ladybug, WT UK love spoons, unique orange scallops, unique green cherry blossom, joyful, LE jade, orange dillo (retired).

  • rainey

    Lovely and truly unique and memorable! Thanks for sharing them.

    • Leann

      Yes, they truly are, Rainey! What an amazing style and intricate mechanics :).

  • Carole S.

    Oh you are one lucky gal!! He posted a new batch last night but I missed out because of the time difference. Your bead is a fantastic example of steampunk at its finest!!

    • Leann

      Thanks, Carole! I am indeed very lucky to get my hands on one of these amazing creations. They are indescribable! It’s so frustrating to miss the listings and you really have to get there on the dot! Hopefully next time :).

  • Pat

    These are definitely unique beauties. What is the price point range?

    • Leann

      Mine was $160USD and it depends on the parts used, stone vs. glass, how intricate the cogs are.

      • Laura

        Yikes!! It’s beautiful, but way out of my price range for a single charm. 🙁

      • Leann

        Haha, I used to think so too, but after collecting hard to finds and rare charms, I’m fairly immune to the prices. Doesn’t mean they still don’t hurt, but not as bad.

  • maddashin

    I would love to have some of the beads. However, I went to the site and they sure did not have much to sell. On top of that all the beads were sold.

    • Leann

      Yes, James only seems to make a batch every once in awhile. They’re very much in demand! 🙂

  • Cheryl

    I have 5 of James beads and love everyone. He is a very talented artist with a fantastic vision. I’m a very proud owner!

    • Leann

      You’re so lucky! His beads get sold out so quickly :). Do you have them all on the same bracelet?

  • jeana

    Just wanna say how disappointed I was .. james creation are so gorgeous. It was listed at 5am my time and fully sold out in 15 minutes…iguess when I try it at 510am. each “buy it” button leads me to a sold out sign… wanted one for my birthday. ? Sigh…

    • Leann

      He sells out incredibly fast :(. I’m always late to the game too. Keep trying! You’ll get one eventually :).

  • kathie

    I was lucky enough to score a bead this time round and it looks awesome on my Jens Pin 3 woven necklace a great friend made for me……a perfect match! I also have a bead of his from several years ago that I purchased at Bead and Button show in Milwaukee WI…….I AM a happy camper……

    • Leann

      Amazing! Isn’t his creations a work of art? There really is nothing like it out there, I can’t imagine how long it takes to make each of these. 🙂

      • kathie

        Oh, I can having taken some jewelry classes as an undergrad in college-that’s why the price he asks is totally worth the awesome work of art you receive……I want more!