North Texas Daily

Dentonite turns designing and tinkering hobby into steampunk showcase

Dentonite turns designing and tinkering hobby into steampunk showcase

March 19
08:43 2013

Courtney Garza

Staff Writer


On the corner of Elm Street, in the back of the antique store Rust and Stuff, sit the handcrafted and treasured finds part of Winston’s Steampunk Showcase.

Winston Watts is a 28-year-old Art Institute of Dallas graduate and Denton local who has an eye for anything kitschy, and especially anything steampunk. Growing up, Winston was inventive and transformed ordinary items into something completely different.

Steampunk” is a broad genre that includes fashion and artwork created in an industrial, vintage style with nods to 19th century machinery.

Watts’ passion for creating steampunk art was sparked two years ago when he worked at Rose’s Costumes in Denton, where he was a salesperson and stylist. Fo Halloween, the staff dressed up in a steampunk theme and Watts created goggles out of leather, napkin rings and a pair of old glasses, along with a matching armor set and hat.

“I read about steampunk and what it was and I said, ‘That’s me, that’s what I am,’” Watts said. “Steampunk is beautiful. It takes influences from Victorian and Romanesque eras and making it modern.”

After he began to make more pieces out of antiques for his own collection, Watts decided to showcase at Rust and Stuff after seeing a “Vendors Wanted” sign in their doorway. Owner Stephanie Avery rents out space to a variety of businesses, with a vintage preference.

“You can’t go out to Wal-Mart and get something that was made decades ago or in this way,” Avery said. “It’s different than what you can get now and things were made so differently then.”

The shop is known for its variety of antiques such as Watts’ showcase and a collection of antique cameras. Locals Karen and Jean Nygard come to Rust and Stuff for its eclectic variety of pieces.

“We like how everything is interesting and it changes monthly, so we have to keep coming back,” Karen Nygard said.

As a result of his success from selling at Rust and Stuff, Watts plans to expand his collection to online vendors like Etsy. He aims to continue making more steampunk pieces and is inspired by anything and everything.

“Everything is manufactured in mass amounts nowadays, but when you take things and make time to put the care into it, you find that it creates something beautiful and intricate, and something you’ve never seen before,” Watts said. “That’s why I do steampunk, because it captures my attention in ways that little plastic things can’t.”

For more information about steampunk, check out this TIME article describing the trend’s rise in popularity.

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