Bloomsday Project 1: Steampunk Meets James Joyce

by Samantha Extance

Much like Joyce, who wrote the bulk of his works Ulysses and Finnegans Wake from his notebooks upon which were scribbled bits of conversations, languages, phrases, words that he found while walking the streets of the many cities he inhabited, I too create art from the pieces I pick up around me. All art in a sense is found art, the art of absorbing the world around you and re-creating it to find it again.

My passion for Joyce extends beyond my scholarship & continued reading of his works. For the past three years I have challenged myself to create pieces inspired by his texts. This year I combined my love of Steampunk and found object art with my ever-growing infatuation with Joyce’s Ulysses.

About My Materials:  I used a variety of materials for this project which I sourced from local flea markets, estate sales, and garage sales. The majority of these materials are clock parts (from both grandfather clocks and wrist watches) and skeleton keys. Other items are a bit rarer like the typewriter keys, vintage jewelry, anchor, antique locket, locker key, antique key hole, light bulbs, computer circuit board, brass button, pocket watch plate, an antique cigar cutter (a very rare find), pages from a Mechanical Engineering textbook, and locker tags. I also used an old copy of Ulysses (Random House edition) for the following text: “clacked”; “Trieste-Zurich-Paris, 1914-1921”; “16 June 1904”; and “Cuckoo Cuckoo.”

About Me: I am a doctoral student at the University of Tulsa, the current Book Review Editor at the James Joyce Quarterly & a Steampunk Artist (under the name Bohemian Romance). I started my business two years ago on my tiny kitchen table and it is still growing. The name, Bohemian Romance, was the name of the very first pair of earrings I ever made and sold. Everything I make has its own personality, and often its own story. If you would like to purchase one of the pieces you see here, click here for my Etsy shop. If you would like to see more of my work, click here for my blog & website where I post Steampunk D.I.Y.S & various other information. If you would like to be on my mailing list, email me at

Project announcement (20 March 2012)

One response to “Bloomsday Project 1: Steampunk Meets James Joyce

  1. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    Your creations are amazing.

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