What should we expect from our bathroom fixtures? Functionality, of course. Style is always a nice plus. But what about something deeper, like an aesthetic commentary on the modern technophilic zeitgeist?
It may sound pedantic, but there’s real potential for a bath fixture to communicate so much more than “on/off” and “hot/cold”. California Faucets has found a way to deliver just this message with their latest collection, Steampunk Bay. Inspired by the works of Jules Verne, Fritz Lang, and countless examples of steampunk paraphernalia on the internet, Steampunk Bay translates the esoteric aesthetic’s fascination with both anachronism and technological advancement into two new spout options, three new handle options, and a precision thermostatic shower control.
“I wouldn't say this collection falls into the mainstream category,” says Noah Taft, senior vice president of marketing and sales at California Faucets. “It’s bold, as if today’s industrial chic look was to micro-dose on psychedelics. There’s an obvious nod to what’s in style now, but Steampunk Bay takes it to a less safe, more edgy place.”
In order to create this look, the creative team at California Faucets not only had to consider the form of the collection, but what material would best communicate the elements of nostalgia and fantasy associated with the steampunk look. They opted for solid brass construction and then went a step further by developing two new finishes for the collection: burnished brass and burnished nickel.
These newest additions are living finishes, meaning their color and texture will change over time. “We wanted to evoke the warm, worn look of antique handrails and bar rails,” explains Taft. To achieve that, California Faucets invented a new micro-abrasion process, immersing the brass objects into bins full of crushed walnut shells or ground corn cobs that are then jostled around for a bit. This technique lightly abrades the brass, yielding a intentionally more worn look that also helps catalyze the patina process.
“It’s admittedly audacious, but therein lies the fun,” says Taft. “We like to think that if Jules Verne were alive today, he’d want this collection in his own bath.”
See the new collection in all its steamy, industrial glory below.