PHOTOS: 2014 Steampunk Spectacle< < Back to
“I’ve gotten fully, completely sucked in,” is how Nelsonville librarian Ryan Spellman describes his growing interest in steampunk, which combines Victorian culture with science and invention.
Spellman was involved in last year’s Steampunk Spectacle events held at the Athens Public Library, and came away an enthusiast. He also attended this year’s activities at the library, and was dressed as First Mate Adkins of Airship Athena, a local steampunk group.
Spellman said he reads a lot of steampunk science fiction, and is drawn to the overall aesthetic of blending Victorian culture with modern times.
“There’s a little bit of rebellion in steampunk,” Spellman said. “It definitely has kind of permeated my life.”
Anna Wears of Meigs County, decked out in Victorian-inspired clothes, also was at Saturday’s event at the Athens Public Library.
“I like the time period. I read steampunk science fiction novels,” she said. “I like science fiction and this is another whole entity. It is very creative.”
Larry King is a science teacher at Warren Local High School in Washington County, so he’s used to imparting knowledge to others. But on Saturday it was his steampunk persona, L. Rey Third, who gave a presentation on Nicola Tesla, a multi-faceted inventor in the late 1800s and early 1900s who was a pioneer in the development of alternating current.
His steampunk character of L. Rey Third is a mad inventor.
“The ‘L’ stands for Lunaticus, which refers to the moon. Now some people who like to talk poorly of us might say (it stands for) Looney… but it takes far-reaching imagination to be a steampunk inventor,” King said while introducing his character prior to the Tesla presentation.
In addition to telling the story of Tesla, he brought along some of Tesla’s inventions to demonstrate.
Also scheduled Saturday were presentations on how Victorians gave rise to modern funeral practices, and on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway’s rebuilding a steam locomotive — steam power is big in the world of steampunks, as the name implies.
There also were workshops on creating steampunk paraphernalia — including goggles, fingerless gloves, miniature clip-on top hats and jewelry — and on building Tesla wireless capacitors.
One workshop taught participants how to make steampunk decorative goggles that are worn on top the head, rather than covering the eyes. Paper cups, black duct tape, black elastic and other materials were used.
Nancy Baur, who taught the class with Kelly Lawrence, explained that official steampunk goggles can cost $15-$20, while the homemade ones provide a cheaper alternative that can allow a steampunk to have multiple pairs that are decorated differently.
“You can add anything you want to make it sparkly and fun,” Lawrence told the workshop participants.
The Steampunk Spectacle was a two-day event, with Friday’s scheduled activities at ARTS/West including a steampunk art exhibit, a steampunk ballet, Victorian music, a dance performance and the sale of steampunk wares.
“The event at ARTS/West was great,” Spellman said. “There were a lot of people there.”
The culmination of the Steampunk Spectacle was a Masquerade Ball set for Saturday evening.
Photos by Yi-Ke Peng and Brooke Herbert Hayes