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Nov 2009
After SteamCon 2009
Posted in General by Pandora Wrigglesworth at 12:57 am | 3 Comments »


I’ve been to other types of conventions but SteamCon 2009 was my first steampunk convention. This particular steampunk convention took place locally in Seattle so it was a bit of a staycation for me.

As conventions go, there was, perhaps, less to do. They had lots of panels with very little difference between many of them. With a theme this narrowly-defined, I would imagine that a lack of variety in panels would be inevitable. The panels were usually very interesting but I kept wanting something more. Still, for the very first SteamCon, it was remarkably well organized.

One difference between SteamCon and other types of conventions, such as anime or scifi conventions, is that the percentage of guests in costume was much, much higher and of unusually high quality as well! I saw everything from super-fancy period gowns to soot-stained overalls, gleaming rayguns, jetpacks, and crazy multi-lens goggles. I think we neared some kind of Top Hat Critical Mass where there were so many top hats that, with just one more top hat, we would have created a top hat gravity well that would have sucked in all top hats within this hemisphere.


For my own outfit, I started from some patterns from Truly Victorian for the bustle and skirts, then did a lot of draping and improvising for the vest, blouse, and hat. I spent weeks and weeks on it. I feel that it turned out very well and I received many compliments. However, on the second day, as I started collapsing while having dinner, I learned that two days of wearing a corset is not to be taken lightly. Next time, perhaps something a little looser.

One of the best parts of attending SteamCon was getting to meet other steampunkish people from Second Life. I met Terry Lightfoot (whose vest I wear in many of my product photos in SL), Delora Starbrook (who I had previously met at Hair Fair 2009), and so many others whose names I can’t recall. I’m afraid I’ve never been very good with names, especially when I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the experience.


So I had a great time, met interesting people, even sat on a panel to discuss steampunk in video games with Seattle novelist Cherie Priest and 2009 Hugo Award Winning Colorist for “Girl Genius” Cheyenne Wright. I can hardly wait for next year!

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3 Responses:

Brigid Ashwood said:

I was recently a guest at FaerieCon and participated in a Steampunk Fairies Panel there. I’m a fine artist in RL but I also create airships, homes and textures in SL (Love your work btw!) under the name Charmingdale Designs. We Second Lifers have been early adopters of the Steampunk Aesthetic yet the Real World steampunk movement seems to have little knowledge of the amazing possibilities of steampunk applications in SL. I brought this up on the panel as a way of encouraging people to explore creative endeavors. SL offers so many advantages to creation (materials are cheaper, no physical limitations). My comments were poo pooed by another panelist who clearly just didn’t get it. I’m curious – Did you find there was a disconnect between RL and SL steampunk enthusiasts at the con? I hope to discuss this more on another panel someday soon as I think SL offers so much potential for creativity and community to steampunk enthusiasts who may have little access to these things in their RL surroundings. Nice to Meet you btw!
RL Brigid Ashwood
SL Brigid Yoshikawa

Pandora Wrigglesworth said:

I didn’t perceive any particular disconnect between RL and SL steampunk enthusiasts beyond the fact that RL and SL are themselves very different. I think that RL and SL feed our enthusiasm in very different ways. RL can’t let you replace your brain with clockwork while flying in a bicycle-powered zeppelin over the soot-stained landscape of a future that never was. But in SL you can’t feel the weight of your bustle swing behind as you spin around on the catwalk. Each meet different needs and it is the totality of RL and SL which is the most satisfying to me.

TotalLunar Eclipse said:

It was a pleasure to meet you at the con and hopefully will see you at the next one. Pardon the lateness of this post but it was by passing that I chanced it just now.

– TotalLunar Eclipse – Steelhead Owner