Thank you once again to everyone who helped make my trip to Clockwork Alchemy this year a success. Diana and I both had a wonderful time, we got to see lots of friends, and both the panel and workshop were well attended and well received. I’m very happy we made it, and hope we make it out again next year.
We drove out on Thursday afternoon, and stayed with a friend on Thursday night, saving us one night’s expense at the hotel and ensuring that I didn’t start the weekend sleep deprived. We made it out to the convention hotel before 10am, in time to catch the SteamWomen panel, which was scheduled in the first time slot on the first day of the convention. If you’re not familiar with it, SteamWomen is a blog dedicated to highlighting the amazing women makers, artists, and creators in the steampunk community.
Diana was fighting a migraine that started on the drive out, so after we got our hotel room she took a nap in the dark and I headed back out to see live acoustic music sets in the tea parlor. I got to drink lovely tea while being serenaded by Nathaniel Johnstone with Dogwood and Tempest, Unwoman, and Captain John Sprocket of The Cog is Dead. I hadn’t expected to stay for the entire afternoon, but that’s exactly what I did. That evening Diana and I both attended the Wind-Up Cabaret where Dogwood performed a set of her own music (something I had been looking forward to), as did Frenchy and the Punk, and Unwoman. I greatly enjoyed all the music sets leading up the performance of Any Moment Now, a steampunk musical written by Nathaniel Johnstone and Alyssa Rosenbloom. After the performance we chatted briefly with friends before retreating to our hotel room to unwind and go to sleep.
Saturday we perused the vendor room and milled about before the panel Recognizably Victorian-Esque, which was presented by Yuly Springer of Butterfly Frillies Corsets, Diana, and myself. We got to prattle on about Victorian foundation garments and silhouettes, and ways to recreate those features in steampunk garb to achieve immediately recognizably Victorian influence. The panel immediately following was all about how to tie ties, bowties, and ascots, so of course Diana and I stuck around to try our hand at it.
After that we headed back up to the hotel room so I could finish putting together the base patterns for the corset drafting workshop on Sunday. We had intended to head back downstairs for the Saturday concert, but instead we just stayed in the hotel room and relaxed. I am grateful for the ability to have the hotel room, because the option of resting instead of being stuck out in the convention made a huge difference in how well I fared throughout the weekend.
Sunday was the fashion show, which of course I wasn’t going to miss! It was fabulous. :)
After the fashion show I had to go back up to the room and grab all my materials for the corset pattern alteration workshop. We had a full house, with a few people choosing to work on the floor since there was not enough table space. Lots more people poked their heads in, but quickly realized there wasn’t enough capacity in the room for more attendees, and as it was Diana dn I spent most of the three hours moving around the room talking to people and helping them along with their particular situation. For the first hour there was a lot of confusion, but everyone followed along with the instructions as faithfully as they could. Then we got far enough for the Ah-Ha! moments to start occurring, when the setup we had done for the first part of the workshop started to result in actual drafting.
No one actually finished a pattern, but I believe I succeeded in providing them with the tools they need to finish the patterns at home. A number of people were able to get pretty far along, and before we reached the end of the workshop time a lot of attendees had already reached information overload. Overall, I was extremely happy with how to workshop went, and if I make it back to Clockwork Alchemy next year I’ll be sure to offer it again, only next year I will have a handout as well. All of the material I covered in the workshop is from a tutorial I am writing, and hope to have finished in the next couple months.
I was completely exhausted after the workshop, but the day didn’t end there. We ran into other friends I didn’t even know were at the convention, chatted for a while and made plans to meet on Monday, and made it out for the all-con photo before retreating to our room once more. I would have loved to attend the Sunday night concert, but I was too tired.
Monday we met back up with our friends, attended a panel on Victorian serial killers one of them presented, said our goodbyes, and hit the road heading back for Las Vegas.
All in all, it was an incredible weekend, as always.