Recap of a Brass Filled Weekend - Steam-Con

For months everyone has been listening and watching me prepare for Steam-Con.  Sewing pretty much took over my life, minus a life changing road trip in the middle, for most of 2009. This all consuming passion helped me in ways to focus, feel productive, and motivate me to do what i love...that i sometimes forget just how much i love.

Steam-Con took place in Seattle at the Airport Marriott with an approximate 1,200 person cap of attendees the hotel was completely infiltrated by brass, airship captains, and stupendously creatively like minded was fantastic!!!  I swear posts will follow with costumy bits, but first the con.  We arrived Thursday afternoon and had already noticed a few who looked like they had the same destination as us.  Hat boxes were a plenty on the plane and more than once prior to take off you heard someone say "i have a hat up there, do you mind moving your bag?" so awesome!!!  Upon arriving at the hotel, via free shuttle, room was gotten and suitcases exploded.  I took a fifth of what i brought to the con when i traveled Europe in the fall for three weeks.  The Con was only 3 days; but in all fairness the Victorian/Steampunk styling does require both a lot of undergarment layers that are otherwise not necessary, and more costume changes a day then a wear in a weekend.  There were day outfits, evening outfits, and even some morning/dressing outfitness.  The many pieced outfits were pulled out and hung out to increase the sanity by decreasing the quantity of ironing required.  Some how we went the entire weekend iron free.  Thursday evening there was a bit of exploring and lots of discussion of what the next day was to bring.

Friday morning i awoke to a small line of people visible in the indoor courtyard of the hotel.  Over the hours as we got ready we watched the line slowly increase, but not move.  Somehow the line was only growing, not moving or having any kind of processing.  Early afternoon we may our way downstairs to said line and found that it was for on-site registration which had been announced to be nearly sold out and lots of people wanting to join the party.  It was fantastic to see so many people at a con that was in it's first year and awesome to watch over the weekend at how well the whole thing went off!

Friday afternoon involved lounging around and fluttering from panel to panel.  All good, but all hot from the large amounts of people in each room.  This wasn't frustrating and everyone remained calm and collected.  When we got to hot we ventured outside for a bit, no biggie.  Friday evening offered a DJ hosted dance, where *much* dancing and fun was enjoyed.  The room had a good amount of people especially for being a 21 and over event.  I was glad to see that they offered a dance as it gets people out and together.  Most of the con's i've been to over the last few years have been seriously lacking in the after hours activities.  Well i took full advantage of the dance, a bit more enjoyment that was necessary and thus spent the first half of Saturday sleeping off the fantastically good time had on Friday.

Once i did arise on Saturday a couple more panels were attended and totally enjoyed.  There were smart people there with smart things to say.  Some things said were things i knew, especially things about sewing/costuming/tricking things out; but there was also large amount of insightful dialogue theorizing about how it was and tons of great explore conservations about what steampunk is and what it means.  I am really enjoying watching this new genre form and listening to all of the idea forming conversations around Steampunk.  People are making it up as they go and finding evediance to back up their statements, and it's good!  I can't wait to see how this continues to evolve over the next few years with new cons popping up all over the world.

Also on Saturday afternoon was a tea and fashion show.  Fantastic tea setup with goodies and weak or strong tea for all while we enjoyed a Steampunk fashion show.  No pictures, they were hauling it down the runway and back so they were all blurry city.  A recap of some of my favorites: Mens Ties sewn together as the back of a jacket, some Illig inspired strappy skirts, and a wide stripe black/white dinner jacket very circus inspired.  Everything reminded me of some great items collecting dust in the closet.  I really enjoy how much of the brighter side of the industrial scene comes through in Steampunk.

Saturday night was the "Airship Invasion" concert.  Abney Park was the only band we caught, after the great changing of the clothes.  It was good, but i've seen them before and just wasn't feeling large amounts of energy in the room.  It was "sold out" but there was TONS of space in the room so it felt kinda sparse.  Still worth the $15!

Sunday was packing and returning home.  It was nice to sleep in my own bed again without a line of people hanging around outside my window, but i also miss looking at all of the creativeness that was at Steam-Con.

Panels that rocked
* Faux Finishes , Aging Gear & Apparel | Panel members were costumers and the audience participation in conservation led to fantastic technique discussions
* The Sharp Dressed Man | There were quite a few panels focused on mens fashions, nice to see as often only the women get this attention...also the most packed with people

Panels that *sounded* like they would have rocked, that i missed
* Celestial Navigation | Super helpful for character building of anything airship, also stars rock
* Dungeons and Dickens: How to Steampunk your RPG | anyone helping people be better story tellers gets points
* Rusty Gears & Shiny Sprockets | The con was so well organized they even scheduled a "tell us what you like and didn't like" panel.  The entire con was this well planned and excuted, very impressive for the turnout and for the first year.

Bottom Line ... Yes, i would/will go back next year.  The panels were fun and interesting, the location was easy and affordable, and the people were super cool.

1 comment:

Bohemian said...

I enjoyed your report of the weekend. My attendance at SteamCon 2009 was the first time I attended a SteamPunk event. Being a grandma, I wasn't sure if I would fit in. My granddaughter was not happy about being left behind. Next year. The generational spread surprised me. I overheard one of the staff say that she had worked many si-fi conventions, but the SteamPunk participants were the nicest and most polite she had worked with. She was wondering if it was the result of Victorian sense and sensibilities.
Next year,