Steampunk Family

We love to travel about, spread the word, share the love, meet and inspire steampunks, makers, and thinkers, and be inspired by those we meet. If you are planning a convention or other event and would like to invite the Steampunk Family to attend, we promise we will enliven your event and enlighten and entertain your attendees!

You may reach us through our facebook page, through a comment on this site, or at these addresses:

madamevonhedwig at steampunkfamily dot com

fearlessfabricator at steampunkfamily dot com

Here are some of the panels, demonstrations, and workshops we have lead, or can lead. Asterisk* indicates that we can run this by ourselves. If there’s no asterisk, plan on recruiting other experts to chime in. Of course, we always welcome other experts onto any of our panels. We are also happy to organize a Steampunk promenade, tea, or photo shoot.

*Steampunk 101/What is Steampunk (panel, 1 hour, unlimited attendees)

Presented at Conbust 2009 & 2010, Mysticon 2011

An introduction to the history and culture of Steampunk. This is the first panel anyone wants us to do, but the last we want to do. Here’s why – Steampunk has progressed from a literary genre to a cultural movement. A cultural movement is continually growing and changing and resisting definition, and anyone trying to put it in a box is trying to sell you something. That’s why we prefer these next two:

*Welcome to Steampunk (panel, 1 hour, unlimited attendees)

New to Steampunk or just Steampunk curious? Wondering what the fuss is about, or why so many people are wearing goggles indoors? Your hosts the Steampunk Family are here to help! We will provide a brief history of steampunk, from its origins in literature to the broader cultural movement enjoying an explosion today, comment on the appeal of steampunk, and give you tips for getting involved, whether or not you don the goggles.

*Steampunk Symposium/Steampunk Show and Tell (panel/round table, 1 hour, limit 200 attendees)

Presented at Katsucon 2011 & 2012 & Conbust 2011

Steampunks – meet and greet and show off your fabulous gear! Clueless and curious? Come and be inspired. Seasoned veteran of the Venusian campaign? Share your knowledge and show off your death ray. Compare notes and learn tricks and tips for developing your steampunk persona (or participating without one). The Steampunk Family will be on hand to facilitate discussion, answer questions, and recommend resources.

*Steampunk Costuming (panel, 1-3 hours, limit 50 attendees)

Presented at Mysticon 2011 & Conbust 2012

Steampunk clothing looks good on everyone, young or old, rail thin or pleasantly portly. How can you create those fascinating steampunk costumes for yourself? We will cover steampunk fashion for any age and any budget, covering neo-Victorian, multicultural influences, and putting the punk into steampunk.

Costuming On a Budget (panel, 1 hour, limit 50 attendees)

Presented at Mysticon 2011

Costumes are great, but not everyone has a fortune to spend recreating Iron Man’s armor or their favorite movie alien. Take heart! Our panel of experts will give you tips for creating a cool convention costume without breaking the bank.

*Science in the Age of Steam (panel, 1 hour, limitless attendees)

Presented at Mysticon 2011

Steampunk has its own unique set of distinctive concepts, butnot all of them fall into the realm of science fiction (or science fantasy). Panelists will discuss common steampunk archetypes
with a focus on what was and was not actually possible (or atleast theoretically possible) in the age of steam.

Pimp My Prop (panel, 1 hour, up to 50 attendees)

Presented at Mysticon 2011

Props can make or break a costume. Learn from our guests ways that you can accessorize any costume, and how to take a prop from adequate to WOW!  Basic modding and finishing techniques and found object assembly, discussion of knowing how your prop works and the pseudo science behind it.

Gearing Up – Mods, Props, and Weapons for Cosplay & Steampunk

(Panel, 1 hour, unlimited attendees) presented at AwesomeCon 2013

Weapons that look fearsome, not faux, steampunk gadgets that work (or look like they do), cosplay beyond cardboard. Join the Steampunk Family for an overview of techniques, materials, and tools for terrific props that won’t run afoul of con security. From goggles to side arms to giant swords, learn how to level up your building skills.

Steampunk in Anime and Manga (panel, 1 hour, unlimited attendees)

Presented at Katsucon 2012

Although many associate steampunk with the British Victorian Empire, steampunks draw influences from many cultures and the steampunk aesthetic is showing up in fashion and pop culture all over the world. Steampunk and Anime expertsl lead a discussion of the anime and manga that steampunks love, from Galaxy Express 999 to Howl’s clanking castle and beyond, examining inspiration and influences from the land that emerged from a feudal state to the only modern Asian state during the Victorian/Meiji Era.

*Steampunk in Daily Life (panel/round table, 1 hour, limit 50 attendees for round table, unlimited for panel)

Is steampunk something you do on the weekend, or is there a way to bring the elegance and ethic of steampunk into your every day life. We’ll talk fashion, home decor, making, salvaging, and style.

*Mod Your Goggles (workshop, $15, limit 12 attendees) presented at Conbust 2013, DarkoverCon 2013

Whether for adventure or invention, goggles are the most stylish safety equipment around. In this workshop you’ll modify welder’s goggles to create your own look using leather and metal scraps in this hands-on workshop. If you have special trinkets or baubles you’d like to bring, feel free to add your own flair!

*Corset Making – Underwear That’s Fun to Wear (demonstration, 2 hours, limit 25 attendees)

Presented at Mysticon 2011

Corsets can be difficult to find and costly to purchase. Our Steampunk specialists will select a volunteer or two from the audience and demonstrate just what’s involved in making one yourself.
Oh, and the volunteer gets to keep the resulting pattern, to make a custom-fitted corset of his or her own!

*Etching Brass and Copper (demonstration, 1 hour, up to 25 attendees)

Presented at Conbust 2011

Steampunk Family’s own Fearless Fabricator will demystify the techniques of using etching to metal, covering design, resistors, chemicals, power sources, and types of metal. We will electro-etch a design into metal while you watch!

Photo credit: Kat Martin

5 Comments for this entry

  • Tara says:

    Oh I do hope you consider Dragoncon this year! I would love to attend your panels and learn more from people who not only create the beautiful look but make it functional as well. I am starting to work on my costume and accessories and it would be just wonderful for you to show me the light!
    Thank you so much for being such a great resource and being not only teachers but a big influence on a fun and fantastic way of life.

    PS: Dragoncon holds many surprises every year so you might be influenced as well.

  • Madame von Hedwig says:

    Alas, Dragoncon is not in the cards for us this year. I’m sure we would be dazzled by its brilliance and much inspired! Be sure to give our regards to Emmet and Mingan Davenport of Clockwork Cabaret who are quite inspiring in their own right, and of course Dr Q & Taloolah Love, likewise.

    Thank you so much for your kind words. We love teaching and mentoring, and are glad to have our efforts appreciated. If we can be of help to you in pulling your kit together, please drop me a line at madamevonhedwig at steampunkfamily dot com. Another great resource is the steampunk fashion live journal community – lots of good suggestions from those fine folks.

    If there is a con you attend that’s within 5 hours of D.C., suggest away! Perhaps we can meet elsewhere.


  • rick hughes says:

    Love to have you folks come by!-Rick
    WarmStreets Gallery, Studio 205
    RiverViews ArtSpace (across from Amazement Square, downtown Lynchburg)

    Call to all Steampunk and Sci Fi Artists-

    WarmStreets Gallery announces a juried show of Steampunk and Sci Fi works of art to be displayed at their Riverviews Gallery the month of April. Area artists are encouraged to submit up to three digital photos each of up to three works of Steampunk or Sci Fi art in any medium for consideration in this show, with cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100 for the top three works and a $100 “People’s Choice” prize, to be awarded at the end of the show following viewer voting.

    WarmStreets is a local nonprofit that helps Lynchburg’s homeless through outreach and donations to groups such as The Daily Bread, Hand Up Lodge, and Miriam’s House. Funds are raised through art sales at their Gallery 205 at Riverviews on Jefferson St. where donated works are available for purchase. This featured show of juried works will hang April 6- May 3, with a “sneak preview” opening during First Fridays on April 5. WarmStreets will donate their percentage of each sale to help the homeless.

    Area artists are invited to submit up to three digital photos each of up to three works of art to be considered, along with a $20 entry fee, either in person at the gallery or through the WarmStreets website at Submissions can include paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, jewelry, and mixed media- anything with a Steampunk or Sci Fi theme. Submissions must be received by 5pm on Monday, March 4, 2013. Accepted works will be notified by 5pm on March 11 and the works must be delivered to the gallery by 5pm on Friday, March 15. Contact Rick Hughes at for details.

  • Michael Ibidapo says:

    Hey guys, sorry to have to post on here but I couldn’t find any other way to get in contact with P.Phineas. I met him at UMES Fan Con and we talked for awhile about photography and he was giving me some helpful advice. I was wondering if he wouldn’t mind having an understudy for the summer? I would love to learn from him. I’m an aspiring photography who seriously needs a mentor and he seems like just the guy.

  • Hello, Michael! I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. Phineas doesn’t have any photography jobs scheduled for this summer. He’s a multi-tasking jack of many trades, and spends his summers running adventure camps for kids and sewing workshops for adults. He might be up for going on a photo safari with you, or having you over next time he’s got a studio session planned. Contact him directly at chipyorkphotography at gmail dot com.

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