The August bank holiday weekend (soon becoming my favourite time of year) this year commemorated the 10th Anniversary of the Asylum Steampunk Festival in Lincoln.
Now, having lived in lincoln for about a decade, I have always been aware of the ‘Steampunk’ genre, as it is the biggest gathering in the universe here. But it was only last year that I first dipped my toes into it when I was invited into the Castle grounds. It was here that I witnessed the event ‘The Wacky Racers’ and saw some of the most amazing contraptions and costumes that I’d ever laid my eyes upon! I had met steampunk Iron Man, I had seemingly travelled at once, backwards and forwards through time and from that moment, I knew that the following year I’d want a full 4-day ticket. I had found the maddest, wackiest creative outlet. I had found my people! Last year pics:
And so this is exactly what I did… I bought a full-weekend wristband for the following year, as soon as possible. Having months to prepare, I decided to make my costumes/contraptions, enter ‘The Great Exhibition’ and finally ‘The Wacky Racers’ for Asylum X! Soon, my house was filled with bits and pieces, seemingly supporting my new mad-inventor persona. I’d found an Iron Man arm and a Jet Pack to customise, as well as a go-kart known as an ‘EzyRoller’. Finally I dressed a ‘Steambear’ for The Great Exhibition. Everyone loves a cute sidekick/time Traveller!
Once I’d bought the tickets, I joined the Facebook Group to keep up-to-date with news and events. Before long I’d found them advertising for someone to design the logo/label for their official beverage: Asylum Ale. I’m thrilled to announce that my design was chosen and the bottles were sold and on display throughout the city! The design was also featured on the pumps and I was given a goodie bag of stuff! Splendid!
Before I knew it, the weekend of Asylum was upon us! Here are some photos featuring my ensembles from each day of the event:
To my delight, many steamfolk (and civilians) complemented me on my outfit and makes, and I ended up winning the Wacky Racers! Luckily this was judged on entertainment value/effort as I certainly wasn’t the fastest!
For any of those curious of the development of my creations, I have some progress photos to share:
Once I’d sprayed the arm black and gold, it was just a question of combining mechanical parts that I’d gathered in a way they could work together. This piece was mostly aesthetic, but it did light up and the fingers move, also. The top sleeve started as an assassins gauntlet which I reassembled and added to. Overall it worked pretty well, and because it was fairly heavy I put a hook on the underside so it could rest on my belt!
This one started off as a kid’s water pistol! I once again sprayed it black and gold, before adding clock parts, keys, wire and leather off-cuts. I also changed the material straps to leather ones, and fixed the gun to the side of the water tanks.
I sewed this little fella a purple and black military jacket, waistcoat, shirt and bow tie. Added gold buttons and embellishments and a cowboy hat. He has a little black belt, blue glasses and flintlock with holster, plus a clock and chimney/mini turnstyle on his hat. Finally, I gave him some steampunk wings and a Jet Pack of his own. Now he’s ready to travel through time! Sadly Theodore ‘Teddy’ Timelord didn’t win any prizes… but hopefully he won many hearts. He’ll be appearing at future festivals by my side!
Very similarly to the Jet Pack, this involved tessellating badges, clocks, rings, badges, keys, little trinkets and even a tiny frame. There were enough lucky charms, I was sure to win!!
Wacky Racer: The Rammy Dodger:
After, (guess what?) spraying it black and gold! I covered the seat with an antique map-style shower curtain and added plastic pistol mud-guards. I then attached a vintage jukebox (spot the Cathedral), and some gold detail to the guns and wheels. Wanting to add some height, I fixed a parasol to the top of the seat, along with a Steampunk crow side-kick. Lastly, some clock parts, leather, keys and bulbs were used to decorate the frame, along with Jammy Dodgers and a teapot because of the name! And thus, the Rammy Dodger was ready to race!!
On the final day, there was a Star Wars themed meet at the Castle and so I just had to release my inner Jedi. (It also seemed appropriate for the awards ceremony).
During all the tinkering and collecting, I bought an old radio and an old music box, both of which I took apart for the parts. In the end though I just wound up combining them and adding a few extras for a Steampunk musical contraption (that still works!).
I didn’t get to use it this year, but it’ll hopefully be on it’s first outing, soon!
For more photos of this incredible event and to be super splendid, please check out this Flickr.