Thursday, May 4, 2017

The State of Steampunk in the Sunshine State

Three years ago, I created a blog post called "Fifty-Five Fabulous Faces of Florida Steampunk". It was inspired by two things, a person telling me that steampunk wouldn't work in Florida, because it was too hot here to wear elaborate costumes, and seeing the same dozen or so faces every time a national article about steampunk appeared on my newsfeed.  Since April was the thirtieth anniversary of K.W. Jeter coining the term "steampunk," I thought it was time to repost that old article on the Florida steampunk Facebook pages, but quickly realized that it needed an update. Much has changed since May of 2014.

It is the nature of the World to be in a constant state of flux. Some of the current fabulous faces of Florida steampunk have remained the same over the years, but some of our most active and skilled members have moved on to new, more demanding jobs that have taken them away from us or moved to other states. Many new members have moved to Florida or discovered steampunk, bringing with them the energy and fresh ideas of new converts. The community has continued to evolve and grow over the past three years, but through all these changes, it has continued to be a wonderfully inclusive group, with participants of all ages and backgrounds.

The current steampunk state of the state is that there are now so many fabulous faces that I couldn't do justice to this subject with just fifty-five representatives. This is still only a small sampling, but I lost count somewhere around 130.

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(Photo by Jennifer Parker)

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Photo by BN Photography Location: Winter Park FL)

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(Photo by Myra Thiessen Baldwin. Location: Dry Creek, Parrish Florida)

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(Photo by Ryan Davis)

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(Photo by Bob O'Lary)

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(Photo by Shana Permenter)

(Photo by Matthew Battershell)

( Photo by Ace Photography)

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Entertainment with a steampunk theme has become more diverse and widespread in Florida in recent years.

The sport of Splendid Teapot Racing came to Florida in Oct. of 2015, when we held our first race at Renninger's Steampunk Industrial Show in Mount Dora. Since then, it has spread to events around the state.

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If you would like to learn more about Splendid Teapot Racing in Florida, please join us at:

The steampunk music scene in Florida is varied and filled with some amazing talent.

Clockwork Knotwork plays steampunk music with a Celtic flare.

The Steampunk Stompers have a vintage sound and I believe they are the only steampunk band in Florida with a horn section.

(Photo by Captain Jane Starling)

The Cog is Dead is a very eclectic band. Although their songs tell steampunk stories, the musical styles of the songs vary widely, borrowing from every possible genre.

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Escape the Clouds is a one man band that uses modern electronic instruments to tell vintage stories.

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Phantasmagoria is an acting and dancing troupe. Their combination of fire performance, dance, and story telling makes them a wonder to behold. Beautiful ladies, handsome gentlemen, music, and fire... what more could you ask for? How about spine tingling stories? They have that, too.

Steampunk dining has even become an option in Florida.

Goozlepipe and Guttyworks is a gastropub in Jacksonville.

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Toothsome Chocolate Emporium at Universal CityWalk is a sweet shop and restaurant.

The first exclusively steampunk shop has opened in St. Augustine.

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Thanks to imagination and modern climate control, there are Floridians in splendid steampunk attire throughout the year.

The Florida steampunk community is made up of an amazing collection of enthusiastic people who write, create art, sew, build, make music, dance, organize events, and make living in the Sunshine State much more fun.

For more information about steampunk in Florida, please check out the following groups:

The Cowford Steampunk (Jacksonville)

Nassau Steampunk

Tallahassee Steampunk

Tampa Bay Steampunk Society

Central Florida Steampunk Association (Orlando area)

The Florida Steampunk Society

Indian River Lagoon Steampunk Consortium

Sanford Steampunk

South Florida Steamers!

South-West Florida Steampunks (Naples/Fort Myers)

If you love Victorian era alternate history and costuming, are creative and silly, please join a steampunk group near you. Or, like me, join all of them, so that you have more event options.

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I would like to dedicate this post to Andi Heller, the founder of the Nassua Steampunk group, who passed away in March. She is greatly missed by the Florida steampunk community.

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Crafty Crow