Makers at Clockwork Alchemy 2019
Highlights included a Time Machine, Prof. Flockmocker, and the Great Suitcase Challenge
One of the big attractions at Clockwork Alchemy is the Artists Gallery, a space devoted to steampunk gadgets, props, costumes, paintings and other artwork. It’s always been an impressive showcase, but this year’s gallery seemed to raise the bar from previous conventions.
Guests could pose for photos in a recreation of the Time Machine from the 1960 movie adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel. Maker Guest of Honor David Lee presided over the Bay Area edition of the Great World Suitcase Challenge, featuring steampunk projects that incorporate a suitcase. And this year’s convention marked the return of Prof. Phineas J. Flockmocker III, known for his mad scientist persona and the fanciful gadgets seen each December at the Great Dickens Fair in Daly City, California.
Lee’s inspirations include the work of Arthur Millican Jr., a former Disney artist and imagineer who has appeared at many steampunk events. The GoH described Prof. Flockmocker as “the Arthur Millican Jr. of the west. Man, if I could get the two of them together in one con, the cosmos may explode.”
Lee did not bring any of his own projects, but attendee Arthur Koch loaned a working steampunk camera that he purchased from the maker.
Greg and Lora Price of SteamyTech took top honors in the Great Suitcase Challenge. Their entry was a box that opens in response to spoken requests. Challenges are held at selected steampunk events in the USA and Europe. The world champion will be announced this November at Teslacon in Wisconsin.
The gallery also showed the “Fantabulous Contraptions” of Jack Tittiger, who was presented with a People’s Choice Award for his work. In one corner, you could stumble into the lair of Dr. Nathaniel Blackheart and the League of Proper Villains. When he isn’t plotting his proper villainy, Dr. Blackheart organizes the gallery. He was also responsible for much of the signage seen at the convention.
Other featured artists included Paul X. Stewart, Richard King, Leland Takemoto, Lady Catherine, Jen Roger, Matthew Nash, Kij Greenwood, Alan Jeffries, Teri Lenfest, Kat Powell, Stephen Lund, Chard Lowden, Paul M. Newitt, Farid Javendel, and Vadim Voitekhovitch.
The Time Machine was built by Richard Murillo of Novato, California. He discussed its construction in a story in the Marin Independent Journal, his local newspaper. It was also seen at the Great Dickens Fair, where attendees could pay $5 to sit in the contraption and have their pictures taken. But at Clockwork Alchemy, the photo ops were free.
More photos from the gallery are shown below.
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