Posts Tagged ‘20000 Leagues’

The Steampunk World’s Fair 2014 was an amazing event. Steam at Harper’s Ferry was very fortunate to participate in the first Steampunk Art Fair at the Steampunk World’s Fair along with other artists. Eric Holstine, Leigh Anne Cassell and Jason Edwards all had work on display at the event.


Eric Holstine’s “From the Earth to the Heavens” and a 3D banner from Steam at Harper’s Ferry collection featuring “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”


What’s this? Jason Edwards’ “Steambutt.”

Steambutt by Jason Edwards


Here is Leigh Anne Cassell with Doc – as in Doc in her “Steampunk Dr. Who” illustration!

The Doctor Rosa and Leigh Anne Cassell

Here’s hoping the organizers make this an annual event!

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Venue: Vintage Lady

Artist: Crystal Grimsley

Artist Bio:  “Crystal Grimsley, originally, from Clearwater, Florida but now a resident of Shepherdstown, comes from a talented family. While some were musicians, others were artists but Crystal didn’t discovered her talent until three years – about a  year after she started working at The Vintage Lady. Shortly afterward, she began to experiment with making jewelry, especially with crystals. These days, she had expanded into making earrings, birthstone necklaces, and stones of insight. In addition she is now wire-wrapping.” 

Venue:  Coach House Grill

Artist:  Bryan Payne, photographer

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Last month, Steam at Harper’s Ferry opened a new exhibit entitled “Steampunk Travel” which will continue until May 13, 2012. For the Art Walk, here is an introduction to the artists and their work.


Steam at Harper’s Ferry featuring Kristin Consaul, Chip York and Jill Evans-Kavaldjian of Pith Helmet Provisions and Jason Edwards, Visual Artist
180 High Street, 1-B
Harper’s Ferry, WV

Artist Statements/Bios

Pith Helmet Provisions (from the website):  “Pith Helmet Provisions is a collaborative effort of unique talents – a painter, a tinker, and a carpenter.

Jill Evans-Kavaldjian is an artist, muralist, and decorative painter; a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Fine Arts; and a former teacher. Her work takes many different forms, from commissioned landscapes, a murals, faux-painted formal interiors, historic and one-of-a-kind floorcloths, and illustrated educational materials.

[Chip York] is an artist, photographer, seamster, carpenter, and tinkerer with mad science leanings. As a boy he took things apart to see how they worked, and occasionally put them back together. Now he takes things apart to make them into something else, scavenging the elements of his creations from the curbsides and dumpsters of our disposable culture. He claims that once you learn construction you can build anything, from a house to a corset. He was steampunk before he knew there was a name for it, and since he and his wife started steampunkfamily.com, he has a forum for sharing his DIY projects and philosophy with other like-minded souls who want to possess objects much more amazing than they can buy, and the joy of making it themselves.

[Kristin Consaul] learned carpentry and tinkering in her father’s workshop. Whenever she got in trouble, her punishment was to help dad in the shop, so she got lots of experience! She formalized her skills at the Heartwood Homebuilding School in Massachusetts. She finds inspiration in the Victorian aesthetic, an era had an elegance that is missing from much of what we surround ourselves with today. [She] is drawn by the rich colors and textures of seasoned wood, and her decorative pieces are often made of salvaged wood.”

Jason Edwards (from his website):  “For over ten years, [he] has been a professional scenic artist.  He is a graduate of  University North Carolina School of the Arts, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He participated in additional apprenticeship programs as a scenic artist at the Skylight Opera Theater, Goodspeed Opera House, Santa Fe Opera and Cobalt Studios. In the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, he has worked with some of the most well-known organizations in the performance industry, including The Shakespeare Theater, Washington National Opera, Third Dimension, and most recently with the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Award-nominated productions on which he has worked include “Fever Dream”, “Full Circle” and “Boom”. Over the past two years, he has expanded his artistic interests toward more personal art and produced several pieces available for viewing on his blog, jordebot.com. Here’s an interview from American theatre wing: http://americantheatrewing.org/biography/detail/jason_edwards



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What makes certain things iconographic and others not? In the book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea there are so many creatures and characters to capture the steampunk imagination it is worth considering what is not a steampunk icon.

For example, why not the shark who struggles in mortal combat with Captain Nemo: “The beast’s eyes were on fire, its jaws were opened wide. I was mute with horror and quite unable to move a muscle. … Then I saw Captain Nemo straighten himself from a crouching posture and, dagger in hand, walk directly toward the submarine terror, ready for a face-to-face fight with it.”

While the octopus/poulp/cephalopod/immense cuttlefish is a steampunk icon: “The monster’s mouth, a horned beak like a parrot’s, opened and shut vertically. Its tongue was of horn substance and furnished with several rows of pointed teeth. It came forth quivering from this veritable pair of shears. … The truly terrible beak of the cuttlefish was open above Ned Land. The poor chap would be cut in two – unless- I rushed to his succor with all my might and main, but our commander was there before me. His axe disappeared between the two enormous jaws. Miraculously saved, the Canadian jumped unharmed to his feet and jammed his harpoon to its heft into the triple heart of the nauseating poulp.”

Why the “Nautilus” and not the “Abraham Lincoln”? Captain Nemo and not Ned Land?  Steam trains and not steam boats?

But that is what makes the genre so fascinating. If there were not some icons about which the majority of steampunks agreed, it wouldn’t be so much fun to break the rules!

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Since Steam’s opening in October 2011, I have been asked often about the name: “Why Steam at Harper’s Ferry?” then I explain how important Harper’s Ferry was to the B&O’s expansion west, the awesome steam trains that traveled on rails along both the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, steam-powered canal boats and the water-generated industries whose clamor echoed between the mountains.

For those familiar with steampunk, there’s not much to explain. The indicia surrounds them in the space – an owl here, a raygun there, fleur de lis homages to Jules Verne, and props (keep your fingers crossed! Chris from Steampunk Styles may be coming to Steam with a raygun display in the coming months!) from the Seth Foreman’s video project Steampunk Stacie, some of which was filmed on the premises. But I’ve been at a struggling to bring Civil Rights/War history together with the town’s Victorian and Industrial past and making that connection to a steampunk present (except in my mind, of course!).

On a whim recently, I purchased a promotional photo of James Mason portraying John Brown in a Playhouse 90 production released in 1960 entitled “John Brown’s Raid”.  It was no coincidence that the film’s release was 101 years after John Brown’s October 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry. A fitting centennial remembrance.

But wait, there’s more!

It was filmed on location in Harper’s Ferry!  This somewhat obscure production was made on the heels of two iconic steampunk films in which James Mason appeared.  “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954) and “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”  (1959)

So it was destiny that this little steampunk gallery in Harper’s Ferry exits today. Thank you James Mason!

Also, not coincidently, these book titles and DVDs are available at Steam at Harper’s Ferry.

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