vermontbiz: Steam engines and punk in Springfield

vermontbiz: Steam engines and punk in Springfield

Vermont Business Magazine The Springfield Steampunk Festival is a perfect example of the creative economy at work. Springfield is recovering from the loss of manufacturing and the economic recession. The festival highlights Springfield’s rich history of industry and innovation as part of the Precision Valley. The festival highlights Springfield’s creative ingenuity and a renaissance in the town. The Springfield Steampunk Festival, an official Vermont Arts 2015 event, slated for September 11-13, is a region-wide event and beyond including one presenter from as far away as Colorado. As a first-time event the number of volunteers, presenters, bands, vendors and variety of events is impressive.

“We are a small but hardworking committee,” says Sabrina Smith, festival coordinator, “And while we have a great number of volunteers, we can always use more. Volunteers who work with us for four hours will receive a full weekend pass.”

The weekend kicks off Friday night at 7:30p (doors open at 7p) with Opening Ceremonies at Hartness House Inn, 30 Orchard Street, Springfield. The group Rusty Belle performs from 8p-10p. Other bands performing during the weekend include Venus Lens Cap, Rusty Belle, HUMANWINE, Electric Sorcery, Ida Mae Specker & The Honest Mistakes, the Suitcase Junket and Tritium Well.

Some of the workshops and presenters include the following:

Author of Perpetual Motion Bruce Hesselbach, will show how skilled steampunk writers have created imaginative variations on actual steam technology. Learn how steampunk can be more than goggles and corsets, contemplate some of the “strange but true” inventions of the Victorian era, and see where the steampunk vision may find new fields to explore. He will be joined by Jen Eifrig, known to time travelers in the steampunk dimension as Evelyn (Mrs. Josiah) Grimwood, who ekes a peculiar living advising hallowed institutions of collecting and learning in everything from securing capital to fighting mummies. Mrs. Grimwood is also an agent of the Atlantic Alliance for Chronometric Transportation & Regulation, and transcribes her personal logbook into works of fiction, including The Stowaway, available in Cogwheel Press’s short story collection A Turn of the Wheel, and the forthcoming novel New Year’s Day.

Dubbed the ‘Steampunk Guru’ by the Wall Street Journal and the ‘Steampunk Evangelist’ by WIRED Magazine, Bruce Rosenbaum has quickly become an authority on Steampunk art and design through his company, ModVic. He’ll talk about Steampunk Creative Problem Solving: How the Past Influences the Present and Inspires the Future. A tea will follow for one on one Q&A with Bruce and his wife Melanie.


Janel Norris of the Fairy Stitch Factory offers a Steampunk Clothing and Wings workshop on Saturday from 10-10:30a at the Great Hall.

No steampunk event would be complete without an absinthe tasting. S.B. MacDonald will fulfill. Better sign up fast because this one is limited. He is a true expert and has been featured in Newsday, the New York Times and recently on NHPR.

Janel Norris of the Fairy Stitch factory will offer a workshop on tips and tricks to becoming a crafting expert. She has a BA in illustration and has used her love of fantasy art and design to create hand-crafted accessories, jewelry, costumes and wings. She’ll give tips on steampunk style.

Wendi Lashua Germain will demonstrate Zentangling, a fun and lighthearted way to relax by creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. If writing is your thing, Amybeth Inverness is a readings presenter. A writer by birth, a redhead by choice, and an outcast of Colorado by temporary necessity she is a creator of Speculative Fiction and Romance. When she’s not writing, she’s busy making aluminum foil hats and raising two energetic kids.

Andrew Liptak a freelance writer and historian from Vermont will read from his book War Stories: New Military Science Fiction and talk about his next, The Future Machine: The Writers, Editors and Readers who built science fiction.

S.B. MacDonald Absinthe tasting expert who will be conducing a tasting at the Springfield Steampunk Festival on September 12 from 2-4 at the Hartness House Inn. Limited to 30 people. Special sign up on the website.

Perhaps sword belly dancing tickles your fancy. Malice and Mercy are a sword belly dancing duet based out of Vermont. They’ve been dancing together for several years with interests that include steampunk, goth and tribal genres. Not to be outdone, Skye Whirlwind will amaze with her circus tricks gallivanting around on stilts, mystifying with her leviststick or showing off her hula hoop skills.

Main events will occur at the Great Hall, One Hundred River Street and the Hartness House, 30 Orchard Street. Shuttle buses will be running regularly. For more information about the Springfield Steampunk Festival and the schedule, or to volunteer or purchase tickets, please go to (link is external)

Shuttle Buses: Shuttle Buses will be running regularly between Hartness House Inn and the Great Hall. Please see website (link is external) for details.

Find ticket information and full schedule at: (link is external)

HEADLINE PHOTO: Bruce Rosenbaum presents a talk on Saturday, from 10-11 at the Hartness House Inn. The subject of his talk: Steampunk Creative Problem Solving: How the Past Influences the Present and Inspires the Future. This will be followed by a tea for one on one Q&A with Rosenbaum.