Nostalgia is not what it used to be - it’s better, according to the members of Palmerston North steampunk set Futures Past.
Boasting sobriquets such as (The Honourable) Arabella Worthington-Jones, Dame Henrietta Umbridge, Professor Darius Afpplekrumble and Dr J Dee, local steampunk adherents are gearing up for a two-day steampunk extravaganza at City Library.
Futures Past’s Dr J Dee, aka Dee Caterall, said the group was founded at Esplanade Day last year when several disparate groups of local steampunks accidentally discovered one another.
‘‘We’re a loose amalgam of some amazingly talented people, and we thought we’d put on an event to explain and show what steampunk is all about.’’
And what is steampunk all about?
‘‘It’s inspired by Victorian era technology and fashion, and HG Wells science fiction. It’s a clash of eras,’’ Caterall said.
Add elements of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, mix in some fanciful anachronisms, add cogs, gears and a scoop of whimsy and hey-presto, a punkalicious recipe for fun and frivolousness.
There are hats, glasses, monocles, jewellery, corsets and accessories as well as creations of related technology that have repurposed plastic nerf guns into works of decorative and retrofuturistic weaponry.
With a fashion show of steampunk haute couture, along with a cuff creation workshop and nerf gun workshop, there’s a special Mother’s Day high tea and an exhibition of steampunk inspired artworks.
A special feature will be a 2.5-metre high sculptural piece made up of crankshafts, conrods, brass oilers, copper tubing and gauges with a centrifugal steam governor created by local automotive engineer Garnet Kelly.
‘‘You have to see it to believe it. He’s built all these sculptures from car parts and it’s just crazy.’’
Adding colour to the occasion will be obscure ‘sporting’ events such as teapot racing, and ladies’ parasol duelling, an event Caterall described as a flamboyant variation on rock, paper, scissors.
The weekend’s City Library event features 2016 steampunk doco Vintage Tomorrows, colouring competitions, and dress-ups with opportunities to take new-fashionned selfies.
Steampunks Sharon Forbes, Casey Baxter, Shirley Elliott, Jeff Jones, Carol Johnson, and Allan Catterall.