Skip to content


Michigan Steam Expo is excited to bring you panels on a wide range of subjects. During the day, the panels will be held in the Featherstone and Wisner rooms. Evening panels and events will be in the combined Perry/Baldwin rooms, Salon C ballroom, or Suite 1034 on the 10th floor.

Daytime Panels
10:00  Victorian Language of Flowers and Love (Kathleen Tootell) – Featherstone
In Victorian times, flowers acted as a cryptology for the genteel as well as the tweet of their time. Enjoy a panel on the language of flowers and love and demonstration on how to make tussie mussies.
10:00   The Evolution of Steampunk Media (Cindy Spencer-Pape and Glenn Pape) – Wisner
A sweeping look at how steampunk began where it's going, and its ancestors through history.
11:00  Thrifted Steampunk Costume Re-makes (Denise Odigie & Samantha Chmiel-Wilcock) – Featherstone
A review of ways one can re-make thrift store finds into Steampunk treasures. See how, with surprisingly little sewing, you can transform easy-to-find items to give them new life. Come explore the possibilities!
11:00   A Reader’s Guide to Steampunk Literature (Dave Clemons) – Wisner
An interactive exploration of what makes a steampunk story with examples from the historical to the modern.
12:00  History of the Circus in the Age of Steam (Greg Pizzino) – Featherstone
A look at the history of the American circus throughout the 1800's, the people, acts and performances that shaped entertainment in the age of steam.
12:00  Steampunking All the Hats (Wendy Beth Joly) – Wisner
A journey beyond the traditional top hat. Explore using things you may already have and shaping store bought hats with assistance on your own hats, if time permits.
1:00   Anatomy of a Dress (Jessica Crutchfield & Richard Harper) – Featherstone (this is a 1 hour 45 minute panel)
Through an exhibition of all of the layers of a daytime toilette, Jessica and Richard will exhibit how the Victorian silhouette was achieved – from supportive underpinnings to surface embellishments –showing how deceptively simple the most elaborate Victorian gown can be to create. Questions and sewing issues highly encouraged!
1:00 LED Circuits in Prop Creations (Matt Sabins) – Wisner
If you’ve ever had a creation that you wanted to add a little ætheric glow to, but had no idea how to start, this is the panel for you! This will be a basic introduction to light-emitting diodes, simple electrical circuits and concepts, and ideas for putting them together into steampunk accessories.
2:00  That Punk H.G. Wells (Aloysius Fox) – Wisner
Considered by many as one of the founding fathers of Steampunk with famous books such as The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, and many others, H.G. Wells (1866 - 1946) is remembered as a Science Fiction writer. Wells was most prominent as a forward-looking social critic devoting his literary talents to developing a progressive vision on a global scale. Explore the radical ideas and lifestyle choices of H.G. Wells and how they make him more Punk than Steam!
3:00   History of Alchemy (Meg Raphoon) – Featherstone
Alchemy has long fascinated people for its blend of religion, science and magic. In this panel we will discuss the laboratories of early modern alchemists in reality and in imagery and explore the Victorian interest in alchemy as well. (No actual alchemy will be performed during the panel!)
3:00  From Umbrella to Parasol (Shannon Clemons) – Wisner
From adding simple trim to creating a complete recover, learn tips and techniques for converting a plain, old umbrella into a lovely, fancy parasol.
4:00  Haunted (Auburn) Hills and the Underground Railroad in Michigan (Baba Teddy & Lady Kate Henriott) – Featherstone
Baba Teddy and Lady Kate will share about the haunted places surrounding our hotel, especially the haunted Edward Johnson House, a haunted stop on the Underground Railroad. They will also talk about slavery in Michigan, Battle Creek's Sojourner Truth and Ypsilanti's Elijah McCoy, the most SteamPunk figure in American History. There will be a Q&A (if time permits).
4:00 Brace yourself! Make Your Very Own Preposterous Steampunk Bracer (Michael and Jackie Domzalski)– Wisner
Panel participants will create their very own Steampunk preposterous arm bracer from thrift-store finds, nut, screws, bolts, hot glue, and their imaginations. This panel is presented by two special education teachers. This is a make a take panel for a fee ($10 w/o lights and gauge, $15 with lights and gauge). This panel is limited to the first 12 participants paying at the door.
Evening Activities
5:00  Faces of the West: America’s Great Mythos – Cowboys (Rodney M. Rice) – Featherstone
A look into the forgotten and often ignored lineage, heritage, and culture of the people who inspired the greatest American Mythos – Cowboys.
5:00  Quality and Quantity: Understanding Alcohol and Tobacco and How to Enjoy Them (Bubba Wilson) – Party Suite 
This will be a panel discussing Beer, Liquor, Cigars, and Pipes and the philosophy of enjoying them in a healthy, fulfilling, and respectful way. Bubba Wilson, a former bartender and cigar enthusiast will discuss helpful knowledge and tips pertaining to quality spirits and tobacco followed by a Q&A. Tastings will be provided. (21+ Panel)
6:00  Costume Fashion Show (Featuring YOU! – MC - The Ambassador, Barbara Jean)  – Baldwin and Perry
Join us in a celebration of you! Show off your costume (or support your friends) in your very own runway spectacular! All ages and skill levels welcome.
6:00   Calamity Labs presents: Aperitifs and Digestifs. (Calamity Labs) – Party Suite (1034)
Some drinks are meant to stimulate the appetite. Some are meant to soothe an over full stomach. Explore these drinks, discuss their history, and learn about these fascinating libations. Learn how to make some of the classics. (21+ panel)
7:00   Absinthe, Alewives, and Alchemy (Baba Teddy & Lady Kate Henriott) – Party Suite (1034)
Baba Teddy and Lady Kate Henriott talk about their latest book in a discussion that will include tales of witchcraft,  betrayal, hidden history and, of course, Kate's relationship to 'Mere Henriod,' the first recorded maker of Absinthe. Included is Sazerac Toast, storytelling, and an exclusive tasting of her family's 'Extraite d'Absinthe'. (21+ Panel)
8:00  Music Appreciation with Echo and The 8 Blocked Users (Echo & The 8 Blocked Users) – Baldwin and Perry
What should you know when starting out? What really makes sense in the music business? Bring your questions for two of Detroit’s own super stars, Echo 13 and Doc Colony.
Special Atractions
8:00-10:00  Concert by Wakefire (with special guests Tribal Spice Bellydance) – Salon C
Spinning tales of danger, adventure, and high-flying excitement, Wakefire is Detroit’s favorite genre defying Baroque Pop and Celtic Rock band. We are here to move you and make you move!

As the tribal contingent of the Aegela Centers for Middle Eastern dance, Tribal Spice Bellydance is an eclectic mix of traditional, fusion, and geek-themed styles.

8:00-10:00   Local Spirits and Mixers Tasting – Party Suite (1034)
Experience classics and discover new favorites with our amazing sponsors! (21+ Panel)
10:00-12:00  Clockwork Karaoke – Baldwin and Perry
Join Echo 13 and The 8 Blocked Users for an evening of karaoke.
10:00-1:00   Dance the Night Away with DJ Dr. Toon – Salon C
He’s back! DJ Dr. Toon spins your favorites for a party that is not to be missed.