East meets West – SteampunkHands Join at Castlefest.

Last year I travelled especially to the Castlefest 2013 event in Lisse, The Netherlands, to meet up with Dutch Steampunk Captain Constance Bashford.
We had had contact via the Internet for about a year, sharing ideas and thoughts on Steampunk.
When we met in person at last, we were joined by professional photographer Ruud de Korte, who captured this East Meets West encounter for posterity.

Photo by Ruud de Korte

Constance was a lovely, typical Dutch lady in many ways: very tall, affable, welcoming and instantly easy to get along with. Her intrepid Steampunk Airship Captain was a great match for my Steampunk India Spy character.

Photo by Ruud de Korte

Constance has been a Steampunk model for four years and has done some exquisite shoots, both with Ruud de Korte and several other photographers.
For myself, being mostly a writer who uses photo shoots and costuming as a tool for fictional character development and inspiration, the sweltering hot hour of modelling was a trifle challenging… Even with my experience as a professional singer in various bands and doing photo’s and press!

Photo by Ruud de Korte

I had a fantastic afternoon at the Steampunk Garden in the grounds of Castle Keukenhof. The Dutch Steampunk Objective society had provided the setting and organised several performances and activities throughout the day.
There were many new fellow Steampunks to meet, a laboratory tent to visit and several wondrous strange contraptions to admire which were dotted around the garden.

Photo by Suna Dasi

Two young ladies, to whom I was a complete stranger, took me under their wing for two hours and quite literally walked me around the entire festival grounds, showing me points of interest, where the main stages were and where I could find my dinner once I became peckish.
It was a perfect example of hospitality and acceptance among Steampunks and we are keeping in touch to this day.

Photo by Suna Dasi

I found it gratifying – though also a tiny bit sobering – that a few folk (including Constance’s lovely friend Emma, who is a gifted Steampunk costume and accessory maker) commented on my Steampunk India attire and exclaimed that something like that hadn’t occurred to them before… I consider the seeds sown in that regard: hopefully more exotic interpretations will become more de rigueur until they are a part of the whole Steampunk genre in the Netherlands as well. This gentleman has certainly taken some power back and lent his own twist to previously solely colonial garb:

Photo by Suna Dasi

The photo’s that were taken of Constance and myself have today become available to me. She and I briefly lost touch due to circumstances and have recently reconnected again, to my great pleasure.
This presents a great opportunity, therefore, to publish these photo’s and an account of my adventures in Holland, exclusively for Steampunk Hands around the World.
To further relations between potential new friends, below the links of people and places involved:


20140215-154908.jpgImage by Mr. Xpk


Filed under Steampunk

6 responses to “East meets West – SteampunkHands Join at Castlefest.

  1. Why have I never heard about ths before?

  2. Pingback: Steampunk Hands Around the World – Official Link List | Airship Ambassador

  3. Pingback: Steampunk Hands Around the World – Official Link List: UPDATED!

  4. I find it incredible that you had the opportunity to meet with a fellow Steampunk from across the world! I hope to connect with other Stemapunks from all over myself one day! Castlefest looks incredibly fun!
    I love the photos of you and Captain Constance Bashford! Beautiful Steampunk women!

  5. Pingback: Interview with Ruud de Korte | Steampunk Journal

  6. Pingback: Tips on staying safe when modelling outside of events | Steampunk Journal

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