Full Steam Ahead!

Posted by Russ Kennedy on

Items from Lily's Steampunk Emporium.
Items from Lily's Steampunk Emporium.

Items from Lily’s Steampunk Emporium.

The Steampunk culture is not new but for many people it is uncharted territory. Steampunk is  making an impact on everyday fashion, film and social media, thus bringing more interest into this  genre to a wider group of individuals. What does this have to do with clowning you ask? I attended a Steampunk vendors expo recently and found a wonderfully diverse and talented group of individuals, not unlike the clown community.



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P.H. Asylum Works


These guys from P.H. Asylum not only look cool in their steampunk attire but they had some great custom made name plates for sale. Check them out at the link above.

The event was held in a restored railway freight house and perfect backdrop for such a gathering. Vendors and guests alike were dressed in amazing costumes varying in themes from proper Victorian attire to pirates and a little of everything in between. The booths had treasures to discover like specialty teas, jewelry, clothing, hats, gadgets and more all fitting in the Steampunk theme. The expo was quite reminiscent of a old world market place.

Having an opportunity to speak with many of the vendors, I discovered many of them had some sort of background in the entertainment world even a couple of former clowns. So let’s get to know a couple of these talented vendors a little better.

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Nicole of Halo Noir


Nicole has a mystical flare to her wares with horned head pieces, feather fascinators and leather roses in her collection. Nicole shares; ” I love to make things, but if I kept everything I made there would be no room in my house to live.”  So it’s fantastic to have a self sustaining hobby that enables me to create, and it’s the greatest thing to see other people enjoy the things that I’ve made.

Items from Halo Noir

Items from Halo Noir

Nicole shares with us some of her creative process and background.

I always loved dressing up in unusual outfits, in High school I was a Goth and after graduating was heavily into Cosplay, also a regular at the Renaissance Festival for over 20 years. In 2010 I went to the first World Steam Expo in Michigan to see what it was all about. By the end of the first day I knew I would be back. I love belonging to such a diverse community of creators!

Let’s take a look at the creative works of Halo Noir.

IMG_0038Up cycling is when an old, discarded item is re tooled and given new life. One example are these leather roses, Nicole shared, were once leather coats.

Feather Fascinators

Feather Fascinators



My horns I stumbled onto by accident, I made myself a pair for the Renaissance Festival and received so many complements and people asked where they could purchase their own pair. After debuting the horns at a this very event, I have decided to make them my main focus, as they got 99% of the attention out of everything sold at the booth. The next step would be to make the horns myself from scratch as I am at the mercy of supply and pricing of the shops where I purchase them, which can make things a bit difficult.

If you want more information about Halo Noir please follow the links below.



Next we meet Sarah and Jose Hernandez of Lily’s Steampunk Emporium.

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Lily’s Steampunk Emporium was the passion of creativity of Jessica Masserant (nick name Tiger Lily or Lily). She loved the idea of Steampunk and thought why not make pieces that were affordable to everyone? She handcrafted each of the pieces. I came to help her in 2010 with making stock and helping at shows that she was unable to attend.  

Quote: Sarah Hernandez

A brief history:

Over the years of working together, both our families became close. It was wonderful. Late nights of brain storming ideas and different ways of showing our favorite fandoms. In the summer of 2014 Jessica was diagnosed with cancer. My husband and I helped keep creating the pieces and working the shows. It is what she wanted. Jessica passed in the fall of 2014. Before she passed, her husband, Brad Masserant (who still works with me in the shop) asked if I could take over. Of course I said yes. I did not want to let Jessica’s passion fade away. Each piece I create, I know Jessica is still working with me to make sure they are PERFECT!

I have a saying when I get stuck on something: “What would Jess Do?”

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Steampunk goggles.

Sarah Hernandez, has continued on creating what Jessica started. Sarah is also bringing a little bit of her “sparkle” to those pieces.

Mother, Wife, Sideshow/Circus Artist and now designer/Owner of Lily’s Steampunk Emporium. Sarah started helping Jessica Masserant, creator and designer of Lily’s Steampunk Emporium back in 2010.

Jessica created many beautiful handcrafted items that all were inspired by her passion of working in the theater, festivals and Steampunk conventions.IMG_0027 - Copy

Now, Sarah is honored in taking over what Jessica has built, to continue on the work. Sarah has taken the passion and love of all things steampunk, renaissance, comic and also included the everyday.  I try to find what is in the trends of “Today’s Market” and also what are the trends in “Today’s Fandom”. Those are where I find my inspirations in creating my pieces. The necklace shown here Sarah said is one of her favorite pieces, describing it as “sexy.”


 To see more of their work please follow the links below.
      By the way, the horns Sarah is wearing in the photo are from Halo Noir.
I was so delighted to see such a sharing group of talented people, everyone made me feel welcomed at this event.
I hope you have the opportunity to attend a Steampunk event in your community and discover for yourself this creative culture.

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