It goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway – Clockwork Alchemy has the greatest fans, the finest performers, and the most dedicated staff. Everyone traveled the Aetheric Ocean to San Mateo, CA, to learn, to dance, to game, and to party with abandon.

Music has always been at the heart of Clockwork Alchemy and this year was no exception. Frenchy and the Punk traveled through time (by aeroplane!) and the aether to share their post-punk cabaret style of music to an enthusiastic audience of dancers. New to Clockwork this year were the Sons of the Buccaneers, whose blend of folk songs and sea shanties inspired our ocean travelers. Also new to our shores was Professor DR Schreiber, the historical conjurer, who amused and entertained as our MC. Thanks to all of you for bringing the magic to our event.

It would not be Clockwork Alchemy without local fan favourites Unwoman and Lee Presson and the Nails. You’ve been with us since the inception of our event, for over ten years! You form the bedrock of Clockwork Alchemy’s musical entertainment and artistry, and set the standard for performance excellence!!

If you are going to have music you are going to want to dance! PEERS organizers and Dickens Faire instructors, Cathleen and James Myers, were on hand to teach and refresh our ballroom skills and provide grace and elegance. New to Clockwork Alchemy this year were Natty Rose Graves and Deputy Henry William Graves, who shared their expertise and taught the attendees how to SWING!

Local fashion maven, Katherine the Great, shared her style and skill as the Fashion Guest of Honour and Featured Artist in the bazaar. Katherine’s pocket belts, shrugs, light-up bustles and fabulous headdresses were on display throughout the event spaces on staff and attendees alike. Blue Moon Designs are available through their website.

What would Clockwork Alchemy be without Makers? It would never happen! Maker Guests of Honor Charles Mason and Buck Potter were on hand for workshops, discussions, and gaming sessions. Multiple makers joined us from around the area and farther flung ports of call. Many of their items were on display in the Artist’s Gallery for close up inspection.

Authors and Author’s Alley are a unique feature at Clockwork Alchemy. Why have only one author when you can have several and attend workshops with them and learn the ins and outs of being a professional writer yourself? Or just get a kickstart to write that story that’s been trying to squirm free? This year’s Author Guest of Honor, Anthony Francis, a former co-organizer of the authors group, was brought back to showcase his talents with our host of returning writers, ruminators, and scribes.

Staff…what can I say about the Clockwork Alchemy staff and volunteers? You are the most amazing people in the steampunk ‘verse. This event is a massive labour of love by our staff. We are 100% volunteer run and you put in a lot of hours planning and implementing our programming. We are always looking for enthusiastic people willing to take on a challenge and join our team. If you’re reading this and are interested in coming aboard, direct your aetheric compass here.

As you no doubt have heard, the San Mateo Marriott is being sold and will close on May 1. We are grateful to the Marriott staff that stayed on to enable us to run another great event. We are actively searching for a new venue and the date of the next Clockwork Alchemy will depend on the hotel and their availability to host us. Once we know the details, we will share it with our attendees by email and social media. The theme will be “Gaslight Fantasy” so grab your thinking caps and start planning your next adventure.

A special thank you to all the spouses and partners who support their loved ones’ passion. They keep their hand on the tiller and provide a safe harbour from the chaos that is con preparation.

Thank you again, everyone, for coming aboard and joining us on our voyage through the Aetheric Ocean. A safe journey, with fair winds and following seas, as you make your way back to your home port. We look forward to seeing you again,

Sandra Forrer