Event Presentations/Workshops

Foamsmithing 101

An interactive discussion on what the heck is EVA Foam and why it’s a perfect medium for both beginning and expert Cosplayers/Steampunks alike. The discussion will cover all aspects of building with EVA Foam, including what to use, patterning, tools needed, cutting and shaping, gluing, sealing and paint. An honest discussion about Foamsmithing that includes lots of tips, tricks, and techniques, and most assuredly, some very silly embarrassing stores about working in this medium (like me being stuck on stilts for an 8 foot build I did) and dealing with some of the more frustrating parts of it.

Brian Fadrosh is the award winning master Foamsmith behind BF Designs and loves creating large armor builds , the more elaborate the better! He most recently was awarded first place at the Baltimore Comic Con for his Dungeon and Dragons Lord of Blades build.

Well known in the Northeast Steampunk scene, Brian and Sheila Fadrosh are the dynamic steampunk cosplay duo behind the YouTube channel Building Steam. This award winning couple are self taught cosplay creators and love to talk about building practical cosplay skills and cosplay inclusivity.

Brian is one of the producers of the Key City Steampunk Festival and Sheila is on the staff as their Vendor Coordinator. Both are heavily involved with the Pennsylvania Steampunk Facebook group of which Brian is lead administrator. Brian and Sheila love steampunk not just for its aesthetic but for the sense of community it provides.

A Stitch in Time

A hands on workshop for the beginner sewist. Learn 4 important hand sewing stitches for use in costume creation, repair and decoration. Scrap fabric, thread and needles will be provided.

Lady De L’Etoile, aka Sheila Fadrosh, is a fabric artist, known for her attention to detail, individual style and elaborately beaded and hand crafted costumes. Under the name Lady De L’Etoile she also teaches fun dance classes at events that get even the most confirmed wallflower out on the dance floor.

Well known in the Northeast Steampunk scene, Brian and Sheila Fadrosh are the dynamic steampunk cosplay duo behind the YouTube channel Building Steam. This award winning couple are self taught cosplay creators and love to talk about building practical cosplay skills and cosplay inclusivity.

Brian is one of the producers of the Key City Steampunk Festival and Sheila is on the staff as their Vendor Coordinator. Both are heavily involved with the Pennsylvania Steampunk Facebook group of which Brian is lead administrator. Brian and Sheila love steampunk not just for its aesthetic but for the sense of community it provides.

Patternhacking 101

Want to build a certain character but just can’t find the pattern you are looking for? In patternhacking 101 Sheila and Brian Fadrosh discuss how to take an existing pattern and make it your own -whether you are working in cloth, foam or any other materials, you can make it work!

Lady De L’Etoile, aka Sheila Fadrosh, is a fabric artist, known for her attention to detail, individual style and elaborately beaded and hand crafted costumes. Under the name Lady De L’Etoile she also teaches fun dance classes at events that get even the most confirmed wallflower out on the dance floor.

Brian Fadrosh is the award winning master Foamsmith behind BF Designs and loves creating large armor builds , the more elaborate the better! He most recently was awarded first place at the Baltimore Comic Con for his Dungeon and Dragons Lord of Blades build.

Well known in the Northeast Steampunk scene, Brian and Sheila Fadrosh are the dynamic steampunk cosplay duo behind the YouTube channel Building Steam. This award winning couple are self taught cosplay creators and love to talk about building practical cosplay skills and cosplay inclusivity.

Brian is one of the producers of the Key City Steampunk Festival and Sheila is on the staff as their Vendor Coordinator. Both are heavily involved with the Pennsylvania Steampunk Facebook group of which Brian is lead administrator. Brian and Sheila love steampunk not just for its aesthetic but for the sense of community it provides.

Victorian Fae – The Return of Magic to the British Isles

Following almost 200 years of Puritan censorship of the Fae World, Victorian Britain enjoyed a magical renaissance with a pop culture and scientific fascination with Fairy Folk. We invite you to join us on a journey through the magical realms as we explore how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and other notable Victorian Spiritualists were in search of the Fae and the restoration of magic to the British Isles.

JP Dean (formerly known as Aloysius Fox) has been an active agent for Steampunk fandom since 2008 (and possibly earlier) presenting panels on various Steampunk topics and organizing various Steampunk events such as the Chicago Steampunk Exposition, the International Steampunk Symposium, and more.

History of Substance Use & Addiction Treatment in Victorian Times

This will be a historical presentation on issues of substance use, addiction, and substance use treatment in the early 19th century to the early 20th century. Attendees will learn about the evolution of the addiction treatment field through these eras. Presented by Ms. Delzena Verity O’Connor.

Ms. Delzena Verity O’Connor, also known as Cathleen Hays is a certified medical assistant and project coordinator with Illinois Recovery Corps, Chestnut Health Systems, and the McLean County Recovery-Oriented System of Care (ROSC). She is currently working with the McLean County ROSC to develop a recovery center for the substance use, addiction, and mental health community of Bloomington-Normal and McLean County. In her off-time from working with ROSC, she enjoys reading, crafting, thrifting, and going to both fantasy and steampunk live action role play events with her fiancé.

The Victorian Nude and Beyond: Scandalous and Controversial Art of the 19th Century

“You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Everyone liked to look at it, but no one wanted to admit that they liked it. Thus defines “Victorian sensibility” on depictions of controversial topics in art and literature, particularly sexuality. This lecture will provide an overview of some controversial and scandalous pieces of European visual art and literature of the 1800s.

Abby Bartle is a (soon-to-be) high school history teacher with endorsements in English and art history. Her interests in the past are fashion history, women’s history, Ancient history, and European history. This will be her first Cogs & Corsets, so she is excited to be here!

Dancing Like Clockwork: Victorian Ballroom Etiquette

Ever wonder what the rules were for attending a ball in Victorian times? Come learn the difference between public and private balls, why dancers could not be choosy, and why you may find yourself heading to the altar for dancing with the same person too much. Dance cards provided.

Ardis L. Stewart has been historically dancing with the Central Illinois English Country Dancers for nearly 20 years and has probably danced every dance that’s been in a Jane Austen film. She has also been known to dance the occasional 19th century dance, and if there is no waltzing in heaven, she does not want to go there.

Fantastic Birds and Where to Find Them: An Immersive Account of Gilded Age Illinois Aves

Have you ever wondered about what birdwatching in Illinois was like during the Victorian Era (the Gilded Age in the United States) of the late 1800s, before birdwatching had even become an organized pastime? Join Dr. Aedon on a thrilling romp through rare avifauna of the Prairie State, as reported from the turn of the 20th century, when now-extinct species still clung to life, and now-threatened species were abundant and widespread! In this snapshot of a time gone by, you’ll gain an appreciation for the diversity of birds that still persist in Illinois today, and what you can do to help protect them for the future.

Daniel Goldberg has recently obtained his doctorate in Biology from Illinois State University, and has taught two spring semesters of ISU’s Avian Biology laboratory course, focused on ornithology and identification of Eastern North American birds. Since 2019 he has published three peer-reviewed journal articles and a popular science publication on birds of Illinois, and he has given five presentations on Illinois birds at academic conferences in-person and online.

The David Davis Mansion in the Gilded Age


What do the David Davis Mansion, modern technologies, and the Wizard of Oz have in common? This presentation will answer that question by sharing fascinating images and stories about the mansion’s history during America’s Gilded Age.

Marcia Young received her PhD in history from Harvard University. For twenty-four years, she was the site superintendent of the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington, Illinois. Prior to that, she was a teacher, research historian, and co-director of the University Museums at Illinois State University. After a thirty-year career working in public history, she retired in 2014. She has published articles on material culture, architectural history, the use of museums in classroom teaching, and the origins of Christmas in Illinois. Her recent book The David Davis Mansion, 1872-2022: 150-years At Clover Lawn was published in February 2022.

Beginner Waltz


This workshop is for beginning dancers to learn basic waltz footwork and simple turns that will allow you to move around the floor with a partner. Focus will be on contra waltz styles.

Jennifer Roberts is a avid dancer, with experience in many styles of historical and modern social dance.