By Michael Dinneen
For Senior Voice 

Steampunk powers his imagination


October 1, 2021 | View PDF

Michael Dinneen photography

Anchorage's Ron Stein takes on a character persona he's named "Airship Battle Group Fleet Commander Sir Reginald Wingsworthy". His attire includes a half cyborg mask and battle decorations.

Weddings usually change the couple that decide to unite their lives and set themselves off on new lives and adventures. For Anchorage DJ Ron Stein, aka Rockin' Ron, his cousin's wedding gave him a new direction as well, creating "Sir Reginald Wingsworthy, Airship Battlegroup Fleet Commander of Steampunk," a title he has proudly worn for the past 14 years.

Inspired by that steampunk-themed wedding at the UAA Planetarium, he created a "contraption" of his DJ booth just for the event.

Stein, 68, had already been creating jewelry and such for his Alaska Souvenirs business. He changed the direction of that effort to cater to the edgier, darker and gothic elements of Steampunk. Stein creates pocket watches, cyborg masks, blasters for kids, jewelry and gothic finger armor, mechanical skeleton pocket watches, as well as celtic and traditional jewelry.

David Washburn/Senior Voice

Stein's display at an Anchorage event features ornate finger jewelry, goggles and gas mask. Stein's masks are functionally certified with replaceable filters and outfitted with steampunk accessories.

Stein says that steampunk is a timeless idea and has been quite the hit in Europe since the mid-1980s. Steampunk "is sub-genre of science fiction. It's kind of a Jules Verne vision of the future," he says.

Or, as Wikipedia puts it, steampunk is influenced by and often adopts the style of the 19th-century scientific romances of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Mary Shelley, and Edward S. Ellis's "The Steam Man of the Prairies".

Stein has seen war surplus items that were turned into two-to-three story marionettes operated by human bicycle power, and entire parades of these creations.

As Wingsworthy, Stein does 25 to 30 shows a year and maintains a Facebook site named Ron Stein. He just worked the Pyrah's Pioneer Peak Farm Fall Harvest Festival, where he says he was quite successful. Next up is the State Fair Holiday Market Oct. 16 and 17 at the fairgrounds in Palmer; a "Walking of the Zombies" event Halloween night in Anchorage (at 16th and Turpin Street); and the Mat-Su Holiday Market at the Menard Center in Wasilla Nov. 6 and 7.


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