2023 TeslaCon Competitions

So many ways this could go, but I started thinking about what people would look like. What they would need if they were in a desert and how would it benefit them. So basically, practical stuff that you could use that is both influenced by Egyptian themes but also by Steampunk design and esthetics.

While it’s fun to explore the places, we visit and what they have to offer- we also need to remember we are in the year 1893. So even if we see something that looks really functional and fun, we always have to ask ourselves how would it work back then? How would it work with STEAM technology? Even the clothes we will look at are for example and ideas only- retrofit them into the time period-but also think how would people with a different science create these objects as something functional and yet artistic?

Designs from the 70’s-to now are ALL influenced by something, or a certain period or art movement. Ask yourself…What would Egyptian themed clothing look like with a Gustav Klimt twist to it? There was gold back then, and he used it in his paintings. Or maybe an art deco feel added to objects in the Pharaoh’s house? It’s all possible in Steampunk!

The wonder and exploration of design never tires in our world. We can create and recreate over and over, and still find new ways to make objects fun and exciting. Read through the rules first, then take your time an read through ALL the competitions. Each one was selected for a reason, a purpose. But most of all so you would have fun and remember your time in the land of the Pharaohs.

*There will me at least one more competition announced later on 2023, but for now these are the main ones. It is centered around a party theme- or combination thereof.
Please sign up for each competition game you wish to participate in. By doing so we can plan the shenanigans better and have everything ready for you!

The Competitions

Water Recycler Backpack

When crossing the desert or for that matter any warm to hot climate you need water. The fun part is in our world we can create a recycling system that uses water from anywhere and then processes it to make it clean and drinkable. But how would it look? How would it work? How would you wear such a thing? Well, that’s all up to you! Here is your chance to be scientific, creative, artsy and above all imaginative in a whole new way. Think about esthetics, color, function and above all…carry-ability. The fact is looking for old tombs or for that matter a secret buried temple takes a lot of work and a lot of sweat. So, let’s see what you come up with. I have included a few ideas as reference only. Use them for inspiration and above all make it look real! Some of you will most likely make them work!

  • Traditional size backpack for size
  • The main purpose is to show the technology
  • It can be functional but it is not required
  • Use of tubing, and lights that work with your entire costume is a good touch
  • Consider how it would work with your head covering

Cover Yourself! Head Coverings for Sun Exposure

It’s hot outside. We are in the Sahara, so let’s not pretend it will snow, it stays hot all day. We need to stay good. Luckily you have your Water Recycler Backpack on, but what about protection for your noggin? Here is a chance to design and create a one of a kind piece of art that is wearable and functions as you need it. The question is do you stay totally Victorian or do you go a bit old world? Maybe you want to emulate the locals, after all they have to deal with this all the time, so why not learn from the best? Again, I have included some ideas, reference pictures. Many are from science-fiction films. Yes, very soaked, but also very realistic. Maybe you use Egyptian patterns on them? Or perhaps it works with your ensemble as you travel through the sand barrens of Egypt? Either way it is a must to stay cool and not get burned. So how will you solve this problem?

  • You can make the design anyway you wish
  • The more out there the better- think Tatooine, Arrakis, Stargate
  • Use color and technology also-does it work with the backpack? Does it have lights? Lenses to help in a sandstorm? Does it coordinate with your clothing?<
  • This competition reference I used heavy sci-fi themed designs. It is up to you to get inspiration and ideas from them and make them into something steampunkfabulous!

Cloak of many features

Well you are vacationing in the hot spot of the world. Egypt has it all, history, adventure, excitement and above all new fashions. You can’t leave without bringing back something for those long winter nights to keep warm, yet you found that the locals use them to stay cool. A cloak is a very useful element in your fashion arsenal. It provided protection and comfort all in one, and for those who wish to be stylish and fashion forward… you have the perfect reason to go all out. Take a look at some of the examples I have for you. look at Egyptian designs, patterns and cuts. The layering and composition of them. Do you want to be more traditional or grand and flourish with your style? It’s all ups to you, all you have to do now is make it and wow the judges.

  • You may pick any style you wish
  • Use the color chart-but above all make it feel useful
  • Study the designs and also how they can be cut-does it have more than one purpose
  • This competition reference I used heavy sci-fi themed designs. It goes from films to actual colors and designs. Think of this as the clothing for some of the new Pharaohs and their ministers.

Faux Mummified Animals (Small Animals)

Throughout their history, the Egyptians used mummification to help send their loved ones and revered ones to the next life. To preserve one’s body so it could make the journey. Who wants to go without your favorite pet, or for that matter working animal. They mummified many creatures throughout history. Cats, digs, monkeys, etc. all needed to help those who crossed to have companionship and a loyal friend. From basic things like fish to more advanced animals as baboons, they Egyptians tried it all. Your task is to recreate (by faking the animal) the vest rendition of a mummified animal you can. There are thousands of reference shots for cats, dogs, fish and other small creatures. But let’s be real… most of you will want to do something exotic. The animal should be no bigger than 2 feet high, but the main thing is detail. How accurately did you use the bandages? What color are they, consistency? Did you use ornamentation of the mummy to set it off from the rest in the tomb?

Research is your friend here, and so is creativity! We will (with your permission) use them as decorations throughout the city once shown, so they play a part in thew weekend. Let’s see who among you is the best preserver and mummification expert out there!

  • No more than 24 inches tall or wide
  • Use paper mâché, gauze, or linen
  • Paint's and adornment can be used
  • Reference is all REAL animals-look around and discover the designs and wrappings used as they changed over time

Canopic Jars-It’s what inside that counts

It’s true, these jars were not used for flowers and gold. They were made to help you travel to the next life, in style. So let’s create a set to show off what you found during your most recent dig. There are four (4) types and they do not change. The best part is because this is make believe-steampunk-think about how they would have made them IF they had more advanced techniques, styles and above all artistic designs. Can you recreate alabaster? Gold inlay or solid gold perhaps for a Pharaoh? What colors do you use? What style or design are you going to choose? All these questions and all this time to prepare for the competition! Get ready, your imagination is about to take off on a whole new adventure!

  • Any material you wish to make them
  • No more than 12 inches tall
  • Use special paints or Gold Leafing to create a look
  • Stick with the main 4 designs only called the four Sons of Horus. (The human-headed Imsety was the guardian of the liver; the baboon-headed Hapi looked after the lungs; the jackal-headed Duamutef was responsible for the stomach; and the falcon-headed Qebehsenuef cared for the intestines.)

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry

Colors of blue, red, gold and green…along with precious gems and symbols. All this created the lavish and exotic jewelry that we see in the museums, but remember this world is different. They harness the suns power and made things more technically advanced. What can you create that will entrap the audience and yet look very practical and believable to the archeologists out there? Here is your chance to make something that you can wear all weekend, and yet show off as an art piece. Maybe you “bought is at the Cairo bazaar?” Or perhaps you found it on a dig at Memphis. It doesn’t matter because the design and building of it are a key to winning. The more accurate but steamy the designs look, all the better!

  • The piece should not be made of real gold (for security reasons)
  • You can make anything you wish, but bead work would be lovely
  • Stick to traditional colors
  • Remember this is something they would find in a burial chamber or temple

Lapis Azuli Jewelry-Makers Class

This stone was prized for it’s beauty and rarity even in ancient days. It adorned the clothing of nobles and kings for generations. With natural gold running throughout the stone, it was seen as a statis symbol. Now is your chance to recreate it. Part of the Ancient Egyptian Jewelry competition, this will be a maker’s class help early on Thursday Morning of the convention. Led by Lyn Marie Neuenfeldt this class will let you create an original stone like jewel to place in the finding of your choice. There will be a fee for the class and everything will be provided. The clay, the gold, rolling pins and detail tools. (We will eb drying the clay on the day of making) so you have time to apply a resin coating and place it in your design before competitions start.

  • Class will be held on Thursday of the convention- starting at 10am in the main makers room.
  • Signups will begin when the maker’s classes go up mid summer
  • All signups will be online and when filled, class will be closed
  • Estimated price will be about $12-$14 dollars for supplies
  • You must provide your own casing or finding for the piece to be placed in if that is how you want to create it

Camel Hobby Horse

If we are to have Camel races, we need camels! Right? The issue is they are big, sloppy, and smell…not to mention they like to spit. So best we design our own! That’s right, much like the Wild, Wild West year when we created horses…you now get to create a camel!

I have enclosed a link to Etsy to buy a pattern or you can find one yourself on line. Making the camel is only half of the problem. How does it look? What design elements have you added to it to make it your own dromedary friend? They key to remember is accuracy of the details and yet the fun and silliness it will generate. Tell a story with your camel, make it come to life. Show us how you have become the best camel wrangler in all of Egypt!


I hope you enjoy this year’s competitions, but we need to remember some basic rules.

This is a Steampunk event, so think about your designs closely. If you want historical accuracy that is fine, but also remember the timeline is NOT the same and that technology was different. The best designs are usually the funniest, or most clever. Think about how something works, how it is used and how you can integrate it into your clothing or prop for maximum effect.

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