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    Viewfinder: Watch City Steampunk Festival

    Michele McDonald for the boston globe

    Steampunk defies easy explanation. It has to do with an imaginative mix of artisanship, Victorian-era fantasy and reality, the science fiction of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, admiration for the inventor Nikola Tesla, and an idealized remake of the Industrial Revolution era’s technology, engineering, and philosophy.

    Participants in the Watch City Steampunk Festival in Waltham in early May share a kind of easygoing counterculture celebration of creativity and individuality. Debra DiFranco (above), of Abington, came dressed as a vampire hunter, with garlic, a bottle of holy water, and a gun with silver bullets hanging from her belt.

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    Waltham, MA 5/9/15 Kailei Willoughby, 5, right, reacts to seeing her sister's face painted as a tiger by Clover Guggemos, on Moody Street in Waltham during the steampunk festival.
    Michele McDonald for the boston globe
    Kailei Willoughby, 5, right, reacted to seeing her sister's face painted as a tiger by Clover Guggemos.

    Waltham, MA 5/9/15 Jeremy Kessler, Somerville, dressed for a music hall performance at the Watch City Steampunk Festival. Watch City is Waltham, MA.
    Michele McDonald for the boston globe
    Jeremy Kessler, of Somerville, dressed for a music hall performance at the festival.

    Waltham, MA 5/9/15 Jenga, , belonging to Barb and Andy Fyfe, Everett, t poses for a photo. Part of the aesthetic of steampunk is to use rich, beautiful materials like leather, and exacting artisanal methods to craft costumes.
    Michele McDonald for the boston globe
    Jenga, belonging to Barb and Andy Fyfe, of Everett, posed for a photo. Part of the aesthetic of steampunk is to use rich, beautiful materials like leather, and exacting artisanal methods to craft costumes.

    Waltham, MA 5/9/15 Bettina Benoit, N. Gloucester, ME, played Queen Victoria at the steampunk festival. It took her about 4 months to make her costume.
    Michele McDonald for the boston globe
    Bettina Benoit, of North Gloucester, Maine, played Queen Victoria.

    Waltham, MA 5/9/15 Chloe Belleau, 6, takes her shoes off and enjoys her bare feet during a break with her aunt, Lori Pedersen, Waltham, after a day with lots of action, color and stimulation.
    Michele McDonald for the boston globe
    Chloe Belleau, 6, took her shoes off during a break with her aunt, Lori Pedersen, of Waltham.

    Waltham, MA 5/9/15 A sample of the bone-art by Laurel Cunningham-Hill, a vendor at the steampunk festival, at her booth called Capsulariums. The bones are mostly collected from owl pellets, cleaned and then created inside recycled watches, clocks, frames etc.
    Michele McDonald for the boston globe
    A sample of the bone-art by vendor Laurel Cunningham-Hill at her booth called Capsulariums. The bones are mostly collected from owl pellets, cleaned and then created inside recycled watches, clocks, and frames.

    Waltham, MA 5/9/15 Michael and Aline Baker, with their son Freddie, 16 months, on their way home to Salem, MA, near the end of the festival.
    Michele McDonald for the boston globe
    Michael and Aline Baker, with their son 16-year-old Freddie on their way home to Salem.