Danza Della Luna

There are still places in this dreary world where you can escape and live in the fantastical if even only for one night. To step out in your finery and be the belle (or beast should you fancy) for the darkened hours. Danza Della Luna – dance beneath the moon – is now in its third year and this was by far the most spectacular. Not only did the patrons literally gasp when they walked into the magnificent gold gilded ball rooms of the Opera Ghent but the subsequent oohs and ahhs as they admired each other’s guises for the night filled the space between the beautiful cello chords. The theme was “The Fallen” and feathers, skulls, and black bejewelled fabrics were the order of the night. The backdrop of shiny opulence and chandeliers twinkling in mirrored panels gave an eerie reverence to the darker figures milling within. Continue reading

M’era Luna 2019

M’era Luna has always been about the people for me, and this year was no exception. Echoing the sentiment I hear over and over again from each festival goer I encounter: we are here to see old friends, make new ones and strengthen connections made over time and tide. But what makes this festival different from others is that this sentiment is not just shared amongst those on the ground but through the bands that play and into the festival organisation. Continue reading

Forever is a Very Long Time

Skull - Tea Light Holder (V74)I look daily at the pictures we took together. Even though it hurts, I can’t live a day without looking at them, looking at your face and your smile. The world was at our feet back then and nothing could have stopped us. At least that’s what we thought.

You hated crowds so we always spent the evenings in beautiful and deserted places. We’d light a candle, put some music, dance and just dream, though our dream had already come true. We found each other. Continue reading

Motorhead

A recent enquiry from a ‘friend of Alchemy’ based in Australia, referred to an item he’d bought some 30 years ago from a Metal For Melbourne fest in Australia. The image above accompanied the message. His query was its identity and, in particular regarding the branding stamp on the reverse which simply said ‘POKER’. Continue reading

Alchemy’s Branding History

The early branding of Alchemy jewellery was different to today’s markings. The company’s origins were, as is the case with many nascent companies, not straightforward and its identity evolved over time.

The very first products which launched the venture, around 1976, were a small collection of punk ‘anti-jewellery’, irreverent pins and pendants such as a toilet seat, a graffitied padlock and a bent screw, all made one at a time, hand cast from scrap lead and designed to shock! These were branded as ‘Poker’, with the name hand carved into the back of each model. Then, in 1977, we rented a small shop with a little room for a workshop behind. We named the shop Rieder’s Axe and the company, Rieder Design, after one of our heroes; a revered late 15th century Austrian armourer Kaspar Rieder, from Muhlau, Innsbruck who was a master metalsmith in magnificent gothic style, by appointment to Emperor Maximilian I. Continue reading

The End of the World – Medieval Style

The Book of Revelation – the final book of the Bible – describes the coming end of the world. Written in the 1st Century AD, the author appeared to expect the Apocalypse to occur in their lifetime. Happily, they were disappointed, but Christians have remained fascinated by the subject ever since, with doomsayers keeping it alive by reinterpreting Revelation to refer to their own age, or creating their own version of the imminent End Times. During eras like the Middle Ages, when few people could read, such warnings needed to be communicated visually. Continue reading

Who I Used to Be

Yesterday…it seems such a long time ago. I think about it and don’t understand why today can’t be like yesterday. The sun is rising just like yesterday, people are going to work, the world goes on just like yesterday but to me the world has stopped moving. The world is gone, it’s missing. I feel like I’m gone, like I don’t belong, as though I am a mistake. And I only have myself to blame. Continue reading

Frankenfilm – A Century of Mad Science at the Cinema

Mary Shelley’s timeless masterwork FRANKENSTEIN was first published 200 years ago. Mary began writing the book when she was still a teenager, and it is now recognised as not only a landmark work of Gothic literature, but also arguably the first true science fiction novel. It is through cinema, though, that most have come to know her immortal creation, beginning in 1910 with the first film adaptation, a silent movie generally known as the Edison FRANKENSTEIN (it was produced by the famous inventor Thomas Edison). The film’s director deliberately downplayed the story’s horrific elements, and the resulting 14 minute film is more of an amusing, pioneering oddity than a horror classic. Continue reading