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

How to Stage a Haunting – Talking Ghost Stories with Andy Nyman

The hit Brit horror film GHOST STORIES has just become available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray. Andy Nyman, the film’s writer, director and star, originally hails from Alchemy’s hometown of Leicester. So we despatched our resident horror fiend, Gavin Baddeley, to talk to Andy, and get the inside story on this homegrown chiller. Andy co-created GHOST STORIES with Jeremy Dyson, who together initially wrote it as a stage play. In that form GHOST STORIES attracted rave reviews, running for over 1,000 terrifying performances between 2010 and 2015, concluding with an Australian tour the following year. Continue reading

Mera Luna 2018

I’m still revelling in the memories of yet another merry Mera Luna, paging through the photos that keep popping up on Instagram and Facebook and making exchanges with new friends and old. This year was particularly special, not only did I get to meet the utterly exquisite Obsidian Kerttu and Valentin van Porcelaine whose photos I’ve admired from afar, but was also great to meet Elisanth for the first time and see La Esmeralda again (which makes a pretty full compliment of the lovely faces which grace your Alchemy catalogue). It’s always so touching when the people behind the beautiful imagery seem just as beautiful on the inside. Continue reading

In the Confessional with The Sinister Minister

You may be familiar with Peter Laws via his regular column reviewing horror films for the Fortean Times. Or perhaps his grisly thriller novels – Purged and Unleashed. What distinguishes Peter from most other horror critics and crime novelists is that he’s also an ordained Baptist priest – an unusual combination that’s earnt him the nickname the Sinister Minister.

His most recent work is a non-fiction book entitled The Frighteners. In it, Peter investigates why we – and he himself – are drawn to the gory and horrific. It’s a fascinating subject with some relevance to us here at Alchemy – in case you hadn’t noticed we like all things dark and spooky here too! So we despatched our unholiest resident horror fan, Gavin Baddeley, to find out what the Sinister Minister had discovered… Continue reading