The Royal Armouries is one of the oldest museums in the world, founded in the 1400s in London’s famous White Tower, viewable by appointment only. By 1660, paying members of the public were invited to visit this extensive Royal collection of arms and armour. In 1991 a major shake-up was begun, and much of the collection moved to a purpose-built museum in the northern English city of Leeds, which opened to the public five years later. In recent years, the Armouries generated some controversy when they began to acquire weapons used on iconic TV shows and films, such as LORD OF THE RINGS and STAR WARS. Continue reading
This Valentine is all about love, warm hugs, kisses and appreciation. Yes, yes, I am talking about the best witch familiar, the graveyard guardian, the Ancient Egyptian pride and absolute dark beauty: the cat. And if you’re not convinced yet, here are a few reasons why we should be celebrating Calentine from now on. Continue reading
‘I love Christmas. People are jolly, happy, they gather around the table and eat, drink and laugh all day long. They eat lots of meat and sweets and become fatty and…juicy.’
Jolly Zombie Continue reading
Once upon a time, before Christmas became sanitised, Americanised and candy-coated by Santa Claus and Coca Cola, in Europe Yuletide was more ominous, weird, and occasionally downright scary than jolly. Few are better qualified to explore the dark side of the holiday season than the Folk Horror Revival group. ‘Folk’ has recently become the hottest buzzword in horror circles, ‘folk horror’ the term to describe that elusive area where rural folklore and arcane tradition intertwine with the ghostly and ghastly on page and screen. In early December of this year the Folk Horror Revival group held a symposium on all things spooky and seasonal they entitled Winter Ghosts 2019. Continue reading
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
Some people don’t celebrate Halloween. They find it strange and scary. But, whatever their opinion they do celebrate it in the end…they just don’t realise it. Continue reading
With Halloween just around the corner it seems like a good time to explore the history of the popular pumpkin-based lighting solution known as the jack-o’-lantern. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
Alchemy will help you play a good trick on someone who does not know much about the dark world. All you have to do is stay as cold and serious as Morticia Addams. Continue reading
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
This year Alchemy will help you celebrate an amazing Valentine.
When you come home in the evening just follow these Alchemy steps and success is guaranteed! Continue reading