Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Dark Season Is Approaching…Halloween!

This Monday will be October 1st and October for many of us can only mean one thing… Halloween. What does Halloween mean to you? Does it mark the dark season, or is it just simple fun for the kids. A time to dress up, decorate, carve pumpkins and scare the living day lights out of their friends by telling the scariest stories that their little minds can imagine, or maybe all of these things?

Halloween or All Hallows Eve, as it is sometimes referred to, began way back when Pagan rituals around harvest time included festivals honouring the dead. Of which in some faiths are still practised today.

These days Halloween has become a time for celebration all around the world. These celebrations include collecting sweets and gifts from neighbours houses or as it is commonly named trick or treating! Apple bobbing, making toffee apples and wearing the most grotesque costumes possible! Here is a particularly strange ritual dating back to the 1900’s. If an unmarried woman sat in darkened room in front of a mirror on the evening of Halloween, the face of her future husband would appear. However, if they were destined to die before they married a skull would appear!

Whatever way you choose to celebrate, have fun and enjoy. We, here at Alchemy, would love to see pictures of you in your darkest dress. Please send them to us, you never know you may be featured on our Facebook page. Don’t forget the finishing touch though……. Your favourite piece of Alchemy!

Check out some of our spooky selections below! All of which are available to order by visiting our recommended dealers page at www.alchemyengland.com/buy

35 years of Alchemy!

Alchemy have been established for 35 years. Having began in 1977 in a one-roomed flat in England, as two young, alternative culture model-makers and artists, hand-making generic rock music badges from scrap metal and selling them to fans by mail. In less than a year We had taken a nearby small shop with a workshop above, and were supplying shops and distributors with quantities of the merchandise. Production techniques became more sophisticated and staff were needed to expand production, and by around 1980 We began making exclusive badges and necklaces for headline rock bands on tour.

In 1984, the biggest breakthrough came with a new, small collection of simple, gothic & heavy-metal style pewter jewellery called Alchemy Metal-Wear. Nothing like this had ever been seen before except for a few silver skull rings, and so Alchemy set the new trend and standards for alternative jewellery. Alchemy became so popular, so rapidly, that more staff were recruited and exports to Europe began.

After 35 years, We have expanded our collections to suit all ‘alternative’ tastes and have over 600 items in the Alchemy1977 catalogue. W are still designing and making our extraordinary pieces by hand in our workshops in England, and now sell to over 50 countries.

The Alchemy1977 Brand:

Alchemy1977 is now recognised across the world as the style-innovator of the alternative cultures, the high-end designer brand; the ‘Gucci of gothic’ and the ‘Cartier of rock’. Music gods such as Ozzy Ozbourne and Alice Cooper have been patrons of Alchemy1977 over time, as well as many upcoming bands of today like Five Finger Death Punch and Lacuna Coil, etc.

Alchemy’s British team of specialist designers, artists and model makers is second to none, and every jewellery design is developed around a thoroughly conceived and/or researched theme, often historical, mythological, legendary or metaphysical.

Alchemy Studios, the creative arm of the production company, is prolific and diverse in its extraordinary output. Every year the team produce at least 150 new jewellery/accessory items for its alternative collections, 80 pieces of artwork and design and produce around 100 custom made products for many prestigious clients.

The Alchemy brand has grown to be highly respected amongst aficionados everywhere, from Los Angeles and Paris to Dubai and Hong Kong, and typically, owners of Alchemy pieces treasure them for eternity.

Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster

Last month marked the fifth anniversary of the death of Sophie Lancaster – the 20-year old British goth who was killed in because of the way she dressed. Her murder continues to have an impact on the alternative scene with her mother Sylvia launching the Sophie Lancaster Foundation and giving talks to raise awareness of image-based prejudice. There’s even a stage named after Sophie at the annual Bloodstock Open Air Festival in Derbyshire.

Yorkshire poet Simon Armitage was so moved by Sophie’s death that he teamed up with Sylvia Lancaster to create a radio performance called ‘Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster’, which was based on his poetry collection of the same name. The performance has just been adapted for stage and is now running at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre until 29 September.

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was created as a lasting legacy to Sophie, fighting for the respect and understanding of subcultures in our communities, campaigning to have the UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include people from “alternative subcultures” or “Lifestyle and Dress” If you have not already please visit and like The Sophie Lancaster Foundation Facebook page and show your support for the fantastic work of the foundation.

http://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/

Classic Rock Awards..Vote now!

The legendary ‘Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards’are back for the eighth year running, and as ever include spectacular nominees, featuring the greatest celebrated rock icons! The award ceremony was first established by ‘Classic Rock Magazine’, in the year of 2005. Since then it has captured the attention of lovers of Rock bands, events, films and songwriters.

Here at Alchemy, we are proud sponsors of the awards! Infact we actually handmake each award. This year the category we are sponsoring is: Reissue Of The Year.
Previous years winners in this category include; Queen (2011) and Rolling Stones (2010). This year in the line-up it features the likes of legends such as The Who, Pink Floyd and Whitesnake.

The other five categories you are eligible to vote for are as follows;

Best New Band of The Year
Album of The Year
Film/DVD of The Year
Event of The Year
Best Band of The Year

The awards will be taking place in London at ‘Roundhouse’ in November 2012.

Get involved by casting your votes now, before it’s too late!

You can vote by clicking the link to take you to the Official Classic Rock website .. http://awards.classicrockmagazine.com/

Richard III Battled In Vain…His Remains Found In Alchemy’s Hometown!


Those who share our passion for medieval history doubtless also share our excitement at the news that archaeologists believe they’ve discovered the bones of King Richard III. We’re particularly thrilled because the discovery’s been made in Alchemy’s hometown of Leicester. We have a special soft spot for Richard, one of the most controversial figures in English history, reviled as a deformed, evil tyrant by his opponents, hailed as a just and honest ruler by his supporters. He died fighting his rival Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, though the location of his body has remained a mystery. Until, perhaps, now…

Richard had the posthumous misfortune to have the greatest writer in English literature briefing against him, in the shape of William Shakespeare, who depicted the King as a scheming, bloodthirsty hunchback in his play Richard III (c. 1591). Since then this image has dominated portrayals, most famously when Laurence Olivier donned the hump for a 1955 film version of the play. Though we confess we rather like the over-the-top performance of the horror star Vincent Price as Richard in the 1962 Gothic chiller Tower of London. In 1983, the comedian Peter Cook parodied the Shakespeare version by playing the King as a brave, nice man in the first episode of the popular BBC historical sitcom Blackadder.

Whichever version is closest to the real Richard III, hopefully we’ll know a little more about this fascinating monarch after the team from Leicester University conclude their investigations. There are already calls for the remains to be interred with appropriate pomp, though this is perhaps premature, as the DNA testing which will help confirm the skeleton’s identity will take several months. Famously, the insignia of Richard’s faction was the white rose of York, and some feel he should be buried in York Minster. It is, we confess, pure coincidence that roses entwined with skulls and bones is the chief motif in the Alchemy collection. But it’s one we’re proud of, and we hope you’ll excuse this exciting discovery as an excuse to show you a few designs we feel appropriate to celebrate this exciting archaeological discovery!…


Why not get your hands on Alchemy’s very own Skull & Rose inspired
buckle! You can order your Alchemist Rex Buckle (B13) online by visiting our approved list of dealers at: http://www.alchemyengland.com/buy

‘Dark Shadows’ A Gothic Comedy Modernly Revived..

It was very sad when the Canadian actor Jonathan Frid died in April of this year, particularly as it prevented him from seeing his most famous character brought back from the grave in a lavish Hollywood production. For Frid was immortalised for a whole generation of American kids as the vampire Barnabas Collins, undead antihero of the cult Sixties TV series Dark Shadows. Among those fervent young fans were Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, and the recent Dark Shadows film was born of the duo’s youthful passion for the show, a Gothic soap opera relating the story of the ill-fated Collins family. Indeed, you might even blame the darkness that spices Burton’s film direction and Depp’s acting on countless happy afternoons the pair had both spent as kids, watching Barnabas baring his fangs on the small screen.

Critics were divided on the recent big screen Dark Shadows. While some praised the atmospheric sets and strong performances, others condemned the uneven tone in a film located deep within Depp and Burton’s Gothic comfort zone. Particularly critical were dedicated fans of the original show, who felt the heavy doses of 70s retro nostalgia and zany comedy were an insult to its inspiration, where the plots were always played out in deadly earnest, however outlandish they might be. Such adverse reactions were largely confined to American viewers. For, unlike Star Trek – a cult show that debuted in the same era – Dark Shadows wasn’t syndicated much beyond American shores. So, while ‘Trekkies’ are an international phenomenon, dedicated Dark Shadows fandom has remained largely confined to the US.

However, the recent release of a Dark Shadows DVD compilation in the UK has finally allowed curious Brit fang fans an opportunity to sample the soap for themselves. Subtitled ‘The Barnabas Collins Episodes’, the 3-DVD set offers the curious a taster via the first twenty episodes that features Frid’s popular vampire character, plus a host of background extras to help bring newbies up-to-speed on the world of the Collins family. At some ten hours, it seems odd to describe such a meaty package as a mere ‘taster’, but the original series ran to well over 1200 episodes. Indeed, Stateside, excitement has reached fever pitch among devotees with the recent release of the entire run in a coffin-shaped box. Running to 131 DVDs, plus plentiful extras, and retailing at around 500 bucks, this is clearly a serious release for serious fans. What will us foreign newcomers make of the less daunting prospect of the 3-DVD UK set?

Dark Shadows was an afternoon soap, and suffers from all of the limitations that implies – low budgets and little opportunity for such luxuries as second takes or proper rehearsal – leading to occasional fluffed lines, wobbling sets and such. You can also expect the same structure as a standard soap – complete with camp melodramatics, regular cliffhangers, and slowly revealed secrets, drawn out over several episodes. Of course, what makes Dark Shadows different is the Gothic atmosphere and supernatural elements. It’s a wildcard that adds a welcome tone of batty unpredictability to proceedings, as writers added not only the paranormal and monsters, but random time-travel and crazy dream sequences when they felt matters needed livening up. It is oddly addictive, even if it isn’t as polished or adult as modern Gothic serials like True Blood. But it’s probably fair to say that, without Dark Shadows and its reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins, maybe we wouldn’t have had such big-budget, prime-time supernatural soaps.

It might also be true that it was Dark Shadows and Barnabas Collins that ignited a passion for acting and melodrama in the young Johnny Depp, who has described the vampire as ‘a huge obsession’: ‘I wanted to be Barnabas Collins so much that I found a ring, it was probably one of my mother’s rings, and I wore it on this finger, and I tried to comb my hair like Barnabas Collins, and I was trying to figure out how I could get fangs. It really had a heavy impact on me, a heavy influence on me.’ Anyone wishing to take sartorial tips from Barnabas today will find less need for improvisation, not least courtesy of Alchemy. While we don’t do a wolf’s-head cane, anybody looking for a walking stick similar to Barnabas’s has plenty to choose from. Might we suggest the Beasts Claw walking cane (WS3) – Barnabas would adore the occult motif and find plenty of uses, within the grasp of the crystal ball.

Potential nightstalkers are even more spoiled for choice in the ring department. We think Barnabas might look most distinguished in the Mori Noir (R179 – a perfect blend of ostentation and funereal dignity…

Order Yours now by searching our approved Alchemy Dealers here:
http://www.alchemyengland.com/buy

Brand New 76 page Alchemy1977 Catalogue

Not only are we celebrating one of the biggest years in the U.K’s history, this year is extremely special for Alchemy as we are proud to be celebrating our 35th anniversary! An unprecedented three and a half decades of designing and producing alternative lifestyle products! We have inspired, set trends and stayed streets ahead of the rest and the best is definitely yet to come!!

Now for the first time since we began, and for the benefit of everyone, we have put all of our current collection into one single catalogue publication. We are proud to present to you the very first Alchemy 1977 alternative lifestyle catalogue. Divided into generic sections it is now very easy to find your flavour, your edge, your alternative!

Included in this Alchemy ‘super edition’ are this seasons new releases, our designers have again excelled themselves and created new releases that are totally unique and not to be missed. Perfect for Dark season’s ahead of us. New products are now in stock and available to order, to avoid any delay or disappointment, do not hesitate and order your new products today! So sit back and enjoy this stunning new catalogue, be inspired and stay forever alternative! To order any of the new collection, you can browse our list of recommended dealers at www.alchemyengland.com/buy

Or to receive your FREE copy of the brand new Alchemy1977 catalogue, click on the image below, and send us your address details