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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 below 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

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

Gothic Gardening

As spring starts to unfurl now is the perfect time to get out into your garden (before summer really hits and you risk exchanging that deathly pallor for a sun kissed shade of orange). And we all know goths secretly love being outdoors even the less witchy types will skulk around in mother nature’s bounty, just check out “Goths up trees” if you have any doubt! While I’m partial to the juxtaposition pretty pink and white flowers can make against beautiful black velvets – there are a number of ways you can bring a bit of darkness into your alfresco living space. The queen of goth gardening is undoubtedly Kat von D whose black garden is awash with… well, black. From black sunflowers to black heart vines, her Hollywood garden shrieks goth. But what of our slightly less clement climes? Dark plants were in vogue in Victorian and Edwardian times with plant breeders eager to pursue a rarity and bring out the black. Below is a list of some of my favourite black and dark purple plants. Continue reading

Having the Devil of a Wicked Christmas in Whitby!

The last few Christmases have seen the Krampus making his presence felt far beyond his snowy Alpine homelands. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the Krampus is a hairy, horned devil who carries a sack and a switch. He accompanies Saint Nicholas on his Yuletide rounds in early December, and while Nicholas gives gifts to good children, Krampus whips the naughty ones, and pops the really bad little boys and girls in his sack to take away. Continue reading

Changing the Stars

A friend recently shared with me a surprisingly beautiful Romanian tradition that takes place in the Maramures region. This tradition gave me inspiration to do a little more research on the subject and to write this article. The tradition or the ritual as some might say was performed in order to save a severely sick child from death. Continue reading

Killer Instinct

Warning: Some of the information below is based on facts others are merely fiction…for the time being.

1835. England, the Parliament outlawed bull-baiting and bear-baiting sports in which dogs fought to death against other animals. Gamblers turned their interest to dog fighting, a popular and profitable sport. British dog-fighters created crosses between the English Bulldog and various types of Terriers. This led to the best fighting dogs: Bull Terriers. They had the size, strength, aggression and ferocity to fight to the death. Continue reading