Tag Archives: Gothic

The Lost Library of the Queens Sorcerer

John_DeeIStudents of the occult and devotees of the darker fringes of history will be delighted to hear that the Royal College of Physicians, in Regent’s Park London, are planning an exhibition dedicated to John Dee. A pioneering scholar – learned in mathematics, philosophy and navigation – Dee was one of the most fascinating and brilliant figures at the 16th century court of the English queen Elizabeth I, universally admired for his learning. Continue reading

Will You Be My Valentine…

valentinesThis may come as surprise to many but Valentine’s Day is infact the most celebrated holiday around the world after New Years Day!

Valentinus was an early Christian saint who was imprisoned by the Romans for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. His letter to the his jailers daughter signed “From Your Valentine” prior to his execution is for what he will be best remembered. Continue reading

Come Into My Parlour….

In this dramatic, chilling fossil, an arachnid was trapped in amber, just as it was about to devour a wasp, some hundred million years ago. Amber has been employed to make jewellery and other items of beauty since Neolithic times. But it also has great scientific interest that stretches even further back into pre-history. For amber – formed from fossilised tree resin – can preserve examples of ancient animal and plant forms from long before man walked the earth. There can be few more striking – and simultaneously sinister and fascinating – examples than this ancient struggle, frozen forever from when dinosaurs ruled the earth, and recently discovered in the South-East Asian nation of Myanmar:

‘This juvenile spider was going to make a meal out of a tiny parasitic wasp, but never quite got to it,’ explains Professor George Poinar Jnr. in the journal Historical Biology. ‘This was a male wasp that suddenly found itself trapped in a spider web. This was the wasp’s worst nightmare, and it never ended. The wasp was watching the spider just as it was about to be attacked, when tree resin flowed over and captured both of them.’ The Professor, an expert in such finds from Oregon State University, is excited by the dramatic discovery as it is the earliest example of a spider capturing its prey thus far uncovered. There’s also a little poetic justice there, as the ancestors of the wasp frozen here in amber now prey on spiders…

While we can’t deny that the fossil’s a little creepy, even icky, there also something profoundly beautiful about the colours of the amber, and captivating about the fatal moment suspended for such unimaginable lengths of time. There is something simultaneously terrifying and enchanting about arachnids that transcends time, and that our designers at Alchemy keep being drawn to. Just like our poor unsuspecting wasp… Take, for example, the Incy Wincy Forme Hand-Ring(R177), which uses its uncanny eight-legged elegance as the basis for an Art-Deco accessory. Or why not go for the Nidus cuff stud earring (E193), a ‘grotesque spider, chained to its fine lined web’..

 

Order yours online and many other Alchemy products here: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

Phobias – More Than A Simple Fear..

A phobia is an intense, irrational, repetitive thought about an object or situation that can, unfortunately, control people’s lives.

Arachnophobia is one common phobia that people would admit to having and is more predominant in women more then men, but the extent to this phobia can vary, with some people having a mild form of anxiety, while others will panic if they see a picture of a spider, let alone come into contact with one!

There are many treatments for phobias to help people control there anxiety. Behavioural psychologists use a simple form form of treatment, known as flooding. This is were the person is exposed to there fear until the fear itself fades away. This treatment has been proven to be very effective when the individual is exposed gradually to their fear over a period of weeks.

Not all of us have a phobia of spiders, so why not purchase some of Alchemy’s spider inspired jewellery. If you do suffer from Arachnophobia why not try and overcome your fear, Alchemy style, by wearing some of our statement jewellery, such as the stunning ‘Emerald Venom Pendant’ (P432).. Or brave wearing the ‘Black Widow Studs’ (E169)

You can order yours online by visiting our approved list of dealers at http://www.alchemyengland.com/buy

Design your own Alchemy Metal-Wear pendant!

Here is your opportunity to design your very own Alchemy Metal-Wear pendant in solid sterling silver!

Metal Hammer have their 25th anniversary in October, and to celebrate Alchemy have teamed up with Metal Hammer, to give one privileged Hammer or Classic Rock reader the fantastic opportunity to design a special edition, new Alchemy Metal-Wear pendant. The winner will receive a one-off, solid sterling silver version of their design, plus five regular pewter editions.

Your design can be presented as anything from a pencil drawing to a digital rendering, but it is the subject, its style and shape, proportions, originality and overall appeal that will determine the judges’ choice, not the drawing’s technical quality. The pendant can be no bigger than two-and-a-half inches long.

The winning entry will be modelled by Alchemy Studios’ sculptors, and will go into limited-edition production, in pewter, to be sold worldwide, with full credit to the winning designer. The winner also gets £250 worth of Alchemy credit!

Visit www.futurecompetitions.com/alchemy/Default.asp

To further celebrate the 25th anniversary season, check out the Metal Hammer Editor’s monthly choice of rock accessories with a rather lovely 25% savings! Check http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/metal-hammer-alchemy/ for this month’s selection of Alchemy MetalWear.

Official Alchemy1977 Blog Site!

Welcome to the new official Alchemy1977 blog site!

We will be using this new blog to keep you, all our loyal fans up to date with all things Alchemy. New products, Promotions, Competitions, Licensed products and details of all upcoming shows and festivals!

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Receive the NEW Alchemy UL13 catalogue Free of charge!

Alchemy * UL13

Please let me introduce to you Alchemy’s biggest ever selling sub range; Alchemy UL13, a range of products replete with classic and retro tattoo and rock symbolism, biker’s and boarder’s icons, but woven-through with that distinctive Alchemy pedigree.

Alchemy UL13 along side UL17 was created to take Alchemy back to its rock ‘n roll roots for guys and girls with attitude – no-nonsense, original design, classic, urban and tattoo inspired pendants, buckles and other essentials!

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Over the last 3 years the UL13 & UL17 range has proved to be a huge success and is now the biggest selling sub range to the Alchemy Gothic collection that we have ever produced.

Alchemy will be Launching the latest additions to the range early next month!

To be added to Alchemy’s mailing list to receive a copy of the brand new UL13/UL17 catalogue please email your address details to info@alchemygroup.com quoting ‘UL13 Catalogue’

To view the current range of products please click on the image below



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