In a Snail Shell

Hello Dear Readers!

I hope this finds you well. It’s hard to believe fall is already here. The summer seems to have passed in a blink. I love fall though – pumpkins and autumnal foliage abound, hence it’s that special time of year when we gather around to watch Over the Garden Wall.

Things at the workshop have been busy as usual with conservation work, guilloché commissions, and new making!

Following Segolene’s visit and work on Alphonsine, I found myself attempting to finish a project two years in the making! My first automaton.

I just returned from New York where I introduced the first automaton in my Medieval Bestiary series, Cochlea (Snail), as part of an exhibition on Craft at the Museum of Arts & Design. It will be on display there until March of 2019 – so if you’re in the New York area stop by! Here are a few photos and videos of it, as well as a short video from the opening night (I was pretty stoked!).

Thanks so much to the Horological Society of New York for their coverage of the exhibition!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Mechanical Mysteries | The Maillardet Automaton : Andrew Baron

I hope I’ve sparked your interest in learning more about automata. You won’t want to miss the final lecture in the Horological Lecture Series coming up on November 13th. Also held at the beautiful Stimson Green Mansion, this lecture promises to entertain adults and youngsters alike.

Clockmaker and paper engineer Andrew Baron will be discussing his work on the Maillardet writing and drafting automaton at the Franklin Institute. This iconic machine was the inspiration behind the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret and the Oscar winning motion picture Hugo.  Tickets and sponsorship available here.

 

Join us for an evening of horological enchantment, wine, hors d’oeuvres, and petit fours.

 

Tickets available here. 

 

Mechanical Mysteries | The Maillardet Automaton : Andrew Baron

 


New Horology Pins in the Memoria Technica Pin Line!

Two new enamel pins are coming to the shop soon, as well as the next edition of the workshop zine! For those of you subscribers, keep an eye on your post box in the following weeks.

To commemorate the first automaton in the bestiary series, I decided to make a limited run hard enamel pin of Cochlea.


snail

 

 

This pin is 35mm across and comes in nickel with white enamel and screen printed detail.

 

 


 

Pre-Order Cochlea Pin | USA

This limited edition nickel and white hard enamel pin with screen printed detail comes in at 35mm across and is finished with two pin backs and the Memoria Technica logo on the back. A celebration of the first automaton by Brittany N Cox, she is super proud of it and basically couldn’t stop herself from making a super cute pin version. Pin: $10 + $3 shipping

$13.00

Pre-Order Cochlea Pin | International

This limited edition nickel and white hard enamel pin with screen printed detail comes in at 35mm across and is finished with two pin backs and the Memoria Technica logo on the back. A celebration of the first automaton by Brittany N Cox, she is super proud of it and basically couldn’t stop herself from making a super cute pin version. Pin: $10 + $8 shipping

$18.00

The second pin has been in the works for some time and celebrates Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin’s marvelous mechanical orange tree trick. This soft enamel pin with green glitter detail has all the action of the original trick with vanishing and appearing handkerchief to boot!

 

 

 

Clockmaker & Magician Robert Houdin’s Orange Tree Pin | USA

This limited edition hard enamel pin with green glitter detail comes in at 62mm tall, as the handkerchief emerges. Just as in real life, as Houdin’s tree would produce a handkerchief carried by two butterflies, the pin features a movable component that conjures the past in the same fashion. As if appearing from the tree itself, the handkerchief rises to reveal the ring (or other article) vanished by the famous magician. The handkerchief can be worn in the up or down position. Pin $15 + $3 shipping

$18.00

Clockmaker & Magician Robert Houdin’s Orange Tree Pin | International

This limited edition hard enamel pin with green glitter detail comes in at 62mm tall, as the handkerchief emerges. Just as in real life, as Houdin’s tree would produce a handkerchief carried by two butterflies, the pin features a movable component that conjures the past in the same fashion. As if appearing from the tree itself, the handkerchief rises to reveal the ring (or other article) vanished by the famous magician. The handkerchief can be worn in the up or down position. Pin $15 + $8 shipping

$23.00


 

Sacred Geometry – Second Edition!

Al Collins and I went back to the drawing machine to add 17 patterns to the original book, making a total of 88 unique patterns. This is another limited run of 300. Now available for purchase here.

 

 


Publications, Print & Media

Keeper of Time Documentary

I’m excited to announce, I’ve been asked to be in a feature length documentary film called Keeper of Time. Documentary filmmaker Michael Culyba sets out to explore the history of horology, mechanical watchmaking, and the very concept of time itself. With interviews by watchmakers Roger W. Smith, Roland Murphy, F. P. Journe, and more! Check out the kickstarter and live events happening tomorrow here! I’ve made a few perks for backers, so if you’ve had your eye on a guilloché pen or pencil set, spinning top or the coloring book, check out the sponsorship packages.

 


Makers & Mystics Podcast

I also recently had the pleasure of discussing a few unique facets of horology with Stephen Roach of the Makers and Mystics podcast. If you’re like me and listen to way too many podcasts and want to learn more about magic, automata and more check out the episode here.

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The Naked Watchmaker

People: 12 Questions Interview Series

I was excited to give this interview, as it gave me a chance to talk about a few of the challenges and experiences in my career. It also delved a bit into my childhood, so have a read if you’ve ever been curious to know why I turned out so strange.

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Last, but not least, I am still working on my book for Penguin. I was given the opportunity to expand on the original outline, incorporating a lot more history and esoteric facets of this field I love with all my heart. As always, I can’t wait to share it with you, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted as a publication date nears!

Thank you so much dear readers for your continued support and encouragement. I couldn’t do this work without kind folks like you who share my love for horology.

Summer Solstice at the Cooper Hewitt

earth-in-space-atalanta-fugiens

Engraving from Michael Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens (1618)

Hi All! A quick note about an event coming up this Saturday at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. Come join me in New York to explore how design has played a roll in how we engage with time. I’ll be presenting alongside Emily Orr, Assistant Curator of Modern & Contemporary Design at the @CooperHewitt, Lana Sutherland, CEO at @TeaLeavesco, & Albert Shum, CVP of design at @Microsoft. A live stream will also be available during the event for those of you who want to tune in.

Join us for conversation after the event over a cup of tea! 

The day’s festivities start at 10am and run into the night, ending at 9pm. You can register for the Solstice activities here.

Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

Advanced Engine Turning

Hi All! So we finally finished up the last of our engine turning classes this month. It was great fun seeing how the student work developed over the sessions, as many students enrolled in more than one. With more complex projects, students singled in on a specific idea. A lot of time was spent making sure surfaces were dialed in flat and true. Students worked in silver, copper, and other materials. Here are the results!

 

David and I want to say thank you to all of our students and the support! We’re already planning our next series of classes and look forward to meeting our future attendees!

Until next time!

endofclass

Engine Turning Event Extended

Hi All! A quick announcement :

The tickets already sold out for the first engine turning session with Atlas Obscura – so they’ve added another. It now only has three spaces left – so if you’re interested I’d sign up while there’s still a spot or two! You can still sign up here.

Hope to see you there!

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Atlas Obscura Event on Engine Turning

Hello readers! I’m excited to announce I’ll be hosting an engine turning taster at my workshop in partnership with Atlas Obscura. If you’re not familiar with their online magazine – it’s very entertaining. In an effort to educate, inspire, and share the weird and wonderful things in this strange world, they host events and regularly publish articles on esoteric subjects.

Our engine turning workshop is quite small, so register early if you’ve been curious about engine turning, but are unsure about taking a full class or just want to give it a try. You can sign up here.

And so, to get you excited about the marvels of engine and ornamental turning, here are a few photos of some recent pieces I’ve made and the incredible objects produced by various ornamental turners.

I’ve been loving the moire pattern lately – and trying out all manor of phasing variations.

 

These unbelievable kaleidoscopes by Bill Brinker are just gorgeous! Look at the incredible vibrantly COLORED enamel he has done over such fine and intricate guilloche work. If you take a minute to watch the videos – those are real gemstones inside suspended in an optical solution.

 

 

 

And here Jean-Claude Charpignon takes us through one of his elaborate Coburg Ivory inspired pieces in miniature. He is truly doing some incredible things with fixed-tool work. The video below demonstrates the movement of the top. A ball, inside of a ball, inside of a ball, inside of a ball, inside of a ball….. all cut out of one piece!