Where mechanics meet magic, birds, & music

Hello dear readers! I’ve had some great projects come in and out of the shop recently, so I thought I’d share with you one of my favorites.

Below is a beautiful clown magician by Gustav Vichy recently completed here at Memoria Technica.



Made to pay homage to magicians past and enchant viewers, the clown uses his handkerchief to transform the rat in his hat to a cat!


Magic has been a long standing theme in automata. This clip of the magician’s box from a recent sale at Sothebys is one of the finest examples of this type. Complete with a set of tokens that you insert to ask age old questions. What is most fleeting in life? ::love:: What is most precious? ::time::


Some of the worlds greatest magicians were also horologists. Take clockmaker and magician Jean Eugène-Robert Houdin (1805-1871) for example and his famous orange tree trick. Below is a clip from The Paul Daniels Magic Show, demonstrating a recreation of the famous tree. I urge you to watch full episodes of the Paul Daniels show. The nostalgia of the early ones is amazing….


I am sure many of you know the name Fabergé. Goldsmith and artisan Peter Carl Fabergé made a beautiful version of the orange tree, known as the Bay Tree Egg (1911), containing a singing bird. As you can see below, a very likely homage to the world renowned artisan and magician.

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Image from the Fabergé Museum


Hopefully that has peaked your curiosity a bit and now you are inspired to dig into the history of magic. The lecture I recently gave at the Stimson Green Mansion to kick off the Horological Lecture Series covered this and a lot more. The next one promises to be just as engaging. David Lindow will be coming out to deliver the history and development of the rose engine and talk about creating the world’s most versatile (and beautiful! if I don’t say so myself!) rose engine lathe. Come join us May 15th! There will be wine and hors d’oeuvres to enjoy, as well as beautiful turnings by David to admire.

Here are photos from the last event, so if you didn’t make it you certainly will be tempted to come this time around. Tickets are available here.

Become a sponsor and receive some extra perks. I couldn’t host this series without sponsorship, as it is organized and funded by Memoria Technica in an effort to promote these esoteric topics and make them available to a wider audience. I am very grateful to those who have already sponsored the series, making the first two lectures possible!

As a sponsor, enjoy reserved front row seats and other goodies, such as the reissue of the Sacred Geometry Coloring book. The original release of 300 has now sold out, so Al Colins and I teamed up again to create some new patterns for the second edition. It will have a few other bonuses as well, straight from Mike Stacey of the MADE lathe team! I’ve just picked up the covers, printed on thick black stock with silver foil and white leaf. It’s also available for pre-order here.  There will also be another limited special edition (of 24), which will be out this fall.


In other news, I recently returned from giving a talk to the Horological Society of New York on my work with bellows materials in smoking automata. If you’ve been curious about the smoker and the machine I made, the talk is available here to see, as well as a meeting recap. I urge you to join the society if you have an interest in horology. You don’t have to be a New Yorker to enjoy the lectures, as they are all available online with membership.


I also had the pleasure of speaking about my work and the art of guilloché to the Seattle Metals Guild last week. It was a lot of fun introducing the topic to so many new people. If you’re local to Seattle and are interested in anything metals, I highly recommend joining the Guild.


Speaking of guilloché, David and I still have a spot left in our intermediate and two in our advanced classes! I’m not sure when we’ll be able to offer these classes next, as we both have a lot on in our individual workshops for the foreseeable future. So this may be your last chance to come and take a class with the dynamic Mr. Lindow here at Memoria Technica for a little while. Now is the time; register here.

Below are some photos from our earliest classes at the shop and different student projects. Hope to see you soon!

 

 

 

Engine Turning Classes May 2018

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I’m excited to announce the latest schedule for engine turning classes is now up and registration is open!

Register HERE.


David Lindow will be coming out to teach intermediate and advanced classes with me this May after I start off the month with Beginner’s Turning. He will be bringing a Lindow Rose engine equipped with higher amplitude rosettes, allowing students to try a different machine and produce more dynamic patterns than what my Leinhards are currently capable of.

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David will also be giving the second lecture in the series at the Stimson-Green Mansion, entitled “The History of the Rose Engine from Kings to Craftsmen.”

Tickets now available HERE. 

About the series:

Lectures are held on a quarterly basis, the second Tuesday of the month, and are open to anyone with an interest in horology and decorative arts.

Join us for a journey through the history of science, art, and mechanical timekeeping. This series features guest speakers from many disciplines related to aspects of the horological field, including engine turning, mechanical magic, ornamental turning, celestial bodies and navigation, and the art of the goldsmith.

To submit topics you would like to explore or if you are interested in sponsoring the series, please contact us at: info@mechanicalcurios.com”


It’s not too late to become a sponsor of the series. All proceeds go to venue fees, speaker fees, as well as food & beverages. The series would not be possible without our sponsors! We are very grateful for the support. Check out our sponsorship packages HERE.


 

The Magic of Horology 2/13


Hi All! The series is kicking off next Tuesday at the Stimson-Green Mansion. I’m very excited for Memoria Technica to start this partnership with the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.


I am not sure what the future of the series will be after this first year, but I can’t wait to find out how it progresses.

Come out and celebrate horology and heritage next Tuesday with us! Get tickets here.

For those of you who have already purchased tickets or a sponsorship package, please come to will call when you arrive. See you soon!

Lecture Venue:

Stimson Green Mansion

1204 MINOR AVE – SEATTLE, WA 98101

Doors open at 6:30, light refreshments will be available, and the lecture will start promptly at 7pm. Q & A to follow.

We ask guests to sign in upon arrival and suggest a $10 donation.

Books, talks, baubles, & more

Hello all! Happy Holidays to you!


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Some exciting news – the Horological Lecture Series is now official! Come visit us at the Stimson Green Mansion on February 13th of next year. The schedule has been posted here and tickets are now available.

I’ll be introducing the series by covering some of our lecture topics and will discuss some of the most fascinating and esoteric areas of this incredible craft.

I hope to see you all there!



Horological Books & Baubles

In other news, Ted Crom’s wonderful books are now available through the shop! I highly recommend taking a look. These books are an incredible resource on all things horological with beautiful engravings of tool catalogues, equipment, machines and more with their history and uses explained. Available now here.

I’ve also been busy making guilloché spinning tops, bookmarks, pens, pencils, pendants, and more! Also available now in the shop or coming soon.



We’ve wrapped up our engine turning classes for the year here at Memoria Technica, but I’ve already confirmed some dates for next year’s schedule!

Classes will be held in February and May of 2018, with beginner’s classes in February, and intermediate and advanced in May. I will be posting registration up here shortly.

I’m also holding a small introductory turning class with Seattle’s Field Trip Society in January of 2018. Come make a guilloché spinning top with us.

For those of you who want to see what we got up to in our beginner’s classes take a look below!

Time in the Limelight

What a busy time it has been here at the Memoria Technica Workshop. If you are new to the blog, welcome! If you are a long time reader, thank you so much for following along. I’m very grateful for your support!

I have been remiss in posting updates on the blog this year due to many new developments here at the workshop.

Horology has found its way into the limelight! With the release of the podcast S-Town, there has been an uptick in interest, which has given horologists the opportunity to talk about what we do. Here at Memoria Technica, we have taken this duty seriously which is why you may have noticed a few new pages in the menu bar at the top of the blog. We have been busy putting together a lecture series, the workshop zine, and an enamel pin series to promote public engagement with the field.  Read on to hear about these and a few other developments.

A Few Announcements


If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been absent from the blog, it’s because I am writing a book for Penguin Publishers! Earlier this year Penguin approached me about writing a memoir of sorts, and I can’t express how humbled I am to have this opportunity. Oddly, I have always wanted to write a book, but I had no idea the moment would come so soon.

Writing such an account has been a bit difficult for me; sometimes the words come easily and other times I feel quite challenged by the prospect of producing such a volume. More than anything it’s been about finding a rhythm in the words, but all in all it’s been an extremely rewarding process and I can’t wait to share this project with you.

A short synopsis from Penguin:

“This book is the story of how Brittany formed an unusual bond with Dennis, a man she had never met but whose ghost she sensed in every half-finished horological puzzle he left behind. It’s a story about the mesmerising objects she has painstakingly restored over the course of her career: from rare timepieces to singing clockwork birds. But above all it’s a story about time: how it passes and how a horologist, more so than anyone, cannot escape it.”

Additionally, I’m excited to feature the work of some of my dear friends and colleagues. Supporting the horological community is essential for the future of our field. With each passing year, we lose more of our history and identity and become further removed from our memories. Recording the stories and preserving the legacies of those who were pioneers in our field is one of the greatest tasks we face.

Stay tuned for a publication date announcement!


A tiny Great Big Story!

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Back in March, I had the privilege to be featured on CNN’s Great Big Story. It’s exciting to share my work with new audiences, on a platform that exposes many new viewers to my little corner of the world.

I have received so much love and support, and for that I am extremely humbled. It’s amazing to me that our local Girl Scouts crafted a horology badge because the troop was inspired by what I do. How wonderful that young women see themselves growing up to preserve the heritage and gifts bestowed on us by our ancestors. It is so moving that people are getting in touch to give me their compliments and inquire about how to study. THANK YOU!

All of this momentum has led to a number of recent articles and interviews.

Check out the latest on:

Worn & Wound

Seattle’s The Stranger

Seattle’s Art Zone

 


Horological Lecture Series with Seattle’s Stimson Green Mansion

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This has been in development for some time now. We recently finalized the agenda with the staff at Stimson Green and are now putting together the first set of dates for the lecture series. These will be quarterly, with the intention of expansion including special events and small symposiums. We are currently looking for sponsors, so please do get in touch if you’d like to be involved!

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Announcing the Memoria Technica Enamel Pin Series

The enamel pin trend sucked me in… I can’t get enough of these artist made pins! Encouraged by my friend Alena Diaz, a local watchmaking student and pin maker, I took the plunge and designed a series of limited run pins. I wanted to commemorate some of my favorite objects and make them available to a more diverse crowd (my coloring book was made with similar sentiments). I plan to release a few more as time and finances allow – featuring the work of clockmaker and magician Robert Houdin and Balsamo the chattering magical skull made by Polish watchmaker and magician Joseffy. For now, I’ve started with the MADE lathe, the Silver Swan Automaton, the singing bird pistols by Fréres Rochat, and my workshop logo. For the first time ever, you have the perfect gift for the fashionable horology nerd in your life. Now available here!


 

Engine Turning Classes

Lastly, our Engine Turning classes have already filled up this year. But, not to worry, if you missed this set, I am working to schedule some for early 2018. I am looking forward to meeting my new students and can’t wait to set up a regular class schedule to suit the increase in demand. Guilloché is experiencing a revival of sorts!