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.


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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

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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!

 

 

 

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!