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.

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!

 

 

 

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.

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

Intermediate Engine Turning I – Group 2

This was a great class with students bringing many ideas and projects. Casey Burns, a local flute maker, decided to add engine turning to his instruments. You can see the pieces he turned in the photos below – check out his website for the finished flutes! Two watchmakers also enrolled in this session trying out some exciting concepts for dials and pendants – incorporating off center work and some challenging patterns. A long time ornamental turner and enthusiast also signed up looking for new inspiration in old traditions. The results from the class are stunning.