Author Archive


A Final Look At Sabat Magazine: The Crone Issue

by on May.10, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Sabat Crone Cover photo by Vasily Agrenenko

The Crone issue, the final chapter in Sabat Magazine’s life cycle, arrived in my mailbox this weekend.  The timing is interesting; I’ve been reflecting often lately on this ancient archetype, ruminating on a chapter in my own life that has recently ended, with the loss of my own beloved crone, my 96 year old grandmother and family matriarch.

Sabat Magazine Haute Macabre BloodMilk

As I remove the magazine from the cardboard envelope, I note its heft and weight in my grip, similar to that of the previous issues I have received, The Maiden and The Mother, but with The Crone there is a grandeur and gravitas and air of finality that is remarkably evident before I even see the cover, before I turn the very first page.  And so I pause. For many reasons, I don’t know that I am ready for this journey to end.

Sabat Magazine Haute Macabre BloodMilk

I’ve been keenly interested in Sabat’s offerings since whisperings of its inception; I delighted in wonder and excitement at the raw, unharnessed power of the Maiden Issue; I basked in the complex, mysterious vitality and mental/spiritual nourishment offered in The Mother. The Crone lies in front of me, beckoning and wise, and still I hesitate. I am afraid.  It feels like fate. It feels like death.

But when I search my heart, (which feels ancient lately, and I am sure I am not the only one), I know better. With an act of creation, there must be a completion. Notes Sabat’s Editor and Creative Director Elisabeth Krohn,

Sabat was born, came into power, blossomed, we harvested a lot from it — it seems natural that Sabat should die too.”

Sabat Magazine Haute Macabre BloodMilk

There is a transformative magic in endings, though, is there not? After the curtain falls, and in the quiet, stillness, and healing dark, we can reassess, revise, recharge, rebuild. There are revelations and renewals. And sometimes…rebirth. To that end I am happy to report that Krohn, in a recent communiqué with Haute Macabre  has shared that, “…the Sabat soul will reincarnate in some other form in the not so distant future.” In darkness, light.

sabat_covers

“What is Crone? This third and last issue of Sabat explores one of the most feared, ignored and ridiculed of female archetypes. Embodying a life lived, she is wisdom and audacity, the sacred trickster and dignified doyenne, and perhaps most terrifyingly, past caring about patriarchal proprieties.The one who stands boldly with her lantern in the night, her truth and experience are destroyers of illusion, and not for the faint-hearted. When we are close to an end she asks us: “do you want to fight harder or just let go?” identifying them both as viable options.”

Sabat Magazine Haute Macabre BloodMilk

An amazing community of artists, photographers, writers, and witches (including Haute Macabre’s very own Sonya Vatomsky) contributed their unique perspectives to this 164 page multi-faceted tribute to The Crone, the final face of the triple goddess:

“Pam Grossman holds a torch for the twilight years, and Jenna Opsahl looks for signs of the end in The Omen. We enter into the darkest of the woods with April Graham and the Baba Yaga. Queer feminist Witch and anti-ageist activist Dulcamara lets me in on a crone perspective and Elisabeth O’Neill investigates how to be a Virtuous Vampire. David Zunker explores the astrological connection between Saturn and fate and encourages you to Go Your Own Way, while Sophie Holmes and the #witchesofinstagram let us know when it’s time to #letitgo.”

Structured around that elegant monochrome design with which we have become familiar, and including a brooding, moody mix of atmospheric black and white photography and illustrations, The Crone issue also boasts a beautiful series of die-cut moon phase symbols on title pages, fiery red inserts, occasional, luminous gloss pages and the bewitching sorcery of that double fore-edge painting of the pages; when fanned one way: “IN DARKNESS LIGHT”, and the other: “EN EREBOS PHOS”.

Sabat Magazine Haute Macabre BloodMilk

Sabat Magazine Haute Macabre BloodMilk

With Sabat Magazine, and The Crone issue in particular, Elisabeth Krohn and those with whom she worked on these preternaturally powerful publications, has created splendid works of art that deserve a special place on your shelf, your altar, or where ever you keep your magical objects of power.

Sabat Magazine Haute Macabre BloodMilk

What comes next, then? The unknown. But “…meanwhile,” Krohn writes with hope and love, with both darkness and light,

“…the power of three will set you free.”

Sabat Magazine Haute Macabre BloodMilk

Sabat Magazine Haute Macabre BloodMilk

images via Samantha Macabre, Scorpion Ring coming soon from BloodMilk

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Expedition Report: Viktor Wynd’s Wunderpunk Cabinet of Curiosities

by on May.09, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00011

At a glance, The Last Tuesday Society may look like a petite, old-timey bar, with jaunty white motifs snaking across a black facade, but passersby should look again: the motifs are actual snakes and trees bearing fantastic fruit. High above the window looking out on Mare street in East London’s Hackney neighborhood is a sign asserting this place is, in fact, a “Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art and Natural History”. Still, not even the unicorn skulls in the window can prepare visitors for the journey awaiting inside.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00021

Beneath a canopy of stuffed game, suspended Fiji mermaids and aquatic beasts, the dim foyer serves as a book-and-curio shop and, yes, a bar. Bottles of absinthe, bourbon and gin flank a massive disassembled lobster, cordials in antique poison vials promise exciting degustatory encounters while a dapper lion in the Spare Room, the world’s only public permanent collection of Austin Osman Spare works, invites to have a seat, grab a book from the library and stay a while.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00020

Sitting down is hardly an option, though, when a spiral staircase beckons down to the enchanted basement where most of the museum collection resides. Five quid will get you in, a sense of humor will get you through.

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Forget categories and catalogs, this exhibition is more of a dusty absurdist funhouse curated by an ardent admirer of the stranger universal undercurrents.

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Natural anomalies, peculiar art and other human folly are well-represented and loosely organised in stream-of-consciousness displays.

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For instance, a gilded rhino skull once belonging to Pablo Escobar shares space with shell-wrapped human skulls once used as currency.

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There are cakes shaped like dictators’ heads, rodent dioramas, tin toys, shrunken heads and bones, bones, bones.

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There are phallic totems and wet specimens and masks and furbies and highly unusual books and treasures from far-off lands.

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And then there’s the traditional art. It’s on absolutely every wall, squeezed between objéts, peeking from behind mounted taxidermy, emerging from the shadows. Cheeky erotic vignettes and scientific illustrations neighbor the likes of Austin Osman Spare (Wynd is an avid collector) and Leonora Carrington, with occasional appearances by England’s favorite prisoner, Charles Bronson, and Wynd himself.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00006

There’s an overarching sense of great romance here, as well, reflected in a display dedicated to dandyism, an entire tiny, gorgeous Gnostic temple, complete with alchemists’ regalia and talismans, and the Lion’s Chamber (available for private hire!), where velvet banquettes surround a sarcophagus table with a glass window to a human skeleton – all under the watchful gaze of a caged lion skeleton and a suspended sea creature.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00001

…And that’s just scratching the surface. With so much to take in and so many cocktails to sample, guests should set aside a minimum of two hours for a visit. Be sure to sign up for the mailing list, as well – The Last Tuesday Society hosts temporary exhibits, exotic petting zoos and life drawing events. There’s an Austin Osman Spare viewing opening tonight, on exhibit until September – I might just see you there!

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Expedition Report: Viktor Wynd’s Wunderpunk Cabinet of Curiosities

by on May.09, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00011

At a glance, The Last Tuesday Society may look like a petite, old-timey bar, with jaunty white motifs snaking across a black facade, but passersby should look again: the motifs are actual snakes and trees bearing fantastic fruit. High above the window looking out on Mare street in East London’s Hackney neighborhood is a sign asserting this place is, in fact, a “Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art and Natural History”. Still, not even the unicorn skulls in the window can prepare visitors for the journey awaiting inside.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00021

Beneath a canopy of stuffed game, suspended Fiji mermaids and aquatic beasts, the dim foyer serves as a book-and-curio shop and, yes, a bar. Bottles of absinthe, bourbon and gin flank a massive disassembled lobster, cordials in antique poison vials promise exciting degustatory encounters while a dapper lion in the Spare Room, the world’s only public permanent collection of Austin Osman Spare works, invites to have a seat, grab a book from the library and stay a while.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00020

Sitting down is hardly an option, though, when a spiral staircase beckons down to the enchanted basement where most of the museum collection resides. Five quid will get you in, a sense of humor will get you through.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00002

Forget categories and catalogs, this exhibition is more of a dusty absurdist funhouse curated by an ardent admirer of the stranger universal undercurrents.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00018

Natural anomalies, peculiar art and other human folly are well-represented and loosely organised in stream-of-consciousness displays.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00004

For instance, a gilded rhino skull once belonging to Pablo Escobar shares space with shell-wrapped human skulls once used as currency.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00014

There are cakes shaped like dictators’ heads, rodent dioramas, tin toys, shrunken heads and bones, bones, bones.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00017

There are phallic totems and wet specimens and masks and furbies and highly unusual books and treasures from far-off lands.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00016

And then there’s the traditional art. It’s on absolutely every wall, squeezed between objéts, peeking from behind mounted taxidermy, emerging from the shadows. Cheeky erotic vignettes and scientific illustrations neighbor the likes of Austin Osman Spare (Wynd is an avid collector) and Leonora Carrington, with occasional appearances by England’s favorite prisoner, Charles Bronson, and Wynd himself.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00006

There’s an overarching sense of great romance here, as well, reflected in a display dedicated to dandyism, an entire tiny, gorgeous Gnostic temple, complete with alchemists’ regalia and talismans, and the Lion’s Chamber (available for private hire!), where velvet banquettes surround a sarcophagus table with a glass window to a human skeleton – all under the watchful gaze of a caged lion skeleton and a suspended sea creature.

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00001

…And that’s just scratching the surface. With so much to take in and so many cocktails to sample, guests should set aside a minimum of two hours for a visit. Be sure to sign up for the mailing list, as well – The Last Tuesday Society hosts temporary exhibits, exotic petting zoos and life drawing events. There’s an Austin Osman Spare viewing opening tonight, on exhibit until September – I might just see you there!

LastTuesdaySociety_ZoeticaEbb_00024

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From Bibliophile To Bookbinder: An Interview With Nate McCall of McCall Company

by on May.05, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Celestial Rose

As far back as I can search into my memories, I simply cannot recall time a time that I was not constantly reading, my nose buried in the pages of a book and completely oblivious to the world around me. Books have been my constant companions, my trusted comrades, and my partners in crime since I was old enough to stretch out on my tip-toes, grip a title from a dusty shelf in my chubby little hands, and lisp out through loose and wiggly baby teeth the most thrilling of all possible phrases, “…Once upon a time.”

Ah, books! How do we love thee? (Quite a lot, as you might ascertain from the enthusiasm for our Stacked feature!) Sturdy spines enveloping stories and secrets yet untold,  gilt-embellished covers, glimmering and hinting at undiscovered worlds, the rasp of papery promises as one by one the pages turn and the tale unfolds! And no one, I think, has a better understanding of how to create the perfect vessel for these mysteries and adventures, than Nate McCall of McCall Company.

McCall Company, a small bookbindery based in Poulsbo, WA specializing in finely bound leather journals marked by their outstanding craftsmanship and artistry, is owned and operated by husband and wife duo, Nate and Leila McCall. McCall Company was founded in 2013 when one day, Nate McCall decided that he could probably make a better journal than the ones he was shopping for at a major retailer. A week later, his apartment office was flooded with boxes upon boxes of supplies, and a bookbindery was born. Nate has always had a passion for books, and strives to create beautiful bindings of the highest quality. Between constantly learning new techniques and working on commission orders for beautiful bespoke books, journals, and sketchbooks Nate spoke with us about his genuine love of books, the art and craft of bookbinding, and shared some distinctly exciting news for discerning bibliophiles.

Custom Grimoire

Haute Macabre: I know that you have a passion for books, and are no doubt a dedicated bibliophile. Is this what drew you to bookbindery, and did it grow out of this passion? Can you tell us how a love of books and stories grew into the craft that you now practice?
Nate McCall: I’ve always been obsessed with books, as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved to touch them and smell them and look at the little details, even things as simple as the corner folds. My books are my most valued possessions, and it shows…I have paperbacks that I’ve owned for more than 25 years (and read through countless times) that look like they just came out of the box from the publisher. But even though I always had questions about how they were made, oddly enough, I never really thought to look into it. It wasn’t until 2013 or so when I joined Instagram that I even realized that bookbinding was something people could do – I found Margaux Kent and the work she was doing with Peg and Awl, and seeing her bookbinding work blew my mind. The thought that I could make my own books had never occurred to me, but once it did, I knew I had found my life’s work! I just couldn’t resist the idea of being able to make these things that had always been such a huge part of my life. I learned the basics from a blog post, and since then my “education” has mostly consisted of digging through lots of repeat information, reverse engineering old books, and learning from my many, many mistakes along the way.

Open Book

You note on your site that you love being able to take historical inspiration from across the centuries and bring it together to create something new and unique. I’d love to hear more about your particular inspirations and influences and perhaps how they may have evolved over the course of the years?
Since I make new books and am not really tied down to a specific historical style, I feel like I’m free to pick and choose and combine what I want. If I want to make a book inspired by medieval bindings but executed using 19th century tool designs, I can! I like having creative freedom like that. I also feel like my work is somewhat unique in that even with my designs that are pretty much completely modern or inspired by fantasy instead of history, I’m still using historical techniques to tool the designs by hand, rather than the more modern stamping techniques used by publishers. I love the opportunity I have as a bookbinder to create something unique with a modern combination of old tools and old techniques. To me, it feels like I’m doing my part to preserve, yet push forward an art form that many people, including myself not too long ago, aren’t even aware exists anymore. It’s a pretty great feeling and definitely drives my work.

Lately I’ve been obsessing over fine leather bindings from the late 19th to early 20th century. There are so many complicated little details in the tooling of that period, and my obsession has actually been improving my own tooling. A big part of gold tooling is actually learning the techniques, which is very difficult to begin, and it’s a constant learning process, even once you have a firm grasp of it. But something that I didn’t really think about when I was starting out is how hard it can be to design…it’s not like painting or drawing – you’re limited to the tools that you have, so you have to stretch your creativity to be able to make different designs with the same set of tools. Staring at pictures of old bindings (or the few that I’m lucky enough to own) has definitely helped me do that. It also has an oddly calming effect on me…I work as a baker as my second job, and that can be very stressful and exhausting. Spending my days fantasizing about old bindings keeps me sane, haha!

Tooling

Did you start with restoring old books before you moved to the creation of new ones? And is there anything really cool that you’ve restored, or that you are especially proud of?
I’ve never actually done any restoration work, though I would like to learn the skills someday. Since I’m largely self-taught, I haven’t felt comfortable doing that yet, but I’m getting to the point where I’m gaining a better sense of how that type of work is done. I do have one book in my collection that I plan to do a rebind on soon, and I feel like it’ll be a good place to start since it doesn’t need a ton of repairs, just a tighter binding and a new cover.

I believe that most of your books are leather bound; you ever use more unusual materials? (I don’t imagine you’ve got any books bound in human skin laying around, haha!)
Haha not yet! Maybe I’ll leave it in my will to have my skin used on a book. I do mostly work with leather, but I’ve also done a fair amount of cloth bindings, and I also cover books with faux leather, which I like because I can tool it just as well as leather. Someday I’d really like to try my hand at a vellum binding.

Workspace

I know you also take commissions, can you talk about the kind of requests you get, or if there’s been anything you were really excited to do?
My favorite commission requests are when people give me a vague idea of what they’re looking for, and then I get to go crazy with coming up with ideas! That’s probably the most common for me. Some of my customers know exactly what they want, and those are great too – I love being able to bring people’s vision to life. I’ve also been getting more requests for books with content, and those have been a lot of fun because it forces me to improve my tooling skills. With a journal, you can pretty much do anything design-wise, but when you have to account for a title, there’s a whole new aspect of design to consider, and that’s what I obsess over.

I’m always interested in a creator’s interests that aren’t necessarily tied to their craft–what are some other things that you are into? Any films you’ve loved recently? Music? Ok, of course we have to get back to books–any recent titles you’ve been loving lately that you’d recommend to Haute Macabre readers?
My favorite movie of the last few years (although possibly ever tbh) is Mad Max: Fury Road…it’s just the perfect movie to me. I’ve watched it probably 20 times since it came out, and I actually listen to the soundtrack a lot when I’m binding. Keeps my work intense haha. Music-wise, black metal will always be my first love, but lately I’ve also been super into artists like Agnes Obel, The National, Run the Jewels, and Arvo Pärt. My favorite books of all time are Illium and Olympos, by Dan Simmons. Some recent series that are contending for that second place spot are The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman, and The Expanse by James S.A. Corey. Lev Grossman also wrote a really cool novel about books called Codex…a great read for anybody, but especially someone who loves book history!

Witch's Book of Shadows

What if someone is passionate about bookbinding and wants to learn more?
Well, a bookbinding course would definitely be the easiest way to learn. I did it the hard way! But if that’s not an option, the internet is full of information on the basics, and once you start to move on to the more complicated stuff, there’s still info out there, but you’ll have to dig for it. Either way you’ll have to spend some money – you can’t learn this craft without making a lot of mistakes on a lot of books that you’ve put time and money into! It’s always painful, but I believe that knowing what not to do is more valuable than knowing what do to, so it’s worth it in the end. One of the most frustrating aspects of researching the craft that I’ve run into is how few books there are that are actually useful to someone who isn’t already a bookbinder. But if I were to recommend one book, it would be The Craft of Bookbinding, by Manly Banister. You won’t be able to learn everything from it, and its not always super clear, but I definitely found the most amount of practical information in it out of all the other books I’ve read on the subject.

Lastly, I’d read that you are  going to be publishing and binding very limited runs of public domain classic books, with original illustrations by various independent artists. And that the first two you are doing are Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and an Edgar Allan Poe collection. When can we look forward to this? Do you have any other peeks or details that you can share?
Yeah! Super excited about this project. It’s actually looking like I’m going to be doing Dracula first, Frankenstein second, and then an Edgar Allan Poe collection. The project is still definitely in the works, but I’m taking it slower than I originally planned. I came up with the idea when I was working in IT and had a lot more time and energy to work on stuff. Now that my second job is baking, I’m pretty much regulated to working on books three days a week, and most of that is spent working on orders. So I’m working on that and other future projects whenever I get the chance, but hopefully once business picks up and I can focus more exclusively on bookbinding, it’ll all come together nicely from all the preliminary work I’ll be putting in this year.

Find McCall Company: shop // instagram // facebook // tumblr // twitter

Chase+Scout

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Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

by on May.04, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

designer Agnieszka Osipa // photo Helen Warner

Polish designer Agnieszka Osipa’s creations feel like home to me, embodying a sort of feral holiness I associate with Slavic folklore and imagery. Its grand and decadent but wild, refined yet chaotic — her fashion often inseparable from the moody, atmospheric dreamscapes she creates with her photographers. Each image is uniquely powerful, with intricate beading and delicate lace covering gowns and headdresses like diamond-bright goosebumps: details liable to draw blood.

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Slavic lore is a major theme throughout Osipa’s designs and imagery. “This is where I am from,” she told Belle Exotique Magazine in 2015. “I feel that Slavic culture is often regarded as minor compared to other cultures of the world. I try to change that by showing how rich and inspiring it can be, when you really dig into it. I search legends, demonology, and fairy tales from the Eastern region of Europe and try to include the forms and symbols into what I make.”

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa rents out her costumes and also takes commissions — if ever you were in the market for a truly breathtaking, spellbound dress or crown for an occasion demanding nothing less than ethereal perfection, this should be your first stop. To see more of Osipa’s tactile delirium, follow her on Facebook and Instagram.  

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Agnieszka Osipa: Fashion Where Slavic Folklore Reigns

Images via Instagram

Chase+Scout

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BloodMilk Belonging to the Underworld Retires Tonight

by on May.01, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

BloodMilk Jewels
photo via @Saoren

Today is the final chance to acquire the BloodMilk Belonging to the Underworld ring: it will be permanently retired tonight at midnight, EST.

BloodMilk Belonging to the Underworld

Available in Onyx, Labradorite, and Moonstone, inspired by BloodMilk’s “Belonging to the Darkness” series, which embodies themes from the Persephone myth. It pairs with the Endless Night Ring part II, nesting inside the crescent shape to form a mad, hysterical love, an utter devotion to the shadow side of the self.

BloodMilk Belonging to the Underworld

From BloodMilk’s own description of Belonging to the Underworld:

This ring is akin to an “engagement” ring, created in homage to the goddess Persephone, wife of Hades, and Queen of the Underworld. Personally, it represents a way of showing a commitment, a belonging to something or someone, an idea, a specific period of time in your life, an emotion, and more potently, to the notion of belonging to yourself. This ring can also symbolize elements / aspects / memories that we are looking to let go of but still want represented in our lives, as such is the complex nature of the Persephone myth.

BloodMilk Belonging to the Underworld

BloodMilk Belonging to the Underworld

Belonging to the Underworld is available until Midnight tonight, EST, exclusively at BloodMilkJewels.com

Chase+Scout

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