We are presenting ‘The Planchettes Collection’ today, that will be available for sale at Wave Gotik Treffen and, after this event, online too. I can assure you that much effort has been invested in the development of the Vigilat Planchette, the first piece of this collection. Let me tell share with you the story behind this demanding project.
1.- The seed: our interest in the potential of 3D printing
Both Irene and I have been fascinated by 3D printing for a long time (the proof is eating the pudding, this blog post published in September 2011: ‘Is 3D printing the future of jewelry?’), as most of high-end jewelry is designed and prototyped using 3D technology. We think that its potential is immense, but we knew that we were going to need a very special idea to give a first decisive step. And the idea arose at the end of 2012.
2.- The kickstarter: the planchette concept
Researching about the rise of occultism during the 19th century, we started to think about the strenght of planchettes as powerful and mysterious symbols of an era. The idea of designing a sterling silver planchette with the appropriate size to be used as pendant began to take shape last Christmas, and the first sketches saw the light. However, the vast array of possibilities was overwhelming… and chosing just one wasn’t enough. This way, the abundance of ideas led us to conceive not just a single planchette, but a full collection of them.
We cannot ignore that the Vigilat Planchette is our tribute to our curiosity for the 19th century passion for the occult. Heart-shaped as many classical planchettes, it combines the grace of organic motifs with a kind of industrial force captured by the cog. The cog is our own symbol (just have a look at our logo) and there is no doubt that it can be easily linked with Steampunk aesthetics… or should we say Steamgoth? To top it off, the inscription ‘non sed dormit, sed vigilat’: a reference to the notion of intermediate state.
This quote is extracted from the Exegetica opera Latina (Volumes 5–6) by Martin Luther [Christopf Stephan Elsperger (Gottlieb) p120]: ‘Differunt tamen somnus sive quies hujus vitae et futurae. Homo enim in hac vita defatigatus diurno labore, sub noctem intrat in cubiculum suum tanquam in pace, ut ibi dormiat, et ea nocte fruitur quiete, neque quicquam scit de ullo malo sive incendii, sive caedis. Anima autem non sic dormit, sed vigilat, et patitur visiones loquelas Angelorum et Dei. Ideo somnus in futura vita profundior est quam in hac vita et tamen anima coram Deo vivit. Hac similitudine, quam habeo a somno viventia’.
In Christian eschatology, the intermediate state refers to a person’s ‘intermediate’ existence between one’s death and the judgement before resurrection. Jürgen Moltmann (2000) concludes from this that ‘Luther conceived the state of the dead as a deep, dreamless sleep, removed from time and space, without consciousness and without feeling’. In any case, the concept of interim state exists in many non-christian religions such as Buddhism, Islam, Taoism…
Belief in conditional immortality and the annihilation of the unsaved became increasingly common during the 19th century. May the use of ouija boards and planchettes awake the asleep souls? It is quite an interesting idea… don’t you think?
As this was not enough, we thought that a planchette would demand a talking board of its own. This is how The Singular Talking Board was born. The cherry on the cake, as we see it.
3.- The challenges: roots, techniques, time
The planchette idea came with a handful of challenges.
- Do not betraying our proposal of value, as we stand up for one-of-a-kind jewels… and the use of the lost wax technique makes the planchette reproducible. Fortunately we left this concern behind very soon because each and everyone of our planchettes is hand-finished and this means that no two are alike. In addition, we thought that it would be great to create an -even more- singular series, but how could we achieve this? After puzzling over this for a long time, we realized that the possibility of using different finishes would be a perfect solution. For example, the Vigilat Planchette is available as a patinated non-limited piece (‘Classical Edition’) and as a very limited piece for collectors, with bright and matte finish for 50 units only (‘Collector’s Edition’).
- Getting familiar with a totally new world for us at record-breaking speed, as we wanted to present this piece at Wave Gotik Treffen 2013. We hired a designer but we were not pleased with the result of this first attempt, so we had to hire a second one and start from scratch. Although this time the result was satisfactory enough, we had to overcome some last-minute difficulties. This is what happens when you are trying something totally new, learning has a cost.
We are very proud to remain faithful to our principles and bring you a beautiful specimen of craftmanship, design and symbolic power.
4.- The result: the Vigilat Planchette and The Singular Talking Board
The outcome of this process is a versatile jewelry piece, that hopefully will become the first of many more to come. This planchette has been conceptualized to be used as a pendant, but we know that many other uses are perfectly possible: pointer for a ouija board, keyring, bookmark…
We do hope that you like this jewel as much as we do. Do you love planchettes? Would you like to see any design transformed into a massive jewelry piece made of sterling silver? Do not hesitate to share your thoughts with us!