– OLD IS NEW –
877 WORKSHOP are Sylvia and Daniel Janssen. We love almost forgotten crafts and techniques and bring them back to life with new designs. Since 2012 we manufacture casual goods for men with a vintage inspired and at the same time contemporary and effortless look. Our workshop is based in Hamburg, Germany.
HISTORICAL TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
We have a soft spot for old crafting techniques and are passionate collectors of historical tools and machines which we use for new designs. For making jewelry we use sandcasting, forging, turning, embossing, vitreous enamel and hand engravure. We use woodtype and letterpress for printing posters, greetings cards and t-shirts. We have a sweet spot for vintage hand operated chainstitch and freemotion embroidery machines for making patches and customizing garments.
Daniel, who worked 7 years as a master in engraving before getting his master in arts & design, engraves with a traditional graver and engravers ball motifs into the metal of our windproof lighters, signet rings and bangles.
Daniel also engraves steel stamps on a 1960s engraving machine, which then are hardened and burned to emboss various designs with 5 tons pressure into thick bronze, brass, copper or sterling silver coins. The motif coins are then filed, shaped, polished, patinated and processed to push buttons, badges, pins and closures.
We are happy to customize most of our products with your individual letters, numbers or motifs. You find an overview of our customizable products here. Examples of custom engraved signet rings are here.
Hand engraved embossing tools
We own a very rare collection of over 700 historic, hand-engraved die forms from 1910 from Pforzheim / Germany – the former, internationally known through the Paris World Exhibition in 1900, center of European jewelry production. In the highest precision the Pforzheimer engravers have engraved filigree designs by hand into the hard steel. 10 tons of pressure are needed to deform the metal in the steel mold to form a ring or a badge.
We use a lathe from 1928 for turning closures, rivets and buttons and historical tools like burin, steel tools, engraving machine and engravers ball as well as hand stamps for a special handcrafted look and feel. We also use the traditional goldsmith’s techniques of forging, shaping, chasing, setting, filing, soldering and more.
Enamel is powdered glass that is melted on the metal at temperatures between 700 and 800 degrees Celsius. The technique of vitreous enamel really old - the ancient Egyptians applied enamels to jewellery, metal objects and and pottery. Glass enamel is characterised by beautiful glossy surfaces and vibrant colors.
Besides metalworks we are absolutely fascinated by historic machine embroidery. We have a vintage Chain Stitching machine from 1920 and a freemotion embroidery machine from 1950. Both machines are operated freehand – the Chain Stitching machine is operated by guiding the needle with a crank handle along the drawing, for the free motion embroidery a stitching frame is moved by hand to create the motif. You can literally write and paint with theses machines. The process is very time-consuming and so it's not surprising that is was replaced by computer embroidery to be economically viable. But in the end the making is so much fun and the results are absolutely unique with a charming imperfect look and feel.
We have a manual stencil cutter from 1950 which was used for marking bags and barrels in the Hamburg harbour. Since the late 19th century stenciling was the most common method of printing information on materials, garments, boxes, cars and other industrial equipment in an easy and fast way. Especial in the USA stenciling was used to mark military clothing and equipment. During the Vietnam War, the youth expressed their anti-war statement by wearing vintage military clothing. Original vintage military clothes like the U.S. Navy Deck Jackets, sweat shirts or watch caps are highly sought after collectors' items and the stencil lettering is an often quoted design element in fashion. By turning a wheel each letter or number is selected and cut out of a paper card. The paper stencil is then used to paint through directly on the material. The stencil machine is easy and fun to use to personalize our mugs, notebooks, leather trays and shirts and get this unique, cool and vintage military look & feel.
Natural leather from Germany
Our leather is also very well chosen - vegetable tanned premium leather from a German tannery, which was founded in 1875 and is now run by the fifth generation of the family. The leather is tanned with oak bark and refined with selected fats and waxes for extra durability. Their traditional art of tanning needs much more time than current industrial tanning techniques, but the benefits relating quality, look and feel remain unmatched to this day. The tanning process takes at least eight weeks, the leather gets enriched by natural oils and is then dried very gently at room temperature what saves energy and improves the quality of leather. It is a honest natural product, skin neutral and suitable for allergy sufferers. The surface of the leather is natural (aniline) - it has no color layer to keep the beautiful natural texture with fine wrinkles and pores.
Handcrafted goods with character
None of our products are alike, more or less traces of manufacturing are visible, roughly forged parts, irregular shapes and natural tanned leather with small wrinkles and scars are part of our design and important for our look. One should simply see that our products are handmade.
What does 877 stands for?
877 is the number of the color silver in the Pantone Color System. The Pantone system is used in a variety of industries notably graphic design, fashion design, product design, printing and manufacturing. As we both studied arts & design this number symbolizes our connection of design (the color silver) and craft (the material silver).
877 WORKSHOP. Casual goods for men. Handcrafted in Hamburg / Germany.