Darkstar

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I didn’t design the Leonids to be used with a Black Onyx gemstone, but brother let me tell you this is why every piece is a collaboration.  One of my clients wanted a dark stone and…well shit, it turned out great.  So great, in fact, that by the time the Leonids hits the website (Very, very soon, I promise) it will be offered in either my classic turquoise stone or these new baby blacks that I love so much.  I get it – turquoise isn’t for everyone.

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I’ll finally be updating the website in the next week or so.  These will be going live very soon.  Feedback from the clients who’ve emailed me for a pre-order has been overwhelmingly positive.  Please stay tuned.

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Dusklight

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I’ve been drying out in the South China Sea for a few weeks.

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I know I haven’t been in touch and I’m down about 3 days worth of emails from clients but if I don’t get away from my bench every once and a while I get touchy.  I came through Atlanta just long enough to put the finishing touches on some Xmas orders and get them off to FedEx before spinning up through DC to New York for a weekend of shutting down some of the finest bars in the world.

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What’s most exciting – to me anyway- is the first batch of Leonids pre-orders are finished and rolling out.  8 in total.  A few have already shipped and I have one or two waiting on some extra special touches.

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Hell yeah.

I’m more proud of this ring than anything I’ve done before and it’s not even up for general sale yet.  My web guy Mason just won a design award too so I know his rate’s going up.   But hang tight because I have new stones on the way from the mine and I’ll be running these for 500 even on the website once I get up and running.

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That’s a Full Right Hand set for Chef Robb.

It was great to get emails from clients over the Xmas break who’d received their rings and were already rocking them at booze-filled nog parties from the States to Singapore.

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A client shot.  That skull ain’t mine.  

I’m not going to get started on the difference in quality between these rings and the standard men’s turquoise hardware you find elsewhere.  Best word to describe the Leonids: “solid.”  Solid backed, solid feel, balanced, bold, and featuring the biggest cold slab of straight-outta-the-mine turquoise you’ve ever seen.

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I’ve also got a line on a few black onyx stones for these as well.  I’ll be offering these on the site too once I can confirm that A: The stones are the right quality and B: They look badass.

In the meantime, I’m going to be wearing out Dead Rabbit, Death and Company, Pouring Ribbons, and a few other haunts in NYC.  Stay tuned for a bit more on that score and some updates on the Leonids sale date.

 

 

In my hands I hold the ashes……

It’s taken me months of design, carving, redesign, recarving, and redesigning yet again, but I’ve finally finished what I consider to be the ultimate square gemstone ring.  The Leonids master cast is finally finished and set with kingman turquoise straight outta the mouth of the mine.

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I’ve talked about the design in the previous post, so I’ll just get straight in to how proud I am of the final product.

She’s going to be for sale in January, though I have sold a few pre-orders that will be shipping in the next three or four weeks.  Running at $495 a pop, she’s sporting a full 28mm in height and features two hand-carved skulls on either side of the shank.  We can knock a tooth out or two if you want them to look banged up or we can round out the eyes for more of a sugar skull look.  Room on the foreheads of each for initials or whatever else you want.

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On the back of the shank, I’ve put in a single eye and a bone crossbar.  Kind of morbid?  Maybe, but this bad motherfucker is the sculptural embodiment of some of the themes of Blood Meridian (probably my favorite novel)  and I wanted it to be as elegant as it is brutal.

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Like I said before, I’m getting the stones direct from the mine, so turnaround time is a little slower than usual.  I’ve sold 6 of my first batch of stones in pre-order and I’ll probably sell the next group just as quickly before these finally go up on the site in January.  Color and inflection of the stones will vary and I’d caution you guys to be careful with these.  They’re tough as hell, but turquoise is a more delicate stone and if punching things is a regular part of your routine, I might suggest ordering a Jupiter from me instead so you don’t crack and screw up these gorgeous baby-blues.  Or at least take it off first.

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The Full Right Hand

I’ve always considered the core configuration for any true connoisseur of big, badass jewelry to be the ‘full right hand.’  That’s a big, solid ring and a big, solid bracelet.  Drop that big skull ring on your middle or ring finger and then strap on a torque or a gotham bracelet.  It’s classic and if I could only sell custom skull rings alongside custom bracelets, I would.

I’ve just finished up a cool pair.

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This is a custom’d – out King Skull with japanese style carving throughout the shank and a kamon on the forehead.  Natural jade eyes finish this one off and the client requested a gunmetal finish, which could not look more wicked.  The torque took the finish too and it looks like a piece of iron.

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I’ve had a few standard projects on the bench and some other custom jobs, but I’ve been trying to squeeze in a little R&R as well.   My friend Maddie came out to visit all the way from New Zealand and she introduced me to Jade Absinthe 1901.

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I’ve had absinthe before – kind of a regular thing for me during the Fall, but this 1901 is next-level stuff.  I’m tossing out my old, crappy brands and diving head first into the Jade line.  I’m kinda pissed at her for introducing me to this because this shit is expensive.  Means I have to get that Leonids line out and to market a little sooner than I was thinking.

So yes, the Leonids are just about ready and, unfortunately, the first run is almost completely sold out.  I’m going to have to get in touch with the mine and get some more stones, but yeah, I’ve presold nearly the entire first batch.  More on those beauties soon.

Fear the Reaper

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Sometimes it’s a perfect storm.  I’ve talked about this before, but when a client can come to me with a rough idea with specific goals and a target aesthetic and THEN has the trust to just let me do my thing, magic can happen.  Ladies and gentleman, check out the black death.

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This is a heavily modified Jupiter Skull ring with fully customed features around the eyes, jaw, and forehead as well as a reaper carved around the back of the shank and two rubies set in the eyes.

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With rings like this, I need help setting those stones and my friends over in north ATL KILLED it with an amazing laser job. The stones are open from the back so light can pass through and the result is just awesome.  Here are some detail shots of the reaper.

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Over time, this gunmetal finish will wear away to a high polish, leaving the recesses black.  But I also industrialized the finish a bit so it looks more raw and rough.  It’ll NEVER be a pretty ring and that’s what the client wanted.  She ain’t pretty, she’s fierce.  Heavy, solid, cast as one piece and everything (in my opinion) that a custom skull ring was meant to be.

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I know I’ve done my job when it hurts to send her off into the world.  Sounds like I’m bragging, but it isn’t me.  It’s the client who had the concept and let the ring develop through collaboration.  Just like getting a tattoo.

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Blood Meridian: The arrival of the Leonids

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I’ve finished my companion piece to the new Gentleman ring.  This one has been a long time in the making and really just hinged on me finding a place that could supply the right kind of gemstone.  I had very specific requirements for this and I’m happy to say I’ve cracked it wide open.

Ladies and germs, I’d like to introduce you to the Leonids.  
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I bought a square turquoise stone ring on an indian reservation outside of Tucson once and I thought it was just hte coolest freakin’ thing I’d ever seen.  The ring wasn’t made very well and broke after about a year of daily wear, but I always loved the shape of it – the flat sculptural planes around the bezel caught the light and the stone was a pale blue, not that childish cloud-blue that you see in so many of the crappy turquoise rings you can buy online.  The stone was so pale that in the sun, it took on a ghostly effect.

I spent a lot of time looking for its equal and…yep, you guessed it…..nobody made ’em.

Unless you like this shit:

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Just like I was complaining about on my previous post, there’s no care at all taken with how the stone and the ring interact.  It’s a dinner plate filled with crappy stone just clumsily soldered onto a tiny band.  Why don’t you just glue the f’king thing to your finger?  Or how about duct taping a poptart to the back of your hand?

So enter the Kingman turquoise.  This stuff is coming out of the Cerbat mountains north of Kingman Arizona.

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I’m working directly with the miners and processors on this one.  They’re producing a 18x25mm turquoise rectangle in the exact color I wanted.  Not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination, but they had exactly what I was looking for.

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And it’s not like its easy to mine.  Or work with.  It’s a delicate stone compared to onyx or agate and so much of the stuff you see on the market is fake or artificially dyed for the morons who like their jewelry to look like its made of plastic or think it makes perfect sense to be able to buy a ring for 45 bucks.

Anyway, access to the right stones is going to let me finally create an improved version of the ring I’ve always loved.

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There’s a skull on either side and a femur bone connects the two across the back of the shank overlapping a single eye.

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She’s not small either.  That stone is 25mm tall, so this is a nice, comfortable, but substantial ring.  To me it embodies the real west.  The Blood Meridian west.  All american made with legit AZ turquoise mined and processed a mere seven miles from the mountain.  And then shipped to yours truly to make THE square turquoise signet that we all deserved, but could never find.

The Leonids and the Gentleman.  Yep – my two gemstone offerings.  They’re both rolling out this Fall and will go $495 to your door, at least for a little while.  The Leonids may be a limited run since the supply of stones is..well…limited.

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