Ladybugs and Voodoo

Are you a tough guy?

No.  No you’re not.  And neither am I.   I don’t care how bad you think you are.  Hell, I’ve got a 335 bench press, a mean left hook and a decent Brazilian JJ streak in me.  I’m sure YOU are even tougher than that, right?   Well next to guys like my new client Sig (you read that right), you and me  are total grass-fed, wet blanket pussies.

Sig is a Marine, and not just ANY Marine.  Sig is in Afghanistan serving alongside some of the most agressive, highly-trained, iron-clad, steel-balled warriors we have ever had the privilege to be protected by.  These guys are in situations on a regular basis that would make you and I crap our pants. And for them, it’s just a day at the office.

And Sig wants a ring.  A Big Voodoo for his special lady state-side and I’m going to carve it up.

The idea here is ladybugs.  (Yeah, you read that right too.)  Actually we’ve got a pretty cool back story here relating to his family and the strong dynamic they have with each other.  The idea is we need three ladybugs.  One represents Sig, one is his wife, and another for his son.  This ain’t a mushy skull either.  Sig wants it MEAN.  So I spent the first few hours on the wax turning that apathetic mellow ‘couldn’t give  a shit’ expression of the BVD into an angry skull.

I’m actually really happy with how this looks.  You can see below a shot of how it stacks up to the standard Big Voodoo Frame.  I’ve done a few angry skulls before, but this one is coming out especially well.

Around the shank, we’re going with Forever Yummy – an inside reference between Sig and his lady.  I’m going to do the typeface up real nice and wrap the entire shank with it.

I’m doing two ladybugs in 3d on the forehead for Sig’s wife and son and then I thought it would be cool to put the third bug inside the shank so it’s always resting against his wife’s finger.  Below you can see that bug etched into the wax.  Hope you can make it out.  The wings are spread like he’s in flight.

And below you can see the two 3d bugs on the forehead.  I positioned them so they enhance the meanness of the skull.

I don’t know….think I might be done here.  Sig, you’ll have to shoot an email over to me and let me know if we’re ready to cast.

Tibetan Voodoo

Jason, the guitar player who commissioned the Mohawk Ring a while back, has asked for another piece.  A few weeks ago he sent me a photo of the Mohawk on his guitar hand.  I always like getting shots from my clients.

He went on to say that not only was he digging the piece, but he was chompin’ at the bit to get some additional work done.  We’re going for a very different ring this time.

Actually, it’s a Tibetan skull complete with nose, turquoise eyes, and extruded sliver teeth.  We’re going to be using a Little Voodoo for the Frame.  This is a lot of stuff to fit on a very small ring, but I’m up to the challenge.

Started sketching tonight based on some photo reference Jason had sent my way.  Basically we’re trying to fit as many of these elements as we can onto the LVD frame.


Whew.  Well, let’s do this.  I did a few rough sketches and then a few rougher still.  If you look at the 3 circled images below, I think we’re onto something.


That imagery on the side of the shank on the lowest of the drawings is taken from the Tibetan Mandala.  The Skulls above show the eyebrows, the nose, and the eyes which will actually have silver pupils.

All in all, this could shape up to be one of the more interesting rings I’ve done on this particular frame.  I’ll keep you all updated.  Jason, let me know if we’re on the right track.

Rescue ring is finally finished…..almost

So Jillian’s ring is almost done.  I’ve finished the ring, in fact.  Just  a few detail points I want to go over with her.

First of all, to keep the weight own I actually put a scalloped effect in the top of the shank.  You can see what I mean here:

This is just to keep the ring from weighing too much.  Jillian has teeny-tiny fingers and to make the entire top of the ring solid would result in some serious mass.  So this scalloped effect, while it looks cool, was really a comfort thing.   But now that it’s done, I’m getting some ideas.  Stupid or brilliant: I can’t tell.  Like what if I actually set the dog’s hair into that area?

Like I said…..stupid or clever?

Next is the blue lace agate stones.  These are some extremely pale blue stones that we selected because they match the color of her dog’s eyes.  Against the silver, they appear very white.  I think the color matches the eyes just fine, but they sure are WHITE.  I want to make sure Jillian is cool with something this pale or if she’d rather go for a deeper blue like turquoise or something.

If the eyes look bugged-out here it’s because I haven’t set them yet.

Anyway, shoot me an email, Jillian and let me know.  We’re literally an hour or two away from finishing.


Light My Fire

I’m thinking of doing a zippo.

I’ve never done a custom lighter before and I’ve always admired the lighters on Bill Wall’s site or over at Steel Flame.  I’ve thought for some time about doing one in sterling with some cool skullwork on the front.  Maybe even a gemstone or two.   I want to put this bad boy on a chain as well.   I’ll be doing some sketches in the next week or so.

I love that Steel Flame work.  What a beauty, eh?  Not my style, but definitely an inspiration to do something in sterling with a little less ‘gear’ on it.  If you haven’t been to Steel Flame’s site, you should definitely check it out.  Their “Killbox” pendant is absolute genius.

Busy as a Bee


Yeah, I’m still here.  I have so many projects right now I haven’t had a lot of time to talk about them.   I thought it was time for an update on Jillian’s sugar skull.  Just put the black patina on it this morning and it’s looking great.

This bad boy is just about finished.  I have some gemstones to set into the sockets and the final polish to put on it.