Custom skull rings always rock ( I still drool over them even though I can make the fuckers). And nothing makes a ring more custom than setting stones in the eyes.
As far as gemstones in the eyes of skull rings, I’m usually a turquoise guy. There’s just something about that sugar-skull aesthetic that works really well with the pale blue color of Southwestern turquoise.
I started working recently on a new way of setting gemstones using cast in place methods. The shots below show a King Skull being customized out with some aviation-looking forehead lines and some cool Zen-style spirals on either side.
Most of my clients want fairly specific custom work, but because this one is a spec piece, I’m able to just sort of riff on the planes of the skull. I just started carving and these lines kind of appeared. After I was finished with the basic carving, I went ahead and set some massive white CZs in the sockets.
I’ve set gemstones in eyes before, but in the past I’d been using settings that I’d solder directly into the ring. This worked great in pieces like the Cheshire Cat, but with a little help from my casting pal Chuck, I’m taking this fucker to the next level. Now I can set bigger stones. I think these bad boys are over 1o millimeters.
This fills the entire socket of the skull and looks MUCH more sleek.
I’ve done a lot of railing against cheap hollow-backed rings. Generally I think they suck and if you make ’em, you suck too. Thing is, the way these stones have to be set, the back of the ring has to be left open. This lets the investment mold hold the stones in place while once the wax is melted out and keeps it sturdy enough so that when the molten silver rushes in, it doesn’t knock the stones free.
That aside, it also lets light hit the stones from multiple angles and makes the eyes seem to glow. Yeah. It kicks ass.
Yeah, major success. Couldn’t be more pleased. Not all stones can stand up to this kind of heat, but CZ, Ruby, and Diamond are among a few that can handle it. Be warned.