New Waxes, some bands, and a Jupiter-King comparison

I’ve been working like an insane man on the new sugar cat for a special client.   This one is going to be based on a Mystery Cave frame.

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Step 1 – get rid of that nose.  We’re going to go with an inverted triangle to get us closer to that cat-nose look.

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Then we start the new nose – slightly recessed with a cleft down the center-line of the teeth.  We’re also going to go with a yingyang on the forehead – recessed with contours.  I like this look on the Mystery Cave because it repeats the circular shape of the eye-sockets.

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Then we put fangs on her.  Big, blocky fangs to keep that Mystery Cave look.

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Then the classic sunburst sugar treatment of each eye-socket.  We’ll be setting stones in these holes, so this pattern has got to pop against the bright orange or yellow cab we end up going with.

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Then the ears.  It’s a cat after all.  I’ve done a few cat rings so I’ve gotten fairly adept at keeping these suckers away from the fingers of the wearer.   They protrude from the ring and make a major statement, but they don’t interfere with daily wear as much as you’d think.

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I’m going to stop for today.  After a while I start to work sloppy and I have to stop.

I’ve also gotten started on Desmond’s custom skull ring loosely based on a Little Voodoo, but with a completely different head shape.  Another sugar skull with turquoise eyes (getting to be my bread and butter.)   I like working on a custom frame like this.  It gives me more space to play than a standard Little Voodoo.

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I’ve also finished up a pair of awesome sterling silver wedding bands.  I’m glad I get to do stuff like this in addition to my big clunky jewelry.  These are nice, thick bands with that raw hand-made charm.


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Last but not least, I’ve had a bunch of questions about the new Jupiter.  How big is it compared to the King Skull?

Well, here’s a shot of the two together.

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The wait is over.  As of about 10am this morning, I’ve finished the first cast of the new Jupiter skull.  This is a sculpture for most people.  The ring is so massive and so heavy that only larger hands can deal with it.

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In fact, I won’t be offering the ring at smaller sizes.  I wanted this one to be a statement.  A skull ring for the skull ring connoisseur.   We’re talking about 36mm tall and about 3.35 ounces of solid sterling silver.

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It’s not a hollow-backed job either. (though in the case of this ring I’ll make an exception and do a hollow-back version IF requested.)  Standard issue on this bad boy is solid backed and thick-shanked.


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I happen to think he looks good with the brushed metal finish below, but high-polish is standard.

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Other good news?  The bottom jaw can be designed in various stages of opening when cast.  That means if you want YOUR Jupiter to have its mouth slightly open or screaming wide, I can carve it up that way.

The Jupiter will be released on the website in the next few weeks and will retail at $699, but I’m going to be running a special promotion for the month of August as a special “let’s get acquainted” for the new member of the skull ring family.   I’m going to sell the first 5 of these new Jupiters for $400 each plus shipping.

So that’s it.  The first 5 people to email me at and place an order for this ring will get theirs for 400 bucks.



New sugar cat in the works.





I’m back from Hong Kong and I’m sketching up a new sugar cat for a client.   I had a lot of custom orders come in when I was over there.

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I build these on the LIttle Voodoo frame all the time, but this bad boy will be constructed on a Mystery Cave skull.  Just sketches for now, but stay tuned.

Also, I’m hoping to post the first pics of the Jupiter Skull tonight, so stay tuned harder.

Waxing Jupiter

The first test wax of the new Jupiter Skull ring is completed.  And here she is next to the King Skull for a size comparison.

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Now don’t get me wrong.  I love the King Skull.  It’s my baby and I wear one every day.  I’m always going to be partial to the classic jawless silver skull ring.


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Right.  See, this is the largest realistic skull ring I’ve ever made.  The wax is 39mm from jaw to the top of the forehead.  It’s also very detailed, just like the King.  While the King might be an every-day skull, this one will be worn on special occasions or when you really need to make a statement.

The original design is taken from Grey’s Anatomy.

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That’s why it doesn’t look evil.  Personally, I don’t see the skull as an evil or mean thing.  It’s just a skull.  The Jupiter is precisely that.  It is legitimately un-screwed-with.

I still have some changes to make, but I’m looking forward to throwing these up on the site.  I’ll probably start them off at a special rate and then move them to their standard price point after a bit.

Stay tuned…

What’s in a Sugar Skull?

No NEW work here, but finishing up John’s Purple Gaze ring got me thinking about all the sugar skulls I’ve done recently.  Figured they’d need a post all to themselves.  

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Yeah, we all get that this comes from that Day of the Dead aesthetic, but it goes way beyond that for me.  A good chunk of my sugars don’t even use that particular style.  “Sugar Skull” has come to classify really ANY ornamentation to the surface of the skull, in ANY style.

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Sometimes we go detail-heavy, sometimes we keep it simple.  Sometimes the style is Latin, sometimes it’s Japanese, sometimes it looks like a microphone or a mess of thorns……

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The only thing these suckers have in common is that the ornamentation is kind of riffing on the sculptural planes of the skull itself.  In other words, the trick isn’t to ignore what the surface is doing, but rather respond to it.  I’d say “kinda like jazz” if I knew anything about jazz.

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Keep in mind that ANY of my rings can get this sugar treatment.  

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Done all kinds of line work and central imagery.  Thick, thin, wobbly, sharp, clean, cragged…..

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But these rings work best with some kind of central imagery as an anchor.  A cross, a star, whatever.  It keeps the surface from looking too busy.  When I work with a client on a sugar skull, they tend to have specific ideas about what that central image should be.  The rest of the treatment is built around that and frames it up nicely. 



Okay, enough for now.  This could go on and on and my intent here was to create a post where I could send people who had questions about how the sugar treatment looked.  Remember, this is not to be confused with the Boss Voodoo which is carved from scratch from a block of wax for each client. The result is equally ornamental, but the process (and price range) is totally different…..

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Those are examples.  HUGE ring.  Heavy too.  Just like the sugar, they’re very detailed and work best with gemstone eyes. 

We’re a few weeks away from the new Jupiter Skull, so stay tuned.  

Purple Haze


Just finished John’s sugar’d up Big Voodoo skull ring.  I’ve done a ton of these and they’re all different.  This one is VERY different.  Why?  PURPLE EYES, dude.

Amethyst, actually.  John wanted to go a different route than my standard turquoise look and here ’tis.

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I love the purple eyes, man.  Wasn’t sure at first, but the stones bring this Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Velvet Underground groove to it that I really, really like.

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The sides of the ring have cherry blossoms on them and the back has some custom text.  Client supplied all the ideas.  Solid backed, as always.  Hollow skull ring fan?  Go elsewhere.

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About the hollow-backed skullring thing……Yes, they’re lighter and YES, I suppose I can be convinced to make one if the money’s right.  But have you ever actually worn one?  They’re uncomfortable as shit.  That little pocket in the back collects hot air and moisture and just makes your finger freakin’ itch and swell.  I hate ’em.  Never would wear one.

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My skull rings are solid, baby.  What’s the downside?  None.  Worried about weight?  Then maybe a giant silver skull ring isn’t the best thing to invest in.  Besides, these guys (and the new jupiter skull) are surprisingly light weight.

Got a couple of new Hellions on the bench right now too.  They’re in the tumbler right now, actually.

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That Jupiter Skull isn’t ready quite yet, but it will be soon.  Stay tuned.