This Custom Life

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It’s been a while and I just had to sit down and throw up a few custom jobs that have me pretty excited.  A few I’ve just wrapped up including one LONG TERM project that took me the better part of five months to finish.

The Abraxis ring.

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A client threw this one at me back when we were all wearing coats and I have to admit, I just didn’t get the concept at first.  He had worked the whole thing out – knew exactly what was supposed to go where and how it was supposed to look.  He did what I usually like clients to do which is REALLY think out what imagery was supposed to be worked into the design.  Problem was, I really didn’t think it would come together the way we were talking about it.  He’d say “put this here and put that there” and I’d kind of think “okay…gonna be a trainwreck.”  But hell, this ring came out great.  More than great.  I was very, very happy with it to the point of wishing I’d offered something like this as a regular part of the line.

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We’ve got some great texture worked into the shank with a classic 3/4 skull and crossbones on one side and a buddhist wheel on the other.  Big cock on the shank.  No, I’m not kidding.  And guess what, it looks badass.

The front features the wrapped snake and Abraxis with his two snake legs, whip and shield.

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Google it.  I think it all ties together.  Very cool project and definitely a one-of-a-kind piece.

Speaking of one of a kind pieces, I also had a client come back to me after ordering a Torque and want a full custom skull ring to go with it.  I dig this.  First of all, that’s kind of my thing: a big ring and a bracelet on the same hand.  I used to offer a special on the Full Right Hand that packaged these together.  Second, the concept was great.

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This is the emblem from the Prussian Totemkopf.  There are some pretty amazing photographs of these calvary badasses in full regalia.

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It’s got distinct round eyes with bone ridges completely encircling the brow.  No bottom jaw.  I was adapting this a bit since we can’t do a good 3/4 version that would wear comfortably, but I think it’s pulled off rather well, if I do say so myself.

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The trick is, when a client brings in a concept for a 3/4 view skull ring, to design the ring straight-on that will look accurate from the 3/4 view, but still wear in the round.  It’s hard to explain, but you can see in the photo above that the skull has the same basic sculptural planes that the reference does once we turn the skull’s head.

It’s always a blast doing Jupiter rings or a one-off skull like this one (which started as a Big Voodoo, believe it or not) because I feel like it’s going back to my roots as a skullsmith.

Not to be outdone, I also had a client order her fella a custom wedding band with a series of small skulls nested in the shank.

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When I do a band, I still want it to be hefty.  Nothing is worse than one of those cheesy paper-thin bands that was obviously formed out of a piece of wire and soldered together (which is basically how it’s done 90% of the time.)  This one is cast all in one piece.  And the result is a lot heartier and more satisfying.

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Still comfortable as well, since I comfort-fit the inside of the shank.  But this bad boy won’t squash into what I call the “five year oval” that many of the thinner rings become after they’ve been squashed and stretched into oblivion.

Last, but not least, I’ve got an AWESOME project on the bench for a client interested in a full custom piece.

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We’re doing one for the man.  The Evel Knievel ring is underway.  It’s hard to explain to young people what a big freakin’ deal Evel was, even by the 1980s when I was growing up.  Well, we’re doing a ring for Rob to honor Evel and his bike.

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This one is based on client sketches that I’ve adapted into something very wearable that uses all of Evel’s imagery.  Another longer term project that’s going to take some time to get right, but it will be worth it.

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The block-out is done to a size 10.  Fits like a glove, but she’s heavy and solid as well.  We’ll keep hacking away at this one and post updates as we go.

One of the reasons I’ve been away from the blog for a while is that I’ve moved into bigger and better digs.  I’ve got a new place and a new studio with more room for metal work.  Very happy.

The bad news is I’m also going to be back in Hong Kong for the month of June and this means I won’t be able to work on any pieces while I’m gone.  So if you have a project in mind, email me and get on my waitlist.  I’ll get to it by the end of June and try to get your piece knocked out as quickly as possible without sacrificing the quality that we both want.  Stay tuned!

2 thoughts on “This Custom Life

  1. Thanks again, Matt! I couldn’t be happier with my Abraxas ring…just exactly what I wanted! Great job! Cheers!

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