After a summer of carving and hacking, casting and polishing, the Evel Knievel ring is finished and on its way to Robb. She’s chunky and will definitely leave a few accidental bruises on loved ones and unlucky friends, but man, what a piece.
I think Robb is a chef and that puts him in a distinct class of people that I’m very happy to make work for. I was a short-order cook when I was a teenager and I worked in the restaurant and food service biz starting at 14 years old, so while I’m not a chef myself, I definitely respect it as a warrior class if you know what I mean.
I also had this badass Evel Knievel toy when I was a kid. Remember that? Well I was thinking about it the entire time I was working on this ring. Evel was a freakin’ superhero in the 70s and 80s. It’s hard to imagine someone like that being an A-lister now, but he was. You’d even see updates on his stunts on the national mainstream nightly news.
Other than that, my summer has been slow and steady. As I’ve talked about, I’m not taking as many orders as usual and trying to focus on some other projects. I do have some cool pieces in the pipeline right now, but a good deal of my time has been spent moving my shop to bigger and better digs and grilling all kinds of dead things on my webber.
It’s really been the summer of the Jupiter. I’ve had a number of people ordering custom skull rings and while the King Skull was leading the pack for years, there’s been a rush on my big, hulking, full-jawed Jupiter ring.
I’m working on a custom job that may or may not ever leave my shop using jade eyes and some sugar treatment along with a central image of the Five Rings from Miyamoto Musashi.
But this one is a long ways off from casting still. I’ve been working on it alongside one of the coolest King Skull requests I’ve had in a while. While this Jupiter is completely covered in scroll work and detail-carving, I’ve had a request to do a reduced “aged” King Skull with minimal lines and a streamlined brow.
This may be a ‘thing.’ In other words, I’m pretty happy with the way this looks and I wouldn’t be surprised if I had a run on this kind of simplified form. I’ve also had a lot of people emailing me and asking if they can get ‘minimized’ skull rings like this. Obviously this takes inspiration from Courts and Hackett’s Keith Richards ring, but interestingly enough it’s rooted in how the ring looks NOW as opposed to how it was originally designed.
As you can see, all of the detail is word away into a smooth surface, leaving the basic shape of the skull, the nose and eyes, and a smooth half-cylinder that used to be the upper jaw. Of course, the King doesn’t look like the Richards ring and NO, I won’t make you a copy of the Richards ring (still get 1 or 2 emails a week asking for that) but the idea of a smoothed-down ring is clearly yet another conceptual tribute to the ring that started it all.
I’ve talked about these cats before, but if you aren’t a long-time reader or you just have a short memory, swing by Courts and Hackett and pick up their Death’s Head ring. If you’re a skull ring collector, not having one is like collecting fine Swiss watches and not owning a Rolex. More on that later.