Aloha

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My custom creation Aloha Tiki ring has been received and is already making a trip to Hawaii.

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Cool client shot, right?

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Tiki and Torques

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I love this combo.  Tiki ring and a torque bracelet.  This man knows his gear.  As much as I’ve been a chain guy and I still love my Gotham wrist chain, I’m now a big fan of this torque.  They’ve been popular as well.  Wasn’t sure if you guys would wear ’em because nobody in the US was making a decent one in this style, but my question has been answered.

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Since we’re talking torques, I thought I’d give some advice about getting these to fit on your wrists correctly.  DONT open them too wide.  THey don’t need to be opened up that much to slide on.  You want it to be extremely tight coming on and off.

So the way NOT to put this bracelet on is like this:

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I know the wrist looks like the skinniest part of your arm, but it’s also the most solid.  It’s full of bones, cartilage, and scar tissue.  BUT if you slide the torque UP your forearm a few inches (where it LOOKS a lot thicker) it will actually slide on easier. See below.

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Now you got that bad boy on and it’s still tight and right.  I’ve been knocking these out for clients and a few have been paired with rings.

 

 

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If you’ve ordered one from me in the past few weeks, you should be getting it soon.  I’d love to get some snapshots of my f’king Torque Army out there.

Speaking of Torque Army, I’ve knocked out a special one for a warrior overseas in Iraq.  He’s got some custom stylized skulls on the end of his.

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Tour isn’t up for a while, but I’m going to ship it to friends/family so he’ll have this bad boy waiting for him when he gets back state-side.

 

Right between the eyes.

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This is Scott’s special custom Tiki Tattoo with a brilliant green gemstone inserted into the brow and some rooster-themed imagery along the shank.  Scott’s been waiting for me to finish this one for a while and I’m happy to finally drop it in the mail.
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I take pride in how balanced this particular ring is.  Tiki Tattoo was designed to be worn everyday even though she’s absolutely massive.  It doesn’t actually sit off of the finger that much and we wanted to keep that balance despite adding metal to set that central green gemstone.  That’s Chrysoprase, actually.  A badass under-utilized gemstone with an amazing natural color.

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Along with a great brushed metal finish, this one is ready to go.  Safe travels, friend.

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That brushed metal…I can’t say enough about it.  I know a lot of us go for high-polish, but there’s something about that brushed metal look that just pulls out detail.  I wear high-polish stuff myself, so I’m not knocking it, but doing brushed finishes (like the Big Voodoo above) on these skull rings gives them a modern look.  I don’t know….I could go either way, which is why I usually just leave it up to the client.

Speaking of custom finishes, I’ve been working on a Big Voodoo with a bottom jaw for PJ which is going to end up with a gunmetal finish.  I don’t know if I’ve done a lot of talking about skull rings with a bottom jaw vs the jawless look, but I thought now’s a good time to start as any.  I think the whole jawless thing starts with Keith Richards and his badass Courts and Hackett skull ring.  Let’s be honest – it really set the standard.  So it follows that most of us in the skull ring business began by offering core products without bottom jaws.  After all, it made the rings smaller and allowed us to focus on the forehead shape without getting too wrapped up in what was happening below the first row of teeth.  Like my King Skull.

 

 

 

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The skulls tend to have a downward tilt to emphasize the brow.  Just looks damned good on the finger.  But with a little less surface area on the forehead and a more up-turned profile, I many of us are able to follow what the Deadringers in New Zealand were able to do with their classic model and offer a quality, comfortable ring with a bottom jaw.  It’s a bear to sculpt though, as the jawbone and how it intersects the main head is by far the toughest part of the shape to sculpt.

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And that’s the Jupiter.  You can see above, how they upper portion shapes are different and how much taller the Jupiter is as a result.  I freakin’ love that ring.  So I get the bottom jaw thing.  I really don’t have a favorite.

That being said, I never really considered my Voodoo line to have bottom jaws.  For those of you who don’t know, that’s the more hand-carved, raw, crazy looking set (Big Voodoo, Little Voodoo.)

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But recently I’ve had a bunch of orders coming in for this bad boy with a bottom jaw included.  Despite how it sounds, I don’t really have much of an ego about this sort of thing and if a client says “hey, that would be awesome with a bottom jaw, I’m open to the idea that they might be right.  In this case, they were.

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So PJ puts in his order for another one with the jaw and I thought it would be cool to show what goes into making the Big Voodoo with the jaw’ed look without losing it’s hand carved appeal.

All the core products start with a base wax cast from my master molds.  These are very low detail, as you can see below.

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The eyes don’t have good shape, the cheekbones don’t exist, the nose and teeth are soft and mushy, and the ring just lacks overall detail and shape.  I do all of this by hand to ensure that no two Big Voodoo’s are the same.

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Then I have to make a tiny jawbone.  Again, no detail yet.  Just the blocking for the jawbone, chin, and bottom row of teeth.

Cute, right?

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Then I have to shave down the Big Voodoo’s prominent upper teeth to make room.  Otherwise, the thing would look all stupid.  That’s a technical term.  This makes the jaw able to fit in place without extending too far down where the eyes are no longer center-focus of the mass, which they need to be.   You can see here that I’ve also shaped out the cheekbones a bit, which comes with shaving down the jaw.

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There, that’s better.  Sort of.  Cheekbones closer to done.  Nose started.  Jaw is a mess.  This is how shitty the wax looks when I first fuse the jaw.  Those of you who are always asking me if I can work faster should keep in mind this is how shitty your shitty ring would look if I didn’t carve things up by hand.

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So this is getting better.  Now I’ve blocked in some teeth, started to shape the jaw, continued to shape the nose,and started an overall de-shit of the ring.

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Each tooth has to be carved in, along with a hollowing out of the nose cavity, each eye, and the cheekbones.

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And finally we get the look we’re after.  Eyesockets are deep, bridge of the nose is finished, and we have teeth and detail in the jaw.  THAT’s ready to clean and cast.  Still more work to do, of course.  PJ is going to have to wait a bit longer for this one to get wrapped up.

I’m working on a new line of bracelets for the shop that I want to talk about later, so stay tuned.  Oh, and one more thing……

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I got my hands on four amazing pairs of amber eyes for Jupiter, King, and Big Voodoo skull rings.  I’m so excited about the quality of these stones that I’m going to give them away for free.  If you order any one of those three rings, I’ll set a pair of stones in it on the house.  Just shoot me an email and let me know which set you want.  I posted this on Facebook and only got a few nibbles, so right now I still have all four sets available.

Follow me on twitter at @MT_Maloney    When I get a deal or a special like this, that’s usually the first place I announce it. My clients aren’t really Twitter people, I’ve discovered, but I guess that’s what makes my special offers special.

 

 

Breaking Tiki

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Oh man, where to begin.  In the skull ring biz, this is a busy time of year.  Bike week, etc.  I’ve had my custom orders just about double, which is awesome and really a lot of fun.  I’ve also been working with a designer on a new look for the website, which should be going live with a few new products this Spring.

New products?

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Yeah, you got it.  I’ve made a Tiki ring for the line.  This isn’t the exact same one that I’ve made in the past.  It has different proportions.  Bigger teeth, lips, etc.  And you animals are going to love it.  It’s comfortable and actually sits fairly flush to the hand despite being a big ring.

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These are now available for order (not on the site yet, but email me and I’ll start carving one for you) and are running at $495.  Just had to do it.  It was too popular and I’ve had so many requests for a Tiki ring.

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There’s one with brushed metal.  All of ’em are solid-backed.  Custom finishes are free with this one.  It’s big, right?  34mm tall.  But I’m telling you, you can wear this sucker every day.  I’ve balanced it like a freakin’ airplane.

Have you guys seen Wake in Fright?  Kick ass fuckin’ movie.

Anyway, I’ve also finished up a new pendant-type product that I’ll be calling the Doc Voodoo.

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The Doc is totally flexible.  He can be a pendant, he can be linked into a thick chain, he can be a ring.  He can be a freakin’ Zippo lighter:

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They don’t all come with the bolt on the forehead, but I’m really offering these as a great template for some custom carving.  I’ll probably work that into the asking price.  Cool addition to the Voodoo line for the non-ring crowd.

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I’ve also finished up a pretty cool sugar’d up Big Voodoo that I can’t help but post photos of.  Listen, when you latch onto something good, you gotta do it.  I’ll never get tired of carving sugar skulls like this.  It’s what the Big Voodoo was made for and I hope the orders for these keep coming in.  I’m sorry I can’t post photos of all of ’em.  Sometimes you have to either get shit done or take pictures of shit that got done and I’ve been struggling to keep up with the season’s orders.

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That’s not a snowflake.

More soon, but for now I’m taking a break from the skull world and working on these class rings.

 

 

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That isn’t even all of them…

But I’ll balance my scholarly carving with some work on a nearly complete master wax for the War Pigs.  It’s not my first Motorcycle Club Ring, but it’s one of the largest and most badass.  We have a way to go on this one.  That pig’s head was hell to get done.  I did the base for that in the computer and then fused it by hand to the hand-carved shank.  It’s going to be a monster.

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Alright, enough.  Back to work.  Stay tuned!

 

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Finished Tiki

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I’ve already blasted this all over social media, but for you traditionalists out there, here’s the finished Tiki ring for James.

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James was very specific about keeping the profile of the ring close to the finger.  Kind of the opposite of the King Skull, which is a real gob of silver.  So as crazy as it sounds, this big boy is actually extremely sleek.

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The response to this ring has been extremely positive.  I’ve been getting a lot of email requests for rings like it, so I’m seriously considering offering  a version of this ring (not EXACTLY like James’ ring) for sale on the site.

Overall, I think we know that my main site at http://www.mtmaloney.com needs a major, major, major upgrade.  Talk about shitty product shots.  If you just visit that site and not this blog, you really don’t get a sense of the kind of work we do here at the skullworks.

Well, perhaps this ring will show up on the new page.