Deadringer ‘Mourning Beads’

It should be no surprise that I’m a HUGE fan of Steve Gillespie’s Deadringer jewelry. Steve’s just a brilliant designer, a jeweler of consummate skill, and a hell of a good guy.

I love everything they’ve ever made, and would happily own one of each, if I were made of money.

That said, I’m particularly thrilled with this new set of beaded necklaces they call “Mourning Beads“. They’re elegant in a way nothing Steve’s done before is, without loosing that deadringer edge. They’re 100% Steve Gillespie, 100% Deadringer, but they’re also something I can see with evening wear.

They’re just stunning.

Mark describes these necklaces thus:

Some time last year during a workshop argument animated debate on jewelry of the Victorian era, we struck upon the idea of a string of beads. Hardly an original concept, granted, but we wanted to give them a Deadringer twist without loosing the essence of yesteryear. Steve was already well underway carving a small skull and a selection of bones, so after a few months of trialing a variety of beads and bead sizes in various formats, we have settled on the combination of the skull with polished natural black Agate in a traditional necklace format, terminated with a femur & ring clasp based on your customary fob assembly

Pictured below are a couple of variations on the necklace; it’s offered in three variants (Alternating, Regulated and Sectional), and in 16 or 18 inch lengths. Ranging from $295 to $655 (depending on length and configuration), these are actually pretty affordable.

Click here to order or to see more details and pix.

I just love these; I want to put them on every beautiful neck I know (for an example of a beautiful neck I don’t know, modeling the necklaces, look after the cut).

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(click to embiggen)

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The Piston Ring

I have to share these photos of Carlos’ new piston ring, customized for celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

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More details over in Dora’s Guy Fieri Blog.

Carlos is such an awesome guy; I really want one of everything he makes. I wear his spade ring every day, and he recently gifted me with a prototype of his huge skull ring. I’m stoked to see him getting wider notice. If you’re watching Minute to Win It (Which is supposed to be cool, though I have not yet checked it out), you’ll see more of Carlos’ work all over Guy’s hands.

Carlos’ web site is here: http://www.sinners-inc.com/ though it’s out of date and (alas) flash heavy. He’s looking for a web designer to help him revamp it though, so it should be updated soon. He’s also got a myspace page with more current info.

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Deadringer Minima – a smaller skull ring

Since I’ve been back on the skull ring thing lately (thanks to Carlos at Sinners Inc), I realized I never posted about the latest DeadRingers skulls.

People have been asking me for ages about smaller rings; the cool thing is, some of the jewelers I’m friends with have started to listen.

The Deadringers version is called The Minima. It comes in two versions, the Minima Yorrick (jawless), and the Minima Classic (full skull).

Examples below; each side by side with it’s big brother. I have the larger versions of both of these.


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These are pefect for smaller fingers (pinky rings, ladies rings, or just for someone who wants to go more subtle).

Dimension comparison for the Classic is below.

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I’ve been craving one of these since Mark announced them months ago.

I’m planning to get one as a pinky ring, though I’m still waffling over which one I want. Really, I want them both, but that blows too much of my silver budget all at once.

Gary Rocks on Keith Richards skull ring

Gary at GARY ROCKS has a great writeup on Keith Richards C&H skull ring.

Over the past 30 years Keith Richards silver skull ring has taken on its own mythology and iconic status. The most famous ring in the world has come to signify not only Keith Richards the man – seen wearing it at every gig and in every photograph – but Rock and Roll itself. The ring has inspired both an international cult following and unlimited fake copies. There have been countless claims as to who designed and made the original but this is the true story.

Read the whole entry here.


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Sinners Skull

My new ring, courtesy of of my brutha Carlos of Sinners Inc.

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The first thing you’ll notice about this thing is, it’s freakin’ huge. I mean, absurdly huge.

When Carlos decided to make a skull (after working with me for two years and seeing my double fistful of skulls every day), he decided he had to make a statement. He did it with pure mass.

This skull weighs about a third of a goddam pound, and is nearly an inch and three quarters from the tip of it’s pointy chin to the top of it’s forehead. Below is a picture with some of the rest of the collection (left to right, that’s the Sinner, the Courts and Hackett ‘Keith Richards’, Deadringers ‘Classic’, a Dave’s Custom, a Ruby Crush jawless, and my old Elvis LIves skull from Tony Creed. You can see how out of scale this thing is when you realize that the Deadringers and the Courts and Hackett are both really, really big rings,

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The second thing you’ll notice is that it’s gorgeous. Carlos started with an anatomically accurate model of a skull; like me, he wanted the real deal, not some snarling cartoon. Like most of my favorite rings, there’s no exaggeration, just beautiful bone rendered in silver.

I love this thing.

It’s not a ring you’re gonna wear every day. I had to take it off to work a mouse; there’s no way I can work with it on. I’m almost certainly going to hurt myself with it. But it’s a ring I’m reaching for when I put on the full set.

Really, the only issue I have with this thing is that next to it, my other rings will be invisible; but what the hell. Sometimes you gotta go big.

Carlos and Sinners Inc’s work, by the way, is currently showing up on the great big ham fists on Guy Fieri. Keep an eye out on the current season of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives; Carlos’ signature piston ring should show up prominently in some of the latest episodes.

Courts and Hackett Skull Ring

For years I’ve heard the question among skull ring collectors – Who made Keith Richards skull ring?

From what I can tell, the origin of the guitar-players-in-skull-rings thing is Keith. Eric Clapton wears one, Billy Gibbons wears one, Zakk Wylde wears one, James Hetfield wears one. Johnny Depp wears one.

But Keith’s is the original.

Who made it is the easy part. David Courts and Bill Hackett. The hard part though, has been how do I get one like it? For years people have attempted to copy Keith’s ring (or just put jewelry up on eBay saying it was a ‘Keith Richards ring’ without any attempt to make it look authentic).

Finally, David and Bill said – look, we’re getting jacked with this, why don’t we make our own version. After long talks with Keith, they came to agreement.

David and Bill works long and hard to get a version of the ring they could do commercially (since Keith’s was made one-of-a-kind). And shortly, it will become publicly available (any day now as I understand, as soon as final business details get worked out).

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But heres the important part; I just heard from David (who’s a lovely human being) that mine shipped last monday. And I can’t be more stoked about it. I’m expecting to get it somewhere around the end of the week. And I’m just vibrating with excitement about it.

[EDIT]

I just got my ring. While David asked me not to share pictures yet, until the new site is up and the ring is shipping (soon, he says, but isn’t giving a hard date), I can say that it’s stunning. It fits like it’s made for me.

It’s no identical to Keith’s own ring (as it should be, since Keith’s was a hand made one-of-a-kind), but it’s teh same in look, feel and spirit. It comes in a bead blasted ‘shadow’ finish (I don’t know if they’ll also offer it in a bright-polished finish), which will gradually grow shiny with daily wear.

It’s a big ring; as big as my Deadringers ‘classic’. Only my Ruby Crush ring is bigger. And it’s heavy; a solid chunk of silver, not hollowed out For all that though, it fits so comfortably I didn’t notice the mass ’til I’d taken it off.

It’s a stunning piece.

My Skulls

My skull ring collection, so far.

Left to right, that’s:

Deadringers Yorrick, Tony Creed Riffman, srs slvr ‘eric clapton’, Ruby Crush full-jaw, Deadringers classic, Ruby Crush jawless, Dave’s Custom Skulls jawless.

Click for a full-size view.

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The Dave’s Custom, above, is the last ring available after Dave’s death. I’m glad to have it, it’s one of my most wearable rings. The ‘clapton’ ring is by a vendor I suggest never ordering from (I won’t even list their name to avoid google pointing them out); they’re known to rip people off.

Missing is my Sinners Inc. spade (it didn’t work, composition wise) but I’ll post another pic, later, that features it.

I tell ya, it just makes me need more, seeing ’em like this. Damn list keeps growing, where my budget doesn’t.

(thanks for the pick, B. Love it!)

calaveras de azĂșcar de plata

To quote a recent post on ‘i can haz cheeseburger’, Want Want Want Want Want.

I just found this ring via a link form some mySpace page, and it’s just fabulous – click the image to see more photos and more info (and click on the ‘Click to enlarge’ link, you really need to see the side and back views to get how bitchin’ this thing is).


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It’s a brilliant rendering of a mexican calaveras de azúcar (sugar skull).

I’m a huge fan of mexican Dia De Los Muertos iconography (like Posada), and mexican folk art in general; I won several pieces by the Linares family, and my house is full of mexican skulls and skeletons. So this is a cross-over of two of my favorite aesthetics; teh silver skull ring with the calavera.

Have That as my daughter used to say when she saw something she wanted right now.

The jeweler, House of Wittelsbach, have a number of other great pieces. But it’s the sugar skull I gotta have.