MT Maloney – elv13 and fortitudine

My friend MT Maloney just sent me a couple of samples of his work to check out, and I could not be much more delighted with them.

I blogged a couple weeks ago about his work-in-progress blog, From the Workbench. But now that I have my hands on his work (and his work on my hands), I’m even more stoked.

MT didn’t just send me these, he customized them. We started talking about things I like, and what he got about me from reading this blog. He wanted to use something related to motorcycling, and something related to Clan MacRae, and then I thew back things I like (the number 13, etc). We threw ideas back and for for several days, and off he went.

What he wound up with was the MacRae clan motto – Fortitudine (latin for With Fortitude) on one ring, and on the other, his own version of ‘elvis 13′ (ELV13), which I think is bitchin’. The smaller one uses a triangular triumph logo, with ‘FTW’ inside – and make no mistake, that’s not ‘for the win’, as the gamer idiots think, it’s Fuck The World, as it’s meant in punk and biker circles for decades.

Below are photos of the two rings.

The larger is MT’s King Skull, his version of the big, chunky, realistic ring that is, generally, my favorite skull ring type. The smaller is his Little Voodoo. The little one is a pinky ring size, the larger fits my left middle finger.

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(click to embiggen)

Now, I think MT’s King Skull is awesome. In look and feel, it’s similar to the Courts and Hackett Keith Richards ring, but less brutal; bigger eyes, more detailed teeth. Less totenkopf and more poor yorrick.

It’s a great addition to the genre; it goes in the the line with the Deadringer Classic, the Courts and Hackett, and the Ruby Crush Belladonna. That’s some rarified company there.

But of the two, i have to admit, the one I really, really love is the Little Voodoo.

Maybe it’s just because I don’t own anything like it. It’s completely non-realistic; it’s a low-browed angry little motherfucker of a skull, like something out of a max fleischer cartoon. Like a pissed off dwarf.

But really, i think what I love about it is that it’s the first truly badass pinky ring I’ve ever seen. It’s thick, it’s heavy, it feels far more massive than it really is. YOu don’t think of a pinky ring as being hardass, but this one is. I think it’s a really great ring. It’s also really, really comfortable.

MT’s carving is also distinctive. He’s not trying to be elegant, which oddly seems to give his work a rough sory of elegance I didn’t expect. The lettering on the King Skull (the one that says Fortitudine) just makes me happy. If I ever get my MacRae Fortitudine tattoo, that’s almost exactly the lettering I’d want to use. The carving is personal (He really thought about this, none of it feels tossed off).

I had a conversation recently witha reader who wanted advice on a couple of rings, tryng to decide which to look at. If said reader asked me today, I would have suggested adding MT’s work into the short list being considered.

Good shit, MT. You rock.

Casket of Silver

WIth great delight, I received a package last week my from friends Mark and Stephen at Deadringer, NZ.

This is the first time I’ve gotten the full treatment – the custom carved casket.

Mark asked me what I wanted carved in the casket. Just have fun with it, I said. Do whatever you feel inspired to do.

Below is what they came up with, and I could not have been more delighted.

I wish I’d taken pictures of the whole thing as I opened it; the process is so dramatic that it would have made an amazing slide show. The casket is bolted closed with tiny brass screws, and comes with a tiny screw driver. Here, though, is the lid.



…and what was inside after I removed the screws.

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The necklace is a thing of beauty. Later I’ll have Barb model it for me; it fits beautifully. It’s truly elegant. I love women’s jewelry that retails the edge, the biker-gothic-rock-n-roll feel, and yet is still beautifully feminine. This is s necklace that requires a lovely feminine neck to display to full effect.

The ring is Deadringer Minima Classic, modified to my request with a 13/spade design (you know how much I’m a sucker for spades). It’s sized as a pinky ring, and fits, as always, absolutely perfectly. I’ve never work a pinky ring for daily wear; this ring is so comfortable I just might manage it.

The thing that sets these guys apart from anyone else in the business is both the incredible detail, and the creativity; the photos below show both.

Below the cut, you’ll find a couple more shots; these two are the rings beside my Classic, and my Yorrick, for size reference. This shows the scale side by side, and on the hand

For all shots, click to embiggen.

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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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The Piston Ring

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



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: 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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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.