Three new ring designs in the shop!

I’ve got three new ring designs in shop. Here are the links (and pictured from left to right below): 1. Tiki rings, 2. Winged Pyramid Illuminati rings, and 3. Illuminati Alchemist Pyramid Rings. I priced the Tiki ring really low, a penny under $50, and with the “pay what you can” pricing you can get them for $25 if you can’t afford the full price. I wanted to mention on the alchemist ring, the one with the Leviathan Cross sigil on the bottom, I’ve used a really neat stone, which is an 8mm dome of white quartz, but with a base of hematite bonded to it, which transforms it into this sort of mirror-ish crystal ball that suits the ring perfectly.

I will make some more of these tomorrow with different settings, as well as doing some tiki ones with eye settings. By the way, if you'[re looking for a ring to be engraved, the winged pyramid has the perfect band for that — just let me know what you need! Click below for some quick pictures, or follow the links above for higher resolution or to buy.

Thanks again to everyone who is supporting the shop, and everyone who’s been picking up my recent shirt design. The shirt sales to date have covered 10% of the medical bills (as of this morning), which may not sound like a lot, but honestly, it is a lot and it’s greatly appreciated.

Behind the closed doors of the Zentastic studio

First of all let me thank everyone who has picked up a shirt (see entry below). It’s greatly appreciated. In a day or two I will also post information on how you can get one using PayPal, since a couple people have asked me.

But in addition to drawing shirts (I also drew a shirt for a friend’s new food business), I started sculpting four new rings (one isn’t ready to be photographed yet). The first is a tiki ring, something I’ve been wanting to make for a very long time, although I admit that from some angles it looks more Mayan than Polynesian! Then I did a little winged Illuminati pyramid ring, followed up by a bigger pyramid ring, which was made because when Caitlin saw me sculpting the first one she asked me why I was doing it flat-on two dimensional rather than having the four sided pyramid climbing out of the ring in three dimensions. I thought it was a good idea she proposed, so I did just that. Check them out, as they are now in rough clay with a bit of blackwash to bring out the details:

I still have to touch them up a bit, but assuming that my hands are up to the job, I expect I will finish sculpting tomorrow and begin making the molds, meaning that there may be rings of these designs in the shop by week’s end. Plus they may even have some really nice new stones because in a short amount of time I’m headed to the post office to pick up a delivery of gemstones and cabochons that I’m greatly looking forward to. I got some more ingots on Tuesday as well, so I will probably take whatever day I’m feeling best this week and make it “casting day”. Anyway, then when I get back from the post office I have to get the stench cleaned off myself because Caitlin and I are going out for a rare nice dinner at Bloom, which I think is probably by a wide margin my favorite restaurant in this neighborhood (I like Rawlicious a lot too, but they’re so different that it’s not fair to compare the two). But I wholeheartedly recommend Bloom for anyone looking for something new to try.

Other than that I have been giving altogether too much thought as to whether there exists a truly “dangerous idea”. I’m not talking about “the truth is a virus” — what I’m wondering is there “software” (that is, an “idea”) that your brain can “run” (that is, “contemplate”) which causes the brain to “crash” in some way? When I was a kid I greatly enjoyed how it felt to contemplate concepts like infinity, trying to picture the edge of the galaxy and what is or isn’t beyond it, trying to picture the nature of time and it’s beginning, and so on. I still do. So I wonder if there is an idea that can cause something analogous to a buffer overflow or other computational error that results in a failure situation? I told Caitlin that I thought there was, and that it was actually so common as to be meaningless. My feeling is that the brain is extremely modular and parallel, with millions of separate processes/memes/plans/ideas being considered at once, and I suspect that they are constantly crashing, and that this is part of why the human brain is so incredibly fault tolerant — crashing is part of the way the brain functions. And more importantly, the fact that the brain is so modular means that there isn’t even an “overbrain” or seat of consciousness big enough to meaningfully crash anyway.

My first BME shirt in a half decade

Since we had a whack of unexpected bills from our daughter’s gastrointestinal problems — seriously it is shocking and offensive how quickly medical bills climb in the US* — which we are still in the process of diagnosing and could be anything from a motorcycle injury to kidney failure to something related to my genetic condition. Rachel suggested that I draw a shirt for BME, the sales proceeds of which would go exclusively to those medical bills. She has set up the pricing similarly to my shop, where you can set how much you want to pay, either just buying the shirt, or a donation if you’re able.

Please don’t think I expect a donation in addition to a shirt purchase — this community has already been more than generous enough to my family. However, I hope you will like the shirt design. I did it based on the very first logo that Scott Fox drew for BME just a couple months after I started it when we were living in a little apartment together at St. Clair and Bathurst (which Caitlin reminds me is near the wonderful ice cream parlor Dutch Dreams). I thought about how that logo might look if he were to draw it today, with the modification influences of 2012 instead of those of 1994. I tried to make something that was true not only to all my good memories of “the old BME” but also of where body modification is at today. Again, I hope you enjoy what I’ve drawn. If you can donate, it really is very helpful to us, but like the tip jar says, “always appreciated, never expected”.

* As Rachel points out, we’d have to sell 500 of shirts to pay off what I have spent so far, and I’d be blown away and on cloud 9 if that actually happens… But even if we only sell a tenth of that it helps make sure that there’s enough money to cover her until she’s back in Canada and the costs drop dramatically. If you’ve bought stuff from my Etsy shop, that helped too — in fact, every cent I’ve made off my Etsy shop for the last few months was swallowed up by these bills.

There are two other variations on the design, which you can see after the break, but this one with the rings of swastika-patterns is my favorite of the set. Oh and if you’re curious, I drew the logo by hand with a pencil on paper, and then scanned it, then redraw it in the computer using my Wacom tablet, and finalled hand-tuned all the linework with a mouse. If for some reason anyone wants a high res copy of the artwork feel free to contact me. Click the pictures to jump to the store page.

(Continued)

Two new rings that turned out very well

This morning we went and got Caitlin her new sewing machine, an upgrade that was the other half of her birthday present along with her tooth-ring that got so much attention all over the internet. After that I finished off two of the rings I’d wanted to do yesterday, and I must have had some good luck demon sitting on my shoulder because I am absolutely thrilled with how they turned out. The first is a remake of one of my winged Day of the Dead skull rings, which I put a pair of 7mm light blue gemstones into and polished to a silver or steel-like appearance (versus my usual “just pulled out of a shipwreck” dark finish). The other ring I’m especially proud of, a Leatherface take on one of my half-face zombie rings. I completely recarved it, adding a mountain of detail (which is why I posted much more zoomed in pictures than are typically appropriate) and turning it into a grotesque mask, as well as including a pair of pyrite eyes. You can click either of the pictures to see bigger pictures or to buy them.

I’m going to read for a little bit now and then start working on some t-shirt designs.

Freakin’ Friday

The doctors gave us what sounds like aweful news today about our daughter’s health. I’m very worried. I didn’t get much done today… went to the post office and mailed all the pending orders (I’ve been getting things out really quickly, unlike when I ran BMEshop in the 90s and was completely terrible at timeliness), then finished off a commissioned ring, then got the horrible news… sat down for a while, looked at the big stack of things I’d intended to work on today not really feeling up to it and decided to tackle a new interpretation on my old Lil’ Acky ring. Even though my hands were shaking pretty badly from stress I managed to redo the interior engraving, and did four stone settings. I put a pair of green striped 8mm round malachite stones in the eyes, and also a pair of little cut gemstones in the amphibian ears — they’re different colors because they’re supposed to reflect that when he grows up he’ll fly starships, so it echoes the indicator lights on airplanes.

As always you’re just a click away from my Etsy shop.

I sold the moonstone “gross zombie eye ring” today, which was one of my favorite of the recent retoolings of older ring designs that I’ve done recently, applying new skills to old pieces. I’ve got one more in stock where I did this, the blue eye’d zombie ring, and I know whoever orders it will be very happy. It’s definitely one of the nicest “gross” rings I’ve done. I also placed an order for new stones today since I was running out — here is what I have on the way:

So if you like any of those stones, some of them I only have enough to make one or two items with, so you should speak up if you want me to make something for you. That said, I like making custom variations on request, and of course I can order anything someone wants so I suppose it doesn’t really matter much unless you are looking for instant gratification (and who in this modern world isn’t?)…

In more pleasant news I am reading a great new — new to me anyway — comic by Leo (who did the amazing Aldebaran/Betelguese/Antares series that I recommended a while back — learn more on the Wiki and then buy on Amazon) called Kenya that seems to be about discovering dinosaurs a la Mokele-mbembe somehow mixed in with UFOs (I’ve only just finished the first book of five). I don’t think it has yet been officially translated into English, although there are illicit “scanlations” available in the regular places, which I don’t have an ethical problem reading since I always buy the hardcopy as soon as it becomes available. More and more I feel inspired to create my own graphic novel — two actually, one biographical, and one science-fiction.

But I wanted to real briefly mention a couple of links, but I’ll start with a video:

What an ethereal creature!!! Now that there are a number of different personal submarines (my personal favorite probably being the Triton 36000/3, winning out over the “underwater sportscar” from Virgin/Hawkes) for the ultra wealthy that can explore the very deepest depths of the ocean — to say nothing of incredible 200+ foot long underwater yachts that can cross oceans and stay submerged for days and travel to a depth of 3000 feet that I’m absolutely salivating over, making me second-guess having gotten out of the internet casino game in the early nineties to follow my only slightly more reputable dreams in body modification — I’m sure that we will be making exponential discoveries underwater. Mentioning other links, as I was thinking about science-fiction writing, I found a great site about futurism in general and they have a nice section on oceanic habitats (a la The Abyss for example) that fill me with daydreams that don’t involve any illness other than the bends.

I’ve been sharing a lot of modification photos from friends on Facebook, and that includes Eaten Placenta‘s super-cool and truly bizarre rib augmenting implants. As I said there, it makes me giddy, I just love things that kick a hole in reality, something that makes you see that the world is not quite what you thought it was, that maybe there’s a very weird truth bubbling away under the surface just waiting to be discovered. I grew from a childhood watching the aliens on Star Trek and it makes me hope that we are creating at least the aesthetics of the future I hoped I’d live in.

But as I also mentioned, and as I say with some experience as an SSSS-member that is searched by the TSA at every opportunity, Arab boogeyman Mr. Al Qaeda is said to have his evil mad scientists working on implanted bombs. I don’t even want to think about what jackassery that will get the security goons doing. But I wonder how they will react when their horrible groping hands grab onto my future-creating kin’s anatomical optical illusions?

I read that they have come out with transparent aluminum. Well, as the article mentions, it’s been around for a long time, thirty years or so, but it’s really just maturing as a commercial technology now. Because it’s very expensive the initial market will be military, for things like bulletproof glass, but I have to wonder whether you could use it to build a luxury car. Ages ago it was very common for convention demonstration cars to be bodied with clear acrylic/polymer (also because these clear plastics were a new and exciting material back then). Wouldn’t it be amazing to build an entire car out of transparent aluminum? And I’m not just talking about the body of the car. Not even just the body and the chassis. What I’d really like to see is a transparent engine block!!! That would be incredible, a big glasslike hunk of engine running, with fire and explosions storming around inside it, all visible to the onlookers in awe of your massive wallet and tiny genitals!

Which reminds me, I remember a decade ago cruising around in my 44″ monster Jeep with the top down and the doors off, and a car full of excited girls drove past, and while I was used to people screaming adulation, I was not expecting a chorus of “small penis!” Hahaha.

But if I could really get myself a true dream vehicle — and one that I think wouldn’t break the bank as badly as a submarine or a spaceship or probably even a transparent aluminum supercar — is something the designer is calling a “stratocruiser”. Click the picture for more.

I’ve said it here before, but I really think that in a lot of ways an airship has the potential to be the ultimate yacht. It’s quite energy efficient — I suspect you could cover it in solar panels and have it run electrically for free — and its nature is that while it can’t carry as much weight as some other technologies, it doesn’t care how large its cargo is. So it’s very suited to large, spacious travel of the sort that’s ideal for a luxury yacht of some sort of neo-steampunk or futurist nature. It seems so serene, the idea of slowly drifting across the ocean or over rain forests or over the African Savannah or across Antarctica… And of course you could stay connected to communications grids via cell and satellite the whole time, so one could easily have a flying office. Surely this would cost a fraction of a big boat. I’ve never understood why the mega rich invest in some luxuries but not others.

Well… This is going to be a very stressful month or two I worry. There’s not much worse than having a potentially seriously ill child. I wish I could just look at cute pictures of sleeping dogs or something and relax but I am not like that.. But I do tend to work well under stress, and Rachel has suggested that I draw up a new BME shirt, my first in almost half a decade, to use as a fundraiser for the upcoming medical bills and I am letting that idea germinate for a bit, but I will probably do some drawing this weekend.