Welcome to the Biker, Gothic, Baroque, Street Jewelry Blog, the first of its kind.

We scour the globe for the edgiest designers and artists for sterling silver jewelry - biker jewelry, gothic, baroque, skull rings, metal & leather works. The realist jewelry is often highly intricate; custom; handcrafted; imaginative; and beautifully created pieces of wearable art made in sterling silver and other precious metals. Established in 2008, Los Angeles. Instagram @excessive21.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Flintlock Silver - Joshua Murray

Interview with Joshua Murray, "I have silver blood..."
The Introduction - "Flintlock Silver"
The silver work of Los Angeles based artist Joshua Murray has been described with many colorful adjectives (since he first started working in the medium in 2004) but “subtle” has never been one of them. Bold designs mixed in with a dash of social commentary, and a splash of humor, make his jewelry pieces stand out just as much as the high craftsmanship that goes into producing them.

A sculptor by trade, since age 17, Joshua's work encompasses modern design and a fierce throwback to traditional, subtractive carving techniques, as well as his own stylized variation of several sculpting methods. All of his jewelry pieces are hand carved and cast using the traditional lost wax casting process, making every piece truly unique. Stepping it up a level, Flintlock Silver is the next chapter of the story that will change everything!

The Exclusive Interview with Joshua Murray
Mr Skull N Roses
: Thank you, Josh, for taking the time to speak with us! We have followed your work for quite some time now, and we have a big audience that would love to know the artist who states, "I have silver blood", on the Deviant Art website.

Joshua Murray: Thanks for having me. There is silver in my blood and not only because I grind and polish it on a daily basis. The first time that I worked with silver, I knew right away that I had a passion for the medium. Silver is a metal, but a soft metal and easily manipulated. It has a feel and tone to it that is much warmer than other metals; a perfect storm for an artist.

Mr Skull N Roses: As experts of fine silver jewelry, we love your work! For example, your skull jewelry has all the right proportions and the details are amazing! What types of influences and ideas inspire your own creations? Are there any individuals and artists from the past or present that have influenced your craft?

Joshua Murray: My all time favorite artist, by far, is nature. I am a huge fan of anatomy and biology. The things that develop naturally on this planet are amazing and far more intricate than could ever be reproduced. I could spend hours looking at the texture of a flower petal, the shapes and ridges of an animal’s skull, or the tiny parts of an insect through a magnifying glass. I am also a huge art fan; many elements of my pieces are inspired from all different types of artwork.

Mr Skull N Roses: Can you describe the process of turning an idea into a tangible and beautiful work of wearable art?

Joshua Murray: The process is really my favorite part of my work. I start with an idea for a piece and do some rough sketching, usually just enough to develop a mood and determine a rough size and shape of what I will be making. The real "formula" for my pieces is developed when I have a block of wax cut out, and I can see it right in front of me and hold it in my hands. Once I have the measurements that I need, I can almost let my brain go into auto pilot mode and really fine tune the design without thinking about the carving that my hands are doing. I tend to think very geometrically when I work.

Mr Skull N Roses: For our young readers, how and when did you first discover your talent and passion for art, sculpting and/or jewelry making? Career-wise, have you always been an artist?

Joshua Murray: I started drawing and sculpting very young. My mother has always been an extremely talented painter and always encouraged me to be creative. On the other hand, my dad was hauling ass around the country on a motorcycle, playing guitar in a Rock and Roll band. I guess it was inevitable that my work would be a product of their lifestyles on some level.

Mr Skull N Roses: Your name is well recognized in the industry. However, many silver fans out there may not be familiar with your sculpting career and the movie projects that you have worked on. Can you elaborate?

Joshua Murray: I started out being hired by studios as a sculptor, when I was a teenager, and have been doing it ever since. I learned the craft very fast and had the drive for the process, which has made me one of the very few fortunate ones who never really had to have a normal job. Most of my professional career has been freelance work, where I am hired for a project, then go to another company when it's done. I have worked on every thing from retail store displays, to theme park statues and props, museum pieces, music videos, as well as T.V. and movie props and costuming.

The last few years have been mostly big budget movies and making jewelry as well. I made some silver pieces for the movie, "The Devils Rejects" and pieces for the cast and crew of "Domino". Then, I went on to produce sculptures for films like "Hancock", "Land of the lost" and "Transformers 2". I also worked in the costume department on "G.I. Joe", sculpting some of the characters’ body armor, which was a really fun and intense project.

Mr Skull N Roses: You have a growing female fan base! What do you have in store for them this year?

Joshua Murray: I have sketched up many designs, geared towards women, over the past six or seven years, but had not produced them because most of my clients have been men. Recently the ratio has been close to equal. I have a lot planned for my female clients this year, starting with a lady's version of my Victory ring and belt buckle, that are nearly finished.

Mr Skull N Roses: What other interests or hobbies do you enjoy?
Joshua Murray: Looking forward to getting another motorcycle; I have not owned one for a while now. Always thinking about the next tattoo. Music is a constant influence in my artwork; I always work to music and will play certain types of music that will compliment the piece that I am making. Of course, I am a big fan of art in any form. I also try to find time to get a little skateboarding in as well and play some guitar.
Mr Skull N Roses: Where can our readers purchase your jewelry?

Joshua Murray: The Flintlock Silver website is being crafted as we speak, which is where I will be showcasing my new pieces in the future. Until the website is launched, we can still be reached via email at flintlockprivateer@yahoo.com. I also offer select pieces via Flintlock Silver on Etsy as well as on the Rockstar Silver Jewelry website. And I will continue to share my work on Deviant Art and Facebook.

I have been working with silver for 6 or so years now, but really only on a part time basis. Now that I have established Flintlock Silver, I will be producing a lot of new pieces and plan to bring in a few talented people to work with me, so I can spend most of my time on designing and sculpting. I expect this year to be an exciting one and expect to see some changes in the design and make up of the pieces.

Mr Skull N Roses: We are definitely looking forward to seeing the new website, and we wish you much success, bro! And thanks for bringing more intensity and creativity to this industry with Flintlock Silver!

Interesting facts

The "Flintlock" is unbelievably important from a historical standpoint. Flintlock guns were used in the American Revolution and Colonial America depended on it for protection and warfare. The Flintlock is the foundation of all modern guns.

A Flintlock firearm relies on a piece of flint grasped in the jaws of a spring-loaded hammer. When the trigger is released, flint strikes against steel to create a shower of sparks to ignite priming powder. This flame, in turn, will ignite the main charge propelling the bullet, ball, etc.