There was buzz and excitement among the phandom tribe this week, as the beating of the jungle drums announced a new set of Phantom rings had become available to keen collectors.
Or to say it in the modern vernacular, internet algorithms saw a 'related to your interests' post start popping up in our social media streams!
The Instagram and Facebook posts linked to the Underworld & Beyond website, where you can view and be awestruck by a new bespoke set of new Phantom rings set now on sale! Available only through the website, the made-to-measure jewelry is priced from $450AUD (includes shipping).
Despite being unlicensed, there is no doubt the rings are amazing in quality and design, as the images at the base of this post show. The designer and manufacturer Michael Burke has done a great job with them, so ChronicleChamber has asked him about his background, the rings and the process.
I am a self taught sculptor, master fabricator and jewelry artist. I've always made things, from bent willow/rustic furniture to cosplay props, never so much for the money but it was always mostly gifts.
Over time I found myself doing a lot of mold making and casting parts for students at art schools. Making copies of sculptures and reproducing them in resin, many of the pieces ended up in art galleries. Which mostly funded my own ideas and concepts. It just became this thing, people would call and ask me to make things. Even if I wasn't sure how to do it, If they had the money I'd figure it out one way or another.
Then one day, I showed up to work and realized I just drove 30 minutes to my shop and actually had no work to do that day. I had these huge chunks of resin from left over projects. I found this pretty green chunk and wondered what I could make with it. I quickly Google green superhero. Of course, the Green Lantern pops up and I thought, I could make a ring out of this.
So I did. Here is a photo of the first hand carved ring I made. There was a ton of interest in this ring so overtime I refined the process. The Green Lantern fans kept me busy and enabled me to hone my skills. I've produced a couple thousands of rings including non superhero.
Taking everything I've learned over the years and combining that with advancements in technology and using old methods for producing metal rings, there's not much I can't make. My shop is pretty old school, the only fancy tools I have are a couple resin printers. Everything else I still do by hand.
I am a Phantom fan! He was the first superhero I was introduced to. I can relate better to him then, some alien from another planet i.e Superman or the billionaire playboy with fancy toys i.e Ironman or Batman.
Without trying to knock anyone else's work. I generally try not to make things that have been heavily marketed or produced. It also needs to be something I personally want and I feel I can do a better job at what I personally look for.
I've waited 30 years to have a set of Phantom rings like these. I've seen many renditions of these over the years.
The original promo rings which were cool but pretty cheesy. Other variations in my opinion just missed the mark. Some are huge and bulky, others you can't put your hands in your pockets with. Others are terrible one size fits all cracker jack rings, mass produced commercial junk. I wanted a set of rings that I could wear comfortably every day. Something that looked professional without the over-sized biker ring effect or pirate looking rings.
We all have our own tastes and I'm not knocking anyone wearing the other rings. These rings represent what I like and now I am making them available to other phans as well.