Jewel encrusted skeletons of my dreams

Friday, October 4, 2013

I came across this article on and maybe you’ve seen it by now, but I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of these opulent jeweled skeletons, “painstakingly decorated in thousands of pounds worth of gold, silver and gems.”  Said to be the bodies of martyrs, they were encrusted with jewels and decorations and elaborately staged in the reliquaries of Catholic catacombs around Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the 16th century.

jeweled skeleton from catholic catacombs

Of course, I immediately pre-ordered the book, Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs by Paul Koudounaris, set to publish on the 8th, just a few days from now.  With over 100 illustrations of intricate designs and patterns I can’t wait to get some necessary inspiration.

burnmethod guitars snake eyes

I’ve already stuck jewels in a few of our guitars, but not nearly enough!!  Imagine..

paul koudounaris jeweled catacomb skeletons

Imagine a guitar looking something like this.. incredible patterns.  Check out more photos by Paul Koudounaris in the original article; they are amazing.  The historian has a few more books on the subject, so apparently his nickname is “Indiana Bones” .. Check out his website here.. or buy the book!!  Can’t wait to receive mine!

As long as I’m mentioning my pattern inspirations, I got a couple of other great design books recently: William Morris Textiles and Ernst Haeckel’s Art Forms in Nature.  I became interested in the latter when I noticed a strong similarity between the sea creatures therein and the fantastical representations of “souls” in the artwork of one of my favorite artists, Jim Woodring.  I’ve been a huge fan of Woodring’s work for over 10 years now and it was crazy to find something he may have used as inspiration.  Check out his work in this ridiculous anthology, The Frank Book, the stuff of nightmares!

jim woodring ernst haeckel

Category: Inspiration

Comments (1)


  1. jennifer says:

    I would love to borrow all three books one day or get just a glimpse :) pattern and nature will get me all the time – not too sure about the heavenly bodies, though interested to see. Are you bedazzling your guitars now?! :)

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