Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shop Spotlight: Moon Raven Designs

I decided I wanted to start a little editorial series about shops I've come in contact with that I love, both to gush and to give said shops a little more exposure, and my first installment will be featuring my current favourite Etsy shop: Moon Raven Designs.


(Note: the availability of items I mention will always change, which is more reason why you should check the shop out yourself once you've read this!)

I first discovered Moon Raven Designs while searching for a Dia de los Muertos ring on Etsy, and stumbled upon their Onyx Black Sugar Skull Cocktail Ring, gorgeously detailed with floral designs all throughout the skull's face. Despite the fact that I wanted such a ring for the classic variation of bright colours, I was so taken by the intricacy of the ring I'd discovered, that I had to add it to my Favourites.

Going through said Favourites later on, I stumbled upon the ring and wondered if the shop had anything else jewelry-related to offer. What I found was far better.

Skulls, talons, antlers, teeth, and beaks greeted me in a metallic colour spectrum of glowing bronze, shining silver, warm gold, and charcoal black, and hues in between. Bird skulls stared wide-eyed at me, wolves and wild cats grinned at me, and I found myself transfixed by what I was looking at. I never thought such a shop existed.

Moon Raven Designs is run by Michael Doyle and his wife Dianne, and is based in British Columbia, Canada. The 'full time wildlife artisan' has been designing these beautiful pieces since 1974, and in an interview with Freedom Spark talked about the origins of his craft, beginning with leather works. (You can read the interview here.) He is quoted as saying, "I have always been inspired by nature from a very young age, and with living in British Columbia, it is all around us."

Your first thought at skull rings and claw necklaces may be something resembling Hot Topic or Spencer's, but I insist that you'd be mistaken. Each piece is beautifully created, realistic and artful. They're less like jewelry you'd find at a mall and more like what you'd expect to find in a mysterious lodge out in the middle of the woods. Many pieces are cast from real skulls and bones of animals that have passed on (from natural causes) and sized down for a more acceptable size for jewelry, though some pieces are perfectly to scale. The same goes for his claw pendants and many other items.

If sporting an animal's skull isn't your thing, Moon Raven Designs offers many other pieces of jewelry (such as under the shop section 'Assorted Necklaces') with a vague steampunk feel, such as keys, wishbones, and gothic crosses (be aware, some may be housing a tiny knife within!) to name a few. Perhaps if you're into dinosaurs, you may have enough cash to pick up a Triceratops or T-Rex skull necklace -- the latter complete with articulated jaw.

Moon Raven Designs even offers anatomy pieces on the human side of the spectrum. Anatomically correct heart pendants dominate this section, but you might still find a humerus bone necklace, or a brain pendant. Really, if you can think of it, they probably have it; if they don't, they're open for custom orders.

If you're a cat lover, then your feline friend doesn't have to be left out either! Moon Raven Designs even provides small bird skull necklaces for your kitty that you can even share to wear as a bracelet or anklet.


This shop is nothing short of amazing; catering to all of your wildlife needs, while simultaneously inspiring goth to be classy. Moon Raven Designs gives a whole new outlook on nature and the cycle of life, and brings a unique take of a world outside of our own, a world that we too easily forget in our technologically-driven society.

Get in touch with your nature-loving side and take a look at Moon Raven Design’s Etsy shop!

Recommended items:
Antique Gold or Polished Metal Crow Skull Ring
Bronze Bighorn Ram Skull Necklace
Oxidized Sterling Silver Hummingbird Skull Necklace
Bronze Sabertooth Tiger Skull Pendant with Articulated Lower Jaw

Basically, all of the skull stuff.

(Thanks to Dianne for allowing me to talk about them here on my blog! ♥)


  1. wow such detail in these peices!

  2. these are so, so beautiful... that crow skull ring is blowing my mind. i'm gonna go check out their shop right now!

  3. I'm sure that I have seen this store before, then lost the bookmark, so I am extremely happy that you posted this! My savings account may not agree;) x