Filed Under: Non-conformity shines.
Overview: Custom stainless steel accessory parts (mirrors, exhaust tips, pegs, grips, and linkage) for motorcycles, handmade in the Austin studio of steel-tamer Mark Kalen. No bike? Mark creates fine jewelry, too, inspired by the same rebellious yet cultivated brightwork for the bikes. Think of yourself as an expensive, well-crafted machine, and wear his necklets, belt buckles, cuffs, bracelets, and dog tags like brightwork for your body
Appreciate: That this is artwork. Mark Kalen is not a bike builder, nor a mere jeweler; he's an artist, and like a portraitist his talent is capturing the unique aesthetic of the person he labors for. His preferred medium is stainless steel, and the most polished description of the style is rebel sophisticate. Kalen's initial expression was in motorcycle parts, as in the exquisite Dragon Bones grips and custom mirrors shown above. He then expanded into jewelry and accessories, like the Wings Belt Buckle (above, right). Like his bike parts, Kalen's jewelry escapes the tarnish of trends, and instead shines in forms that will last as long as the steel that shapes it. And that's a long time
Know: Kalen's accessories for bike and body may look like they've been milled, but they haven't. Instead, Mark Kalen hammers the strong and durable 316L stainless steel into submission 'like a caveman' (his words), only rarely using automated machines in the process. This is more difficult, and more time consuming, and no surprise: the finish to his pieces reflect it
Special Comments: The examples shown above are only previews of the exceptional collections created by Mark Kalen; make sure you visit his website (linked below) to explore the variety of styles, from his newest Industrial line for men, to his original "Signature Twist", and our favorites: the Hammered Dog Tag and matching bracelet. And good news for the ladies: Kalen makes jewelry for them, too. Custom bike parts take multiple weeks to complete; custom jewelry takes multiple days
Cost: Bike Grips as shown above range from $450-$600; Jewelry ranges from $50 up to $350, depending on the piece
See Them: Here.