The Jewel Thief (
The Jewel Thief by Heather Miller

Title: The Jewel Thief
Price: $50.00
Year: 2013
Size: 6″ x 8″ x ~5″

The Jewel Thief was created using a paper mache skull, spray paint, a silver Sharpie marker, a variety of beads, and acrylic paint mounted on wood.

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The Story:

The Jewel Thief was a part of the third series of Day of the Dead pieces I created. Each skull represented a persona. As time went on, coming up with new personas became more of a challenge.  This ultimately led to the retirement of the theme.

The first step in the process was to spray paint the skull gold. Once it was dry, I drilled a hole in the back and mounted the skull onto a wooden dowel that was drilled into the frame.  The frame was painted a high gloss black, as are all the frames for these skulls.  Once the adhesive set, it was time to decorate.

I made the decision to use a gold spray paint largely because I hadn’t used it before and didn’t want to repeat color schemes. Once it was dry, I was at a bit of a loss. I had a bunch of faux diamonds from an old necklace so i started with those. From there it was a matter of hunting down old jewelry and pulling it apart.

The silver tear drops were the same ones used on The Virgin. When I reached the point where I was out of golden & other jewels I realized the skull was still a bit bare. The silver worked well and matches the outline of the teeth – which was done with a silver Sharpie marker.

The hardest part of this piece was the eyes.  They are mounted first with a small pin & some glue to hold the jewel in place. I almost gave up several times as there isn’t a lot of room to work.  The pins finally slid into place and I’m glad I was persistent.  I think they eyes really make this piece special.