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Fire & Bone returns with velociraptor, dire wolf skulls

Fire & Bone, creator of tiny, 3D-scanned replicas of skulls to be worn as jewellery, is back for round two -- bringing extinct animals.

Fire & Bone

Round two of Fire & Bone's stunning miniaturised animal skulls has hit Kickstarter, bringing a new set of animals -- including the extinct Pleistocene dire wolf and Cretaceous Velociraptor. The new collection -- created using Fire & Bone's proprietary technique of 3D scanning, 3D printing, and lost-wax casting -- also includes two birds, a primate, a bovine, and an ovine.

"Fire & Bone pieces take full advantage of exciting new technologies, including 3D scanning and 3D printing, to create something that's not available anywhere else: miniature skulls that are highly detailed and faithful to nature's design," the company wrote.

"Each skull is cast using traditional techniques, so Fire & Bone is both cutting edge and ancient; a modern twist on a timeless fascination with the animal world, perfect for the modern collector. And when you're wearing a Fire & Bone piece, you carry the spirit of the animal around with you."

The team's method uses an actual animal skull. Using this skull, Fire & Bone creates a high-resolution, 3D digital scan, which is then scaled down, converted into a 3D model, then 3D printed in high-resolution in wax. This wax model is then used to create a rubber mould for casting the finished skulls in yellow or white bronze, or sterling silver.

Clockwise from left: Dire wolf, great horned owl, American bison, Velociraptor, northern owl monkey, red-tailed hawk, merino ram. Fire & Bone

This process becomes a little trickier, the team said, with extinct animals. Unlike Primordial Profiles, where the dinosaur skulls were modelled from CAT scans obtained from a palaeontologist, Fire & Bone used casts of actual skulls.

"We scanned direct casts made from the original fossil," the team told CNET. "The fossils themselves are too delicate, so we opted for the direct cast since, at full scale, it has all the crucial detail we require. The direct cast is the key; we wouldn't want a cast of the cast, etc. Choosing the specimens was of course a task. You want the most complete one you can find, so the guys were on the prowl for several months."

The new collection consists of seven skulls -- Velociraptor, dire wolf, red-tailed hawk, merino ram, northern owl monkey, great horned owl, and American bison -- as well as a variation on a favourite from the first collection -- a pair of grey wolf skull cufflinks. All skulls are available in yellow and white bronze and sterling silver, and come with a chain and a display stand.

You can reserve yours now for a starting pledge of $20.