Working together with Earth and the natural cycle of life, I source my materials as ethically and sustainably as possible. Instead of producing more plastics, using synthetic materials and overall creating more waste, I use what is given up after death. Bones of deceased animals, feathers that have been shed and not plucked, pelts from natural death and roadkill, stones, twigs and moss found about; all of these sources are carefully researched and attained to work best with the natural order...
With that being said, I`d like to go into depth about the process from which death evolves to new life as adornments, and how ultimately beautiful and graceful Earth`s cycle of life truly is.
It starts with life.
Ball pythons are a common snake in the States, cherished for their mellow attitudes and relatively easy care. They aptly earned the name "Ball Python" for their tendency to curl themselves into little balls, usually while snuggling under a cover. They range in size from around 3'-5', and can live up to 30 years...however, the long lifespan isn`t always the reality for these critters.
The Ball Pythons I source come from various breeders and pet stores in Florida. None are bred, hunted or killed for this-instead, they perish naturally, in various stages of their lives. Instead of letting their deaths end there, the carcasses are taken to the next step; Dermestid Beetles.
Rather than going the route of chemical processes or boiling until the meat falls off the bone, Dermestid Beetles are a wonderful way of cleaning the bones while keeping with the natural order of things. A large amount of adult beetles (from a colony of 500 or more) can rapidly eat away at the meat and muscle in a few days, to in as little as 24 hours depending on the size of the carcass. Not only is the quality of the cleaning superb compared to many chemical processes, but the death creates life and sustenance for the beetles.
Below is an excellent video of and a deeper look into the process.
Here the bones are separated and organized, where I then use them in my adornments. Keeping with my materials mentality, I use high quality metal, wood, sinew and leather along with the bones to ensure not only a beautiful product, but one from nature that can ultimately return back into the Earth, completing the cycle.*
Each piece is uniquely handcrafted and cared for, all with sustainability in mind. My hope with these pieces is to inspire the same fascination and curiosity I myself have for science, and invoke a deep love for the balance between life and death.
I hope this gave some insight into the process and clarified the MANY questions I am asked about these pieces-thank you for being curious!
Check out listings in person or on Instagram at my designated wears page, @lostadornments
More posts about the process and sourcing will come in the future as my craft and research continue to evolve. If you have any further inquiries, I would be happy to answer.
*The only exception to natural materials is the "Tar Pit" style of adornment, as it is hand-painted in numerous layers of acrylla gouache and finished off with an acrylic varnish.