Keep your skull and jaws close to your skull and jaws.

This is a short and sweet little post featuring four new pairs of joined earrings (also known as “continuous earrings”, “earclaces” and “necklings”- I’ve been making these for 10+ years and have yet to find a way to properly market them for lack of a better name) which are being sold exclusively at Wilbur Vintage on Fabric Row in Philadelphia.  Available in person or on the shop’s Etsy page.

These earrings are surprisingly easy and fun to wear; they’re lighter than they look and give the wearer something to fiddle with, talk about or just enjoy the movement of.

I struggle to find a tag or reference name to go with pieces like this, as bone art is not actually taxidermy.  The term “osteopathicraft” was recently suggested to me but it’s a bit of a mouthful so I’m going to go with “Osteocraft” for now.  If you can com up with something better, please tell me your ideas in the comments!

First up: Rat Skull filigree earrings joined by black silk fringe:

The skull and fringe are both pleasantly lightweight and easy on the lobes.


Next: Pearlized Grey Fox jawbones earrings joined by a double strand of pearl beaded chain.  These are just a tad heavier than the rat skull earrings but completely wearable nonetheless.

I painted a pearlescent paint on the jaw and left a stripe untouched, just for fun:

Thirdly, we have a pair of pearlized grey fox jaw bone earrings with filigree detail  joined by white silk fringe:

Last but not least, Pearlized Grey Fox jaw bone earrings joined by a single strand of pearl beaded chain, with added chain and pearl detail:

Ding-a-ling-a-ling!

I am constantly producing these so if you want something you’re not seeing please contact me for a custom order.  Otherwise, get yourself to Wilbur Vintage ASAP and scoop up a pair!

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Top of the Squirrel to you!

A few months back I was proposed with a fun and clever design for a commission piece.  The liaison between myself and the designer was a friend who I’ve done work for in the past.

And the individual who wanted this item?  A young man slated to start the seventh grade this Fall.  A talented and creative mind, no doubt, this little guy has no idea how much I appreciate getting projects like this.

Here are the sketches I was provided:

I was nervous about sourcing a boy’s top hat at first, until I noticed that this kid is a size 7 & 3/8 which is a full-grown adult sized head. Must be all those big thoughts he’s having.  I ordered the proper topper (I have yet to possess the facilities or training to make a top hat from scratch, which is why I hesitate to call myself a “milliner”) and went about fitting a squirrel form into the proper position.  Here it is, broken into several pieces and pinned into place:

After getting the placement and angles of the bits and bobs all sorted out, I secured with glue, pins, wire, and slim wedges of foam inserted into gaps for reinforcement.  After that comes the clay to smooth things out.  I then had to determine the contact points at which the squirrel would meet the hat and anchor some wires at those spots:

Maneuvering the skin over this form, wires and all, proved a challenge but in the end came  out just peaches.  Here are shots of the finished product:

I recreated the sketch to the best of my ability; due to the squirrel’s size it does occupy a tad more real estate on the hat itself but I think that’s OK.

I’m actually quite proud of this red ribbon- I made that bow myself!

Also, this squirrel was a female!  Almost all the squirrels I have ever skinned were male; I just assumed they were the ones being brazen enough to get hit/killed/shot/etc.  I forget how this one perished; I think it was a fall from a tree or something but I almost wonder if she got shocked on an electric line because a teeny patch of her skin was bare of fur and the area surrounding is was slightly discolored.

And that’s hat!

Stick it.

 

Recently one of my favorite clients commissioned me to create several custom pieces for her, one of which being two pairs of talon hair sticks: one for her and the second pair as a birthday gift for one of my other favorite clients.  These two gals are so fun to design for because they just tell me what they want and let me go.  They trust me, and enjoy what I create.  It inspires confidence when people have faith in me.

One set is crafted from a pair of feet formerly belonging to the black rooster I skinned a while back to make a hat out of.  I just remembered I need to photograph the hat; it’s really quite smashing.  Anyway, the spurs on this cock’s legs are a force to be reckoned with and I got such a good energy from this specimen that I really wanted to use it for this project.

The foot itself is mounted on a stick I sharpened and textured myself, and accentuated with rabbit fur and feathers of peacock and rooster.  The talons themselves are treated to a glossy pearlescent coat of color.

The second pair is slightly larger in size; I used pheasant feet and from there it’s basically la meme chose as the first pair.

I used repurposed mink fur with pheasant feathers this time around.

And that’s that.  I’m eager to see how they look on the ladies as they both are quite striking women with full heads of thick black hair.

As usual, thanks to Jim Coughlin for taking such consistently awesome photos of my work.

Philly confidential: Happy Birthday, Shannah!