I Make Jewelry With Bones To Create Beauty From Decay, And To Memorialize The Animals They Came From

Posted by Arhythmia Hart

Most people don’t see bones as something beautiful, so I help people to see another side of death. Together with my wife, we collect bones and make them into unique wearable pieces.


We’ve always been fascinated by small details that the typical person might never notice. I had a fascination with macro photography, insects, and mushrooms. She grew up working with watches and jewelry, and loved plants and all things natural.

When I was small, I would bury the dead things I found; birds killed by cats, lizards, and such. It always hurt my heart to see an animal that was left to decay on the road, such as deer, skunks, or raccoons. I was too small to do anything about those.

The collection of bones began with two deer. Young, killed by predators, left in our yard while we were away from home. We knew that we should do something with them rather than leave them in the sun. And that is when I had the thought; why not give them a new life and a new purpose, instead of just burying them?

So we did our research and learned how to properly clean, sanitize, and preserve bones. Most are sourced from nature, killed by predators or roadkill, or perhaps found in the woods on a hike. Some are obtained from a taxidermist, to save them from going in the dumpster. We NEVER get our bones from hunters, fur farms, or any unverified source. We know the story of each animal we use, where they came from, and how they perished.

And now they are memorialized in their death into things of beauty. If you are interested in giving one of our pieces a home and supporting what we do, you can visit our Etsy shop.

More info: Etsy

We love to use little bones

These cameos are minuscule bones; three are made with squirrel claws, toe bones, and ribs. The fourth in the upper left is made entirely of raccoon teeth.

The squirrel was hit by a car, like so many others. The raccoon was found in the woods, killed by a predator.

These are raccoon molars, from the same animal as the cameo.

This rat was killed by a stray cat and left for us as a gift, as cats sometimes do.

Sometimes we give them names

These are the jawbones from our fondly titled ‘Lady’, a doe that was left in a neighbors yard for three weeks after she was killed by a car.

A vertebrae from Lady, set with citrine. This stone is commonly thought to bring the wearer good luck and happiness, and is a sign of the sun. In pagan belief, both deer and the sun are the domain of the God; the combination of these two is a way to symbolize this.

These vertebrae are from a Texas Rat Snake. He was run over. We’ve combined them here with an ankh, the symbol for eternal life.

Bobcat ulna (leg bones) with amethyst. All of our bobcat pieces are from a reputable taxidermist; she loves the animals, and appreciate us taking the bones. When we reached out to her to ask for things she would throw away, she seemed grateful that there was someone willing to save what she couldn’t use from a landfill.

Raccoon Claws on a cameo. He was named Butterball, as he ate very well in his life. When he died, he was a hefty 16.8 pounds. We hope this meant he was a happy raccoon before he perished.

This piece is made from ribs, vertebrae, and a patella (knee-cap) of a fawn. This piece was special to us, because it used the first two deer that we collected from our yard.

Bobcat ulna (leg bones) and sacrum (lower vertebrae). As our other bobcat pieces, this one was from our taxidermist friend.

Opossum ulna (leg bone) with wire wrapping and hematite. This one was killed by predators and found as just a few bones left in the woods.

This ankh was made with raccoon vertebrae and tailbones. They were probably hit by a car; we found these along the roadside, weathered and stained by the soil. The ankh symbol is used for eternal life.

These are the scapula from Lady, carved by my partner to be a night scene. Bats, stars, and a moon made from her hipbone in the center.

This was a partial cat skull, found in our yard, entirely stripped of anything but bone. We usually don’t work with domestic cats or dogs, since they could have been someones pet. This was the one exception to this, since they were found a very long time after death on our property. To leave it sitting felt disrespectful, so this kitty became once again loved as this piece.

Squirrel jawbone, molar, and incisor. This was the same squirrel that was hit by a car; we’ve only cleaned one thus far.

One of the jawbones from the first two fawns we collected, set with crystals.

This chestpiece was made with ribs and vertebrae from Lady the deer.

This atlas vertebrae set with amethyst was found in a forest, off of the road about a mile down from the forestry service’s building. It was a family group of five boar (two adults, three babies), and we believe they were a controlled kill by the park rangers. Wild boar are incredibly destructive and overpopulated, so many are killed each year for this reason.

Bobcat rib earrings.

Young deer vertebrae. This one was killed be predators.

Bobcat scapula (shoulderblades) with dyed purple quartz and amethyst beads.

Raccoon ribs, from our fondly named Butterball.

Wild Boar tooth.

Bobcat ulna (leg bones) and vertebrae, with quartz crystal.

This is the sysacrum (lower back bone) of a European Starling.

Squirrel leg bones, now a Jolly Roger pirate cameo.

Rat jawbones, from the same rat as the skull earlier. These are painted with resin to strengthen them.

Raccoon tailbone earrings.

Raccoon ulna and vertebrae with glass beads, also a forest find.

See original post posted by Arhythmia Hart

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