Shown above : Racoon Jaw and Kambaba Jasper Necklace 

Not many jewelry artisans work with real bone. One artisan who does, and does it spectacularly well, is Michigan based Deanna Abita of MalikaMorbid. Her designs combine bones with gemstones and metal elements with stunning effect. 

I first came across her work in this Business Insider video which shows her working with bones and some of her designs. 

Deanna says it is not about the shock value but to make something beautiful out of something considered morbid or tragic.  All her bones are ethically sourced – roadkill or found in woodland areas. 

She explained :

Most of the bones that I find on my own have been mostly decomposed naturally. I macerate to remove any remaining flesh and then degrease. I also get a lot of my bones from other people in very rural areas that salvage/process animal remains for taxidermy and pelts since there is no way I would be able to collect enough on my own. The alligator bones come from a person in Florida who does this.

A senior research scientist who I worked with a long time ago, collected roadkill because she wanted the skulls.  She had quite a skull collection of various small animals and birds on a shelf in her home study! She usually buried the animals in her backyard and left them for at least a year. Only bones remain after insects have defleshed the carcasses*. The bones can then be cleaned.  Can’t wait? You can hurry the process – see Roadkill Crafts: A Squeamish Beginner’s Guide.

Deanna is very good at putting together her designs as many of the bones she uses are irregularly shaped.  Her use of dark antique brass with the white bones is a study in contrast.  Not for everyone but really stunning designs.

Alligator Foot Bone and Lepidolite earrings

Deer Hyoid Bone and Hypersthene necklace

By Admin