Everything around us has the potential to influence our thoughts and later, our actions. An unusual dream we woke up with, or maybe the giant 2 inch Africanized red wasp crawling on our neck in the wee hours of the morning, or the baby rabbit that loves to hang out a few feet from the garage workshop when I turn on the music, or the lady dumping dead bodies at midnight just beyond our back yard. The point is, though randomly accounted for here, that if you keep your eyes open to the peculiar things you see each day – they eventually become a part of you and your art.
I loooove San Francisco, my sister – The Welder Girl – lives there, how lucky she is. It is a city surrounded by incredibly creative people making all kinds of art. Each time I visit I make sure to take a trip into the local taxidermist shops. If you are picturing a musty old warehouse with creepy glass eyes staring at you – think again. The shops there are bright, clean, geared towards the hip and chic loving naturalist. They have all kinds of jewelry, art, books, and well…just weird ass stuff you don’t normally find at places like The Pottery Barn. I think this type of work used to seem pretty odd to me, but when artists do it in a tasteful and sustainable way – it is actually quite appealing.
I am completely inspired by those shops, and I wanted to make sure it would show through somehow. So, I started up my own line of Beast jewelry. The great thing is that most of the fur, feathers, antlers and so on are actually items of discard from other taxidermists that would most likely be throwing these delicate pieces away. In my eyes that would be an extreme waste. Ever since I was six years old I have remembered a question that I asked my first grade teacher, and another inspiring collage artist, Mrs. Gelaro. She taught us that the indigenous tribes of the Northern Pacific Coast of America would hunt whales, and upon catching them – would proceed to use each and every part of their bodies for something useful. They balked at the idea of waste. So, in my oddly inquisitive way I posed the question, “Even the eyeballs?” And yes – it turns out that the eyes are in fact quite delectable if you salt them lightly and add a seaweed wrap.
Of course – all of these items have been added to my Online Shop. I plan to continue this line and possibly expand the idea beyond jewelry.
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