Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bone Jewelry's Place in Modern Society

Jewelry made from bone has been around since; well actually I have never looked up the exact date. I know from hours of National Geographic shows as a child that Bone Jewelry has been an adornment almost as long as man has been on earth. You may be wondering, why then is she writing about Bone jewelry, if she hasn’t researched even the basic history. Simple really or maybe not, you will have to decide that one for yourself.

Bone Goddess with jasper and Vinatage Bronze Wire Necklace

For me it has been fascinating the different reactions people have to the few pieces of jewelry we make that contain bone in them. Bone jewelry has such a long, rich and important history in so many cultures. Bone jewelry over the years has gone in and out of fashion in some cultures, in other cultures it is an integral part of their societal make up.
 It can denote many things, from status to hunting prowess to availability. Ah, all those hours of National Geographic shows from child hood coming back into play, you never know when you will use something you have learned. Sorry I digressed for a moment with childhood memories.

Reactions to our pieces created with bone have been mixed. Some are drawn to the pieces. Others think their nice and don’t concern themselves with the fact they are created with bone. Yet, others are vehemently offended by it. Still others don’t have any opinion on the subject at all.

The ones that are offended by it are the people that puzzle me.  On the one hand I get it; something had to die in order for the bone to be available.  But something died for that leather jacket you’re wearing.  That burger you’re consuming.  So yeah it puzzles me being that the history of bone jewelry is so long and rich and the artistic nature of some pieces is unrivaled.

Bone Goddess with Moonstone and Green Swarvoski Crystals Necklace

Today, we have the ability to make synthetic material that looks like bone, so why is real bone such a draw, still today?

Its primal, it speaks to that uncivilized part of us that yearns and craves for a connection to the world around us. To announce to the world that yes, I am here, I am alive, I survive, and I will conquer. Ok, maybe conquer isn’t the right word. Yet, bone jewelry is earthy, elemental and speaks to that part of us that we keep caged in today’s so called civilized world in which we all live. Some people hear that call louder and more demanding than others.

For me it also goes back to the way of our ancestors. When they hunted an animal for food, they used every part of the animal they could in whatever manner they could. To me that is the responsible way to live, so I have no problem with bone jewelry and we will continue to make pieces that contain bone when the muse inspires us in that direction.

On the other hand since we do not support the slaughter of elephants for the ivory, which is a type of bone by the way. Or any other illegal, immoral and wasteful harvesting of bone; We will only purchase our bone pieces from sources we trust.

So what are your thoughts on “Bone Jewelry” in modern society?

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