Controversial materials – animals in jewellery

In the second of this series of blog posts on making jewellery out of controversial materials, tutor Anna Campbell looks at the morbid and the macabre.

In the previous post on controversial materials I focused on the human body including beads made from breast milk and gemstones made from cremated ashes. In this post I am focusing on the use of animals. It is unusual nowadays to see jewellery made from fur and other animal byproducts. However, some jewellers still have their influences and their own take on it.

julia deville jewellery

Julia DeVille is very influenced by the Victorian tradition of honouring death within jewellery, using hair and taxidermy in amongst more traditional materials to make her collection.


silent cheeseckae

Michelle from Silent Cheesecake sells specimen jar jewellery with encapsulated dead insects, taxidermy as well as plants and flowers.


Claire English

Jeweller Claire English cast a dead mouse that was found under her floorboards in her London flat. You can now wear a sterling silver version with gemstone eyes.


Cecilia Valentine

In her Fur is alive’ collection, Cecilia Valentine designed a line of conceptual jewellery as a commentary on the use of fur in fashion. Yes, the “fur” is alive.

Can you think of any other controversial pieces of jewellery? Please add a comment below


One Comment

  1. Kristin Dilworth
    Posted December 18, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Personally I find the use of both dead and alive animals in jewellery appauling

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