Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Dragon Scale Launch

Meet Omen!

Omen is a spotted python and the reason why my dragon scale (snake shed) jewellery came into existence. Omen's human, Kaela, approached me at the end of last year asking if I might be able to make some jewellery for her to wear using the shed (or moult) from her beloved pet.

The first piece I created was a vial style necklace filled with his shed, I was then asked if I could also make something whereby his shed was coloured and set in jewellery. After much fiddling and trial and error I came across a method using a mixture of 4 or 5 specialised dyes that gave a beautiful effect to the shed resembling a dragon's scales. The piece was met with a lot of interest from my regular customers and I began to research the viability of creating this jewellery and adding it to my product range.

With any product that uses animal matter, I then got in contact with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) to seek approval to create items using this animal waste product. After 2 months of consultation with the DEHP I had the guidelines and procedures in place that allow me to meet their requirements for such a product. In part the delay was due to the fact that they could find no-one else doing the work I was wanting to do with the sheds and thus needed to establish guidelines specifically for this type of work. On the one hand it is great to create a product range that is unique and not being done, on the other it can be frustrating to try and be patient and get the ball rolling.... but persistence pays off in the end!

Meet Kaela!

I have had the pleasure of working with Kaela (Sinrott) on a couple of photo shoots now, she is an amazingly talented model and so lovely to work with.  With the approval given for my snake jewellery, I thought it was only fitting that I do a product shoot with the two stars that started it all!

I have always loved snakes (while still having a healthy respect for them) and have fond memories of having a huge python wrapped across my shoulders as part of a high school animal education event. Combine that with the fact that Greek Mythology stories were one of my favourite things to read as a child and I naturally arrived at the idea of a Medusa photo shoot.

To do this shoot properly I enrolled the services of the very talented Sarah Osmo from Heels and Bows Photography. The amazing Kelli MacAlpine from Misk Designs did the stunning snake effect body art and makeup and the Medusa hair (courtesy of some cheap shop toy snakes). I absolutely adore the fact that there as such talented people in my town that I can collaborate with that also understand my vision of what I hope to achieve and make that a reality. The results, I think you'll agree with me, are nothing short of spectacular!

Meet the products!

 A few of the reasons why I love this product range is firstly that I am upcycling what is essentially a waste product thrown out by most snake owners. Secondly, I get to immortalise the snake through it's shed and allow people to admire it's natural beauty. Last, but definitely not least, I love the symbolism of the snake shed - something that has been outgrown and is now dull and lifeless, is cast off to allow the snake to further grow and shine once more. I think in life we all need to put aside the things we have outgrown and progress into areas where we can shine!

All my REAL snake shed products are ethically obtained from Australian licensed owners that possess all the necessary licenses they require to own the creatures. They provide me with these once the snake has had a natural shed of it's skin. Some sheds may be slightly imperfect due to the nature of life. These just make each piece unique and are little scars that tell a story about the snakes life.
All work and obtaining of sheds/moults is done in accordance with state laws and regulations regarding this process.

The shed or moult is available in: 

Natural tones - The shed is given a treatment to use in the product but no colouring or enhancement is used
Dyed - The shed is treated and then hand dyed using a mixture of 4 or 5 dyes to give a detailed effect while still conveying the natural beauty of the shed and then given a further treatment. Various standard colours available, each dye lot will vary. Custom colouring available on request but may attract an additional charge.
Fused Foil  - The shed is treated and then fused to a specialised foil available in a few different colours. This allows the natural beauty of the shed to stand out against the irridescence of the foil. It gives a similar end result to dichroic glass.

Different species of snakes and lizards are available resulting in different scale patterns and each piece ordered will come with a species identification and care card.

Available in the following forms: pendants, rings, earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, tie clips, hip flasks, brooches and key clips.

To purchase:

You can view examples of the styles available at my website, due to the fact that there are so many colour variations that are achievable it is a representation of what is available and in most cases your item will be constructed once ordered(unless currently in stock).
Alternatively my ETSY and Madeit storefronts have ready to purchase items with postage already calculated.
Want to see them in person? You can find me each month at Global Care Markets in Toowoomba inside their hall.

Finally a HUGE thank you to the talented artisans that helped me on the photo shoot collaboration, I am in awe of your respective talents and it was a pleasure to work with you all!


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