In Jordan, import duties bloat retail prices. Clay pots and intricate mosaics are too unwieldy to mail, and puppies gestate in less time than it takes for a package to ship back to the States. With these limits on local shopping, I turn to the internet for holiday gifting. Handmade is good; up-cycled’s appealing and what’s not to love about supporting small business? But a stroll through handmade marketplace Etsy turns up some cringe-worthy crafters. Read on, if you dare.
1. Etsy seller bonejewellery makes rings from human teeth, sealed in protective polymers and set into an adjustable-for-all metal base (see photo above). If you desire a particular type of tooth (small, large, more or less decay), this seller will aim to please, or send in your own teeth for a discount. Even at full price (under $20) this item won’t take a bite out of your wallet.
2. NaturePunk encourages extreme recycling. Why toss a part of yourself into the bin when you can become jewelry? This seller urges shoppers to ask their dentists to hand over the extracted choppers. Dampen the pain of getting your wisdom teeth pulled with the prospect of walking off with a new pair of earrings or cufflinks. Perfect if all you want for Christmas is your two front teeth.
3. Nothing says style like a necklace made of mink skulls and rattlesnake vertebrae. Ossuaria Jewelry apt213 offers jewelry crafted from real animal parts, and claim that all their creatures have died “due to natural causes, or carelessness of others”. Roadkill to retail, there’s resourcefulness.
4. Prefer your bones with a touch more glamour? Then check out that same vendor’s glass neck ornament: vintage orbs stuffed with tiny ribs and toes and vertebrae. I’m scratching my head.
5. FetidFashion has an ideal accessory to match your favorite fur coat: earrings made from mink jaws. They’re the dangle-y kind, suspended from copper hook clasps. Not quite your taste? No worries, these can also be made with silver or gold clasps.
6. Zhon of The Nature Cave posits, “how often do you have the opportunity to adopt the King of the Jungle?” He’s selling an 8 foot long pelt of an adolescent lion to anyone looking to make a rug, or wall hanging, or as Zhon suggests, buy it just to “”snuggle up next to”. This former zoo-cat has been turned into $6,000 of skin and fur that’s “soft and cuddly for any craft”.
7. Want to look “fly” at your holiday office party? Head back to bonejewellery for this pair of earrings made from the skeletal structure of Short Nosed Fruit Bat wings.
8. If you need a bit more backbone to face your New Years’ resolutions, opt for this necklace made from rattlesnake spine and topped with a Green Crested Lizard skull. Murder Jewelry assures shoppers, “all of my bones were only used once”. Twice by my count, if you consider the original owners.
9. Fishers are medium sized mammals living mostly in the North American Pacific Northwest, larger than minks and are smaller than wolverines. Seller Lunalura says this genuine Fisher paw is the “perfect gift for an animal loving friend”. I’m going bald from the head-scratching, I tell you.
10. Boomer2563’s shop was the end of my shopping trip. After seeing the coyote, bobcat and raccoon “faces” he offers for sale, it was time to turn off the computer.
My holiday enthusiasm’s evaporated. I really feel sick. This year for Christmas, I think I’m giving everyone hugs.
All images from each cited seller’s Etsy site.