A series of three jaw pieces in sterling silver with real coyote teeth, molded from my mouth.
My mouth is full of teeth that aren’t mine. They are uncomfortable, they hang from my mouth, they disrupt my chewing. I chose to represent my mouth as something malleable, silver, and white as bone while the coyote teeth are real since to me they often feel very real even if they are were they don’t belong or make sense anatomically. Phantom sensations for me are not often the same, and don’t map to my body in logical ways.
I have worn these. More photos to come!
The third one missing a tooth was an attempt to cast around a tooth without it fully burning out but instead leaves some ghostly impression of what used to be there.
Just a quick phone shot of some jaw pieces made of metal and canine teeth I am making. I have this one (silver), another one in bronze, and 3 more ready to be cast. I can’t decide on if I like the silver or bronze more and I need to photograph them I think before I can commit. This is from a cast of inside my mouth.
(Olga is always in my photos by accident.)
I have seen a lot of basic therian jewelry, so, I’ve decided that step by step I am going to try to define a material culture for myself that isn’t just appropriation of other stuff and tries to involve good craft. First, I thought I’d try my hand at the theta-delta symbol incorporated with etched drawings. I have done two of these so far and at this point I realize that while I have the construction down pat I don’t know what people want for the necklace portion.
So, tumblr therians. Could you tell me what kinds of pendant necklaces you like? Do you like cords, chains, or something different? What kinds of clasping mechanisms? Do you have allergies? I would love thoughts, not “likes”, please. I plan on selling commissions of these through here and deviantart this summer and I want to know what I should order for supplies. I also would like to mention that the etching I do is not possible in silver or sterling silver. I pretty much can only work with copper, brass, or nickel silver.
Also, if you have had ideas for therian or otherkin jewelry but don’t know anyone who could make it for you/etc, I may be interested. I might not even charge you to make it. I am really more interested in making and learning and sharing if it is a great new idea.
I’m posting two of my older pieces of work I did my first semester in metals because while I had some thoughts about making wearable artwork for myself, I failed myself a little when I made these. Hopefully in posting them I’ll remember not to do what I did in the past and maybe it will amuse you guys to see me be a conceptual art fail butt. :)
Statement I gave my teachers when I made the Jaw Piece:
Nodding my head to some contemporary fashion icons and mixing my own sense of phantom senses, I produced a hefty jaw bone and fangs. Despite it being non-precious and aggressive, the piece is intended to look elegant and light. The wearer is accentuating their own bone structure and it brings their jaw bone to the surface, as well as permanently bares their fangs. The piece also compliments a long-standing need of mine to have truly ferocious teeth that I feel I possess; this is a reminder that I am an animal and should be viewed as such.
And the claws:
I have always felt that because we as a species are used to the idea that our own hands are soft and we do not posses claws or talons that our hands then are viewed not as weapons but as vehicles for weapons; we are forced to design clothing, objects, and jewelry to otherwise compensate for our lack of protective and defensive arsenal. I modeled a dominant-hand set of claw rings in bronze for the purpose of continuing that tradition and to satisfy my desire to remove myself in ways from social domesticity. They intentionally cover and distort my fingers with bronze, a rustic and ancient metal, and in doing so prevent onlookers from viewing precisely what kind of body language I may have. In arming myself I have removed at least some level of comfort and understanding civilly as I walk around town. This allows me to reclaim a touch of feral human yearnings for safety and the instinct to defend myself through intimidation.
I don’t necessarily agree with everything I said in my statements because I’ve had time to think about them (these are from 2010). I also had to redo the claws because I initially had rabbit fur on the backs of them which made them look more like paw-hands but just didn’t work conceptually at all. Ultimately, I don’t want people to be intimidated by me. I thought I did. After spending time wearing both in public at least once, I hated it. I’d rather find silent ways that I can be myself either in public or not that don’t make me seem scary or friendly. I’d rather keep that private.
I do however want to make wearable work that helps me invoke the canine body and mindset or helps me live through my phantom sensations into something real. The claws are nice in that they give my fingers and hand a weight to them that feels right. They pull on my fingers if I turn my hand in a way that makes my fingers feel pawlike. They fail at being useful as claws and look scarier than is necessary. Most dogs obviously do not have large claws. The claws there are less about “canine” and more about “intimidating and compensation”.
Then of course I ended up wasting a lot of time looking at gauntlet armor and plate armor for the hands and arms and ended up feeling as though metal seems too armor related and too scary. I’m going to have to really consider what materials convey what I want them to and what I actually want the wearable work to do.
I think one of the first challenges I still want to tackle is to give myself a paw hand. One that makes my fingers move the way I want them to and one that gives me tactile sensations that are not cumbersome.