Since ancient times man has been using bone to make jewelry. I myself wear a bit of beads and trinkets made out of bone, but had never given a thought about where the bone actually came from. At least not until, I found Andrew Ross and his cow bone jewelry.
Ross is a graduate of Dundee University (UK), and recently won the New Designers Swarovski Crystal Palace Award for innovative product design. The award included approximately $2000 worth of crystals and a 2 years membership to newdesignersonline.co.uk. Said Ross, "I'm impressed that Swarovski saw the potential of my project as mainstream material."
What won Ross the award was his idea to convert waste cow bones into a variety of objects including jewelry. A really innovative feature of Ross's work is that his project shows a variety of alternative uses for cow bones rather than sending them to the dump.
Till a few years ago, cow bone used to be ground up as animal feed. But the practice was stopped when the BSE - bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease as we know it, occurred. The infectious virus is spread when cattle, which are really herbivores, are fed the remains of other cattle in different forms including bone meal.
Andrews's jewelry is starkly different from the bone jewelry we normally see. Andrew believes in retaining the original identity of the bones he uses. So, there is no reshaping of bone into beads etc. Take a look at the necklace which still retains the original shape of the bone. The ring is also unusual although I can't begin to fathom which bone in the cow's anatomy it came from.
Maybe any of my readers out there would like to take a guess?