Eindhoven graduate Lucie Majerus’s Human Ivory jewellery collection is made from her own extracted wisdom teeth.
Intended as an alternative to materials harvested from other animals, such as elephants, the collection includes earrings, cuff links, brooches and rings. A tie pin features a single “pearl” of ivory, while earrings are made of several stacked on top of one another.
“Human Ivory proposes an egalitarian jewelry collection, where the body is being adorned by its own gem, polished from recognizable teeth into an abstract but familiar pearl shape,” said Majerus.
“By the careful transformation of smoothening of the tooth, the possible disgust associated with a human tooth evolves into attraction and beauty.”
Majerus saved her own wisdom teeth after extraction and cleaned them with bleach before shaping them with a stone-polishing machine.
She also collected teeth from her teachers at Design Academy Eindhoven to create customised jewellery for them.
“Teeth are the hardest part of the human body, but they are softer than stones,” she said. “As they are very small, one needs a lot of patience and love for detail to work on them.”
“Every tooth is different in shape, size and strength, so I need to adapt the making process each time.”
Now taking commissions, Majerus hopes people will collect their own teeth over time – whether they’ve fallen out naturally, or been removed – and send them to her to be transformed into wearable, bespoke pieces.
Similarly personal jewellery was also designed by Berlin designer Sybille Paulsen, who created pieces for cancer patients using their own hair.
Icelandic fashion designer Sruli Recht used even more intimate materials, surgically removing a piece of his own skin to design a ring.