Where do you get all your tiny bones from?
All my tiny bones come from wild barn owl pellets. I sit and dissect all the skulls and bones from them then I process them over 3-4 days so they're clean and white. I then sort through all the cleaned bones into small sections of my bone boxes.
Where do you get your owl pellets from?
I have never been fortunate enough to find more than a couple of owl pellets myself. I have been buying mine from a friend for several years now, they collect them from the same location every now and then. Sometimes people will donate them to me too or I will look on eBay if I am running low.
What are owl pellets?
Owls (and a few other birds) can't digest the fur and bones of their prey, so they regurgitate them in the form of small brown masses of tightly packed fur and bones. Owl pellets vary in look/size/colour depending on the species and its diet. A captive bred barn owl fed on frozen chicks will produce different pellets to that of a wild barn owl.
What made you start making bone art?
I've always had an interest in nature and death since a young age but I really got into collecting taxidermy and bones during college. Collecting these items made me want to try doing taxidermy myself which then led to me briefly using bones in some college work. Since then my passion for it has grown more and more to the point where I decided to become self employed and create bone art for a living.
Where do you source your other bones/animals?
Most of my bones are sourced from wild barn owl pellets. I also go on roadkill trips with my dad every couple of weeks and sometimes I am lucky enough to find recently deceased animals on nature walks. Occasionally animals/pets are donated to me from friends/local people/taxidermists to use in my work too which I am very grateful for.
How do you process your owl pellet bones?
I first soak the owl pellets in water before dissecting the bones and skulls from them with tweezers. Then I give the bones three 24 hour peroxide baths (12% hydrogen peroxide diluted with water) to whiten them, I use a sieve when emptying out the old peroxide so I don't lose any of the tiny bones!