I’m so excited to introduce a new territory phantasmagoria is entering into! Today I’m spotlighting a very talented artist who I discovered on Etsy, and even more exciting- she’s local! The talented Amanda Langston is the creative genius behind Osteal; a Seattle-based jewelry line chock-full of unexpected, curious materials and exquisite craftsmanship. Aside from the unique designs, her line boasts sustainably and humanely obtained materials as well. She was generous enough to send me some of her precious pieces for me to share with you all, and also answer a few questions so that you can get to know the woman behind the works.
Be sure to check out her store for yourselves, and to connect with her on other platforms to follow her amazing work!
Etsy Shop – https://www.etsy.com/shop/Osteal
Follow the Blog – http://ostealjewelry.tumblr.com/
Destash and Sale items – http://osteal.storenvy.com
‘Like’ on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Osteal
1. Where do you draw inspiration from for your pieces?
The natural shape of the bones, national geographic, mourning jewelry, paintings/artwork,
colors and textures, seasons, apocalyptic movies, my friends and the wildness of the pacific northwest.
2. What materials do you prefer working with & why?
I’d prefer to work with ‘natural’ elements and am trying to do that more as the shop evolves:
not just bones but also stone, wood, and shell.
i like raw, ‘wild’ feeling things and mostly i love the strange shapes and textures nature creates.
This is one of the incredible pieces sent to me by Amanda, entitled “Muroidea.” Made with recycled watch parts and cruelty-free fur.
3. Describe the kind of woman you’re designing for
Truly, I suppose, the answer is myself. I make things i like, things i find
beautiful.. things i haven’t seen yet. I design the things that make
sense to me, and luckily other people like them too.
When i think of my jewelry it’s all a bit rough, wild, unfinished but calming and lovely all the same.
Maybe it’s just an extension of the kind of person i am… naturally strange.
4. What’s been your biggest obstacle/difficulty either inspiration wise or just technically in making your pieces?
My only issues are with how fragile bones can be, and that i do not use anything that wasn’t found.
Its hard to have a ‘steady’ supply
of things when you rely on nature, friends and happenstance. I do not use anything from fur farms, factory farms, trophy
hunting or trapping – all things are scavenged and found.
I wish i could make exotic pieces and reproduce popular designs, but i answer to nature.
5. How do you set your prices?
That is my biggest struggle! i try to factor in time: how long it took to make the item, how long it took to find the bones, how long to clean them
and then add in the price of materials on top of that..
Truly I just want things to be affordable, i want people like me to be able to have wonderful, original jewelry.
6. What are some of your goals/future plans for your work/business?
I would love to have a small store front, preferably with one or two others possibly selling clothes, art and the jewelry.
truly i just want to be able to continue creating.
I don’t make tons of money but it does help pay bills,
and lets me continue to donate to wildlife organizations and do volunteer work..
7. Anything else my readers should know? Anything I missed?
I regularly donate proceeds of my shop to the WWF, Defenders of Wildlife, ASPCA, Humane Society and other similar organizations.
In the bone jewelry genre there tend to be two types of shops, the Exotic/purchased bone shop – and the Cruelty free/scavenged shops.
I try to create all my items as cruelty free as possible. I value animal life as much, if not more so, than human life.
I want to encourage people to question where things come from, what they are made of and why. Animals should never
suffer for human fashion.
Additionally I always want people to know that finding dead things is not ‘fun’ for me, i always feel sad.
I want to honor and remember the lives that have been lost.
Its icky business, picking up roadkill and dead things. It takes patience, time and a high tolerance for ‘ick’.
I love that i can create an item that allows me to help protect other wildlife.
Creativity AND consciousness! I love it! I really hope you all find Amanda’s work and efforts as intriguing as I do. Again, I implore you to check out her shop for yourselves, as there are many more amazing pieces to be seen! And at amazing prices too. Below are a few photos from her Etsy shop of other drool-worthy pieces that will have you clicking like, favorite, save, and of course.. add to cart 🙂
Like Phantasmagoria on Facebook and follow on Pinterest! And me, Emily, on Twitter & Instagram