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Rachel Case is an artist who makes unusual jewelry. How unusual? Try fingernail and toenail clippings. She actually sculpts them into little designs—usually skeletal hands, fish, bugs and animal paws and embeds them into resin with amber backings. These make for jewelry that will either gross you out or make you gape—or perhaps entice you to send her your own clippings for custom work?
Rachel Case calls them ‘human ivory’ although the clippings are neither bone or teeth. But fingernails and toenails are extensions of our skeletons. The color also reminds her of ivory.
This New Jersey-based artist sells her work in a number of places including the Mutter Museum at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, which happens to have the oldest collection of human anatomical oddities.