Ivorish: jewelry from our own teeth

In the Summer of 2014 we were confronted with a newsitem mentioning that Satao, Kenya’s largest elephant, fell into the hands of poachers. Again, a natural monument of our planet was lost. Every year again thousands of elephants are killed for their tusks. Many people adore ivory for its unique qualities. Ignorant of the meaning and source of the material they do not realize that the trade in ivory is very cruel, redundant and will prove to be limited.

Ivorish is the result of a research about the ambigious beauty of ivory. The intended line of jewelry made by Nina van den Broek, intern of the Open Wetlab at Waag, is made of our own primary teeth. These small parts of our ‘youth’ carry a completely different, personal and emotional value. Often preserved in a small jar somewhere on the bottom shelf of a closet the ostly remain untouched. They do however exist of the same basic material as elephant tusks, being dentine. When pulverized and mixed with other components, it is posible to create objects with the same kind of qualities as ivory. This send a clear message to the ivory industry: there always are alternatives! 

Nominated for the New Material Award, this work will be presented from 20 November 2014 at the New Institute in Rotterdam.