Thursday, January 29, 2015

Questions Questions Questions: Answered

BONELUST CUSTOM ORDER: Pet Processing for a customer - Menoh. Only part of the skeleton is pictured & it arrived with missing teeth.

Embarrassingly enough I just finished answering the many questions I've gotten behind on here going all the way back to October of last year. Sorry guys, I'm a full time self employed bone artist and simply do not have the time to always get back to your questions in a timely fashion. Especially when it is a time where I have to really focus on something like holiday sales. Which start for me in October.

Please take note of the SEARCH THIS BLOG field to the right here where you can quickly search for answers in my many posts rather than having to look for it one at a time. 

BONELUST PERSONAL COLLECTION: Parakeet Skull. This domestic bird is one that's entirely legal to have in your collection. ��♥��


I really hardly ever post anything anywhere in general about birds because of legal issues. Most birds you're going to come across in US/Canada are illegal to have any part of dead or alive because they are Migratory Bird Treaty Act protected species. If you were to macerate most birds you're likely going to end up with nothing but a stinky pile of mush. To process birds, rodents & small reptiles/amphibians you can't really macerate like larger medium sized animals. You literally have to carefully remove the feathers, skin & muscle with surgical tools, tweezers & scissors as best you can. I rarely do this myself because it is so tedious. If it is mummified it may be even harder to accomplish. Or you can soak a while in water & if you're lucky you can carefully peel away the skin from the bones & just hope that most of the muscle was already eaten away by carrion insects. I'll have to make a longer blog post about this sometime for sure. But for now there's this one:

BONELUST PERSONAL COLLECTION: A new rodent skull addition to my personal collection - Golden Hamster AKA Syrian Hamster, Mesocricetus auratus. It is approx 1.5" long. ♥��♥


Most of the birds protected by the MBTA are not endangered. They are very common and abundant. But that was not the case when the MBTA was created back in 1918. Many common birds were being wiped out into extinction from people hunting them and collecting them & their eggs/nests for their collections. And people using the feathers in fashion. That's the misconception that most people don't understand now. The species that are alive now were saved from extinction by the MBTA. That's why they are so common and abundant now.

It is illegal in US, Canada, Mexico, Russia and Japan to even possess bird remains of species listed on the MBTA. We can not have or sell birds, feathers, bones, eggs, or even nests from anything on that protected list. Likewise, you could be fined up to $15,000 and/or do jail time for having/selling them. So be careful!

Your legal common bird options are - European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Feral Pigeon (Columba livia domestica), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), chickens and other domesticated birds and birds like quail, grouse and pheasants. But some of those game birds you still need permits to hunt and can not be sold.

I want to point out as well that there are MANY pigeon/dove species that ARE protected species and many people have a misconception that they are not. Only Feral Pigeons are OK to have. Also, people often mention that crows are hunted and OK to have. Not that simple. You must have a permit to hunt where they are permitted to hunt and do so in season. Also, hunted crows can not be sold, they can only be gifted. Info about Regulations For Crows.

Final List of Bird Species to Which the Migratory Bird Treaty Act Does Not Apply - Note though that it is somewhat out of date - file orig dated 2005, PDF from 2008. Could be changes since then.

Tons More Animal Parts Laws Can Be Found Here. Here in the US you can quickly look up info on your exact state at the link above which is especially helpful with some laws being so varied from state to state.

BONELUST PERSONAL COLLECTION: The smaller of the 2 snake skulls I posted a couple days ago cleaned up beautifully!. Exact species unknown. But I was told it is from the Colubridae family. I took this photo at an angle to show you how the jawbones don't co

Here is a list of my most frequented blog posts and topics related to the questions I get for quicker reference to find your answers.


BONELUST BONE PROCESSING Q&A: I want to start collecting bones/animal remains but I'm concerned about disease.

Most Important Thing For a Bone Collector? Patience. 

Starting Over, Learning Anew

Bone Collectors Are Not Sociopaths

BONELUST Q&A: "Can't you get leprosy from armadillos?


BONELUST BONE PROCESSING Q&A: What should the remains look like to begin maceration?

The Mathematics Of Maceration - A HowTo Guide For The Patient 


Whitening Bone Using Hydrogen Peroxide NOT Chlorine Bleach

Bad Words: BOIL & BLEACH


Bad Words: BOIL & BLEACH


BONELUST Q&A: "Why is it bad to boil bones? It is the way I was taught to clean them a long time ago."

Bad Words: BOIL & BLEACH


Whitening Bone Using Hydrogen Peroxide NOT Chlorine Bleach


BONELUST Q&A: "How will I know if a skull needs degreasing, I'm not sure what it even looks like?"


BONELUST Q&A: "How do I put mandibles back together & teeth in?"


"Stick it on an ant pile!"

BONELUST Q&A: "Do you use dermestid beetles?"


Meet Jana Miller: Founder & Artist of Bone Lust

BONELUST Q&A: What do you mean when you say you’re an ethical bone artist?

BONELUST BONE ART SHOP Q&A: Who is your animal bone supplier?

Jana Miller Bone Lust Interview on Postal Treats

Bone Collecting from the Beginning

BONELUST PERSONAL COLLECTION: Another new rodent skull addition to my collection. Woodchuck (Marmota monax) AKA groundhog or marmot

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Meet Jana Miller: Founder & Artist of Bone Lust

BONELUST - Self Portrait with White-tailed Deer Skull 3 - Ver2 Duotone
Self Portrait with White-tailed Deer Skull from 2009

I frequently get requests for interviews by magazines and online sites and I think the short pieces they usually do on my
Bone Lust work just doesn't paint the whole picture. So I'm posting this here as the definitive "About Me".

I've been collecting and processing bones and other things of nature for over 35 years now, as of 2014. Just always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have a very science and nature oriented family. I've disliked waste from a vey young age. Started picking up bones and dead insects then. I still keep every single little pieces of animal/insect/fungi/rusty bits I find and try to use them in my art. I'm been called "the ultimate recycler" because it.

BONELUST ART & JEWELRY NATURAL SUPPLIES: Just now sorting these natural supplies that were a bday gifts. Insects, mummified frogs, bones, crab pinchers, snail shells & wasp nests. All ethically sourced & found by chance over many years. Already have plans
Naturally Dead Nature Finds For BoneLust Art Aupplies

I've been making animal bone and human teeth jewelry since the late 1980s - early 1990s. For a long time I only made it for myself and friends. In 2008, I became unemployed at no fault of my own. Previously, I had worked 10 years for NOAA/USGS deep-sea conservation scientists. So I went back to my roots for my new "career". I started my BoneLust blog in 2009, to share my lifetime of self taught bone processing experience with those that want to learn (without making the mistakes I already had). Soon after I started selling my bone art and jewelry to the public as Bone Lust.

Skunk Skull Wall Mount with Quartz Shard Bullet 1 Front
Skunk Skull Wall Mount with Quartz Shard Bullet created in 2013, by BoneLust

99% of my bone/taxidermy supplies I find dead and process myself. Even the insects. Ethical sources are very important to me. I can't stress this enough. My art is not about glorifying death but rather honoring and celebrating life. I would much rather see any of the animals, insects, plants used in my art alive. I never have nor ever will harm or kill an animal, insect or plant for my bone collection or art.

I've been hauling around these 3 old rusty saw blades for probably 15 years now with every intention of using them in my art. They nearly went to the scrap yard recently & I pulled them aside in the last minute. Since this is the year I want to do more ar
Rusty Vintage aw Blades & Skulls For BoneLust Art Projects

My bone processing techniques involve natural decomposition using a bone cage and the help of wild carrion insects. Then followed up by a rinsing step, degreasing step and lastly a sterilizing and whitening step. Leaving me with the strongest quality finished bones possible.

Remains of a squirrel in my bone cage after only two days with optimal weather.
Squirrel Skeleton In My Bone Cage

I'm currently located on the Nature Coast of Florida. Which is in North FL., Gulf of Mexico side. Deep country life is why I can process salvaged animals into bones much more easily than when I lived in more suburban areas of FL in the past. Plus finding deceased animals is easier here as well. Many are roadkill salvaged and from hunter dumping grounds. On a rare occasion I have animals donated to me. Also wanted to note that all animal remains used in my work are legal species for me to use.

BONELUST TOOTH CUSTOM ORDER INFO: I have a number of creations I can make YOUR supplied teeth into. Human, pet or found animal teeth welcome! Glass displays, necklaces & rings. Some already have custom order listings at Bonelust.Etsy.Com in my Custom Orde
Examples of BoneLust Custom Orders With Customer Supplied Pet & Human Teeth

A couple things I specialize in is making art/jewelry out of customer supplied human and pet teeth. I also do pet memorial work. In other words, I get recently deceased furry friends in the mail and I turn them into pretty white bones and jewelry (fur, whiskers, claws, microchip, etc). You can see more examples here.

BONELUST PET PROCESSING & MEMORIAL JEWELRY INFO: I have been getting a lot of questions on this topic lately. If you want more info you must contact me directly at my shop to discuss the details please Bonelust.Etsy.Com
Examples of BoneLust Pet Processing & Memorial Pieces, 2014

Here is an earlier interview from 2010

And here is a detailed blog post that goes into what exactly ethical means to me.

Two Deer Dolly Taxidermy Mounts Available In My Shop - Made With Vintage Porcelain Dolls, Deer Antlers & Teeth
Deer Dolly Taxidermy Mounts created in 2012, by BoneLust

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Today's Science Lesson: This Is A Well Gnawed On Boar Skull I Wedged Between Two Trees. I Toss Bones In The Woods As Well. Why? For Squirrels & Other Wildlife That Rely On Them For Minerals & Other Nutrients They Can't Get In Their Normal Diet.
The remains of a wild boar skull wedged into a tree on my property that has been very well gnawed out the past 10 years or so.

As a bone collector it is always important to leave some bones for the wild animals. I have tossed out bones around my entire property for them and have spots where I leave piles like in the first photo.

BONELUST SCIENCE LESSON - As a bone collector it is always important to leave some bones for the wild animals. I have tossed out bones around my entire property for them and have spots where I leave piles like in the first photo.

Why do I do this? Most bone collectors have found bones, skulls or even antlers or turtle shells with teeth gnaw marks on them in the outdoors. This is likely caused by squirrels in most cases.

They do this for two reasons: A) As a source of minerals sparse in their normal diet & B) To help keep their teeth from getting too long. Their teeth are always growing & if they get too long it can cause the squirrel to starve or even have the teeth impale them. Eventually resulting in the death of the squirrel. Other animals gnaw on bones for similar reasons as well. Like rabbits. This overgrowth of teeth is called malocclusion.

There was even a giraffe that was photographed recently found gnawing on an impala skull likely for similar reasons.

A Well Gnawed On Wild Boar Or Deer Bone Found In The Woods: Squirrels & Other Animals Eat Them For Nutrients They Can't Get From Their Regular Diet
A well gnawed on deer or wild boar bone.