Fish bones, bivalve shells, crab and lobster carapaces, and other skeletal remains are typically grist for the compost or landfill, but why should they be? Moe Nagata, a graduate of Central Saint Martins’ Textile Futures program, sees the potential in natural materials discarded by the food industry, particularly in the field of jewelry design. Inspired by animism, a tribal worldview that ascribes spiritual essences to animals, plants, and even inanimate objects, Nagata’s From Creatures collection addresses our cavalier attitude toward waste and unchecked consumption—two relatively modern phenomena.
“Traditional tribes hunted animals for food, then used every last piece of the animal to make product,” she says. “This resourceful approach conveyed a solid respect of the natural world.”
Painted, lacquered, and dipped in gold, the discarded items undergo a startling transformation.
Painted, lacquered, dipped in gold, then strung from metal and braided-textile findings, the discarded items undergo a startling—and stunning—transformation. “This collection is the ultimate celebration of nature and natural materials,” Nagata adds.