My name is Kim, and I live just off the Hudson River in a small village in upstate NY's incredible Adirondack Park region. I love nature, bones, the macabre, abandoned places, learning, and digging things up. I'm crazy about animals in general and my own little animal family in particular. My husband and I often take other people's unwanted pets into our family, and we love sharing them and the things we learn about them with a surprising number of interested neighborhood kids and adults alike. We are currently slaves to our 2 adopted cats, the sweetest boa constrictor in the world, a rescued tarantula, 3 sweet little mice, 2 adorable and playful rats, and some very voracious guppies.
I graduated from USC [University of Southern California], where I studied anthropology, archaeology, linguistics and gender studies. After obtaining my degree in the social sciences, I worked for 7 years supporting people with autism. Unfortunately, I had to stop the work I loved so much in order to focus my attention on getting treatment for my own bipolar disorder. I struggled for years with a particularly nasty bout of depression and social anxiety. I tried many different medications, attended regular counseling sessions, and was one step away from being hospitalized for Electroconvulsive Therapy when I finally found a med which works for me. The recovery process is still a struggle, but I'm grateful every day for my progress. My family, companion animals, walks in nature whenever I can get them, and my jewelry are my therapies.
I've been designing, creating and selling my jewelry for 17 years, often inspired by the beauty of this area. I'm moved more by interesting shapes and textures than by perfection of form, and love experimenting with and incorporating natural elements which I collect with my husband. As a vegetarian and animal lover, I'm very particular about the origin of the bones and teeth I use. All of my natural animal bits were found by myself or collected from owl pellets. All of my fine silver bones and teeth are molded either from these, or from pieces which are or were part of a teaching collection.
I purchase my Karen Hill Tribe silver exclusively from an active member of the World Fair Trade Organization which works directly with the village silversmiths in Northern Thailand to handcraft a variety of .999 fine silver and .925 sterling silver jewelry components. The partnership helps fund schools and training facilities for the Karen villagers in order to ensure the survival of their long tradition of making silver, and to continue to provide an alternative to growing crops for the illicit drug trade.
About My BCI Donations:
Over 10% of all proceeds from my shop are donated to support the work of Bat Conservation International [BCI] and the Center for Biological Diversity.
I'm happy to carry on my grandfather's dedicated support of BCI, who are aware of my contributions & have kindly viewed my shop to approve the information I provide. The group conducts and facilitates science-based bat conservation efforts worldwide, and has been instrumental in the fight against White-nose Syndrome. The fungus which causes WNS was first discovered in 2006 in a cave in NY, but it is now known to have affected 9 species and killed over 1 million bats in 16 states and 2 Canadian Provinces. Per BCI's site, biologists have concluded that "White-nose Syndrome has caused the most precipitous wildlife decline in the past century in North America".
Donations from my OsteoWear sections instead assist the Center for Biological Diversity's Get the Lead Out Campaign. The campaign focuses on removing from use all fishing tackle and bullets containing lead. Waterfowl such as cranes, ducks, swans, loons and geese often ingest spent lead-shot pellets or lost fishing weights, mistaking them for food or grit. Lead fragments from bullets contaminate the carcasses scavenged by wildlife including California condors, bald eagles, golden eagles and ravens. Lead poisoning kills millions of birds every year nationwide, and biology, toxicology and ornithology experts agree that full recovery of the condor is unlikely as long as lead ammunition continues to contaminate their food.