Tag Archive: placenta recipes


“YUMMY MUMMY” 

My Experimental Adventures Lacto Fermenting Using Raw Breast Milk

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First step, seperated breast milk into curds and whey

– “MAMA MOOLI” –

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nourishing-traditions I had been trawling the web for ages looking for a local raw milk supplier so I can start lacto-fermenting foods.  We had recently bought the book ‘Nourishing Traditions’ and I had been building up courage to experiment with lacto-fermented vegetables, cultured dairy products and fermented beverages like kombucha.

To begin I ideally needed to make “WHEY” – as in ‘Curds and Whey‘.

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Finding good RAW mlk turned out to be quite a challenge as there are many laws regarding the selling and comsuming of unpasteurised milk.  A lot of the information out there is trying to convince you that drinking raw milk was DANGEROUS!

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We did the research.

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The benefits, in my humble opinion far outweigh the risks.  So I kept looking for a local supplier, preferably of organic ‘Goat’ milk.

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Then a penny dropped… “DING!”… “what the feck, Derrrrr!!”

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surprised goat

We have a live organic goat living with us already… ME!!!

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Why didn’t I think of it before?  Was it simply because of the cultural conditioning  and belief that drinking your own breast milk is a bit, well, “Eeeeeewwe” ???

Really?  My god!  It is barmy when you think about it.  Human milk is designed for us, but we drink, and feed our new-borns and children, milk from another ‘species’, often rather than our own!!!  A species that is factory farmed, sometmes in terrible conditions, regularly pumped full of growth hormones, antibiotics and fed pesticide enriched food stuffs?  And THAT is totally socially acceptable?  How weird is that?  “Eeeeeewwe”!

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Well, MY milk tastes bloody yummily lovely thank you very much, lol, and it is clean, chock full of antibodies and completely free!

That was it.  Didn’t need any convincing.  Time to get pumping!

 “MOOOOOOooooooooooo”

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happy mad cow

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Soooo, I started pumping!!! … and pumping!!!

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Unfortunatly me and the pump… we don’t like each other (long story) so didn’t get much out.  Thanks to copious amounts of Green & Blacks chocolate I eventually got a few fluid ounces out.

It was enough however to make my first jar of lacto fermented “MAMMA MOOLI” using my own milk!  And it was great, Yayyyyy!!

 (if a little salty… I used too much salt)

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The process was the same as the one laid out in the book for normal fermentation using whey and I will provide a link here  to the recipes rather than type the whole thing out (busy mum needs to find short cuts and solutions, lol)

I hope the pics are enough of a visual guide and I am happy to anwswer any questions personally using the comment boxes provided with this post.

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Since originally drafying this page ages ago I have weaned my little one.

I could have happily extended the breast feeding, but my partner and I are trying for another.  At 44 years old I need to maximise my chances.

Sadly, breast feeding is one of those things that can inhibit conceiving.  The process of weaning was (sometimes still is) actually harder for me than it was for him.  I still get a little emotional at times, my hormones are taking an entire cycle, at least, to return to normal.  I am content that our little ‘Mooster’ was given the very best start in life and had his ‘booby’ for a good 18 months.

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However…. the story does not stop there!

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One of my dear lactating friends, Eirene, upon much encouragement by me, has begun pumping for the Milk Bank.  How fantastic is that!!

She is now a breast milk donor for the poor little premature babies who do not get the chance others get.  She has an abundance of rich, nourishing and much needed milk, and now she saves lives!  I am so proud of her.

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Caitlin, another breast milk donor fed my little one when things got tough for me at one point in the early days.  I saw her personally at her home and was lucky enough to get her milk ‘raw’ and unpasteurized.  She even wet-nursed my baby, which was a huge experience for both of us.  We are quite close now, a bond was formed between us that can never be broken.

Eventually I pumped my milk back and continued to feed my baby for another 15 months,

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Soooo, Eirene with regularity has a freezer full of bags of lovely milk.

All the milk that the bank cannot take, she is giving me… so my lacto fermenting veggie adventures using breast milk continue…. Yaayyyyyyyyyy!!!!

….but using someone else’s milk…. lol.

Now that raises another eyebrow doesn’t it!!

raised eyebrow baby

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As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive.

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Feel free to explore my site and other posts such as…

 “PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

 “Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it”

12 Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

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Other blogs on ART projects –

SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKIN, ANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART &  JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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A Wild Woman’s Joy at being able to DANCE again

after pelvic injury and birthing.

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tumbleweed-at-the-edge-of-a-sand-road-on-the-way-to-route-40-argentina

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“We Have Come To Be Danced”

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The year before I became pregnant I had a slight injury to my hip whilst out hiking in beautiful countryside.

Wasn’t that much of an injury I thought, but things got worse over the coming months, and, convinced that I had somehow manifested it myself and that my body would heal naturally, I did nothing about it.  In fact it took ages to relate the two together.  I continued to dance, despite the discomfort!

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Nine months after the injury I realised that hoping it would get better on its own was futile and I sought the help of a physiotherapist who confirmed that my pelvis had had an anterior rotation for sometime – no wonder I had been in considerable pain.  My pelvic floor had deteriorated and various muscles were not firing as they should.  Other muscles had taken over, my body was way out of balance and it needed much work, as did my self-esteem.  I was relieved to begin physical treatment.  It was an education to learn just how important it was to maintain flexibility and good posture.  For someone who was an enthusiastic dancer and considered herself pretty fit, I was shocked to lose my strength and mobility so quickly!

Only weeks after starting said treatment I found out (thanks to the ‘Cosmic Sock Monkey’, lol) that I was at last pregnant!  Whooohoooo!!  I was soooo happy!  We had been trying for so long!

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Unfortunately the NHS do not treat pregnant women, so my condition was left to deteriorate again until after the birth.  It got much, much worse.  I no longer danced.

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I still continued to enjoy life, we even bought a van in the States and did a huge road trip which included the iconic BURNING MAN festival, albeit at a more sedentary pace and constantly consciously aware of the unique little person growing inside me.

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We did everything we could to make his entrance into this world as easy, enjoyable and enlightening as possible.  We did a lot of reading together. We even moved areas to one that was less inclined to suggest elective caesareans and not be so fearful and protocol based.  I was thrilled to be so fecund, I was going to miss this feeling.

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Natural Birthing, Rites of Passage & Primal Behaviour.

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However, at the age of 42 pregnancy knocked the stuffing out of my body, despite being enchanted by my pregnancy.  I was finding it excruciating to walk, sit and sleep.  I found an amazing chiropractor who helped keep everything together while my body was flooded with the hormone ‘relaxin‘.  This hormone was not helping me stabilise my twisted, and now floppy pelvis.

Bernette Van Kal based in Harrogate at Montpellier Chiropractic, North Yorkshire is a miracle worker, was incredibly gentle and reassuring.  She continued to realign my body so that we could have the birth we wanted.

I can not thank Bernette enough, she has since become a close and cherished friend, and I managed to have a wonderful home-birth and beautiful son, Maximus.

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After being semi-disabled for nearly two years, I can at last dance (for a while) without pain.  I have made up for the lack of self-expression through movement by focusing on my other artistic practices.

Now, the worry and challenge of losing my mobility and being uncertain of its return has transformed how I want to move my body, especially in public – basically, I didn’t give much of a feck before, I care even less now what other people think.

I still have some degree of discomfort every day, I keep popping out little abdominal hernias because it has taken 18 months for the stomach muscles to knit back together, but my continued Pilates classes twice a week with the lovely and whip cracking Claire and Louise  (of Heaven & Hell Fitness) and the physiotherapy exercises are improving my level of fitness and stability all the time.

Eckart Tolle helps me to see the bigger picture and keeps me mentally on track in an insane world, and David Deida’s daily ‘Bluetruths’ remind me how to keep the flame in our relationship and sex-life burning.

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I can’t wait to be dancing again this summer… and jumping up and down without peeing myself!  lol.

This powerful poem that I love by Jewel Mathieson sums up how I feel.  Every woman would benefit from …

I HAVE COME TO DANCE!!

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We have come to Be Danced

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Not the pretty dance
 Not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the Belly
Of the Sacred, Sensual Animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box Dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
Of our hands and feet Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
 But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The Blow the chip off our shoulder Dance.
The slap the apology from our posture Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two Dance like you
 One two three, Dance like me Dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open Dance
The rub the Rhythm Raw against our Soul Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, Voodoo Mama
Shaman Shakin’ Ancient Bones Dance
The strip us from our casings, Return our Wings
Sharpen our Claws and Tongues Dance
The Shed Dead Cells and slip into
The Luminous Skin of Love Dance.

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We have Come to Be Danced
Not the hold our breath wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
But the Meeting of the Trinity, the Body Breath and Beat Dance
The Shout Hallelujah from the top of our Thighs Dance
The Mother may I?
Yes you may take 10 giant Leaps Dance
 The olly olly oxen free free free Dance
The everyone can come to our Heaven Dance

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We have come to Be Danced
Where the Kingdom’s Collide
In the Cathedral of Flesh
To Burn Back into the Light
To unravel, to Play, to Fly, to Pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to Be Danced

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We Have Come..

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~ by Jewel Mathieson.

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As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive.

.

Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKIN, ANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART &  JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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“My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta”

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FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION ‘SOCK MONKEY’

with Placenta Stuffing

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Placenta stuffing sock monkey

Made from recycled ‘Lost & Found’ materials and dried bits of placenta skin.

(Completed 2013)

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THE STORY OF THE COSMIC CONFIRMATION SOCKS!

The weekend we had conceived (and didn’t know it yet) we were walking in a park in London, it was a lovely sunny day!

We had been trying for a baby for a while but nothing had happened.  We were both in our forties and at this point had kinda given up, resigning ourselves to go down the IVF route later in the year, so we had just booked a trip to the United States of America for a last ‘mad-fling’ before possible parenthood!

USA Road Trip 2011

We planned to embark on a two month road trip (something we always love doing) which would include an adventure into the BLACK ROCK DESERT in Nevada, home of the iconic BURNING MAN festival.  I had wanted for a long time to participate in this artistic overload of the senses, and my mind swam with creative ideas!

So there we were, walking along a tree-lined path in a quiet public park in London making travel plans when I walked past a ‘rolled-up’ white and blue ‘thing’ on the path.  Curiosity made me go back and have a look.

It was a pair of tiny baby boys white socks with little blue cars on them.  They were very sweet.  I joked saying it must be an omen, lol.  Anyhow, I was compelled to keep them, my own little ‘Akua’ba’ fetish!

I used to have a couple of Asante Akua’ba dolls when I had the gallery and I am very familiar with why they were used.  There is scientific evidence to back up the validity of this practice that tricks a woman’s hormones into telling the body that it is willing and ready to conceive.  I was happy to experiment with this notion.  I will even go so far as to tell you that I’d bought a little baby’s snuggle-cloth-teddy from Asda a year previously to psychologically warm my being into ‘baby-mode’!

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asda always happy to help

I guess Asda just wasn’t cosmic enough, lol.

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A few weeks later I discovered that I was indeed pregnant and had conceived that weekend, probably earlier that very day!!  The little cute socks were indeed my Cosmic Confirmation Pregnancy Test!

Max has been wearing the socks, but I wanted to make something special when he out grew them.  I was inspired to make a Sock Monkey!  A totally ‘normal’ toy to make out of a pair of socks…

… albeit with a bit of left over dried placenta in the stuffing, lol.

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My “Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things From Placenta” was started at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, and continues to happen so long as there are bits of placenta left.

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 “PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

10 Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

… and counting!

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Sheela-Na-Gig DISCO BOOTIES FINISHED NOT LIT PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES Placenta Skin Baby Booties sock monkey portrait Sheela-Na-Gig painted in blood, Nomadic Village 2012 Placenta printed in blood, Nomadic Village 2012 Placenta Print BW Sheela-Na-Gig lino print  in blood/ black food colouring, Nomadic Village 2012 A Womb With a View

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 “Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it”

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If you want to read more about making beautiful things from placenta and the placenta rawhide please feel free to view my other blogs…

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To date I have done the following…

  1. PLACENTA PRINTING using the blood still inside the bag
  2. Painted SHEELA-NA-GIG images with placenta blood and black food colouring
  3. SHEELA-NA-GIG lino prints using placenta blood and black food colouring – also made ‘Thank You’ cards with the lino cut for my “Blessing Way Sisters”
  4. Made PLACENTA RAWHIDE from the Amniotic Sac
  5. Made the artistic piece “A WOMB WITH A VIEW”
  6. Cooked the rest – PLACENTA BOURGUIGNON!
  7. Had a lively discussion about eating placenta and cannibalism – “Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”
  8. Made PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES
  9. Made PLACENTA SKIN “FUNKY-BABY” DISCO BOOTIES
  10. SOCK MONKEY with dried placenta in the stuffing – “FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION FETISH”

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….. as long as there are bits left, I will keeping adding to this list!  ‘Follow’ my blog-site and watch this space!  I will keep updating as I go along!

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If you are interested in the story of the origins and magical uses of the African Dolls read the following page…

African Dolls

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As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive.

Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKIN, ANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART &  JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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 “PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

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Sheela-Na-Gig DISCO BOOTIES FINISHED NOT LIT PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES Placenta Skin Baby Booties sock monkey portrait Sheela-Na-Gig painted in blood, Nomadic Village 2012 Placenta Print BW Sheela-Na-Gig lino print in blood/ black food colouring, Nomadic Village 2012 A Womb With a View see through placenta ket ring

umbilical clamp added to the harey purse placenta skin keyring and hares tail ROUND PATCH OF PLACENTA IN THE WINDOW WITH OLIVEPLACENTA PATCHY IN THE SKY Placenta cookery in Olive, Nomadic Village 2012

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(My placenta blogging has become quite prolific, so I have created new categories – Being Born’  & ‘Placenta Art’– especially to accommodate these and related blogs).

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 Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it.

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The placenta is an incredible, miraculous, life-giving organ!  It supplies your growing baby with a means of obtaining nutrients for development as well as a method of waste disposal.  While the unborn baby’s vital organs are developing, the placenta operates as its lungs, kidneys, digestive system, liver, and immune system until they fully develop.  The placenta does this so well that even when some of these organs fail to develop, the baby can survive until birth.  It is a thing of ‘Life’!

I remember hearing it for the first time along side my little one’s heartbeat!   The sound of the blood rushing through it was tremendous – it was all so overwhelming and awe-inspiring!  Truly magical!  I cried tears of pure joy!

I felt that the entire process needed honouring, what a miracle we are!  I have ended up doing many wonderful things with my/our placenta! – BEFORE and AFTER I ate it!!  lol.

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BURNING MAN – NEVADA DESERT – USA

BLACK ROCK CITY 2011 – “RIGHTS OF PASSAGE”

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Last year I participated in an Artists’ Residency program called the Nomadic Village UK 2012, sponsored by ISIS Arts.

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NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

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One of my artistic endeavours whilst there, was to defrost my frozen placenta (actually, it’s Max’s placenta) and begin creating as many beautiful things from it as possible…

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To date I have done the following…

  1. PLACENTA PRINTING using the blood still inside the bag
  2. Painted SHEELA-NA-GIG images with placenta blood and black food colouring
  3. SHEELA-NA-GIG lino prints using placenta blood and black food colouring – also made ‘Thank You’ cards with the lino cut for my “Blessing Way Sisters”
  4. Made PLACENTA RAWHIDE from the Amniotic Sac
  5. Made the artistic piece “A WOMB WITH A VIEW”
  6. Cooked the rest – PLACENTA BOURGUIGNON!
  7. Had a lively discussion about eating placenta and cannibalism – “Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”
  8. Made PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES
  9. Made PLACENTA SKIN “FUNKY-BABY” DISCO BOOTIES
  10. SOCK MONKEY with dried placenta in the stuffing – “FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION FETISH”
  11. I added the umbilical clamp which still has attached to it some of Max’s dried umbilical cord – I added this to the other charms/ tokens inside “THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT
  12. PLACENTA SKIN KEYRING – with Hare’s Tail & Foot.  The Tail and Foot are from the same animal that made the “HAREY PURSE” above.

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….. as long as there are bits left, I will keeping adding to this list!  ‘Follow’ my blog-site and watch this space!  I will keep updating as I go along!

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I have enjoyed this process so much I am offering my services as a Professional Placenta Artist. 

Anyone wishing to preserve their placenta can contact me using the ‘Contact’ page or use this highlighted link.

Alison Brierley - Professional Artist 

What I would like to make for you are completely unique and personal ‘objet de’art’ using your placenta, what you want is your choice and I am open to suggestions. 

I will not however be producing items that are meant to be ingested. 

Prices are negotiable depending on what you want and to be discussed privately. )

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Now please enjoy the multiple emotions you will encounter by continuing to read…

“My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta”

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1.  PLACENTA PRINTING

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This is quite widely practiced these days.  Without really doing much with the organ, I blotted it using the wallpaper liner spread before me.  I repeated the process, experimenting with positioning.  It was an amazing thing to play with.  The veins running through the skin made patterns like a road map, palm print and tree roots.  The flesh inside the bag was just like a sponge, in texture and function… it just kept on blotting!!

(Read more…)

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2.  SHEELA-NA-GIG

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The bowl within which the placenta had been defrosting was full of blood!  I experimented by painting with this blood and then mixing it with black food colouring – it applied like ink!  I repeatedly painted a stylized self-portrait based on a Sheela-Na-Gig – an ancient and archetypal pre-Christian image of fertility.  I had a picture of this on the wall near my birthing pool to reassure and assist me through the first and second stages of labour.  It reminded me that women have been doing this for millennia and it does stretch that much’!. 

(Read more…)

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Black/White  Earth  Air  Fire  Water

 Self portrait of the archetypal image of Sheela-Na-Gig in B/W, Earth, Air, Fire & Water.

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3.  LINO PRINTS

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I then made some block prints using a lino tile I had cut just days before the birth.  The image was that of the Sheela-Na-Gig image that helped me through labour.  I made pencil rubbings of the tile and created thank-you cards for my ‘Blessingway Sisters’ who had nurtured me beautifully.

 (Read more…)

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4. PLACENTA RAWHIDE

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I scraped the sac that Max grew in.  I had a couple of shamanic drum hoops with me.  I figured that a bag containing a baby for nine months, kicking away had to be pretty big and strong!  I just hoped it could be stretched to cover a hoop!

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I separated the skin further into three smaller pieces of practically transparent skin, like cling-film.  I cured all the bits and turned them into rawhide – because it was in pieces I had to rethink my idea of a placenta skin drum.

(Read more…)

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5. “A WOMB WITH A VIEW”

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Using whatever bits I could find in the van, I made a light box, backlit with the LED innards of my broken head torch, a  plastic version of a 12-week-old foetus that was given to me last year, tissue-paper and a placenta skin window.  I named it,  ”A Womb with a View”.

(Read more…)

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6. PLACENTA BOURGUIGNON

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We first tried a small piece lightly fried in olive oil just to see how it tasted before the addition of onions, garlic, mushrooms, and a dash of tomato paste, red wine and seasoning.  It was really tasty!

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This is the only disposable organ ever made.  From a cruelty-free, veggie perspective – it’s the only piece of meat (save eating a surgically chopped-off bit) whose owner didn’t have to die first for it to be eaten!

 (Read more…)

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7. CORDON BLEU OR CANNIBALISM?

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Hannibal Lecter

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Despite me growing it and giving birth to it, it belonged to Max.  This meant that eating it was actually a form of ‘cannibalism’!  This sparked a couple of interesting conversations on the subject.

 (Read more…)

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“BE CAREFUL!  I KNOW YOU TASTE DELICIOUS

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8. PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES

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I had originally wanted to stretch the skin over a drum hoop, but it wasn’t possible.  I had to re-think my idea.  I had started to crochet a pair of Baby Booties whilst at the Burning Man festival but totally fluffed up the pattern!  Instead I had the brain wave of making Placenta Skin Booties and hanging them in the car like fluffy dice, lol.  They turned out better than I had imagined… both pairs!

 (Read more…)

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9. PLACENTA SKIN “FUNKY-BABY” DISCO BOOTIES

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These booties are rather special as they were made from the parts of the amniotic sac that were almost transparent and incredibly thin.  When dry, they were more delicate than tissue paper – impossible to sew… so I backed them onto bits of Max’s now redundant, but still sentimental, swaddling cloth.   Although they looked great when finished, you couldn’t really tell that they were made from placenta skin, so I ‘funked’ them up a bit with flashing LED’s…

(Read more…)

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Click here to see these fabulous booties in action via Youtube!  Hilarious!!  I am so pleased with them…

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10. SOCK MONKEY with PLACENTA STUFFING

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Placenta stuffing sock monkey

FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION FETISH

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The weekend we actually had conceived Max (and didn’t know it yet) we were walking in a park in London, it was a lovely day!

I walked past a ‘rolled-up’ white and blue ‘thing’ on the path… curiosity made me go back and have a look. It was a pair of tiny baby boy socks.  I joked saying it must be an omen!  I was compelled to keep them. I discovered weeks later that I was indeed pregnant and had conceived that weekend, possibly that day!!

It truly was a FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION!  Literally, were on the verge of planning IVF treatment!

Max has been wearing the socks, but I wanted to make something special out of them when he out-grew them.  So I turned them into a ‘Sock Monkey’ and combined some of the scraps of placenta rawhide too small for anything else with the stuffing mix.

(Read more…)

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11. “THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE” – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT

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Some of the umbilical cord is still attached to the little ‘clip’ they use prior to cutting the cord.  I kept it because I am hopelessly sentimental, as you may have already gathered, lol.

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Max's umbilical clamp with cord attched

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I added this to the rest of the charms/ tokens inside the ‘HAREY PURSE’.

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umbilical clamp added to the harey purse

Vulva and Vagina made from recycled materials and a roadkill female hare.

(Completed in 2009)

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(excerpt below taken from the blog)

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I was studying anthropology at the time, having been fascinated with tribal customs and fetishism for many years.  I was absorbed in the study of magical practices and, in particular, fetishes.

Fetishes – usually an object (anything from a small stone carving of an animal to a carved wooden penis) believed to have magical power to protect or aid its owner; broadly: a material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant trust or reverence. The use of fetish objects is worldwide and from the beginning of recorded history – from Cave Man to modern Christian!

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H2840008 H2840035

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Over the following 16 months since her creation (it took a while for an old bird like me to conceive, lol) her slowly bulging vulva was gradually stuffed and filled with little sacred objects, each having special significance: a carved penis from a dear friend; a small piece of chalk flint from the phallus of The Cerne Abbas Giant; a fossil spiral, a ring of shell; a sculptured clay zygote from another dear friend; and a bird’s egg.

Eventually, I couldn’t fit anything else in her.

She dangled in the window of my motorhome as we drove along, bobbing away to music and the rhythm of the road surfaces, up-front and part of our lives – makes a change from fluffy dice! (read more…)

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………………..oOo………………..

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12.  PLACENTA SKIN KEYRING

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I made a ‘Keyring’ with a piece of the skin that shows off the veins beautifully!  I completed a ‘set of three’ with the Hare’s tail and a foot form the same roadkill animal that I used to create the “HAREY PURSE” above.

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………………..oOo………………..

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….. as long as there are bits left, I will keeping adding to this list!

‘Follow’ this blog or my home-page and watch this space!  lol.

Let’s see how many things I can make from a single placenta!! – …. suggestions???

I still plan to plant a bit under the ubiquitous tree of course, lol, I have most of the umbilical cord in the freezer – too late for stem cell harvesting unfortunately.

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………………..O………………..

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As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive.

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Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKINANTI  BADGER-CULL – “TOTAL BOLLOCKS”, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART  JAPANESE WISHING TREE

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I am in the process of cataloguing my work of many years – it will eventually make it to this site!

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“THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE”

SHAMANIC FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT

THE 'HAREY' PURSE - SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT

THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE – SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT

“THE ‘HAREY’ PURSE”

SHAMANIC ROADKILL FERTILITY FETISH OBJECT.

Vulva and Vagina made from recycled materials and a roadkill female hare.

(Completed in 2009)

  H2840032   H2840031   H2840030

This project began in 2009 during a weeklong ‘walk-about’ following the death of my father and shortly after the decision to start a family with my current partner.

I found the hare at the side of the road only 20 minutes into my lone travels around the North of England and Scotland.

She came with me the rest of the way, my travelling companion,  and bit-by-bit, she was eaten, shared, processed and learnt from, becoming part of the journey, and touching every person we came into contact with, in a deep and meaningful way.

I was studying anthropology at the time, having been fascinated with tribal customs and fetishism for many years.  I was absorbed in the study of magical practices and, in particular, fetishes.

Fetishes – usually an object (anything from a small stone carving of an animal to a carved wooden penis) believed to have magical power to protect or aid its owner; broadly: a material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant trust or reverence. The use of fetish objects is worldwide and from the beginning of recorded history – from Cave Man to modern Christian!

H2840008 H2840035

Over the following 16 months (it took a while for an old bird like me to conceive, lol) her bulging vulva was slowly stuffed and filled with little sacred objects, each having special significance: a carved penis from a dear friend; a small piece of chalk flint from the phallus of The Cerne Abbas Giant; a fossil spiral; a shell; a sculptured clay zygote from another dear friend; and a bird’s egg.  Eventually, I couldn’t fit anything else in her.  She dangled in the window of my motorhome as we drove along, bobbing away to music and the rhythm of the road surfaces, up-front and part of our lives – makes a change from fluffy dice!

A LITTLE BIT OF SYMBOLISM…

“Traditionally, the Easter Bunny, actually a Hare, was said to lay eggs at Easter. This concept is, of course, very strange to our factual minds, however, taken symbolically, the Egg not only represents Potential, but also the Cosmos and the very ground of Being from which we spring–no pun intended! One only need think about the Cosmic Egg and the Druid’s Egg to begin to get the full scope of this metaphor. No wonder then, that the Hare was at one time, considered both male and female. To produce the Cosmos, both must be present.

This union of masculine and feminine makes the Hare an excellent symbol for marriage.

Other associations with the Hare, that I won’t go into now, are witchcraft, or in ancient societies, with the seer or shaman–the Hare is also the trickster figure in many stories, who outsmarts Winter and Death…

Overall then, the Hare is a symbol of many things, all involving balance, Life, creative potency, regeneration, fertility and eternity. This symbolism manifests in associations with Springtime, the Dawn, the Moon and Sacred Fire, the Egg, the Circle and Infinity symbol, Marriage, Androgyny and Hermaphroditism, as well as Madness, Genius and Inspiration (which seem to go hand in hand).”

My ‘Harey Purse’ is a highly energised and striking object.  I feel an affinity with this ancient and symbolic animal.  She has inspired (and provoked) many since her creation, humbly as have I.

Thank you dear Hare for being a huge inspiration.  Thank you dear Dad for being an even bigger one.  Thank you my darling son and partner for being a source of constant joy and self realisation.

1 day old, his first bath after being born in the same pool.

One day old Max with Daddy, enjoying his first bath after being born in the same pool.

Dad, me and Mum in Amsterdam celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary

Dad, me and Mum in Amsterdam celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary

limetree hare

The carving on the ‘Hare Stone’ at Limetree Farm, Grewelthrope, Ripon.

As with a lot of my work, I aspire to gently push the viewer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive.

Look out for blogs on my other ART projects – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE, PLACENTA  ART & COOKERY, PLACENTA BOOTIES,  PLACENTA DISCO-BOOTIES, SHAMANIC SHAKTI BEAVER MERKIN, ANTI  BADGER-CULL TRIP-TIC, ROADKILL SQUIRREL TESTICLE EARRINGS  , BURNING-MAN ASARO MUD-FAMILY PERFORMANCE ART &  JAPANESE WISHING TREE

PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES

My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

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Placenta Skin Baby Booties

PLACENTA SKIN BOOTIES – Made from recycled mixed media, LED’s and the placenta I birthed last year, eventually defrosted and made into placenta rawhide.

The process was started at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, and completed upon request for the filming for Beyond Productions and the Discovery Channel – EXTREME WORLDS.

 ………………..O………………..

 THE MAKING OF…

Placenta preparation with Maz, Nomadic Village 2012

Last year I participated in an Artists’ Residency program called the Nomadic Village 2012, brainchild of Captain Klaus Maehring of Austria, and sponsored by ISIS Arts.

One of my artistic endeavours whilst there, was to defrost my frozen placenta (actually, it’s Max’s placenta) and create as many beautiful things from it as possible – before I ate it!!  lol.  Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it.  I have ended up doing many wonderful things with it!

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”PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

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PLACENTA ART & COOKERY

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  A series of experiments completed during my artists’ residency at the NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

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To see these click the link below…

NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012 – Project 2 of 3 – PLACENTA PABULUM – ART, COOKERY & CANNIBALISM

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………………..O………………..

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Before any plans could be made, as to what to make with my very special leather, I had to make it.  The entire experience was intense and incredibly interesting on so many different levels!

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Placenta Rawhide

Scraping the amniotic sac in prearation to make rawhide, Nomadic Village 2012

Scraping the amniotic sac in preparation to make rawhide, Nomadic Village 2012

I scraped the sac that Max grew in.  I had a couple of shamanic drum hoops with me.  I figured that a bag containing a baby for nine months, kicking away had to be pretty big and strong!  I just hoped it could be stretched to cover a hoop!

The skin was beautiful and heavily veined near the umbilical cord.  I could not separate it in one large unbroken piece so ended up with three medium-sized bits.  It was a shame, but it really was quite difficult to work with.  The skin wasn’t a single thickness either – it seemed to be made up of two layers.  It reminded me of the construction of ply wood.

I separated the skin further into three smaller pieces of practically transparent skin, like cling-film.  I cured all the bits and turned them into rawhide – because it was in pieces I had to rethink my idea of a placenta skin drum.

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ROUND PATCH OF PLACENTA IN THE WINDOW WITH OLIVE PLACENTA PATCHY IN THE SKYTRANSPARENT SKIN

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I decided to make a pair of baby booties!  (I did try to crochet a pair, honest, lol,  but the pattern flummoxed me!).

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Sewing the booties      fitting LED's      Placenta booties lit in the jar

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Youtube clip – PLACENTA ART – PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES – Sewing and Lighting – Part 1

Click Here

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 ………………..O………………..

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In the end, I actually I had enough to make another pair… and I wrote about them in a separate blog…

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PLACENTA SKIN FLASHING  ‘FUNKY-BABY’ DISCO BOOTIES

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PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES (green and red)           PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES           PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES (red and red)

Click here to see a video clip of them in action – Hilarious!

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 …………………. O ………………..

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 Some of my other projects created at Nomadic Village 2012 – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE   &   JAPANESE INSPIRED WISHING TREE

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PLACENTA SKIN FLASHING ‘FUNKY-BABY’ DISCO BOOTIES

My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

 DISCO BOOTIES FINISHED NOT LIT

PLACENTA SKIN BOOTIES – Made from recycled mixed media, a piece of Max’s swaddling cloth, flashing LED’s and the placenta I birthed last year, eventually defrosted and made into placenta rawhide.

These booties are rather special as they were made from the parts of the amniotic sac that were almost transparent and incredibly thin.  When dry, they were more delicate than tissue paper – impossible to sew… so I backed them onto bits of Max’s now redundant, but still sentimental, swaddling cloth.   Although they looked great when finished, you couldn’t really tell that they were made from placenta skin, so I funked them up a bit with flashing LED’s…

Click here to see these fabulous booties in action via Youtube!  Hilarious!!  I am so pleased with them…

 

PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES (green and red)           PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES           PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES (red and red)

The process was started at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, and completed upon request for the filming for Beyond Productions and the Discovery Channel – EXTREME WORLDS.

 ………………..O………………..

 THE MAKING OF…

Placenta preparation with Maz, Nomadic Village 2012

Last year I participated in an Artists’ Residency program called the Nomadic Village 2012, brainchild of Captain Klaus Maehring of Austria, and sponsored by ISIS Arts.

One of my artistic endeavours whilst there, was to defrost my frozen placenta (actually, it’s Max’s placenta) and create as may beautiful things from it as possible – before I ate it!!  lol.  Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it.  I have ended up doing many wonderful things with it!

 

I did the following things on a large roll of wallpaper liner…

  1. Placenta Printing
  2. Painted Sheela-Na-Gig images with placenta blood and black food colouring
  3. Sheela-Na-Gig Lino Prints
  4. Cured the Amniotic Sac that contained Max and stretched the skin
  5. Made the artistic piece, “A Womb With A View”
  6. Cooked the rest and shared the meal with my partner and four adventurous others!
  7. Had a lively discussion about eating placenta and cannibalism
  8. Retained the rest of the skin to make other things at a later date

 

“Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”

PLACENTA ART & COOKERY

       

  A series of experiments completed during my artists’ residency at the NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

To see these click the link below…

NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012 – Project 2 of 3 – PLACENTA PABULUM – ART, COOKERY & CANNIBALISM

 ………………..O………………..

 

Before any plans could be made, as to what to make with my very special leather, I had to make it.  The entire experience was intense and incredibly interesting on so many different levels!

 

Placenta Rawhide

Scraping the amniotic sac in prearation to make rawhide, Nomadic Village 2012

Scraping the amniotic sac in preparation to make rawhide, Nomadic Village 2012

I scraped the sac that Max grew in.  I had a couple of shamanic drum hoops with me.  I figured that a bag containing a baby for nine months, kicking away had to be pretty big and strong!  I just hoped it could be stretched to cover a hoop!

The skin was beautiful and heavily veined near the umbilical cord.  I could not separate it in one large unbroken piece so ended up with three medium-sized bits.  It was a shame, but it really was quite difficult to work with.  The skin wasn’t a single thickness either – it seemed to be made up of two layers.  It reminded me of the construction of ply wood.

I separated the skin further into three smaller pieces of practically transparent skin, like cling-film.  I cured all the bits and turned them into rawhide – because it was in pieces I had to rethink my idea of a placenta skin drum.

 

ROUND PATCH OF PLACENTA IN THE WINDOW WITH OLIVE PLACENTA PATCHY IN THE SKYTRANSPARENT SKIN

 

 

 

 

I decided to make a pair of baby booties!  (I did try to crotchet a pair, honest, lol, but the pattern flummoxed me!).

 ………………..O………………..

I made another pair, much more translucent and larger then the ‘Funky Disco’ ones …  I have written about them in a separate blog…

PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES!

 

Placenta Skin Baby Booties

PLACENTA ART – PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES – My Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

Youtube clip – PLACENTA ART – PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES – Sewing and Lighting – Part 1

 Click Here 

 …………………. O ………………..

 Some of my other projects created at Nomadic Village 2012 – SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE   &   JAPANESE INSPIRED WISHING TREE

“Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”

PLACENTA ART & COOKERY

       

  A series of experiments completed during my artist’s residency at the NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012

During my time at the Nomadic Village 2012 I just happened to have a 13 week old placenta sat in the freezer.  An odd thing to have in the freezer?  Maybe – if you weren’t me, I guess.  Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it.  I wanted to create as many beautiful things from it as possible – before I ate it.

Eating placenta was something I found to be incredibly natural.  It is called Placentophagy and most mammals do it – are we really that different? Even herbivores eat theirs!  Apparently camels are the exception to the rule – perhaps they don’t like theirs covered in sand.

From a cruelty-free, veggie perspective – it’s the only piece of meat (save eating a surgically chopped-off bit) whose owner didn’t have to die first for it to be eaten!

The way we treat the placenta in the West is to incinerate it (and hospital maternity units don’t offer mothers the option to keep it), but there are other cultures in which it has a special place in rituals following a birth. It is common to use them in symbolic burials and tree planting.

The Chinese use it in traditional medicine and it’s growing in popularity to have it dried and encapsulated.  ‘Potential’ benefits of eating your placenta are:

  • Warding off postpartum depression.
  • Improving breast milk supply
  • Stimulating involution of the uterus
  • Increasing energy and even preventing aging
  • Postpartum hemorrhage

I could blab on and on about what I have read and learned about placentas, but I reckon I’ll save that for another blog!

I was too preoccupied after the birth to dig out and defrost my carefully stored placenta and cook it.  As I briefly mentioned, you can hire someone to dry it out and reform it into easy-to-swallow capsules, but I wanted to do more with it than that, so I left it there, among the bags of liquidized kale, yellow-label Tesco bargains and Suma nuts and seeds.

The opportunity arose when I was chosen to participate as a resident artist in the Nomadic Village project – ahhhh, enforced creativity time… I would never have prioritized this idea otherwise.

 

mobile exhibition space      

 

On one of those amazing hot sunny days, under our snow-cam, lean-to in the shade of our motor home I prepped a workspace for my, now defrosted, placenta.  Fellow nomadic sound artist Marek Gabrsych, recorded and documented the entire process from printing to fine-dining.

 

I did the following things on a large roll of wallpaper liner…

  1. Placenta Printing
  2. Painted Sheela-Na-Gig images with placenta blood and black food colouring
  3. Lino Prints
  4. Cured the Amniotic Sac that contained Max and stretched the skin
  5. Made the artistic piece, “A Womb With A View”
  6. Cooked the rest and shared the meal with my partner and four adventurous others!
  7. Had a lively discussion about eating placenta and cannibalism
  8. Retained the rest of the skin to make other things at a later date – including a pair of baby booties! I tried to crotchet a pair, but the pattern flummoxed me!

1.  Placenta Prints

Printing onto wallpaper lining using the blood in the amniotic sac. Nomadic Village 2012

 Without really doing much with the organ, I blotted it using the wallpaper liner spread before me.  I repeated the process, experimenting with positioning.  It was an amazing thing to play with.  The veins running through the skin made patterns like a road map, palm print and tree roots.  The flesh inside the bag was just like a sponge, in texture and function… it just kept on blotting!!

2.  Sheela-Na-Gig

Painting Sheela-Na-Gig using blood mixed with black food colouring. Nomadic Village 2012.

The bowl within which the placenta had been defrosting was full of blood!  I experimented by painting with this blood and then mixing it with black food colouring – it applied like ink!  I repeatedly painted a stylized self portrait based on a Sheela-Na-Gig – an ancient and archetypal pre-Christian image of fertility.  I had a picture of this on the wall near my birthing pool to assist me through the first and second stages of labour.  It reminded me that women have been doing this for millennia and it ‘does stretch that much’!

Black/White  Earth  Air  Fire  Water

 Self portrait of the archetypal image of Sheela-Na-Gig in B/W, Earth, Air, Fire & Water.

3.  Lino Prints

Block printing using a lino tile and placenta blood. Nomadic Village 2012.

I then made some block prints using a lino tile I had cut just days before the birth.  The image was that of the Sheela-Na-Gig image that helped me through labour.  I made pencil rubbings of the tile and created thank-you cards for my ‘Blessingway Sisters’ who had nurtured me beautifully.

4.  Placenta Rawhide

Scraping the amniotic sac in prearation to make rawhide, Nomadic Village 2012

I skinned the placenta to remove the bag Max grew in.  I had a couple of shamanic drum hoops with me.  I figured that a bag containing a baby for nine months, kicking away had to be pretty strong!  I just hoped it could be stretched to cover a hoop!  Failing that, I could make a shamanic baby’s rattle!  And I could attach the rattlesnake’s tail I had brought back from the States during last year’s ‘Burning Man’ trip.

The skin was beautiful and heavily veined near the umbilical cord.  I could not seperate it in one large unbroken piece so ended up with three medium sized bits.  The skin wasn’t a single thickness either – it seemed to be made up of two layers.  It reminded me of the construction of ply-wood.  I separated the skin further into three smaller pieces of practically transparent skin, like cling-film.  I cured all the bits in salt, stretched them on the wallpaper and turned them into rawhide – because it was in pieces I had to rethink my idea of a placenta skin drum or baby’s rattle.

The umbilical cord had gone pink in colour, as opposed to the beautiful white colour with a royal blue vein spiraling around it.  An umbilical cord has two arteries and a vein, known as a three vessel cord.  We would have liked to have had it cryogenically stored for possible future stem cell use… but it just didn’t happen.

I still have some of the cord in the freezer, part of it I will bury under a tree…but the rest?  Suggestions anybody?

5.  A Womb with a View

Using whatever bits I could find in the van, I made a light box, backlit with the LED innards of my broken head torch, a  plastic version of a 12-week-old fetus that was given to me last year, tissue-paper and a placenta skin window.  I named it,  “A Womb with a View”.  I have a little skin left so I am going to also make a pair of booties to hang like fluffy dice, lol.

         

Recycled mixed media and placenta skin  (Nomadic Village UK 2012)

6.  Placenta Bourguignon

    Placenta cookery, dining in the communal kitchen, Nomadic Village 2012  

We did get around to eating it eventually that day.  In fact… four adventurous others tried it too… it was delicious!  We first tried a small piece lightly fried in olive oil just to see how it tasted before the addition of onions, garlic, mushrooms, and a dash of tomato paste, red wine and seasoning.  It was really tastey! I thought it tasted like lamb with the texture of heart, another thought it tasted more akin to beefy liver.  Asked what the umbilical cord tasted like and ‘parilla’ was the answer – ‘intestine’ to the uninitiated, lol.

It was amusing to see the looks on the faces of those who had tried it in a moment of curious spontaneity, after they had had a while to mentally process the occasion.  They would give me a skewed look of “Did I really just eat that?” or “OMG!!  That fell out of your vagina!” lol. One of the funniest comments was when Austrian Captain Klaus tried some – he said

“It iz very nice in zee mouth, but very weird in zee head”. 

The moment of ‘fine dining’ was recorded as a live performance, albeit quite private in one corner of the kitchen tent.  The table was decorated with beautiful orchids (unbeknown to everyone, they had decorated the lid of a coffin recently and we wanted to recycle them).

Later we had a discussion on cannibalism.

7.  Cordon bleu or Cannibalism?

Now then, I keep saying ‘my’ placenta, but in actual fact, it isn’t mine, it is Max’s!  It carries his genome.  So… despite me growing it, and giving birth to it, it belonged to Max.  This meant that eating it was actually a form of ‘cannibalism’!  This sparked a couple of interesting conversations on the subject which will have to be saved for a different blog.  In the meantime, here is someone elses blog that pretty much covers it…

Eating Placentas: Cannibalism, Recycling, or Health Food?

As with much of my work, I aspire to gently push the experiencer, including myself, to question preconceptions and socio-cultural taboos by creating something beautiful and compelling from something dead and/or socially repulsive.

Great!!  I get to tackle ‘another’ taboo!  I also get to playfully threaten Max later on with…

“Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”

…………………. O ………………..

COMING UP!!    – Placenta skin Booties!  WATCH THIS SPACE!!

Look out for blogs on my other projects created at Nomadic Village– SHAMANIC ROADKILL CAPE   &   JAPANESE INSPIRED WISHING TREE

As the day draws nearer, and I busy myself with nesting and preparing myself physically, mentally and spiritually, I find myself wanting to share the wonderful  knowledge I have learned about Natural Birthing – and talk about how and why we have become so distanced from it.

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Being an older  first time mum at 42 I have come up against all kind of negativity and scary stories in the course of this pregnancy.  I was made to believe in the first few months that I was in huge danger of having a disabled child or difficult birth.   As if pregnancy doesn’t make you worry and paranoid enough!

I have kept reminding myself…”we have been having babies for hundreds of thousands of years”!!  It is what we are designed to do!   95% of pregnancies are normal and could be delivered in a normal and unhindered way.  Why have things changed?

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What has happened to this country?  And not just our country.  The rate of assisted deliveries and unnecessary intervention, especially in the West, in something as natural as having a baby, is astronomical.  Are we really too ‘posh to push’ or just so scared of pain and danger that this amazing rite of passage for women is being coercively taken out of our hands?  Apart from the baby itself, what spiritual reward do we get from all that hard work?

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My partner and I have been surrounding ourselves with positive people with positive birth stories and educating ourselves on natural childbirth, labour without pain, self belief and self-hypnosis practices.  All this so that I can have the natural, drug free and pain-free water birth at home, with my partner delivering the baby.  The reason we moved to the area we are in now is because it has the best stats and attitude to natural birthing.  My eyes have been truly opened and I am actually excited about the birth now!  Did you know it is actually possible to have a truly ecstatic birth and even orgasm during labour and birth?

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Tell that to the expecting and labouring mums so terrified of pain that they accept what ever relief is offered to them!  If only the education and time to deliver it was out there for all us expecting mums.  Things would be different.  We would be the ones in control and intervention would be as it is supposed to be – there IF we need it!

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I want a quiet birth, at home, in a darkened room with candles.  My partner will be in the pool with me if that’s what we desire.  I want to eat and drink when necessary and labour for as long as nature intends.  Birthing can be a beautiful, primal, exhilarating experience if you can drop the fear.  Contractions don’t have to be ‘painful’.  They could just be sensations in the body if you re-train your mind…intense yes, bloody hard work yes, the hardest work you are ever likely to do, but not the worst, most fearful and dangerous experience you ever have to ‘suffer’.

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Am I being naive?  Maybe I am.  But there is something in the core of my very being that tells me I am on the right path.

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Amongst other things, I will definitely be keeping the placenta.  I plan to eat it.   Eating the placenta is not very popular but it has lots of health benefits.  Almost all animals do it.  What makes me so different?  The only difference being I will be cooking it up with caramelised onions and red wine, amongst other things, lol.   If you give birth in the hospital, I don’t think they allow you to keep it.  One birthing centre I spoke to would allow me to take it as long as I signed a disclaimer stating that if I were to bury any part of it, it would be six feet deep in the ground.  It is vegetarian friendly too… it is the only meat you can eat that hasn’t been killed first!

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I will be making a blog on it anyway and discussing all aspects of Natural Childbirth including my Birth Story!   At the moment I am just putting thoughts down and will expand this blog as and when.

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For now let me pass on some links and books my partner and I have just read together – will update list as and when!

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NATURAL BIRTH BIBLIOGRAPHY…

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Ina May’s guide to Childbirth – by Ina May Gaskin  – The first part of the book has some amazing and uplifting birth stories.  An excellent and empowering book.  She is the author of “Spiritual Midwifery” and has attended thousands of births.  She lives on the “Farm” in Tennessee.

Birth Space, Safe Place – by Adela Stockton – Nicely written, with emphasis on emotions and empowering the reader rather than facts and figures.

Birth Reborn – What Childbirth Should Be –  by Michel Odent – The French ‘birth guru’ with over 40 years experience in birthing – the founder of Pithiviers Hospital in France.

Childbirth without Fear – by Grantly Dick-Read  – quite an academic read, but well worth the effort.

New Active Birth – by Janet Balaskas – she goes on a bit about the importance of gravity ( we kinda ‘got it’ pretty early on) but a very positive book.

Orgasmic Birth – The best kept secret     (you can download or buy this DVD)

The Business of Being Born (2008)   (you can download or buy this DVD)

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Children are from Heaven – John Grey – putting aside the ‘heaven’ bit, a very good book on how to raise strong, confident children.

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OTHER RELATED BLOGS I WROTE…

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My “Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things From Placenta” was started at NOMADIC VILLAGE 2012, and continues to happen so long as there are bits of placenta left.

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 ”PREOCCUPIED with PLACENTAS”

12 Experimental Adventures Making Beautiful Things from Placenta

… and counting!

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Sheela-Na-Gig DISCO BOOTIES FINISHED NOT LIT PLACENTA 'FUNKY-BABY' DISCO BOOTIES Placenta Skin Baby Booties sock monkey portrait Sheela-Na-Gig painted in blood, Nomadic Village 2012 Placenta printed in blood, Nomadic Village 2012 Placenta Print BW Sheela-Na-Gig lino print  in blood/ black food colouring, Nomadic Village 2012 A Womb With a View

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 ”Even before I became pregnant, I knew that I would do something special with it”

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If you want to read more about making beautiful things from placenta and the placenta rawhide please feel free to view my other blogs…

To date I have done the following…

  1. PLACENTA PRINTING using the blood still inside the bag
  2. Painted SHEELA-NA-GIG images with placenta blood and black food colouring
  3. SHEELA-NA-GIG lino prints using placenta blood and black food colouring – also made ‘Thank You’ cards with the lino cut for my “Blessing Way Sisters”
  4. Made PLACENTA RAWHIDE from the Amniotic Sac
  5. Made the artistic piece “A WOMB WITH A VIEW”
  6. Cooked the rest – PLACENTA BOURGUIGNON!
  7. Had a lively discussion about eating placenta and cannibalism – “Be careful!  I know you taste delicious!”
  8. Made PLACENTA SKIN BABY BOOTIES
  9. Made PLACENTA SKIN “FUNKY-BABY” DISCO BOOTIES
  10. SOCK MONKEY with dried placenta in the stuffing – “FERTILITY COSMIC CONFIRMATION FETISH”

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….. as long as there are bits left, I will keeping adding to this list!  ‘Follow’ my blog-site and watch this space!  I will keep updating as I go along!

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