A ring made by Sandra McMullen holds holds a stone made with breast milk. (Facebook/ Sacred Life Jewelry)

A ring made by Sandra McMullen holds holds a stone made with breast milk. (Facebook/ Sacred Life Jewelry)

Victoria artist makes jewelry out of breast milk

Sandra McMullen makes ‘DNA jewelry’ from breast milk, placenta, cremated ashes and more

Many of the pendants and rings Sandra McMullen makes for clients hold a unique, milky colour to them. That’s no surprise, of course, since they’re made with breast milk.

McMullen specializes in a niche craft known as DNA jewelry, which incorporates human, animal or plant samples as part of their composition.

ALSO READ: B.C. mom answers love-inspired call for breastmilk

The most popular component is breast milk, but clients also ask for pieces made with umbilical cords, placenta, cremated ashes, hair, fur and plant elements. All of these samples are mixed with resin and designed into a unique piece of jewelry.

“It’s fun because you get to wear your memories,” McMullen said. “I love wearing my loved ones, and I think others do too.”

McMullen’s journey started in 2017 when she heard of a woman in Australia who made jewelry with breast milk.

“I really wanted a piece of breast milk jewelry, and I kept hinting it to my husband and he didn’t quite pick it up,” she said “So I thought, ‘I guess I’ll just make it myself.’”

ALSO READ: B.C. businesses use new decal to indicate safe breastfeeding spaces

McMullen would take a year to perfect the technique, a challenge considering she had no former experience in making jewelry.

Soon she began selling the service. It picked up in popularity so quickly that McMullen was able to quit her job in health care and make her business, Sacred Life Jewelry her full time job.

Crafting a breast milk stone takes three weeks; McMullen will take a half-ounce sample, combines it with a solvent and chemicals to dry it out before she can grind it in a mortar and pestle and combine it with resin and other elements.

“I’ve got tonnes of breast milk in my freezer, ready to go,” she said. At this point, McMullen has a five-month wait-list for orders.

As a mother to two, McMullen knows why other moms are so eager to have a piece of breast milk jewelry of their own.

“It captures that breast feeding journey which is incredibly special and important, and it can be hard to let go,” she said. “Just to be able to have that memory, you can look down and have that time together again.”

McMullen says in the future she hopes to expand her business so she can get orders done faster. She also hopes to get an education in crafting metal mounts for her stones, as she currently uses a third party source for that.

McMullen keeps her prices low to keep the jewelry accessible to others; prices start at $45 and go upwards of $200 on average.

For more information you can visit facebook.com/sacredlifejewelry/

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Art

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Saanich girl, 12, speaks to lack of supports, says mom

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

Illegal goods seized in the simultaneous April 23 busts in Saanich and Sooke. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
RCMP drug busts net trucks, cocaine, cash and Hells Angels gear

Simultaneous searches coordinated between West Shore, Saanich and Sooke police

The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police watchdog investigates after man found unresponsive at Saanich jail

Man was in Victoria police custody the day before being found

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a homicide on Third Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
RCMP investigating homicide in Port Alberni apartment

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the deceased

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

Most Read