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

Victoria council pushes for December byelection

City staff concerned with timeframe and planning needs prior to byelection

Island Sexual Health expanding physical space and workforce

Island Health looking to hire more health care workers for centre once expansion complete

Charity tackling ‘weekend hunger gap’ bracing for tripling of students in need

Backpack Buddies was serving 1,300 students per week in March, by June that number doubled

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read