For the past several weeks, we’ve been trying to make a placenta jewel using some of the leftover encapsulated placenta from Tanner’s birth. Why, you may ask? Three possible explanations come to mind:
1. Why not?
2. Freaking awesomeness
3. Awesome freakishness
As my oldest son said when he saw it, “yeah, that’s totally normal.”
It took several attempts before we got a result we were happy with. First, we used our regular clear casting resin and it turned out extremely bubbly:
Mark also poured some into one of our pendant molds and made a little placenta scrap-goddess:
The dehydrated placenta “sunk” in the resin and concentrated at the bottom (front) of the mold. The bubbles of this initial attempt make it look “fizzy” and opaque rather than clear and jewelly. Mark hadn’t put the first attempt into the vacuum chamber he built (which reduces bubbles) and so the next attempt he did put in the chamber. Additionally, we added some russet pigment to it to see if that would look cool…
Not only did it not look cool, but it bubbled up in an extremely dramatic way that we’ve never seen resin do before and created a very weird mutated effect.
The back of the puffed-up jewels looked a little cool, but not cool enough.
We hypothesized that the weird bubbling must have been a reaction to having organic material in with the resin. We almost gave up, but I did a little research and decided to give jewelry resin a try instead of the casting resin we’d been using. It was expensive for only a small bottle of jewelry resin, but it gave us much better results!
There are still some fine bubbles, but it is much clearer and better looking. The scrap goddess turned out better too:
Finally, we had a placenta jewel good enough to set!
Returning to the question of why do this, I come back to a quote I use at mother blessings:
The memory of [my child’s] birth has become a talisman that I hold in my heart as I journey deeper and deeper into motherhood. For these moments come again in every mother’s life—the times when we are asked to walk straight into our pain and fear, and in doing so, open up to a love that is greater than anything we ever could have imagined: all life’s beauty and wonder, as well as all the ways that things can break and go wrong…Again and again, motherhood demands that we break through our limitations, that we split our hearts open to make room for something that may be more than we thought we could bear. In that sense, the labor with which we give birth is simply a rehearsal for something we mothers must do over and over: turn ourselves inside out, and then let go…
Birth art and birth jewelry can be a tangible “talisman” of our birth journeys. We can draw upon past moments of strength for inspiration and encouragement and affirmation during current struggles. During the day, I am fond of carrying around the birth goddess sculpture that I held during my labor with Tanner and I usually set her by the bed at night. She reminds me of what I am capable of. A placenta jewel pendant offers the same affirmation and connection.
You know how it is said there is no medal for giving birth?
*We’re not really planning to market these for sale, but are willing to consider special requests for friends or friends of friends. Due to the multi-step casting process involving multiple days of work, a pendant like this would be $45. 🙂
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I recently lost my baby boy at 6months pregnant. I really want to make a necklace with the placenta but will be crushed if I mess it up. Do you have any suggestions?
I’m so sorry to hear about your baby boy. 😦 For a “jewel” like I made for this pendant, an extremely tiny amount of the placenta powder is required–less than one half capsule. So, if you have more than that, you can do some experiments without worrying about messing it up/losing it all.