This page contains information on how to link to us, links to other sites,
a tools of the trade and a recommended reading section.
Links to Us
We would totally appreciate it if you'd like to link to this website. Sweet-thanks!
You can use these to link to us on your webpage if you'd like.
These images are called poppyBANNER2.jpg and bambanner.jpg
Here is a very simple text description: Organic: Natural Body Jewelry
Check out this banner Sharon 444 designed for us!
Links to Others
These will take you off my page and into the netherworld, be careful out there!
Feel free to suggest appropriate links or tell us if any of these have expired. There is plenty of information and links on the web about body modification, and it would be impossible to list all of them; please use a search engine! We don't want to play favorites, thus we are purposefully not including links to any shops-that doesn't mean we don't love them!!! We have a policy of not trading links-please note the very stringent criteria we list below before linking to other jewelry manufacturers.
Sites Related to Organic LLC
We have a brand new Instagram! Follow us at: instagram.com/organicllc, and use hashtags #OrganicLLC and #OrganicJewelry - thanks!
Are we friends, or have we done business together?
Then check out my personal Facebook page.
Unless we are well-acquainted enough that I will automatically know your real name and who you are, please write a quick few words to let us know how you arrived there, or stick with the fan page.
We just opened up our very own Etsy shop, with LOTS of interesting raw materials, inlay material, vintage and antique ethnic and tribal jewelry, vintage bracelets, a mask, Indonesian cloth, Thor's hammers, shell earweights, odds and ends, tools for other makers, and unfinished items, including:
cut sections of bamboo, ebony slices, porcupine quills, raccoon baculum, bone tapers and talons, coconutwood rounds and beads, jet blocks and beads, dentalium shells, a cow horn, horn tusks and spirals, amber faceted beads, Baltic amber cabochons, raw Columbian copal specimens,
and many stone rods, cylinders, beads, talons, and tubes (jade, Baltic amber, serpentine, aventurine, goldstone, red jasper, etc.).
Cafepress is a site that has a bunch of products that you can customize with your own images. They print full color prints one at a time, avoiding minimums and set-up fees associated with the silk-screening process. We designed several fun products with our poppy mandala logo, the Organic cheerleaders, and the dakini girl who is on our old stickers and the back of our business cards. Some of our favorite items include the poppy mandala clock (which graces our office wall), the girlie cut shirts, and the lunchbox. Anyone can set up your own cafepress site with goodies featuring your own designs, and you can order from yourself for reduced prices. Pretty cool!
We eventually plan on posting eBay auctions with one-of-a-kind ethnic and Organic jewelry. Stay tuned!
Here is a link that will take you to our items for sale. None at the moment...
This one will eventually take you to our eBay About Me page.
Body Jewelry Distributors and/or Manufacturers
There are exactly three specific criteria we will use when listing these sites:
1) The company, like ourselves, must have a maximum of three employees.
2) They must rock. Truly, their jewelry is amazing, innovative, and you deserve it.
3) We must have mutually slept at each other's houses, and feel welcome to do so at any time.
That said, check out the incredible:
Zuki Imports. Dawna and Azmie's little company carries many examples of our horn, bone, bamboo, stone, and amber natural body jewelry, as well as Balinese paintings, necklaces, bracelets, and other lovelies that catch their eyes. They are focusing on retail sales, and they take credit cards! Keep checking back, as they will be adding more of our goodies soon. If you prefer to buy online with a credit card, they can order anything from us on your behalf.
There are indeed, many, many good people that could be on our links page. We have set our criteria particularly stringently (and oddly) as it would be terribly confusing to have to keep up with all of our lovely friends in the body jewelry world, and we'd be horrified if we left one out. So those are our wacky rules, meant to avoid hassle and confusion, and to assist you in the search for the finest, most refined purveyors of fine body jewelry down to only the best in quality, trustworthiness, and customer service. Enjoy!
Canela tribe of Brazil An absolutely amazing look at a little-known tribe in Brazil, their body adornments and rituals. Highly recommended!
Akha Heritage Foundation This SE Asian hilltribe is attempting to band together, to form a university in Northern Thailand, preserve their culture, and get access to basic farming and medical support.
Digital Himalaya I hadn't added a new link to this section for some time, but when I stumbled upon this site, I was very impressed. It includes archival footage of films, photos, maps, and some documents about the peoples of the top of the world. Especially of interest are Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf's films, one of which features a facial bloodletting session by the Apa Tani women of Arunachal Pradesh (known for their facial tattoos and extremely large black wooden nostril plugs).
Also check out the 'Naga videodisc', which includes a program called 'The Men Who Hunted Heads': it's a longish documentary about the Naga tribe of Assam that about one-quarter of the way through includes a quick section about men's headhunting tattoos and shows women getting their legs tattooed in a Dayak tapping style. The whole site is worthy of exploration.
CITES (Center for International Trade of Endangered Species) Explains which species are considered endangered and regulated by the international community. It includes both flora (plants) and fauna (animals). The different Appendices also lay out which species may be considered endangered soon if trade is not curtailed, and which are endangered currently (threatened with extinction). Knowledge of scientific names (the Latin genus and species names, such as Homo sapiens) is necessary.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species gives further information on threatened species, using a different set of criteria to categorize the degree of threat. Their research and recommendations enable many of the policies adopted by CITES, particularly for developing nations that may not have a sufficient budget for their own independent research departments in conservation, ecology, wildlife, and other environmental concerns. The Red List is very comprehensive, and a good site to view in tandem with the CITES website.
Markus does several musical projects, the current being the Nordic pagan/Germanic/neofolk band:
Waldteufel (check out his CD
here), though many of you will remember him better through his old band, Crash Worship (check out a CD here). He is also a member of the awesome black metal project L'Acephale.
Finally, if you ever need to commission someone to do English/German translation, he's the one to ask.
Strephon does bold and disturbing paintings that make me feel trapped in a macabre netherworld under a heavy monochromatic fog that may never lift. Please check out his work and his world at: strephon.com.
We plan to include helpful references to amber, bamboo, hardwood, horn, bone, stone, etc.
Free Donation Sites. These ones are interesting: you click on a "donate now" button, and they donate land, food, or money to their respective interests-absolutely free to you. It shows you who is sponsoring the donations, which is in effect an ad, but viewing a tiny image of a company's logo is a small trade for being able to donate just by clicking.
An ecology site, with a scary human population vs. natural habitats vs. natural habitat per capita counter.
Tools of the Trade
: Measuring tools :
These are the exact tools we measure all of our body jewelry with!!!
American Standard wire gage, popularly known as a gauge wheel. This has become a standard tool for body jewelry manufacturers and piercing shops. The gauge wheel is used to accurately measure sizes of body piercing jewelry from 30ga up to 0ga, and includes odd sizes. This sturdy tool is built to last-we have one over 12 years old that is in fine condition. The metal may scratch the surfaces of the materials being measured, especially that of Organic and other natural body jewelry, so care should be taken when using it.
For larger gauges (00ga and up, meaning you'll be in the fractional inch zone), to double check precision when a piece is ever so slightly above a gauge and will not quite fit in the slot, but is quite loose in the next size up slot, or for slightly oval pieces, dial calipers as shown below are used.
We've used these exact dial calipers exclusively for years for measuring our natural body jewelry, and find them to be far superior to those cheap and inaccurate brass ones. As they are made from fiberglass reinforced plastic, they do not mar the jewelry surfaces as metal calipers often do. However, this means that the jaws will eventually wear down with heavy use (check to see that there is
no light appearing between the measuring surfaces, especially at the tips), making periodic replacement necessary with frequent use if accuracy is of high importance.
The glorious thing about these calipers is that fractional, decimal, and millimeter measurements are all available. There is a handy mini-conversion chart on the back side of the calipers that makes fractional inches in 64th's easier to understand. Both inside and outside diameters are easy to measure, and they come with a handy diagram showing how to read the measurements if you have never used these before.
Note that the price on this link also includes free shipping through Amazon.
Or pick 'em up at your local hardware or home improvement store!
: Soap :
Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap
Yes sirree, this is exactly what we've used to wash our jewelry (and ourselves!) with for many years.
This is a link to a seller on Amazon.com, which will have shipping charges tacked on, or check out the Dr. Bronner's official website, whose prices are higher, but they offer free shipping on orders over $20 in the continental US. However! We suggest supporting your local health food store; it's often even cheaper if you're refilling your own bottles if they have it available in bulk dispensers.
We prefer the lavender as it's a very mild scent, whereas the peppermint seems a bit too harsh and possible drying, the almond can have drastic consequences for those with nut allergies, and the tea tree oil can both cause problems and be drying for those with sensitivities to it (though the tea tree and eucalyptus varieties are both good for insect repelling purposes, and since they're biodegradable like all Dr. Bronner's soaps, this makes them excellent choices for camping)... The mild baby variety is just fine, but we personally like the lavender as it has a little more excitement to it. Dilute! Dilute! Ok.
Books: Recommended Reading
We get requests for information relating to ethnic and natural body piercing jewelry, tribal culture, modern body modification, tribes that practice body modification, history of jewelry, and organic materials all of the time. So we've decided to throw down a list of some of our favorite books that feature these themes. Almost all of these feature prominently in the Organic bookshelf, and are excellent sources of reference and inspiration. Most of these books are filled with photos and would easily fit under the coffee table book genre, though they have also been selected for their precise and easy to read content.
The links will take you off site; it's an associates or partner program and we get a small cut of purchases from followed links, which we plan to use to buy more books just like this. We support the use of libraries and buying from independent local bookstores as well, so these links could just be a convenient start to the research and discovery process. Enjoy!
For a less-corporate book buying option,
check out our local Portland favorite: Powell's.
They ship everywhere and have a lot of great new and used options!
Among the Dayaks
If you can actually get this book, it features extraordinary black and white pictures of the Dayak people. Unfortunately it documents what seems to be now a bygone era.
Basic Iban Design aka "Asas Ukiran Iban"
(note link no longer works - this book is very hard to find!)
This legendary book details Iban Dayak design from Sarawak, Borneo, explaning how to draw them, myths, meanings, and many variations. Tattoo designs, wood carving, pottery, basketry and matt work designs are all covered. It is almost regarded as a Dayak tattoo flash sourcebook for those lucky enough to find a copy. The English version is impossible to find, and the other version repeats in its entirety once in Malay and once in Iban, making it a very hefty paperback tome, which I can personally attest to as I have found copies in Asia and stuffed them in my backpack to bring home to sell on more than one occasion.
Ring of Fire: An Indonesian Odyssey
The companion book to the videos (see below). The Blair brothers continue to amaze and inspire! They prove that true expedition-style adventure is still possible, and proceed with obvious respect for those they visit. One even gets tattooed in Borneo.
Stranger in the Forest: On Foot Across Borneo
By Eric Hansen-this is an amazing travelogue of a modern exploration through Borneo. Eric shows an obvious love for the jungle and the Dayak people who make it their home. His writing is a joy to read, and he writes with such truth that you can be right there with him. His sense of humor shines through during moments of adversity-he does not gloss over the often uncomfortable nature of the tropical rainforest, yet it makes one yearn for the forest!
Arts of the Amazon
This thinnish softcover is an excellent resource for those interested in the decorative arts the Amazon. Though it covers basketry, ceramics, and bark cloth, the book primarily focuses on feather jewelry. Ornaments include headdresses, labrets, ear flares, and necklaces, while there are brief mentions of spears, textiles, pottery, stools, baskets, masks, and other ritual objects. The color photos look like museum displays. While concise, this book is a primary resource for Amazonian ornamentation.
The Decorated Body
This book and the one below were some of my first finds in my college library on body art, and they continue to be some of the best in overall presentation, showcased a large cross-section of cultures that ornament themselves heavily.
The Body Decorated
Though similarly titled and covering similar subject matter, this book is just as amazing as the one mentioned above, though with less text, and remains one of my favorites.
Marks of Civilization
Many scholarly essays from several authors are included in this book, including an excellent one on labrets and several on scarification.
: Ethnic, Indigenous, and Historical Jewelry and Ornament :
Power and Gold: Jewelry from Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines
From the Collection of the Barbier-Muller Museum, Geneva. This book, if you can find it, is an absolute must if you are interested in SouthEast Asian ethnic jewelry and the cultures that they arose from. Although there is plenty of gold jewelry depicted, other metals and materials are represented as well. It is also available in a paperback edition.
Ethnic Jewelry: Africa, Asia, And The Pacific
This is a giant oversized book, with beautiful photos of ethnic jewelry, focusing on museum style images of the jewelry itself rather than pieces in use. The text is very brief, with just summaries to describe each piece; this is primarily a picture book displaying the collections of the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Switzerland.
The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry
This books documents the collection of Colette and Jean Pierre Ghysels from Belgium. Again focusing on splendid photographs, this book utilized concise captions to tell the story of what we are seeing, but has just a little bit more text than the book mentioned above.
This book has the most text and general information of these four almost identically titled works. It focuses primarily on jewelry found in the British Museum, but draws from several other sources as well.
From the Rene van der Star collection. Nice photographs with sparse essays of a far-ranging collection.
One of the first and best books on ethnic body art. These ladies show and obvious love and respect for the people and placed depicted. Chock full of gorgeous photos of indigenous Africans and their adornment.
The companion book to Africa Adorned.
These women also publish calendars feauturing similar photos from their books and travels.
Traditional Jewelry of India
A thick book covering all facets of Indian ethnic jewelry, focusing on gold and silver. India is so vast it's hard to typify any of it's traditions, but this book attempts to explore the main styles and regions. There's even a small description at the end of traditional techniques used to craft some of these pieces.
You might want to also check out the
The Art of Slver Jewellery
The main title omits the region of choice here: South Chinese hilltribe jewelry, with a dabbling of Mongolian and Tibetan pieces showcased as well. The book briefly covers other jewelry materials other than its main focus of high quality silver, as well as a small selection of superb ethnic textiles. What's unique to this tome is that the author had each piece of the collection tested for metal content, and published the results along with the captions. Bracelets, necklaces, earrings, hair pieces and headdresses all share the pages here.
: Modern Body Piercing History and Guides to Safe Body Piercing :
Running the Gauntlet
By Jim Ward, founder of the pioneering Gauntlet Enterprises, and regarded by many to be one of fathers of the modern piercing industry, setting many standards still in use today.
The Piercing Bible
"The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing" by Elayne Angel, piercer extraordinare.
: Modern and Western Body Modification Practices :
Highly inspirational, this was one of the first books on the subject and remains an excellent resource of biographies and anecdotes. I absolutely devoured this book when I first read it over 10 years ago!
I'm not a big fan of books that contrast images of intense, authentic tribal people with Western people that happen to have tattoos or body piercings. This book, however, presents black and white photographs of both indigenous people the world over, and Western 'modern primitives' that sport tribal tattoos and modifications from a variety of cultures, in a tasteful and thoughtful way.
: Tribal Tattoos :
The World of Tattoo: An Illustrated History
This book is the one I've been waiting to be written. Finally, an intelligent book that summarizes the history of tattooing as it has been practiced on all continents over the millenia. This has solved the problem presented with his earlier release
Tribal Tattoo Designs, which did not cite any sources, and while showcasing some rare illustrations that took me years to find in my own research, presented them out of meaningful cultural and historical context. While there have been a lot of mediocre books on body art and body modification to come out of the woodwork in the past decade, few have resurrected as much archaic material, contributed a large amount of valuable new data, or presented them in as pleasing of a layout.
Tattoo History: A Source Book
Another richly illustrated source full of ethnographic tattoo work. While there have been some excellent works on the art of tattoo as practiced by one specific ethnicity or area of the world, this book, along with the one above it, is probably the best compilation of information and images that has been published specifically on the subject of indigenous tattoo across many different cultures and regions.
by Henk Schiffmacher (Hanky Panky) of the amazing, and now unfortunately closed Tattoo Museum in Amsterdam. An awesome book to thumb through for inspiration, it covers the past century or so of tattoo work, with a huge variety of historical and modern images presented. It's also available in the newer
paperback version, but with less pages.
: How to Make Jewelry :
Jewelry Concepts & Technology
I can't even tell you how often we get asked, "How do I make my own jewelry?" Since we do not give advice on how to manufacture body piercing jewelry, I thought this book might be a good solution. This hefty tome is one of the most comprehensive and thorough books on jewelry making techniques out there, written by Oppi Untracht, the man who brought us Traditional Jewelry of India, listed above. While not specific to making body jewelry, it covers traditional jewelry forming techniques with such depth, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more amazing book on the subject.
: Natural and Organic Materials :
Amber: Window to the Past
Scrumptious color photos-one of my favorites! Lots of history and information. This book is a fine example of a display style book that, while filled with photographs, does not neglect the text, which is thorough, informative, and easy to read.
Amber: The Golden Gem of the Ages
Though not a coffee table book like most of these others, this book is highly recommended as a reference source on amber. What it lacks in color photos it more than makes up for in thorough information. Happily, a
newly expanded edition has been released, though only in paperback. I recommend getting the separate CD of color photos to accompany it (available separately, and probably not on Amazon.com).
A superb, easy-to-read reference source for anyone wanting to understand the basic properties of wood, it's structure, anatomy, and function, how it reacts to physical phenomenon such as changes in heat and humidity, and how these factors are reflected in the real world of woodworking in how they effect the working characteristics of various wood species.
World Woods in Color
An excellent manual to the more known woods used in fine woodworking. Fantastic color pictures.
The Wood Book
This tome weighs in at over 6 pounds, and even comes in it's own wooden box!
Though it is a Taschen reprint that focuses only on woods from the U.S., it is gloriously presented, making heavy use of gold ink on black backgrounds or black ink and gold.
This book shows the gorgeous wax models housed in the Museo La Specola in Florence, Italy. These works are excellent anatomical references even today, and are an astounding art form onto themselves. I find it astounding that such exquisite models were made in this time period (the 1600's through the early 1800's), both from a technical standpoint in terms of producing the colors needed for the wax models of each structure, for example, but also from the perspective of the views of the human body at that time, as well as the availability of corpses to study and make molds from. What I especially like about Italian anatomical wax models is their attention to detail-every nerve is reproduced, the models are displayed on luxorious velvet, and some of the female models have even long hair and necklaces.
: Relevant Magazines :
National Geographic Magazine
I'm sure you already know about it, but it should not be forgotten as an excellent and inspiring resource. This magazine was heavily influential in my own life; you would probably not be reading this website now had I not been introduced to National Geographic at an early age.
I Am Not My Body. My zine!
Issues #1 and #2 are out of print. Other issues will be produced, I swear!
I can't say enough about this incredible film. I'm blown away every time I see it. The cinematography and editing are suburb. I've had the honor to visit just a few of the places depicted in person, and many continue to simultaneously haunt and beckon.
The follow-up film Samsara is a worthy watch as well.
: Recommendations :
Let us know if there is any other media you think we should list here!