There is no rules to this bone whitening game. We take in donations and process in house in order not to pay for what would have been discarded anyway. This preserves the authentication of the art work you purchase. We preserve these animals to honor them and we make art to connect with them and you. Here is how we do it.
Acquiring the specimen is where the process always begins. We take in what would otherwise go to waste. We salvage specimens from our area roads, we also take donations from hunters and trappers. Farmers and Breeders are also a great source for animals that may occasionally die. The supply chain is endless.
Cleaning The Bones
The state in which the animal arrives to us will determine how we are going to remove the soft tissue. There is no best method. There is just your preferred method. We are patient. If the specimen is fresh, we remove as much soft tissue as possible and place it in a bucket. If the specimen is far along, then it goes straight in the dry bucket. We cover with a lid leaving just enough room for flies to get to the specimen. We let nature handle the rest. Weather plays a factor of how long the maceration process may take.
Maceration can happen in one week to several months. We then rinse and set the bones out on trays under the sun. These trays are taken out each day, depending on the weather and brought back in before dinner. Sometimes there is more than 50 trays to sun.
The most important step in this whole operation is making sure the bones are properly degreased. Bones are full of fats and oils. We use dish washing detergent to degrease. This process takes several weeks.
Back out in to the sun they go. We find this is the best way to whiten bones given our busy lifestyle. The size of the animal will determine how long this step make take. The UV rays work like magic and it does help that we live in southwest Florida.
There is only one bone approved artificial bone whitening chemical that should be used for bones and that is hydrogen peroxide. (H2O2). We started using hairdressers developer which has 9 to 12% hydrogen peroxide and we now use Swimming pool grade hydrogen peroxide and dilute for a slower whiten time. This takes about a week.
This is the final stage before tagging and bagging the bones to be brought in. By this stage, the pristine beauty in the bone really shines. To us, it is very exciting when bones are ready to come in and be built with.