Australian Israeli-born and currently Iceland-based conceptual jeweler Sruli Recht — who tends to have a wonderful sci-fi aesthetic to his fashion and design that is less silly than much of the “far out” ideas too-often presented by his field — recently had a roughly 1/2″ by 4″ strip of skin cut off his belly which was then tanned and wrapped around a 24k gold ring, now being offered for a half million dollars. The somewhat grotesque design doesn’t just look like random leather — it’s even got wiry belly hair. He calls it the “Forget Me Knot”. Recht has lots of experience working with dubious organic materials — animal and fish remains including a stillborn lamb, hair, spider silk from a modified goat — but this is the first time he’s used human skin.
Here’s a graphic YouTube video of the procedure and some stills from it. The procedure is actually quite fascinating if you’re more used to the sort of skin removal scars done in the body modification world where the concern is the scar, rather than the excised tissue. You’ll see the doctor first spend a surprisingly long time anesthetizing the area, then cutting the outline using a scalpel, and then quickly cutting off the strip of skin using a pair of surgical scissors. Next you’ll see an interesting use of an electrocautery tool to stop small bleeders, where instead of applying the electrocautery tool to the wound itself, the vessels are pinched using tweezers, which are then electrified. Finally the wound is sutured closed.
Recht’s work is in a way another example of the “fine art” world catching up to and borrowing from the body modification world (Recht is no outsider though, and has tattoos as well as large gauge inner conch piercings), which has been using procedure remnants in jewelry for ages. Here are a few examples formerly featured on BME — a couple examples of removed nipples encased in cast acrylic resin (this seems to be a trend!), and a heart-shaped piece of human skin and cartilage inside a set of earplugs, also cast in clear resin. Below the pictures are a list of the previous entries that cover them in more detail.
- Nipple plugs #1: Mustache March and Guess What
- Nipple plugs #2: Grossest Plugs Ever
- Ear-heart plugs: Heart-shaped Ear Cartilage Preserved in Resin and Heart-shaped Cartilage Removal
PS. If anyone wants a strip of my belly skin — I have plenty of it, more than I need — I’ll sell it to you for a hell of a lot less than a half million dollars!