But some of these things still come up and are preserved that way. I actually used to do a lot of work with Ralph Lauren as a designer, so when I stopped working with them, we started this business. We primarily do the custom suits, called bespoke suits, custom denim…and we do everything in house.
So think “Body World” and plastination but a way earlier form, from the 18th and 19th century. I used to work in museum prep at a natural history museum, and the Anthropology department had some they kept locked up. I was a collector first, and then I got a paid internship as a jeweler’s assistant…to a man who was Ralph Lauren’s first jewelry maker. Luckily, for osteology and medical preparation, the same tools are used, so I was able to segue, mixing all these things together.
This was back in the day and I didn’t really have any money, and I spent my deposit money–much to my girlfriend’s at the time chagrin–and thank God she could spot me because I spent all my money on this skeleton. The organs and tissue are used to save lives and then the skeleton is cleaned and used for medical purposes.
I was answering this same question a month or so ago and literally a week later I found the piece I was looking for, which was an elongated skull from Peru. Um, I don’t know…you know, one of the things I have been focusing on is mummification.
So it all sort of blossomed…doing this kind of work that I do now–manipulating skeletons, started with this one. It’s like this big treasure hunt and you never know what you are going to come across.
So you might walk away with a candlestick, or like the rarest object you’ve been looking for your whole life.
And there is this adrenaline rush that comes with going to these things. I’m not being superstitious–I’m not a superstitious person–like the other day, for instance, I got a call from someone who said they had a lot of cool stuff in their basement I might be interested in.
Those are my favorite times because they are happy for these things to find a home. I actually have a funny story about that little guy. Yeah, children don’t as readily leave themselves to science.
I was supposed to move out of my apartment and into a new one. That is ultimately how a skeleton is bought…someone leaves their body to science.
And you are there at like 3am, it’s cold, it’s dark out, it’s raining.