Back again for another installment of A Closer Look, this week I am happy to share with you The Bone Witch! I hope you enjoy this installment and come back for more every thursday.
Meet Leo Olson of The Bone Witch! “Born and raised on the east coast of the U.s. I finished school at age 14, and started my first job in the same year. Some time passed, life happened then I moved out to California. I was hoping to find a piece of myself. I ended up finding it in art and creation.”
How did you come up with your brand name?
The Bone Witch
“Bones” are the main inspiration for my creation. They remind us how beautiful we are on the inside. They have taught me death is a new beginning.
In my travels I have seen things from the most beautiful mountains and oceans, to roadkill and garbage. It became clear that the latter are signs of a much greater issue. I vowed to treasure and honor the animal, plant, and spirit of our beautiful world. Self taught in the science of taxidermy and osteology only using what has been left behind, found or donated ethically.
“Witch” is a term I set out to reclaim. A witch has been thought of as the green wart covered creature that eats children. But not everything that has been given a bad names deserves such a fate. I believe “witch” refers to the innate ability to understand the natural realm and the science of magic.
When did you start your business?
I was still very fresh in California at the time. 2011 is when I started with bone jewelry, by 2012 The Bone Witch had appeared, not only in the creative process, but my everyday as well.
How did you get into your field?
Ever since I can remember I have found inspiration from natural realm. From a young age I have found great joy in spending hours in the woods identifying different plant, animal and mineral species. Appreciating the tiny pieces that make our world turn.
Witnessing loss in life, not only in my own personal life, but also driving across country. Seeing all this precious life gone to waste.
I’ve never been to collage, or taken art classes. So, I taught my self Osteology, Re-articulation, taxidermy, a little entomology, fashion design, and art history. The art from centuries a go built from stone to tell stories for thousands of years to come. All of these lend great inspiration to what I am already pulled by the magnet’s of the universe to do.
What/who inspires you to create?
Ancient creators of our past, the ones with no name that painted and pushed stone until they worked their fingers to the bone. I’ve studied folklore and fashion from across the globe. I like to incorporate a variety of cultures, and time periods into what I assemble.The Victorian and Art Nouveau eras lend their inspiration to me, especially Alphonse Mucha.
But also ancient Egypt, and Greece. The appreciation for the body form, fluidity, flora fauna, and a slight sense of the macabre. Since the macabre is a part of our daily lives, I like to show a different side of death. Death is a brave beginning. We all have skeletons that are a beautiful magical part of us. Magical things deserve to be seen.
It is the essence of life.
What is your brands aesthetic?
Shadow, duality, beauty.
There is no defined line between light and dark, good and evil. Magnetic fields could have a positive or negative. Duality is real. But this concept of good or bad is limiting. Just because there has been programing to teach you one way, doesn’t mean you can’t reprogram yourself. Light and dark is a fear tactic to keep you from learning about all of the sides of yourself.
There are many shades to darkness, just as there are many kinds of light.
What is your favorite part of creating your products?
The materials themselves have taught me a lot. About death, life, the middle part. What is truly precious. I find myself learning about every sort of creature’s inner workings. It is difficult, but there is a sense of calmness that comes with creation.
I am often told the energy of the bones is a happy and pleasant one, and that people would be content to be in front of them for hours. That brings me great joy to know that these creatures get a second chance for love and appreciation, and that others can sense the care and love I put into every piece.
When people wear my creations. For instance… When models are picking their outfits for an upcoming show. Their eyes glaze around the room for a moment, and then land on a piece of their choice. Each person is drawn to animal for one reason or another. When they are reconnected with a spirit friend as they wear a piece, their whole being lights up! To watch them find and love their creature selves, is the most beautiful thing I could have never wished for. I feel blessed to watch it happen, every, single, time.
What is your favorite/most popular product you have made to date?
Antler and horn headpieces are by far the most popular. I was told of a story once. Of children who had hardships from a very young age. As they grew to the teenage years they would sprout horns as a mark of these hardships. I think that there is something to that. They are a sign of strength, and personal power.
There are a lot of hilarious behind the scenes moments! At shoots, back stage, traveling to get to locations. These in moments, I find it’s best to keep the jokes flowing and the mood light.
Where do you want to see your brand in 5 years?
Spreading magic, touring the world hosting fashion shows with every sort of creature.
Say thank you.
Never be afraid to ask questions, it is how we learn. Always create. They can never take away your free will. Your personal power is the ability to create, that is a glorious gift to give the world.
Don’t forget to check out all of The Bone Witch social media! Check out the shop and show some support to the handmade craft!!
The Style Astronaut