Cult Stars

Taxidermy Her Bones: Elegant, Macabre Jewelry Featuring Animal Skulls, Teeth and Bones

Comments (0)


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM
  • Ashley Marie Manzo/Taxidermy Her Bones

When Ashley Marie Manzo was a child, her father took her to Necromance, the Melrose Avenue store filled with specimen jars, bones and macabre trinkets. She loved it, but many years had passed before she visited the store again. Then, three years ago, she returned to the shop.

"I fell in love with it all over again," says the up-and-coming artist from Boyle Heights.

Manzo bought a frog in a specimen jar and it launched an obsession. She began scouring swap meets and web stores for more animal remains. Now, the 21-year-old says she's acquired about 17 specimen jars, 30 skulls and 100 bones.

"Other people collect comic books," says Manzo. "I collect skulls and bones."

click to enlarge Ashley Marie Manzo of Taxidermy Her Bones - TAXIDERMY HER BONES
  • Taxidermy Her Bones
  • Ashley Marie Manzo of Taxidermy Her Bones

But Manzo does more than collect. Influenced by Victorian mourning jewelry, particularly hair art, she turns these relics into wearable art. Manzo's jewelry line, Taxidermy Her Bones, features teeth and bones inside cameo-style charms and skulls dangling from necklaces or perched atop hair pieces. Her work is more elegant than it is creepy. The jewelry is reflective of both Manzo's personal style and her other art, which includes collage, and which she documents on her blog, Marie's Cadaver.

While still a teenager, Manzo gravitated toward Gothic and Gothic Lolita fashion. Now, she describes her personal style as "antique," inspired by the Victorian era, 1920s and porcelain dolls.

Related Content


Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • Ringo Starr's #PeaceRocks Birthday Party
    Ringo Starr's 74th Birthday celebration was held at Capitol Records Monday. The birthday boy, along with fashion designer John Varvatos, launched the #peacerocks campaign to raise funds for Starr's Peace & Love fund, which is a part of David Lynch's non-profit organization. Starr's wife Barbara, and countless musician friends, showed up to support Starr and his fundraiser by posting selfies galore on social media with #peacerocks hashtags, raising $1 per hit. After blowing out candles and greeting fans, Starr handed out bracelets and cupcakes for all to join his celebration. All photos by Michele McManmon.
  • Moon Crisis: A Sailor Moon Tribute Art Show
    Rothick Art Haus opened the Moon Crisis Art Show, curated by Katie McAtee, Stephanie Ignacio Han and Jane Kim Estantino, on Saturday night, and the superfans lined up to celebrate all things Sailor Moon. The event featured artwork by Miss Kika, Greg DeStefano, Jamie Meckel Tablason, Creature of Habit, Carlton, Elizabeth Beals, Aimee Steinberger, The Quarter House and more. All photos by Shannon Cottrell.
  • TwentyWonder @ The Doll Factory
    TwentyWonder celebrated its fifth year of wonderment by taking over the L.A. Derby Dolls' home at the Doll Factory on July 13th. TwentyWonder, run by Jim Hodgson (brother of MST3K's Joel Hodgson), is a one-of-a-kind, one-night only event featuring Roller Derby, Cirque Berzerk, H.R. Pufnstuf "Mayor of Living Island," Dengue Fever, The Lampshades and more. All proceeds benefit DSALA's efforts to support those born with Down syndrome in the greater Los Angeles area. All photos by Star Foreman.