Jewelry created from plasticized human milk


From Core77:

French design collective Duende have used a technique that can transform human or animal milk into plastic by solidifying the casein content. The 'Perle de lait' range of jewelry will be on display as part of their collection of objects exploring the relationship of food between mother and child at La Cuisine. This takes the concept of bespoke jewelry to whole new level.
Jewelry created from plasticized human milk (Thanks Ultimate Cowboy!)


  1. If it wasn’t so expensive you could refer to them as “trinkets”, or even “boobles”

  2. Does it have to be milk for this process to work? Because there’s something I give my gf on a regular basis but until now it’s only metaphorically referred to as a necklace.

  3. I have actually wanted to create a line of earings made from fork parts. They would be “tiney baubles”

  4. …How soon before they invent a similar process for either of the two primary excretory waste products? I understand there’s one for the third on the list – mucus – but for urine and feces? I can see the Chrisnukkah lists for next year:

    “Dear, get me anything you want, just don’t give me none of your shit this time!”

  5. Oh my God. Unwanted babies be damned, one of my friends needs to start lactating right now.

  6. I don’t believe in wearing animal products. Can’t they make jewelry out of hemp?

    …or corn starch

  7. Yeah I’ll wear that weird ass shit after having placenta for dinner (the rest buried in my backyard under a new tree) and then turn on my Jewish Nazi skin lamp prior to sitting down to the 18th consecutive round of The Silence of the Lambs. Only I’ll be sucking on a cold one instead of chianti, or bambino or whatever…

  8. I will add that I find it less disturbing for a silky woman to wear such enchantments, but it still kinda creeps me out, hehe

  9. That’s only slightly less creepy than the painting I saw once made of human blood. >_>

  10. Instructables has a link on making your own plastics from milk. I’d imagine you could figure out how to do it with human milk, and if you use Takuan’s link, guy milk(no no no not man milk) – DIY rare weird stuff for the plucking right there.

  11. #3 posted by vonmises
    Does it have to be milk for this process to work?

    It solidifies the casein in milk. I can’t think of anything else that contains casein. The answer is yes.

  12. 3 & 16 –
    It does indeed work by making casein (the main protein component in milk) precipitate and soldify. It doesn’t need to be casein however; you can make almost any dissolved protein do the same thing. Rennet will work on casein and most other phosphoproteins; acidification ahould work on almost any protein. So you need to find a liquid with a *lot* of dissolved protein. Milk seems by far the best option.

    I don’t know whether the protein concentration is high enough for you to give your gf a more permanent necklace, but it’s certainly worth a try. One possible limitation is that a lot of the protein is held within cells. You might need to burst the cells open to release the protein; adding dilute soap will work fine.

    The tricky bit (which might not really be necessary) would be removing all the unwanted cell debris. It will settle out of the solution under centrifugation (I use 15,000g for about 10 minutes) to give you a clear solution with protein and a solid pellet of cell membranes and other gunk. I’m not sure how you’d do this without a centrifuge.

    I can’t quite believe I just spent 5 minutes thinking how best to immortalise a pearl necklace. I’m off to the lab to do… something else.

  13. @#11
    Yeah, I think this is kinda weird, myself.
    But dude, lighten up. Milk, including human milk, is biologically designed to be expressed and consumed.
    You’re comparing that with forcibly removed skin lamps?? :P

  14. @bugs is right (#17 ) the protein count is too low. see this blog post on trying to make cheese out of human breast milk :

    and the author links to this:

    “Human breast milk contains less protein than cow’s milk (about 1.87% vs. 3.2%) […] It is entirely possible that the differences in protein chemistry prevents human milk proteins from coagulating though they may still precipitate […]”

    anyhow, this is “concept” jewelry.

  15. @ #18 MECHPHISTO
    Milk does not need to be expressed. It needs to be consumed. Those drink milk moustaches? I hate them. They are not funny now, and were never sexy.
    Adolph Hitler and Charlie Chaplin? Hate the men, not the mustache says a friend. I love that expression.
    As far as your ‘milk expression’ goes, well down the gullet says I. My point was simply iterating the parallel psychologies between those art forms produced by biological human entities, and that one is more accepted than the other.
    John Merrick is not Rodin. He is a scientific model, like that milk necklace.

  16. Casein has been used to make fountain pens for nigh on a hundred years. Pen expert and nib customizer Richard Binder explains on his site ( that casein is

    “A material of which pens are made, a durable plasticlike substance made from a protein (also called casein) that is contained in milk, hardened with formaldehyde. Casein was used in the early 1920s in an attempt to escape from the fragility and limited color choices of hard rubber. Although casein is durable and can be made in very exciting colors and patterns that are difficult to achieve in other materials, its tendency to expand and contract under varying conditions of humidity and the ease with which it discolors on exposure to ink soon saw it supplanted by celluloid. Casein does not respond to the solvents commonly used to fuse celluloid or acrylic, and it is therefore difficult to repair.”

    I have a casein pen and it’s exactly as Binder describes: attractive, almost pearlescent color, but the barrel is completely crazed from expansion and contraction, and under certain conditions of humidity I can’t screw the nib seection onto the barrel. Anyway, people have been plasticizing milk for much longer than you might think.

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