I use a huge range of animal and insect materials in my work for Stoned Affection, and they all come from different sources.
First off and most importantly, all materials used are legally acquired and responsibly sourced. I have a huge range of places, contacts and friends that I get my animal parts & insect supplies from, as well as sometimes being lucky enough to source things myself.
Animal materials come from several different places and countries. I source bones in the UK & Germany, and mummified specimens from suppliers in Java, Indonesia.
Sources include: natural death, natural finds, roadkill, pest control, butchers, collectors, gamekeepers, by-products of the food industry, non-protected farmed species and wild meat breeders.
Most items I purchase already prepared but sometimes I clean and preserve from raw.
Insect materials come from all over the world! I source from other breeders, butterfly sanctuaries and sometimes I'm lucky enough to find specimens outside. I buy specimens from entomology shows, and collectors who have euthanised insects in the past for their collections. I look out for vintage and damaged entomology displays and reframe the specimens.
Most of my insects are sourced through work with sustainable butterfly & insect farms - directly and through distributors, most of which are located in tropical countries. These provide conservation, education & work for the people there, and strong breeding & releasing programmes for the invertebrates, supporting the habitats and enriching the environments too. They will euthanise a small percentage of the species they raise to sell as materials for art/science etc. Depending on the insect, the method can be done via freezing the insect, but is usually a chemical euthanisation via injection - an extremely quick and painless process that keeps the insects in pristine condition.
Ethical is subjective and means different things to different people, so I do my best to describe the ins and outs in a matter-of-fact way here. Morally some people are not okay with things that I am, and that's okay too! I respect everyones viewpoints on sourcing and encourage honest conversation on the subject.
I do not use protected or endangered species, and nothing is ever taken directly from the wild unless via pest control, unprotected or found dead. I relax, pin and set all the specimens you see in the shop.
Everything I raise is solely for the purpose of enjoying them as living creatures. I love to document each stage of their lives & use this to educate and inform people. I do not euthanise any of my own creatures. If they are in good condition when they die, I will frame them or use them in other things (like domes) - if they are in bad condition I will use the wings.
Please visit my dedicated photoblog My Moth Diary to see every wonderful insect i've ever raised.
(Update needed - yes I know haha)
If you wish to know the details of a specific item, I will be happy to tell you! Please do not hesitate to contact me here.Lots of love,