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Eco-Friendly Fashion: How Mela’s Artisans Create our Natural Bone Collections

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Honoring our commitment to preserving the planet, all of Mela Artisans’ collections are made from sustainably grown or recycled materials. Some of our most beautiful home accents are made from bone, a waste product from the meat industry. Here’s how our skillful artisans transform seemingly useless bones into stunning home décor using a pain-staking multi-step process.

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Our artisans who work with natural bone live in the Moradabad district in Northern India, where working with bone is a family tradition.

First, our artisans must collect leftover buffalo bone from local meat markets, cut the large pieces into smaller strips and then buff them to remove any impurities.

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Next, they hand carve the small bone strips  into even smaller shapes that will later fit together to form a decorative design.  This is done entirely without the help of automated machines.

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The completed bone pieces are sorted into piles of different shapes depending on the design to be created.

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Using the individually carved pieces of bone, an intricate pattern is pieced together on the wooden surface to be decorated. To give the product a straight edge, further trimming of the pieces is completed at this stage.

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After the bone pieces are secured on the wood panel, dyed resin is poured into the gaps between the small tiles. This adds the color that brings the design to life. Each side of the product is filled separately and must be left to dry for 1-2 hours before the artisan can move on to the next side.

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After the entire pattern has been completed and the product has dried, hand-buffing produces a smooth, sleek finish. During this final step, the artisan focuses on leveling any rough edges or bumps while polishing the piece to a glossy shine.

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Final product in the workshop.

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The Eternal collection of trays and decorative boxes is a fine example of our artisans’ skill.  To shop the collection click here.

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  • Jessica Irias