Interview : Adorned Immortal

Adorned Immortal, established by artist Marilyn Hammer, creates some of the most distinctive accessories I’ve ever seen. All the pieces are utterly unique, with a raw, primal feel to them. Marilyn makes the most of recycled materials, and the bones and skins left behind by creatures who’ve passed.

Please could you explain the services Adorned Immortal provides, and what does your business mean to you?

Adorned Immortal is a one woman enterprise. I offer one of kind adornments, and create custom orders for my lovely customers. My business means everything to me. It is a means of self expression, it is a channel for me to share what I find sacred with the world, and it is how I support myself.

Moon Goddess Medicine Pouch

Moon Goddess Medicine Pouch

What prompted your desire to establish Adorned Immortal and was it a straight forward process?

It was definitely a gradual process. I have been a DIY artist for many years, and I have always had an interest in unconventional art/fashion. Running a self-made business is something I am still learning about.

From my understanding, you started an education in photography, then dropped out and went to live in New Orleans. Can you please talk about why you made that decision, and the effect New Orleans had on you and your art?

There are just those times in life when you have to trust your gut and see where it leads you. Moving to New Orleans had a tremendous influence on me as a young artist. The energy of the city seemed to speak to me, in a way I had never felt before. The culture is intoxicating and mysterious. It drew me into its dark shadows, and reflected something very sacred to me. The time I spent there has had a lasting effect on what I create and how I view the ritual of creation in all forms. It was precisely where I should have been at that moment in my life. It is hard to put into words exactly, it is a feeling I can’t describe.

Coyote Face Medicine Pouch

Coyote Face Medicine Pouch

You use found artifacts to create your work, and I am interested to know about the process you go through to find your materials. Please can you talk a bit about this?

Sometimes I deliberately go out with the intention of finding bones, forest searching and beach combing. Other times, I am just adventuring, exploring, camping, and I come across items that speak to me, and I get an immediate vision of what I could create with them. I feel very fortunate for all of the gifts that are bestowed upon me.

turkey synasacrum body harness

Turkey Synasacrum Body Harness

Nature is a primary focus in your work, and I am curious as to how you would describe your personal relationship with the outside world?

My relationship with nature and the cosmos is very strong and it is an inherent part of my being. I always lean towards the mystical and try to learn as much as I can of the unseen aspects in nature, as well as utilize what is tangible.

You believe ‘adornment is art, as well as a method of energetic communication and healing.’ Please could you go into a bit more detail about this?

The style in which I create more closely resembles assemblage art. I treat each item I create as a piece of art. A fine balance of merging taxidermy, sculpture, spirituality, with the practicality of a wearable design. The energetic communication between the bones and the wearer is easily felt. They contain energy that is able to be transferred, capable of healing on an energetic level. It is an age old practice to use animal bones for such purposes.



Are you ever hounded by people who misinterpret what you do, and believe you are harming animals?

I have been fortunate to not have had too many people question my intention. I always try to have a disclaimer where ever my products are featured, to avoid any misunderstandings.

One piece that stands out for me is the Coyote Face Medicine Pouch, and I am interested to know for how long Native American culture has inspired you?

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated and drawn towards native culture. I have no native blood in me, but have felt the spirit present my whole life.

Spirit walker of dusk and dawn earrings

Spirit Walker Of Dusk And Dawn Earrings

You work with a variety of different animal skins, including snake, armadillo and deer. Can you talk about the process of working with skins? Do you feel an attachment to the animal as you are working with it?

I always feel an attachment with whatever animal I am working with. I say a prayer and thank the animal for the use of its parts. I don’t usually skin animals, most of the skins I use are shed, or I was gifted them as is. All the leather I use is recycled, a majority is scraps. The only thing I can think of that is worse than skinning an animal for its hide is to just throw it away. I recycle and re-purpose as much as possible. Same goes for fur. I don’t agree with killing animals for their fur/skin. But the production of synthetic alternatives poisons the environment, thus killing animals and humans. I try to just use the best judgment and intention with everything I use.

How difficult is it parting from your creations? I imagine that you develop quite a strong bond with them.

Yes indeed sometimes it is difficult to part with my creations. I put a lot of myself in to my work, hours and hours of energy and love. It is hard to put a price on what I create. I like to keep my prices reasonable, so I can continue to be able to create more. I mostly break even and don’t make a profit based on the hours of work I put in. I definitely create a strong bond with all my pieces, and I rarely get to keep anything I create.

The harmonious Spines of Gaia chest adornment

The Harmonious Spines Of Gaia Chest Adornment

Are you able to share some information about what you are currently working on, and what can we expect from Adorned Immortal in the future?

I have been deep in the process of some new creations. For the past few months I feel like I have been shedding my skin and creating new armour. It has been a time of deep reflection and manifestation. I shall be unveiling new work within the coming weeks and restocking my etsy shop with all new inventory. I’m also in the process of updating all of my WebPages. I get so wrapped up in creating work, I have a hard time updating and promoting.

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