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Designer Spotlight – Christopher Marley


Several years ago we happened on a most unusual art exhibition featuring beautiful colorful designs made up entirely of beetles, invertebrates, butterflies and fossil stones. The immediate reaction is “who does this amazing design work and why is he allowed to kill all these living organisms for the sake of art?”

Enter Christopher Marley and the answers to the above. Christopher Marley grew up in the Pacific Northwest and in his own words was ” an avid naturalist who could find absolutely no beauty in insects”. After school he spent over a decade working in fashion advertising in dozens of countries. It was during his years doing extensive traveling that he realized every country had gorgeous enigmatic natural artifacts still to be discovered.

His passion for crisp design enhanced by beautiful color collided with serendipitous encounters with exquisite insects, minerals, fossils, botanicals, and deep sea organisms and Pheronome was created.

Back to how are the specimens obtained led to this fairly long explanation. Each element must first be of an unusual aesthetic quality and be harvested, collected, bred, mined, grown or otherwise acquired in a responsible ethical and sustainable manner. They are reclaimed, bred or harvested from dozens of countries – many only come from breeders after they die of natural or incidental causes.

The ones sustainably collected from their country of origin offer local catchers a powerful financial incentive to keep, protect and guard their natural habitats. An article in the National Geographic (January 2001) says the number one adversity affecting insects is not sustainable collection of such but the destruction of their natural habitat. Insect collecting can actually aid in their preservation by offering an economic incentive to preserve the habitation which this “sustainable rainforest crop” lives

Some of the FAQ’s directly from the Pheronome site include the following:

1. Are the specimens real? – Yes. And they are naturally and professionally preserved.

2. Is the color enhanced? – Very rarely. All beetles, butterflies, crystals, birds, feathers and other artifacts are never enhanced. Things like insects that mimic leaves on a tree or bush sometimes fade so they may be enhanced.

3. How do you choose a species? – Out of the millions of species on the planet only those with an amazing story to tell are chosen.

We had the opportunity to meet Christopher at one of the markets and he is as passionate today about sustainability, preservation and the beauty that Mother Nature has for us. Come and see some of his works at the store.


Sklar Furnishings