Well, art is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. 45-year-old Queens native Mike Drake has been collecting his finger and toenail clippings, stuffing them into paperweights, and selling them for $300 to $500 apiece.
He tells the Huffington Post that started collecting his nail clippings 11 years ago:
“I used to bite my nails, and I wondered how long they could grow. And then I wondered how much I might be able to accumulate.” So he collected his nail clippings in a Ziploc baggie for about a year, and was about to throw them out when inspiration struck. He decided to do something ‘artistic’ with them.
“I realised I went to all that effort, and I figured, in for a penny, in for a pound. I already worked with acrylics as a hobby so I decided to make paperweights.”
He now uses a year’s worth of clippings to make a single paperweight, mostly green. “I like the jade color because it gives off an emerald quality,” he said. His creations have plenty of takers, too – he’s managed to sell every single one he’s ever made!.
He’s also put prosthetic eyeballs that once belonged to soldiers in paperweights. “Each eyeball came with a story about how the vet lost his eye. This particular project helped me get noticed by Ripley’s Believe it or Not.”