You’ve been framed: Placenta used for ‘keepsake’

Amanda Cotton, who has developed a technique allowing parents to have pictures of their newborn babies in photo frames made using the mother's placenta.  Pic: PA

Parents can now treasure pictures of their newborns in photo frames made using the placenta, thanks to a technique developed by a university graduate.

Amanda Cotton has found a way of adding pieces of placenta to moulds filled with clear resin to create marble effect frames, and is already receiving orders from parents, according to the University of Brighton.

Cotton boils the entire placenta, then grinds it into small pieces before placing it into a mould with resin and other materials.

“I have had a lot of positive feedback from mothers and fathers to be — and I already have clients,” said Cotton.

One order has come from Ulrika Jarl, who is expecting her second daughter at Christmas, a university spokesman said.

After the birth, Jarl will keep the placenta in a cool box for Cotton to collect and turn into a frame.

Jarl said: “I can understand why some people might find this a bit yucky but what attracted me was the use of materials that we think of as waste.

“I finished an MA in sustainable design at the University of Brighton a couple of years ago and these issues are close to my heart. We need to think of all waste in a completely new way, as raw materials which hold huge potential. Why not use human waste where possible?

“I have friends who swear by placenta capsules and say they give them much more energy, more milk, and even combat the postpartum blues.”

Cotton developed her picture frame technique before graduating this year in 3D materials practice at the faculty of arts.

“It is my belief that human by-products have just as valid an aesthetic value as their virginal material resource,” said Cotton.

“From this point, I chose to create souvenirs which pin-point key times in one’s life, using materials of personal significance.”

The 25-year-old, who works for a design company, said she is expanding the range after receiving positive feedback.

“It is quite common for people to keep their baby’s by-products such as the umbilical cord, first tooth, or hair clippings to document their progress,” she said.

“The placenta is one of the first creations mother and baby make together — why not celebrate that with a keepsake?”


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