Title:
ORNAMENTS DERIVED FROM HOOF MATERIAL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A process for making a wearable personal ornament utilizing an inexpensive animal product or byproduct involves obtaining hoof material, typically cleaning, sanitizing and shaping the hoof material, applying a decorative coating to surfaces of the hoof material, and attaching the hoof material to a wire, metal collet, metal plate, ring, screw-eye, cord or chain.



Inventors:
Rooks, Girard J. F. (Hudsonville, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/850067
Publication Date:
03/05/2009
Filing Date:
09/05/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44C27/00
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Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MORGAN, EMILY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PRICE HENEVELD LLP (GRAND RAPIDS, MI, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A process for making an ornament from hoof material, comprising steps of: obtaining hoof material; and applying a decorative coating to the hoof material.

2. A process of claim 1, further comprising a step of removing contaminants from a surface of the hoof material before applying a decorative coating to the hoof material.

3. A process of claim 1, further comprising a step of sanitizing the hoof material before applying a decorative coating to the hoof material.

4. A process of claim 1, further comprising a step of shaping the hoof material before applying a decorative coating to the hoof material.

5. A process of claim 2, further comprising a step of sanitizing the hoof material after removing contaminants from a surface of the hoof material and before applying a decorative coating to the hoof material.

6. A process of claim 2, further comprising a step of shaping the hoof material after removing contaminants from a surface of the hoof material and before applying a decorative coating to the hoof material.

7. A process of claim 2, further comprising a step of sanitizing the hoof material after removing contaminants from a surface of the hoof material and before applying a decorative coating to the hoof material, and a step of shaping the hoof material before applying a decorative coating to the hoof material.

8. A process of claim 1, further comprising a step of incorporating the hoof material in a wearable personal ornament.

9. A process of claim 8, wherein the wearable personal ornament is a finger ring, an ear ring, a necklace, a brooch, an amulet, a bracelet, an anklet or a belt buckle.

10. A process of claim 1, wherein the coating comprises a synthetic or natural polymer.

11. A process of claim 1, wherein the coating comprises a polyurethane varnish.

12. A process of claim 6, wherein the step of shaping the hoof material includes polishing a surface of the hoof material.

13. An ornament comprising: hoof material having a decorative coating on a surface of the hoof material.

14. An ornament of claim 13, wherein the coating comprises a synthetic or natural polymer.

15. An ornament of claim 13, wherein the coating comprises a polyurethane varnish.

16. A wearable personal ornament comprising: hoof material having a smooth surface and a decorative coating bonded on the smooth surface; and a wire, metal collet, metal plate, ring, screw-eye, cord or chain to which the hoof material is attached.

17. A wearable personal ornament of claim 16, which is a finger ring, earring, necklace, brooch, bracelet, anklet, amulet or belt buckle.

18. A wearable personal ornament of claim 16, in which the decorative coating comprises a synthetic or natural polymer.

19. A wearable personal ornament of claim 16, in which the decorative coating comprises a polyurethane varnish.

20. A wearable personal ornament of claim 16, in which the hoof material is horse hoof material.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to ornaments and jewelry, and more particularly to ornaments and jewelry incorporating hoof material.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Personal ornamentation or jewelry is often made from precious metals and/or gem stones. However, less expensive materials derived from stones, plants, animals, etc. have been employed. Nevertheless, it is believed that personal ornamentation derived from animals has been limited to personal ornamentation fashioned from pearls, shells, ivory, bones, teeth, skin, hair and horn.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides inexpensive or low-cost personal ornamentation derived from hoof material, and personal articles or jewelry incorporating an ornament derived from hoof material.

There is also provided a process for preparing an ornament from hoof material.

These and other features, advantages and objects of the present invention will be further understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art by reference to the following specification, claims and appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a ring on which is mounted an ornament derived from hoof material.

FIG. 2 shows a necklace to which is attached an ornament derived from hoof material.

FIG. 3 shows a bracelet or anklet to which is attached an ornament derived from hoof material.

FIG. 4 shows a brooch to which is attached an ornament derived from hoof material.

FIG. 5 shows an earring to which is attached an ornament derived from hoof material.

FIG. 6 shows a belt buckle to which is attached an ornament derived from hoof material.

FIG. 7 shows an amulet or charm incorporating an ornament derived from hoof material.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The various aspects of the invention involve the use of hoof materials as ornamentation, such as for jewelry. The term “hoof material” as used herein refers to the horny covering or structure at the end of the foot of an ungulate mammal, and more particularly the keratinized (cornified) structure surrounding a distal phalanx or phalanges of an ungulate mammal. Examples of ungulate mammals from which hoof material may be obtained for use in accordance with various aspects of this invention include the horse, zebra, donkey, cow, rhinoceros, camel, hippopotamus, goat, sheep, giraffe, deer, antelope and gazelle. Suitable hoof material for use in the invention may be obtained, for example, as products or byproducts from animal processing facilities, or from clippings, such as horse hoof clippings, which are generally regarded as a byproduct of normal equine care and maintenance.

In general, the ornaments in accordance with the invention include hoof material having a decorative coating, i.e., a coating that provides an aesthetic or decorative function, but which may also provide a protective function. Suitable coatings for use in the invention include coatings that impart a glossy finish, a semi-gloss finish, a satin finish, or a matte finish. Such coatings may be clear, tinted or pigmented. In general, the coatings may be applied to a surface of the hoof material in a liquid form, such as by spraying, brushing or dipping. After application, the liquid coating is typically dried, such as by evaporation or curing, to form a film that is tenaciously bonded or adhered to a surface of the hoof material. Suitable decorative coating compositions typically contain a natural or synthetic polymer having film-forming properties. Various paints, varnishes and the like may be employed, such as a resin varnish, shellac, an alkyd varnish, a polyurethane varnish or an acrylic varnish.

Generally, before applying a decorative coating to a surface of the hoof material, the hoof material is processed to remove contaminants (generally any material that is not the actual hoof material), including feces, soil, insects, etc. Various conventional means for removing contaminants may be employed, such as high pressure water sprayed onto hoof material residing on a screen, or by scrubbing, etc.

It may also be desirable to sanitize (e.g., remove microorganisms from or kill microorganisms on) the surfaces of the hoof material prior to applying the decorative coating. Conventional techniques, such as steam sterilization, chemical sanitizing, radiation sterilization, heating, and the like may be employed.

Generally, hoof material obtained from hoof clippings, animal processing facilities, or other sources, will be cut into pieces suitable for incorporation as ornaments such as in jewelry, and will typically be subjected to shaping operations, which may include cutting, grinding, trimming, smoothing, and polishing operations.

After the processed hoof material has been provided with a desired ornamental coating, the resulting ornament may be incorporated into a wearable personal ornament (e.g., jewelry) such as a finger ring, earring, necklace, brooch, bracelet, anklet or belt buckle. Typically, this may be achieved by attaching the hoof ornament (hoof material having a decorative coating) to a wire, metal collet, metal plate, ring, screw-eye, cord or chain.

FIG. 1 shows a ring 10 on which is mounted, such as with an adhesive, an ornament 20 derived from hoof material in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 2 shows a necklace 30 comprising a cord or chain 40 to which there is attached an ornament 50 derived from hoof material in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 3 shows a bracelet or anklet 60 comprising a cord or chain 65 to which is attached an ornament 68 derived from hoof material in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 4 shows a brooch 70 comprising an ornament 72 derived from hoof material in accordance with the invention which is attached to a metal collet 75.

FIG. 5 shows an earring 80 including an ear wire or hook 82 attached to an ornament 83 derived from hoof material in accordance with the invention. Ear hook 82 may be attached to ornament 83 by drilling an appropriate hole into ornament 83 and inserting an end of ear hook 82 into the opening. The attachment may be achieved by a combination of friction or interference fit and with an adhesive.

FIG. 6 shows a belt buckle 85 comprising a metal plate 86 to which ornament 87 derived from hoof material in accordance with the invention is mounted.

FIG. 7 shows an amulet 90 including a wire 92 attached to ornament 94 derived from hoof material in accordance with the invention, and defining an eyelet or miniature ring 95 at an end of the wire 92 opposite ornament 94.

Screw-eyes may be inserted into the hoof material to provide a means of connecting the ornament to the necklace, anklet, etc. Wire split rings may be incorporated in the attachment means for connecting portions of the ornament carrier to a screw-eye or other device connected to the hoof material.

The above description is considered that of the preferred embodiment(s) only. Modifications of the invention will occur to those skilled in the art and to those who make or use the invention. Therefore, it is understood that the embodiment(s) shown in the drawings and described above are merely for illustrative purposes and not intended to limit the scope of the invention, which is defined by the following claims as interpreted according to the principles of patent law, including the doctrine of equivalents.