New Earth - Personal Survival Kit

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.

- aristotle



Leather Pouch with Flint
Date: 21st century
Medium: Rescued leather from an old sofa, boots laces, antler and flint
Dimensions: diam.: 17”

I harvested an old leather sofa that was going to be thrown out. I managed to slowly cut out the entire sofa and exposed the foam inside. It was almost like skinning an animal.


Pine Pitch
Date: 21st century
Medium: Pine sap, charcoal and milkweed seed fluff
Dimensions: length: 14”, 15”, 8”

I harvested lots of pine sap from Ben’s properties at Poconos. Sap can be used as a wound bandage. When combined with charcoal and milkweed seed fluff, Pine Pitch acts as nature’s epoxy. It can be used to patch birch bark canoes and fix fletching on arrows.


Rescued Arrow with Flint Tip
Date: 21th century
Medium: Rescued arrow, blue slate turkey feathers and flint
Dimensions: length 30”



Talisman Pouch
Date: 21st century
Medium: Leather, angelica roots and tooth
Dimensions: 3” x 3”

The pouch contains Angelica roots and one of my molar teeth. I broke the tooth while asleep because of night time grinding (Bruxism). It might be due to stress. I wanted to be reminded to be calm and relax. Angelica roots protects against negative energy.


Tinder Pouch
Date: 21st century
Medium: Leather, tinder, flint and fire steels
Dimensions: 4” x 5”

There was a time we actually needed a tinder pouch to survive. Most of us rely on our stoves to create fire to cook, but how would you make fire if you were outside? Having some fire steel could be really useful.


Bone Sewing Kit
Date: 21st century
Medium: Cow bone, deer antler, needles, faux sinew, wood and leather
Dimensions: 7” x 3”

It is hard to find bone materials in NYC. I decided to visit Dickson’s Farmstand in Chelsea Market and treat myself to some bone marrow. The marrow was fatty and I used it to fry an egg and the bone to make this sewing kit. Potential health benefits of bone marrow include building immunity, repairing wounds, helping with digestion and even fighting cancer.

Quilted Sleeping Bag
Date: 21th century
Medium: Sleeping bag and fabrics
Dimensions: 5’ x 6’

Talking Stick
Date: 21st century
Medium: Wooden handle, decorative pebbles and wire.
Dimensions: 14” x 3”

This is a primitive technology. The holder of this baton is the only one that can speak up while congregating in a circle. This ritual helps people learn to listen and let everyone express their feelings and thoughts. The decorative pebbles was just left over from previous craft projects and the handle is a branch from the backyard.



Leather Hand Guard
Date: 21st century
Medium: Recycled Clarks Desert Boots leather and elastic cord
Dimensions: 9” x 6”

The leather used to create this hand guard was harvested from my worn Clark’s Desert Boots.


Scrimshaw on Bone Folder
Date: 21st century
Medium: Cow bone
Dimensions: 6” x 0.75”

I learned to used a bone folder as an artist in residence at Center for Book Arts. We used it to fold paper to make a distinctive edge.You can also use it to cut paper to have the deco edge that are desirable on the edge of novels and wedding cards. I etched a pine tree and an eagle on this one to symbolize the shamanic cosmology that I’m relearning.



Tyvek Drawstring Bag
Date: 21st century
Medium: Paracord and tyvek envelop
Dimensions: 10” x 11”

Tyvek envelopes can be recycled into a useful drawing string bag to keep those dirty clothes separate from the clean ones or to separate a pair of dirty shoes in your luggage.


  Bow Drill Set
Date: 21th century
Medium: Wood and paracord
Dimensions: 30” x 1”

Date: 21th century
Medium: Paracord amd oak wood
Dimensions: 29” x 75”


  Macramé Teaching Aid 1
Date: 21st century
Medium: Paracord
Dimensions: 7” x 11”

These are sample knots that I made to remind myself how to do it again. It also comes in handy as a teaching aid.

  Macramé Teaching Aid 2
Date: 21st century
Medium: Paracord
Dimensions: 7” x 11”
Mineral Pigments
Date: 21st century
Medium: Stone
Dimensions: 4” x 2”

It was a gift from George from a weekend wilderness retreat in the Poconos.


Flint Knife
Date: 21st century
Medium: Flint, antler and artificial sinew
Dimensions: 4.5” x 1”


  Job’s Tears Mala Beads
Date: 21st century
Medium: Home grown job’s tears and jade
Dimensions: 12”

I grow Job’s Tears plants in my garden. They are an edible grain and naturally shiny. You just need to drill a hole and you’ll have readymade beads.

Driftwood Slingshot
Date: 21st century
Medium: Found drift wood, leather,
dental floss and rubber tube
Dimensions: 20” x 6”

I found this drift wood after hurricane
Sandy and I’m still not good at using it.


Elk Leg Bone Knife
Date: 21th century
Medium: Elk bone and leather
Dimensions: 9” x 1”


  Ceremonial Feathers Fan
Date: 21st century
Medium: Blue slate turkey feathers and bone
Dimensions: 19” x 5”

The feathers are from my local farmer (Rabbit Run Farm). It is a heritage turkey breed, called Blue Slate. I found the bone at the wilderness retreat and it is sealed with pine pitch that I processed.


Ceremonial Drum
Date: 21st century
Drum Medium:
Elk hide and wooden frame
Drum Dimensions:
Depth: 1.75” diam.: 12”
Stick Medium:
deer hide and alder stick
Stick Dimensions:
Length 11” diam.: 1/2”

I purchased the raw materials online and built the drum myself. I chose a 12” drum instead of a 16” or 18” for the sake of convenience, it is small enough to travel with but the tone is not deep enough. A deep tone will sounds better and can carry you to the alternate realm with ease.


Spirit Animal Totem
Date: 21st century
Medium: Coconut shell and black paint
Dimensions: diam.: 4.5”

I bought the coconut at a health food store and sawed it in half. I ground the meat into flakes and pressed coconut milk out of it. I cooked curry with the milk and dehydrated the pulp. The dried pulp was added into my granola. The shells were further scraped, sanded and painted.


Milled Steel Knife with Sheath
Date: 21st century
Medium: Milled steel black smithed knife
Dimensions: 9” X 2.5”

I made this knife at Philadelphia
Sculpture Gym with my friend Kristen and her knife curved up so much that it looks like a cheese knife. The heated steel almost had it’s own mind. It was our first try at blacksmithing.


Fish Skin Pouch
Date: 21st century
Medium: Mahi Mahi fish skin, faux sinew and recycled sofa leather
Dimensions: 5” x 3”

I saw a fish skin pouch in BCM’s collection and wanted to make one. I procured the mahi-mahi fish skin from my local farmer’s market. I ate the fish and sun dried the skin.


Natural Dyed Ceremonial Cloth
Date: 21st century
Medium: Silk, cotton and plant based dye
Dimensions: 28” x 20”

This patch work reminds me of a blanket that my grandmother and my elder nanny made for me. The dye ingredients are: tumeric, pomegranate, black walnut, prickly pear, sumac, pokeberry, acorn, blackberry, red onion, avocado, yellow onion, green tea, black bean and Queens Anne’s Lace.


Gourd Rattle
Date: 21st century
Medium: Gourd and popcorn
Dimensions: 11” x 5”

The rattles are handmade, the gourds had plenty of seeds in them. I’ll try to plant them the next season. I used colored popcorn inside the gourd. You can also use Job’s Tears or any artificial beads to make the rattle sound. Traditionally sands and tiny pebbles that had been brought up by ants are used.


Dogbane Cordage
Date: 21st century
Medium: Dogbane
Dimensions: 65”

Dogbane is tough to find, finally I found a small patch in Staten Island and in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It was an adventure acquiring them.


Nettle Cordage
Date: 21st century
Medium: Nettles
Dimensions: 80”

I had a stinging nettle patch in my garden. The leaves are harvested for tea. The stings can help with osteoarthritis and hay fever. If stung, you can relieve the pain with the leaves of jewelweed or plantain.


NEPSK (New Earth Personal Survival Kit), Dimensions: 3.25” x 2.75”

Survival Tins are a good little emergency kit to have around or on your person. These emergency tins have come in handy for many people who carry them on a daily basis. There are many varieties you can make. All supplies will be provided and audience can learn to choose and build their own NEPSK. End of the workshop they will bring home a NEPSK.
Supplies: Altoids tin, P38 can opener, antiseptic ointment, compass, mirrors, matches, bandage, duck tape, multi-tool, whistle made from soda cans.


NEPSK-Sewing Kit, Dimensions: 3.5” x 5” x 2”

Customization/alteration and restoration is essential maintanance of our clothings. A torn piece of clothing is a chance for embelishment, it can be patch with a pacthes or sew over with colorful threads. Young adults are encourage to pick up sewing skills as part of Skill for Living syllabus.
Supplies: Measuring tape, needles, thread, safety pins, buttons, seam ripper, thread clipper



NEPSK-Comfrey Salve

Comfrey had healing properties like antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and astringent. The slave can be a natural replacement for Neosporin.  Supplies: Comfrey, Olive Oil and Bee Wax

How to: Dried a bunch of Comfrey in the sun or dehydrator. I cut them small and store them in glass jar for future uses. Use 1 cup of Olive Oil +1 bar of Bee Wax. Steep the dried Comfrey in Olive Oil for 6-8 Weeks. Melt the Bee Wax with a double boiler (boiling water in a sauce pan with a metal bowl on top) add the steep Olive Oil and pour into container before it all harden.

NEPSK-Spice Kit, Dimensions: 3.25” x 2.75” x 0.75”

The spice of life is the elixir of life. Students learn to use herbs and spices in cooking instead of artificial flavoring. Sea salt naturally helps you to build up a strong immune system, pepper helps in digestion, cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and improves blood circulation, thyme is antimicrobial, cayenne can stimulate circulation and neutralize acidity and tumeric is a powerful antioxidant.
Supplies: Sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon, thyme, cayenne, tumeric


NEPSK-Pemmican, Dimensions: 3.5” x 5” x 2”

Pemmican is a mixture of dried mixture of meat, berries and rendered fat (also called suet or tallow). It is an invaluable survival food that when prepared properly using good pemmican recipes can last anywhere from several months to several years without refrigeration. Native American scouts who spent a great deal of time on the go depended on Pemmican on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time.

Supplies: lean beef and beef kidney fat/suet

How to: Purchase lean beef and cut them into strips. Dried them with a dehydrator for 48 hours until the meat shrink and snaps when you bend them. Pound the meat with a mortar and pestle until powdered. Melt suet with a double boiler and pour into meat powder. Mould into shape and wrap with parchment or wax paper. Store in a cool and dried place.


NEPSK-Energy Stone, Dimensions: 1.5” x 2.25” x 0.75”

A charm with various stones that help you find your direction and callings in life.

Rhodonite: compassion, forgiveness and release of fear
Carnelian: motivation, clarification and action towards goal
Lapis Lazuli: activating higher mind and intellectual ability. Stimulate desire of knowledge and aid the process of learning
Tiger Eye: release of fear and anxiety; stimulate action taking; help to make decision
Apatite: personal growth for collective good; maintain focus; think clearly; concentrate effectively; communicate better


NEPSK-Enamel Mug, Dimensions: 3.5” x 3” $25 shipping included

An enamel mugs with hobo signs. Learn more about other symbols and how people is helping each other at their lowest point of life with empathy by sharing knowledge.



NEPSK-Herbarium, Dimensions: 3.5” x 3”

A herbarium to collect plant spicies to get familiar with herbs and edible plants.

Date: 21th century
Geography: United States
Culture: Contemporary
Medium: laser cut plywood and nylon straps
Dimensions: 11.5” x 14”