At Artful Ashes, Greg and Christina Dale and their team of expert glassblowers create entrancing custom memorials to celebrate those who have passed away. Each glass heart or orb integrates one tablespoon of a deceased loved one’s ashes, visibly swirled into a spiral of color and safely sealed for perpetuity.
At about 3.5 inches tall and 14 ounces in weight with a personalized inscription on the back, each piece is a solid, soothing testament to the unique vibrancy of the deceased person’s spirit, appearing like a model of the cosmos that can be held, comfortingly, in the recipient’s hands. The company also creates smaller pendants that can be worn as necklaces, keeping memories close at all times.
In testimonials, Artful Ashes customers relate the tangible solace that the stunning keepsakes provide amid grief and loss. One notes, “It’s been almost a year now and I love to be able to take this places so I can feel my sister is with us.” Others mention the artists’ compassion and care in creating the graceful totems — every one is a treasure to be cherished for years.
The company isn’t the only one to re-imagine cremated remains as precious glass art. At Ash Beads, artist Merry Coor makes globe-shaped beads in shades of blue and green, whirled with 1/2 teaspoon of ashes. Every handmade pendant is attached to a sterling silver or gold-filled and clasped chain.
Coor says she keeps the deceased person in mind as she works on each piece. The purchaser is invited to send a photo, letter, or other information about the loved one, so she can put their unique personality into the tiny bead, even playing their favorite music as she works. She explains, “Each individual bead is special — just like your memories of your loved one. When I go into my studio to make a bead, I am centered and my thoughts are clear. I am in a good mood… I only want good energy, love, and good thoughts incorporated into every bead I make.”
Those seeking an even glitzier approach to ash-infused jewelry might be drawn to diamonds created from carbon that is extracted from the ashes of the departed. There are inventive memorial options for people opposed to cremation, too, like eco-friendly burial pods that eventually sprout into trees, rather than typical coffins. Whatever the approach, these modern artists have developed different ways to pay meaningful tribute to those we’ve lost, constructing lasting memories that honor their distinct spirits with both elegance and heart.