Simply displaying your deceased loved one’s ashes in an urn on your mantle is so last year.
Justin Crowe of Chronicle Cremation Designs offers something much more unique that you can do with the ashes of a loved one. The business turns remains into “ceramicdesign objects” for your home.
That’s right you can enjoy your morning cup of joe from a mug made of grandma, or rock a ceramic necklace made from your BFF.
Crowe was inspired to start this venture when his grandpa passed away.
“Being with my grandfather when he died in his home had a profound impact on my outlook. Home is a place that is routine, average and familiar, and experiencing such a huge emotional event in that environmenthelped normalize his passing for me,” Crowe wrote to Mashable. “Based on this experience, I began to search for a way to give others the ability to remember passed loved ones in daily life.”
There are a few steps in the process of getting your ashy treasure. First, you select which of the six products you want:
Candle Luminary $249.00
Centerpiece Bowl $649.00
Coffee Mug $199.00
Coupled Bottles $849.00
Cremation Jewelry $189.00
Cremation Urn $399.00
Next, the company will mail you a collection kit. You fill the kit with about one cup of ashes, and mail it back in. Then, it gets turned into a beautiful ceramic piece.
Crowe explained the detailed process to Mashable:
We…process the ashes into a fine powder and add them to our specially developed glaze mixture. Our ceramic glaze is made up of natural materials including clay, felspar, silica and the ashes, together designed to melt into glass at a specific temperature. The ashes in the glaze melt to form gloss you see on the surface. We then coat each purchased item with the custom ash glaze and fire them in a kiln to 2,400 degrees fahrenheit. When finished, the porcelain design objects are functional and able to exist unchanged for thousands of years.
While to some, this may come across as gross or disturbing, the sentimental value of it means a lot to the company’s customers.
“The responseto our memorial products has been mixed. We’ve had an incredible outpouring of support from people who’ve seen our service online an from our clients,” Crowe said. “We’ve also faced criticism from people questioning religious values, ethics and respect.We are remindedof the value of what we do every day in the stories and graduatedof our passionate clients.This is what we focus on.”
However, some customers have provided him with incredible feedback.
“The people who buy our memorial products are looking for a way to keep their memories close to them,” he said.
“Its a symbol of a sad portion of my life, but if you get a mug or a plate it becomes a habitual part of your life. So hes immortalized to a certain degree,” Joz Martinez, a customer of Chronicle Ceramic Designs said on their website. “I am going to try and bring this mug with me for the rest of my life to keep that reminder and try to honor him. Its a way of sharing something with him still.”
Not only does Crowe think this project is important for its sentimental value, but also for practical reasons.
“Everyone copes with death differently and we are watching our culture’s narrow death care conventions become outdated. Cemeteries are running out of plots, cremations have increased 25 percent in the last decade, and home funerals are a growing trend,” he explained to Mashable.
“The death care industry is about to go through what happenedto the music industry at the beginningof this century,” he said. “Our service is important for both individualsand death care professionalsbecausepeople are looking for new ways to remember passed loved ones and our products provide a modern alternative to centuries-old traditions.”
All products are available on www.cremationdesigns.com.