So you may be wondering how the ashes of your loved one becomes a glass art memorial to wear or hold….or even why I do what I do.
It all started when I wanted to have the memories of my sweet lab closer to my heart; in fact, hopefully in a piece of glass art I made myself. It took me many false starts before I could actually add Madison’s ashes to any glass at all, but once I did, I had such a sense of peace, of deep tranquility and love, I knew I wanted to offer this to others who have the same desire.
I am often sent a photo or two, and even short story or memory of the pet, and love to think of it as I am creating the piece. I begin with gathering the glass in the color you choose, and clean it to remove or eliminate any impurities on the glass. This helps keep the final product clear and clean.
Depending on the actual type of pet memory in glass, I use a variety of lampwork glassmaking techniques, either on or off mandrel. A very small amount of your loved ones ashes are actually incorporated into the glass when it is molten hot, but the glass must be at just the right temperature (otherwise it will cause significant bubbles which destabilize the glass).
Any designs or inclusions, such as CZ’s, murrini, or precious metal leaf are added, and a final clear or transparent layer of glass is wrapped around the entire piece, which seals the ashes in. I then anneal it overnight to remove the internal stresses in the glass, and allow it to cool. It is then carefully cleaned and inspected. Jewelry such as pendants are created with sterling silver findings.
Of course not all of the cremains sent may end up in your piece. I have a very specific protocol for returning all of your unused pets ashes, and they will arrive along with your finished glass art memorial.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. This is a deeply personal and often emotional gift created to honor a well loved pet, and I want to create exactly what you want, and am open to inform you of the process with as much or as little detail as you want to know.