Cremation Memorial Glass by Pacific Northwest Glassblowing | Still Playing School

Cremation Memorial Glass by Pacific Northwest Glassblowing

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: ,
We have a new way to keep Violet extra close to our hearts! I didn't even know this type of memorial jewelry was possible before we had our pieces custom made but the whole process was the perfect way to remember our daughter. 

Back in May Trees and Tents was working on the drawing of all three of my babies together. She was simultaneously blogging about the process of sending off ashes of her dear friend Dustin to be custom made into a cremation dread bead custom made by Pacific Northwest Glassblowing.

Cremation ashes can be blown into glass to create beads and other artwork! I had no idea but I've always been inexplicably drawn to glass. Violet was cremated. We spread some of her ashes at the beach but kept the rest knowing that as our lives carried on without her we would occasionally find more places to memorialize her when it felt right. 

I immediately contacted Pacific Northwest Glassblowing via her etsy shop to see if she would consider creating cremation memorial glass for us with Violet's ashes. 

Jen responded with this photo and message, "I've thought about this and feel compelled to do this for you. This is extremely sacred work to me and I usually only do this for friends as I am forever connected to the souls I work with." She suggested a heart bead like the one pictured.

We messaged back and forth again for quite some time. I wanted to make sure that Jen felt right taking this work on and she assured me that she was certain. I was particularly drawn to the purple sparkly dichroic glass she had used in other pieces because it was purple, glittery, and reminded me of space. I find peace and comfort in the vastness of our universe when I reflect on the enormous pain of losing our daughter. Jen replied explaining that the glass I requested was "space age glass that changes colors in different lights because of its reflective and refractive properties. It was made by NASA as it takes much heat and was used to keep the space shuttle from burning up going through the atmosphere. This glass is incredibly strong. This work has a lifetime guarantee so if you ever cracked or broke it I can eternally re-heat it and reform another heart out of it till the end of time." Again, perfect. Everything was falling into place for this work.

Jen sent us directions for sending off a tiny amount of Violet's ashes. E had been asking more questions about Violet's cremains so this was the perfect time to show her her sister's urn. She decorated a small bag with Violet's name and purple stickers turning what could have been an emotionally daunting task into a celebratory send off! I loved that E could be such a special part of this beautiful process.

Violet arrived in California where Jen showed her careful love and celebrated her along with us. Jen explained that she planned to work on Violet's bead when the time felt right. Meanwhile she was reading up on All Saints' Day and messaged me to tell me that instead of the nervous apprehension she usually felt when working on memorial glass she was headed into Violet's artwork with excited butterflies instead.

"I was feeling that working with children is somehow feeling different to me than other memorial work that I do, and I have found that it is somehow true that there is a difference between a youth soul and an adult soul. I feel like your child is among the saints and this really made me feel good - I think I will be able to offer to do this work for the people you speak of like you who would benefit from this."

Knowing that Jen was feeling positive about this work and also that she was thoughtful enough to be doing research surrounding these feelings gave me the peace of mind that Violet was in good hands (literally). 

The day arrived and Jen posted this status on the Pacific Northwest Glassblowing Facebook page:

"What is cremation glass: Cremation Glass is a process of Alchemy where loved ones ashes are introduced to the element of glass in its liquid fluid state. As glass is always moving as a liquid and solid, this brings the inert ash to a state of constant movement though it remains in its solid form to be memorialized forever.
Woke up feeling like a child this morning.. I couldn't wait to get out of bed and start working. There is excitement in the air, and the stars are all aligned correctly. It's Violet Star Day here and my heart is wrapped around the ashes of a saint...let the Alchemy begin..."

Across the country we were just as thrilled and happy to be a part of the process as Jen shared the music she was listening to as she worked which also was just perfect:

From start to finish everything felt whole and complete and right. Then Jen shared the most wonderful surprise of all. During her work she felt compelled by Violet to create three pieces. In addition to the heart bead that I had requested she created a heart bead for E and a paperweight heart for Mr. SPS which can eventually be a heirloom passed on to D. What I had never told Jen was that a friend had suggested I also have glass made for E & D but as I already felt like we were getting such generosity in one work of art I didn't want to ask Jen for any more of her time and energy. Violet did the asking for us and Jen heard and granted this request through the kindness of her heart. Perfect.

Jen carefully packaged up these stunning hearts, the unused portion of Violet's ashes, and sent our little world traveler back home to us! The comfort that this cool glass brings to me when held in my hand and the fact that her siblings will also have a special part of her in these pieces has brought me unspeakable joy. Jen is such a talented artist and an amazingly generous person. E was thrilled with her surprise special Violet bead.

If you or someone you know is interested in cremation memorial glass, specifically memorializing an infant or child, please contact Jen through the Pacific Northwest Glassblowing etsy shop. Violet has touched another soul as Jen explains, "I've digested my thoughts on the memorials and though it's hard to do sometimes, I feel like there is a purpose, some higher purpose for me doing it, so I'm leaving myself open for people to contact me to discuss what they would like to have through my etsy store."

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1 comment :

  1. Your blog is a wonderful resource of kindness and great inspiration!