The loss of a loved one is indescribable, and each person grieves in his or her own way. Chronicle Cremation Designs allows its customers to “engage on a sensory level with your memories” with personalized objects, from jewelry to centerpiece bowls, made with a deceased person’s ashes.
John Crowe, founder of the company, was inspired to start the cremation ceramics business when he experienced a death in his own family.
"Being with my grandfather when he died in his home had a profound impact on my outlook,” Crowe wrote to Mashable. “Home is a place that is routine, average, and familiar, and experiencing such a huge emotional event in that environment helped normalize his passing for me. Based on this experience, I began to search for a way to give others the ability to remember passed loved ones in daily life."
To make each cremation ceramics product, the customer provides a cup of ashes with a collection kit from the company. The ashes are then processed into a fine powder and added to a glaze mixture, which melts into a gloss on the surface of each piece, Mashable reported.
The company has received praise for its work, as well as criticism; some people question the “religious values, ethics, and respect” of the business.
Crowe told Mashable there were also practical reasons to consider cremation ceramics.
"Everyone copes with death differently and we are watching our culture's narrow death care conventions become outdated,” he said. “Cemeteries are running out of plots, cremations have increased 25 percent in the last decade, and home funerals are a growing trend.”