California-based artist Merry Coor crafts beaded necklaces using ashes from your loved ones' remains for a piece for jewelry that is simultaneously unique and heartfelt. Described as a "tangible memory of your loved one," Coor has been making beads for 15 years, but has only recently started incorporating ashes into her creations.
In order to get a custom piece of jewelry, Coor requests that you send her not only a ½ teaspoon of your loved one's cremated remains, but also a story, picture or letter, so she “can create a personal connection while forming the piece of jewelry.”
At first it seems like the glass bead is simply filled with a loved one’s ashes, but it is more intricate than that—the ashes are actually incorporated into the glass. First, Coor melts the glass into a round bead, then she spirals the ashes on top, and finally seals it with another layer of glass.
Now that Coor has been making these beads for a year, she says that “bead making now gave [her] a new purpose, and a way to honor others, both living and passed.” You can order custom beads, which cost $120-$150, through Coor’s Etsy or her website, Ash Beads.
Images: Ash Beads (2)