It is amazing what I find myself thinking about as I work in the studio by myself at night. The world outside the studio is darkness and thick with sounds of crickets and night birds while, inside my little glass box, a cd plays softly and I go through the repetitive process of making the same bead 100 times before moving on to make 100 of the next bead.
My friend Heather lost her beloved cat last month after a prolonged battle to save him. I was thinking about what a great cat Loki was, and that (if I were a cat) I could only hope to be so loved. Heather and I have talked about the idea of a vessel of some sort to hold part of Loki's ashes. In that way, she can have a part of him with her always and still scatter the ashes at her parents' home.
I saw my friend Helena yesterday and talked to her about this idea of making funerary jewelry. She immediately found herself thinking that this might be something that she'd be interested when her beloved cat eventually passes. This is not as abstract a consideration as it might be as the cat in question is quite elderly and has mostly lost interest in her food.
I also contacted someone from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab forum in response to a post that they had made looking for information about crematory jewelry. They were specifically looking for a lampwork artist who incorporates ash into her work to create a beautiful and lasting memento of a deceased loved-one. I'm not sure the one that I just found was the one that they were looking for. At the time, I just posted to say that, if they couldn't find what they were looking for, I would be honored to work with them on something suitable.
The more that I think about it, the more that I like the idea of being involved with the process of preserving the connection to a loved one who has passed. When I talked to Helena about this whole thing, she was saying that one of her biggest regrets was that, when her father passed, she didn't keep some of his ashes with her. Once the ashes were scattered, she lost that connection to him. Perhaps I could help someone.
After a while, however, my wandering mind turned away from funerary art toward something a bit more directly related to the work at hand. That being, my desire to have a selection of fragrances at the bead shows for my buyers to become familiar with the concept of artisan fragrance. I think that I want to post a swap request on the BPAL forum saying that I will trade a pair of beads for each imp of fragrance which someone sends me. It seems like a reasonable trade to me... I wonder what sort of response I'll get.