Art and Ashes 101
Art in Ashes in the News
A New Trend
Art and Memorialization
Studying Oil Painting
New Memorial Traditions
The Art of Death Asian Style
Making Diamonds from Ashes
Modern Art and Funerals
The Cremation Process
Centuries of Tradition
For centuries, cremation artists have specialized mostly in urns. As technologies and techniques have advanced, cremation art has, likewise evolved. Today’s cremation urns, even the most inexpensive ones, can be complex, beautiful works of art. Alternatively, the cremation artist such as Mona Heckenbach can adhere to age old traditions such as the simple – considered generic today – Grecian urn.
But that is just the start for cremation artists.
Cremation artists of today are as varied as their media. Urns still account for the bulk of cremation art, but that is far from all that is available today. Today’s cremation artists create everything from bronze sculpted urns to glass art to even oil-based “ashes in art” paintings.
Cremation artists have turned the age-old art of lost wax bronze sculpting, once reserved mostly for building sturdy statues, into a standard for long-lasting cremation urns. Statues and other pieces of art are still made via the lost-wax casting process, but today it is likely that the majority of lost-wax pieces are designed to hold cremation ashes inside of beautifully sculpted mini-statues. Sculptures can be made with glass and cremation ashes as well to create a one of a kind cremation art piece.
Likewise with glass art: today’s artists are finding an ever-expanding market for pieces in which tiny portions of cremation ashes are mixed with molten glass. These pieces are much more than traditional glass art that sometimes ends up simply collecting dust on a family’s living room display case. With the addition of a loved-one’s cremation ashes, a work of glass art made by a cremation artist will become a cherished family heirloom for generations, and possibly even centuries.
And the latest trend in cremation art seems to be so obvious that it is difficult to imagine why cremation artists are just now beginning it. Simply put, cremation artists are increasingly adding immense value to their paintings by mixing one or two teaspoons of ashes into their paint. This special touch turns a cremation artist’s work into an immensely special piece that will be loved and cherished for the ages.
If a style of art can be configured to somehow display portions of cremation remains, cremation artists are certainly doing that today. Moreover, lovers of fine art are benefiting. It is common today to find art collectors arranging for cremation artists to include their cremation ashes into a favorite piece that they will spend the rest of their lives enjoying. In fact, in most cases, cremation artists are not involved in a specialty at all. Rather, cremation artists are creating a new market for their work. Today’s cremation art could certainly stand alone as unique, interesting – and often even important – work in its own right. But, with simple modifications, the cremation artists can transform an already precious work into a piece of cremation art that has infinitely more meaning as a tribute to a special life.