In 2014, my father passed away with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a particularly aggressive form of cancer that is incredibly difficult to diagnose and treat. it was only a matter of a few weeks between my fathers diagnosis and his passing, which gave very little time to come to terms with what was happening and my whole family found it particularly hard to grieve. As a family we did not have time or foresight in that moment to discuss what my father would like doing with his ashes and as a result, they have sat in our cupboard, looming over us in a generic container for 7 years.

 

Knowing how to give justice to my fathers ashes was a difficult topic; we didn’t want to scatter them all, nor did we really want them contained in an urn, sat ominously in our family home.

 

As I started to gain more knowledge of ceramic processes, ingredients and methods, I discovered that when used in a glaze applied to a piece under specific conditions, the contents of my fathers ashes would give a beautiful, rich and deep green. I thought about this for sometime before I made the decision to purchase what I needed to give the desired results.

 

I told my mother what I wanted to do and although she was apprehensive, as handling the ashes is a very sensitive and personal task, she gave me the all clear.

I prepared my fathers ashes and applied the glaze to the best piece of work that I could muster and fired it. I was unsure of what the results may be, but I knew that what ever they were, the piece would be beautiful in its own right.

 

There is now a beautiful vase on my mantle, my mother has one too and I am currently making a third for my sister - they hold flowers, grasses and dried plants; sometimes empty, but always giving light to the memory of my father. 

 

These pieces of work that are adorned with glaze containing my fathers ashes are the most precious pieces that I own and I wish to offer my skills and knowledge of ceramics to those of you, who, like me, wish to have the beauty of our loved ones eternalised in physical form as something tactile to hold, gaze upon or just as a presence in your home.

 

I understand that this may be a very sensitive subject that needs to be kept personal and polite - there is no product page or option to buy this service in my shop, so If you are interested in a piece[s] of my work made with the ashes of your loved one as a glaze, please get in touch via email for more information or to schedule a call. 

 

I am personally fond of making vases or oil burners for this service, but I am open to requests when suitable to my skills as a potter.

- Matt

 

littletorchceramics@gmail.com

Ash-Glazed Memorial Vases