After experiencing a personal loss, designer Justin Crowe set about innovating new ways to keep the spirit of loved ones alive. Growing from his art project Nourish, where the ashes of 200 people were mixed to create dinnerware, Chronicle Cremation Designs was born. This newly formed company creates bespoke ceramics with a glaze that incorporates cremation ashes—whether human or pet. Bowls, mugs, bottles, and candle luminaries are some of the unique, food-safe offerings, though it’s also possible to order cremation urns or just the glaze itself for those interested in creating their own pottery.
Once the custom glaze is created, there is enough for up to 25 ceramic pieces and Chronicle stores it for two years, allowing you to order pieces for friends and family. The final product is both aesthetically pleasing and poignant, if not controversial. Crowe, who is based on Santa Fe, New Mexico, confesses to The Guardian, “I’ve had people threaten me and tell me they are having me investigated. Or they’ve quoted the Bible and told me I’m going to hell. But then shortly after someone contacts me and tells me it’s a really beautiful project.”
By infusing the memories of the deceased in objects for everyday living, Crowe hopes to spur conversation about what death means and how we think about remembrance. “Instead of observing an urn or photograph on a shelf, I wanted a way to interact with memories on a daily basis. Our process was born out of a desire to keep those who’ve lived before us remembered in daily life.”
The finished pieces are both dishwasher and microwave safe and range in price from $199 for a mug or candle luminary to $649 for a pair of elegant bottles. Orders can be placed directly via their website. Customers will be sent a kit for ash collection and orders typically take 30-60 days for completion.
All images via Chronicle Cremation Designs