I'm happy to share today's Featured Business, Spirit Pieces, who makes some of the most wonderful glass memorials I've ever seen!
Your products are beautiful! How did you get into creating glass memorials and keepsakes?
Thank you so much! Spirit Pieces started back in 2009 as part of a MBA entrepreneurship class project. I had recently visited my Grandmother's grave and noticing the lack of artistic value in the cemetery (it was ugly.) It got me thinking that much of the amazing artwork/monuments revolving around death one sees in the older cemeteries is no longer seen in today's modern cemeteries. My sense was the underlying appreciation of the art had not disappeared; that it was more a function of a cultural shift or simply the economics of consolidation in the industry. That insight was the start of Spirit Pieces. I took a few detours through some ornamental art but in 2015 came back to the core concept with glass artwork infused with cremains and have been running with it ever since.
How many different artists do you work with?
At the moment I'm fortunate to be working with over 20 very talented artists.
Can you describe the process of infusing cremains in a glass piece?
In a general sense a gather (blob) of molten glass (2000 degrees!) is gathered onto a long pipe from a glass furnace. The gather is then rolled over cremains laid out on a steel plate. Molten glass is super sticky so the cremains instantly sticks to it. The gather is manipulated to add color and patterns and then inserted back into the furnace once the cremains are fully incorporated into the gather. This process may be repeated multiple times until the final piece has been created.
Our pendants and hummingbirds are made with torchwork techniques (lampworking) so the process is slightly different. The amount of glass used is much less, but the same principles of rolling hot glass onto cremains is in effect. Since in this case the glass is manipulated by hand (hand tools to be precise) the designs and structures can be much more delicate.
What amount of cremains is needed to create a glass memorial?
We use very little cremains as we take a symbolic approach to incorporating cremains. For us, the most we use is 1/2 a teaspoon per Spirit Piece.
You offer a really great variety of objects and jewelry; I just love the curled-up cat! What are some of your most popular pieces?
The cat is very popular due to its symbolic nature. Our Flames, Galaxies and Nightswirls are also quite popular.
Do you have any pets of your own?
At the moment no, but I'm very close to adopting a cat or two. I can't wait!!