Anna Randal for Art-Sheep
Honoring your loved one by putting their cremated ashes in the living room is a gesture that helps you keep them close and remember them. Unlike urns, Merry Coor’s heartfelt jewelry, not only keeps loved ones close, but also reminds of their story and personality.
The California-based artist uses cremated ashes to create stunning pieces of jewelery as keepsakes. She incorporates the ashes into ethereal spiral designs, while she forms round beads with colored glass and then uses a clear layer of glasses to seal the unique piece. The outcome is mesmerizing, as the round jewel looks like a miniature globe of the universe, standing as a beautiful memento of the deceased.
Coor works with good intentions and respect towards the people that order her a jewel and the people it’s meant for. The customer sends Coor the ashes, along with photos and stories of their loved one. Once she receives the material, the artist works patiently and carefully on hand-making the bead, while keeping the individual in mind. After she adds bead caps, head pins, and silver or gold chains, the jewel is ready to be sent to the person who order it.
The artist started creating these special beads, after a young couple asked her to use their friends’ ashes and make a bead as a keepsake. Coor was moved by their story and delivered their request, an experience that revealed a magical purpose in that form of crafting, “The experience was amazing for me. As I made this special glass bead, I meditated, pondered, and let my mind free. I felt it was one of the most important beads I had ever made in my life, and I’ve made thousands of beads over the years. When the couple returned to pick up their beads, we felt we had connected, we cried, and we hugged each other. They had a tangible touchstone, housing the ashes of their loved one as a keep sake, and I had found a new dimension to my art.”