The Art of Grieving ~ Cremation Ashes InFused Glass Art Blog
From dust we arise and to dust we must eventually return
What Exactly Are Ashes, And why can it be used in Kiln formed glass?
Although cremated remains are commonly called “ashes”, in truth they are comprised of bone fragments. The cremation process destroys all traces of organic matter. The extreme heat of cremation (around 1400 to 1800 degrees) means that no traces of anything remains (regardless of the material) with your loved one’s ashes. There may however be some minor traces of materials that were with the body during cremation such as fillings, implants, but these will most likely be detected and removed after processing. The only thing remaining of the human body after cremation is part bone and occasionally small amounts of salts and minerals.
Because of peoples diets and other factors each sample of cremated remains is entirely unique. Although all that remains of a loved one after the cremation process are bone fragments processed into ashes, these ashes have a very special signature that identifies them as belonging to your loved one and no one else. All of the unique habits and environments experienced by your loved one during their lifetime leave a elemental fingerprint present in their ashes after cremation.
All of These elements give bone its extraordinary strength and durability and allow it to survive the intense heat required for cremation. These temperatures are what make it possible to put the ashes in glass. it is very common to find trace elements, particularly metals, in bone fragments. These metals are absorbed by the bones throughout an individual’s lifetime and remain in the ashes. These metals will also sometimes show up in the cremation ashes after being infused into glass. Because the temperatures of cremation are the same as kiln formed glass this means that the bone or ashes will not disappear inside the glass. If you were to place organic matter inside glass (like a leaf) it would leave a fingerprint but would disappear all together. Because the bone fragments can withstand such high temperatures this is how the ashes are then trapped into the glass while the glass is at a liquid honey like viscosity.
Cremation ashes are not easy to work with. I have spent over 3 years learning the effects of cremation ashes in glass and how to control it. I have created a special technique that takes days and multiple firings in the kiln to create my cremation memorial keepsakes. Harnessing Carbon Energy at it’s essence. We are all made from this.
Energy never dies, it simply transforms.