Ashes to dishes: pottery shop turns cremation remains into kitchenware

Colton Shone
November 03, 2016 07:24 AM

There are some people with strange requests for their loved one's remains - and a Santa Fe man is fulfilling those wishes.


Chronicle Cremation Designs is based in Santa Fe. The pottery shop is turning human remains from cremations into coffee mugs, bottles and bowls.

Owner Justin Crowe found a way to help memorialize loved ones by accident when he tried out the process for an art project.

"I collected the bones of 200 people and created a ceramic glaze using that," Crowe said. "I glazed a set of dinnerware and the project was made to infuse a sense or mortality in everyday moments of life."

Since then, people have been asking him to turn their remains into kitchenware that can actually be used. Crowe said the process is simple.

"When somebody places an order, we'll send out a collection kit to them with instructions on how much we need, they send it back,"said Crowe. "We then process the ashes into a fine powder and add them to a ceramic glaze."  

Crowe's shop creates the object, it's fired up in the kiln, and it's safe to use.

"So we have a bowl sitting on a table, so during dinner, it can spark family conversations, we have coffee mugs that you can use and it's a very intimate way to be with that person's memories who you lost," Crowe said.

Crowe said he's getting several calls from people wanting to do this. He said he is also in the process of partnering with funeral homes.

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Colton Shone

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