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  #1  
Old 2009-08-17, 1:19pm
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Default Cremains In A Bead - A Loving *FREE* Tutorial by DeAnne Buchanan

"CREMAINS IN A BEAD - A LOVING TUTORIAL"

by DeAnne Buchanan/The Glass Zone

(All material contained within this Tutorial is protected by Copyright, "The Glass Zone" DeAnne Buchanan, 2009; all rights reserved.)


I’ve wanted to present this for a while; I know many people are curious and interested about this process, and maybe I can help others to remember and hold close those they love and miss. It's a beautiful thing, and maybe I can help to remove the "taboo" with a caring and gentle approach, giving you the opportunity to make a cherished and loving memento of someone you love for yourself, your family and/or friends. I hope no one is offended by this!! If so, I apologize in advance.

Anyway, here's how I work...

BUT, first let me ask you: Have you actually LOOKED at cremains before?

I ask because the first time I did this, I was very hesitant to look at them as I didn't know what to expect!!! I was so surprised to find that they are quite like large grains of sand - not offensive or disturbing in any way - and was immediately relieved. I share this with you as I know this may be a bit of an emotional venture for you, so I just wanted to give you a reassurance that you might be surprised at yourself! I found myself feeling and thinking "loving, kindness and remembrance" thoughts while I worked with them. Surprisingly it was very peaceful and wonderful. I hope by pointing you in this direction, you have a similar experience.

OK - let's get started!

1. Open your cremains container and remove a small amount. Keep in mind that only a little bit is necessary for each 10mm to 18mm bead - definitely a "less is more" thing in this type of bead looks best. Depending on how many beads you plan on making, I would suggest you start with about 1/2 a teaspoon or so.

2. Place the cremains atop a graphite or brass flat surface; I use my 5" x 5" graphite pad so I'm sure to have room to work.

3. Using tweezers, trail through the cremains and make sure you don't have any larger grains or other material. Be aware you might find a bit of bone fragment that will be larger than the other grains. Gently remove any non-uniform particles and return them to your main container. Using a business card or something similar, line up the cremains on the working flat surface so you have a "strip" about 3”-4" long and about 1/2" wide.

4. Select your glass. I have used both opaque and transparent colors. If your desire to see the cremains within the bead, select a nice transparent color as your base and plan to do a final encasing of clear or same color or slightly lighter colored transparent. Alternatively, you can apply the grains to an opaque base and top with either an opaque to encrypt them within (which is OK just to know they are there!) or top with a colored transparent.

5. Create your base bead in your shape of choice. I usually start with 2-3 wraps of glass and make a nice formed round or barrel. I especially like making these on a 3/16" mandrel so they can fit the add-a-bead, Pandora style chains/bracelets.

6. Heat the base bead to a good orange glow (but not so hot as to be soupy or dripping), and as you would apply frit, roll your heated base bead atop the cremains to pick up and embed a small amount. A little bit of pressure as you roll will help to pick them up. If you have a blank spot, heat this one spot and roll again in the cremains to get a fairly even coating.

7. Keeping the bead warm at the back of the flame, heat your encasing rod (colored transparent or opaque) and apply a full encasing layer (I use the "winding" method over the "stripe on" method) to completely cover the cremains. Gently and slowly melt the encasing over the cremains to smooth.

8. Reheat and marver as needed to tidy the ends and reshape the bead or you can reheat and use a press at this point to finalize the bead. Decoration of flowers, dots and/or bubble dots are also nice accents. Note that if you super-heat the encased bead at this point, you may see some melting and spreading of the cremains (as the first bead on the left in my cover picture shows). I personally think it looks interesting, but if you don't want this to happen, be careful and gentle with your heat!

9. Flame anneal the bead and into the kiln it goes.

See! It's just that easy!

The "cover" photo is a set I made to hold the cremains of my beloved kitty. I used several opaque colors in purple, black and white. Some have gold leaf applied, or trails of silver wire on the surface, and some have the cremains completely encrypted (encased) in opaque - but I know they're there!

Hope you find this an interesting and informative Tutorial!

If you find that as much as you'd like to attempt this process yourself but feel uncomfortable or sensitive about the creamins to be worked with, I offer a service at a very reasonable price and will be happy to work with you to create a special memento or set for you and/or your friends and family.

If I can further help, just shoot me a PM and I'll do my best.

Much love,
De
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Last edited by theglasszone; 2012-05-22 at 8:33pm. Reason: Clarifications, typos and photos :) ~De
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  #2  
Old 2009-08-17, 5:15pm
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Default Thank you!

My stepfather passed away suddenly last week and he was cremated. I have been thinking of making this offer to my mother, but was not entirely sure I knew how to do it.
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  #3  
Old 2009-08-17, 5:32pm
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De,
That is a wonderful tutorial. It is very respectful! Thank you!
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  #4  
Old 2009-08-17, 6:12pm
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Nice tutorial De,Ive been making keepsake memorials with cremains for a few years now.Mostly with pet cremains but some loved ones,I havent had anyone think negatively of the idea.Word gets around and more and more people are interested.I mainly do penants and paperweights and they go over very well.
Jeff
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  #5  
Old 2009-08-18, 10:55am
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Thank you Vicki, Mallory and Jeff! It was with the best intentions that I posted this

I see it's has had many views, but I appreciate the posts especially, as I was a bit skeered to put this out there...

Warmly,
De
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  #6  
Old 2009-08-18, 11:25am
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That's pretty much how I've been doing them.
It's really easy (GREAT tutorial, by the way!) and it creates
a very meaningful gift for others.

My preference for these is to use my heart shaped mold .
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  #7  
Old 2009-08-18, 11:29am
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I appreciate the considerate, caring way in which you created this.
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  #8  
Old 2009-08-18, 12:31pm
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Great tutorial - my mother recently passed away and I was wanting to create gifts for myself and her grandchildren, something they can keep forever. Thanks for putting this together.
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  #9  
Old 2009-08-18, 1:08pm
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I still have my Kitty Pursey's remains, she was with me for 16 years, I think I will do this for her. I think she'd like it, I know I will.

Thank you De......Valerie
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Old 2009-08-18, 1:23pm
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My son Chris makes "Memory Hearts" from cremains. He has several people who have even requested memory hearts from their pets' cremains.
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  #11  
Old 2009-08-18, 3:58pm
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Very nicely written. Thank you De!
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Old 2009-08-18, 4:06pm
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Thank you for posting this. I've offered this to several friends who have lost pets recently. Haven't done it yet but glad to see it written out to make sure it's done right.
Thanks again.
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  #13  
Old 2009-08-18, 4:51pm
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Thanks. A very nice and thoughtful tutorial.
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  #14  
Old 2009-08-18, 7:31pm
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Thanks for the information. I have been asked by two people recently to do this. I appreciate your time and tutorial.
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  #15  
Old 2009-08-18, 8:34pm
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This was so sweet of you to post, De, and written so tastefully. Thank you!
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  #16  
Old 2009-08-18, 10:28pm
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Thank you, De, for your sensitivity on this subject.

My husband and his friend, just opened a headstone, tombstone, & memorial business, and I have been thinking I might add this service to the list. With your well written instructions, it sounds easy enough.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write it all out and share it with us.

Hugs, A~
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Old 2009-08-19, 7:05pm
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My mother in law just passed and I was going to try and make beads for her daughters. This tutorial was well written thank you for sharing.
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  #18  
Old 2009-08-19, 7:20pm
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Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. I have the cremains of many pets who have passed, and this may be the impetus to get me going. I have wanted to make some beads but didn't quite know how to go about it.

That was very kind of you.

Peg
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  #19  
Old 2009-08-19, 7:32pm
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Thank you for posting this. We've got a disagreement in my family as to what to do with my mother's ashes. One sibling wants to scatter them and one wants to keep them. It just didn't feel right to divide them but I don't think that taking a tiny amount to put into a bead would be a bad thing or resented by the other one.
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  #20  
Old 2009-08-19, 8:11pm
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Aw, well hopefully your siblings will see that sharing her now, as you did while she was here on earth, if the fair thing to do.

Hugs to you,
De
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Old 2009-08-19, 10:41pm
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Thank you De, nice tutorial.

I have made quite a few beads with cremains, but the hardest one I will ever make is just around the corner. My best friend's daughter has asked me to make her such a bead when her mother passes (any moment) as she liked the one I made with her brother's ashes a few years ago. It's tough to torch thru tears.

As always, you are a true sweetheart for sharing!

Linda
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Old 2009-08-20, 2:01am
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Thank you so much. I have been waiting to try this. Now I guess I'll just get on with it. I have been holding the ashes of my son's long time pet. Now I have a better understanding of this process. So, tears and all, the glass will flow.
Joan
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  #23  
Old 2009-08-20, 6:04am
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De, what a wonderful and thoughtful tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing this.
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  #24  
Old 2009-08-20, 8:02am
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De, this is truly sweet of you to do and it was very respectful and thoughtful indeed .
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Old 2009-08-22, 2:46pm
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De,
Nicely written. I've been doing these for several years, pets, friends, etc. I wear a bead with Scott's cremains in it nearly all the time. He's always with me that way.
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Old 2009-08-24, 2:04pm
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I have seen Jill's cremains bead of her hubby and it is so pretty. Just made my heart smile when she showed it to me.
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Old 2009-08-28, 7:05am
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Wow, I had no idea this could be done. I think it is awesome! To be able to have beads that you can wear all of the time with " memories"...very cool.
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Old 2009-09-04, 9:13pm
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Guys, i know that when our love one passed away it seems like a part of us die along but we should let him/her go freely (just keep the memories to sustain us in this life) because someday we will met him/her again. Don't try to hold him/her up.
The best way of cremate is let the ash flow with the winds wherever he/her would love to roam. We keep a headstone because we want to go there to share some moments with the deads.
Wearing a piece of him/her (ash) on you is no good. You still want his/her spirit around you. Let him/her go. Cherish the happy times you had with him/her.
Peace.
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  #29  
Old 2009-09-04, 9:33pm
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Hum...well thank you Chau for your perspective. I understand that this may be your strong feelings and personal beliefs, and I respect that.

Likewise, not everyone may feel this way. I say "to each their own" and will refrain from judging anyone as far as what is "no good" as this casts a somewhat negative and judgmental aura over what others may feel and believe, and I am no one to judge or project that.

I posted this tutorial with the best intentions. As far as I'm concerned (even though I realize no one asked) the spirit and the body are one in life but separate in death...the body may no longer be sustaining life, but the spirit lives on. It is for this we covet and hold the bodies close...to remember and rejoice in the spirit everlasting.

De
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Old 2009-09-05, 3:05am
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DeAnne, I think it's wonderful what you've done.
To me, The spirit is not in the ashes. The ashes are for the living to hold on to that, that is tangible and not morbid at all. Many of my vessels are use for the same thing although I do not add the ashes myself.
For those that think the spirit is in the ashes, you can not hold or touch the spirit of another soul once it has left the body. It' s already free. The ashes from the shell are left behind for the living as a reminder that that spirit once live there.
I see no reason to scorn or project that this bead in any way, separates the spirit in parts by keeping amount of the ashes. Each person has their own beliefs and rituals about death and the remains of it and it's wrong to suggest that if you do with the remains what is right in your heart, that this somehow desecrates the spirit.
No disrespect, Chau, but those are your beliefs and ways of dealing with death and the hear after, and it's beautiful (for you) but to suggest that your way is the only way, is not right for all.

DeAnne, I wish I had known you made these a while back, before I sprinkled my husbands ashes over our property. I didn't keep any back because his ashes are all around me on our property. I applaud you for the willingness to take on this task!
Love you girl!
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