Adding Cremation Ashes into Glass Jewellery
In this article I am going to tell you a little bit about the process I use to add cremation ashes into glass jewellery.
A little while ago I took a course to learn how to fuse glass. I have been having great fun making lots of different coloured cabochons to use in my jewellery making. Cabochons are stones that are using a lot in jewellery making, they have a smooth, domed front and a flat back. Ideal for setting into pendants, charms and rings.
During my research for ideas of what do do with my newly made glass pieces, I came across the idea of adding cremation ashes into glass to make really special memorial pieces of jewellery so I thought I would give it a go.
I have been experimenting. Thanks to some really lovely customers who have allowed me to use their loved ones cremation ashes to practice with in return for some low cost jewellery, I have had plenty of cremains to work with.
So how do I make these lovely glass cabochons?
First of all I cut the glass into evenly sized pieces. This is a tricky process an something I am still playing around with. As you will see further down this article the glass looks very different once it is fired, so getting it the right shape and size to start with in order to end up with the exact shape and size you want to end up with is extremely difficult and very much trial and error right now!!
If you are working with glass don’t forget to wear safety googles and check that the different types of glass you are fusing are compatible with each other!
For these pieces I have been using a mixture of coloured and textured dichroic glass. Dichroic glass is specially made with a special coating for this process and it comes in some absolutely beautiful colours and styles.
These glass cabochons are made in two layers, the ashes are carefully placed in between the two layers. The coloured dichrioc glass goes on the bottom an a clear layer goes on top.
Into the kiln
This is what they look like when they go into the kiln.
They are fired in the kiln at a temperature high enough to fuse the glass. I have to wait 8 hours before I can open the kiln door to see what they look like! If I open the door too soon the glass with get thermal shock and will crack. Finally I can open the door and the glass comes out looking like this. One of the reasons these are quite expensive to make is because they put my kiln out of action for such a long time.
The glass is now beautiful, domed, round cabochons! How cool is that!!
Sometimes the top layer is a bit large and slides over the edge of the bottom piece. The cabochon ends up lopsided!! I’m getting fewer of those now that I am better at gutting the glass though!
Now to turn them into jewellery
These cabochons can have a simple necklace bail added.
Or I can use them in a much more bespoke jewellery design to incorporate your loved ones ashes. I can work with human cremains or pet ashes. I only need a tiny amount of ashes, less than a teaspoon will make several class cabochons.
I’m really pleased with how these have been turning out and I would love to do more of them.
I can make glass with or without cremation ashes in. Please note that not all of the pieces pictured contain ashes.