My bead making now gave me a new purpose, and a way to honor others, both living and passed. It was 80 degrees in my studio that day, but I had the chills the entire time I was making the beads.
Coor makes each of these incredible memorial beads by hand in her California studio using a blowtorch, rods of colored glass and the ashes she receives from her clients.
These are Merry Coor's Ash Beads.
Her handmade glass beads actually hide sentimental secrets.
Each ornamental bead is made with the ashes of a lost loved one.
Coor started making beads in 2000...
...but last year a client asked her to incorporate ashes of a lost friend into one of her jewelry designs, and she had the idea to start Ash Beads.
To make each memorial bead, Coor uses a torch to melt colored glass.
After the glass is melted and formed into a sphere, she swirls the ashes around the bead and covers the bead in a clear layer of glass.
Coor says, "If you decide to have me create an Ash Bead, I will send you a padded, pre-paid envelope, along with instructions and a small tin where you will place the ashes. Send me about ½ teaspoon of ashes for each bead and any photo, letter, or story about your loved one."
All of her designs feature spectacular swirling designs intended to look like the "infinite heavens."
These serve as truly beautiful ways to preserve the memories of those you love.