How are Cremation Stones Made? Materials & Process
Whether expected or sudden, losing a loved one is a challenging and often painful experience. In the aftermath, important decisions, such as how to commit their earthly remains, must be made. Today, cremation has become more popular than a traditional casket burial. For many, cremation is easier on the departed loved ones’ families because the process is simplified, less expensive, and considered more environmentally friendly. Also, cremated ashes allow family and friends to hold on to their loved ones through tangible and meaningful memorials, such as urns, cremation jewelry, and keepsakes. Another new and popular way to honor the departed is through cremation stones.
Materials for Making Cremation Stones
Cremation stones are exactly what they sound like. They are stones that are created with a loved one’s ashes. Cremation stones can come in a wide range of colors and shapes. While they typically appear light grey, like ashes, the colors can vary for unpredictable reasons that are not fully understood. Manufacturers utilize a portion and up to 100% of the cremated ashes of a person or pet to make cremation stones. The ashes are the main material included to make cremation stones. Water and additives are also used to help mix the ashes into a clay-like substance.
Another form of cremation stone is glass. Glass cremation stones use pre-determined colors of glass to create stones of various shapes and sizes. A combination of clear glass, colored glass, powdered glass, and frit - crushed-up glass - are used when creating glass cremation stone designs. Only about one tablespoon of ashes is typically infused into the glass.
Process of Making Cremation Stones
When making cremation stones, up to 100% of the departed’s ashes are sent to the chosen manufacturer (if the total ashes from a person are sent, it typically equals about ten cups). The manufacturer’s lab will remove any impurities, such as metal or implants. The ashes are then refined into a fine powder. To turn the solidified remains into stone, the fine-powered ashes are typically mixed with a small additive and water to help them bind. Next, the clay-like material is hand-rolled and shaped into stones of various shapes and sizes. Once formed, the stones are typically placed into a kiln - an extremely hot oven. After they complete the baking process, they simply need to be polished before returning home. When the full volume of cremated remains is supplied, forty to eighty stones can be created. As a rule of thumb, the volume of remains received will equal the volume of stones. For instance, one quart of ashes may yield one quart of stones.
Glass cremation stones go through a very different process. A glass artist will use a pipe to gather clear, molten glass from a furnace. The pipe is used to roll the glass over a flat metal slab to help shape it symmetrically and cylindrically. A color rod can be divided into segments and added to the clear glass to create the desired color. Powdered glass can also be incorporated simply by laying it out and rolling the glass over it. Frit, which is crushed-up colored glass, can also be rolled over with blown glass to create a quick and colorful application. Frit is very granular and can range from the size of fine sugar to small rocks. Ashes are infused into the molten glass as well. The carbon of the ashes is burned off in the process, resulting in a brilliant white color in the glass. Once the glass is formed into the desired shape, it is cooled in an oven called an annealer.
How Long Does it Take to Make Cremation Stones?
Making high-quality cremation stones is an art form. Like artisan jewelers creating cremation jewelry, cremation stones need sculptors, ceramicists, and other artists to form the solidified remains into their exquisite shapes. Manufacturers have several steps to complete during the transformation process. With ever-evolving procedures and efficient equipment, it usually takes a cremation stone manufacturer about three to six weeks to complete after they receive the cremated remains. Of course, each creator of cremation stones may have a different timeline based on their process and the current volume of orders. With precious ashes, the emphasis is on creating a priceless memorial safely rather than quickly.
Creating glass cremation stones may take as little as two to four weeks once the ashes are received. Cremation stones are mostly made up of ashes, while glass cremation stones are mostly made up of glass, infusing a small portion of ashes. The process is faster since fewer ashes are needed in glass cremation stones, and fewer stones are produced. Like cremation stones, glass blowers handle ashes with extreme care and respect.
Types of Cremation Stones
There are four main types of cremation stones available. Here are four of the most common:
- Cremation Rocks - a natural rock houses a small portion of a loved one’s cremated remains by hollowing out a small area in the rock.
- Cremation Headstone - similar to a cremation rock, a cremation headstone offers the same features as a typical headstone with one exception: A compartment is created inside the headstone to hold and store cremated remains.
- Cremation Stone - solidified remains are mixed with water and a binding agent into a clay-like material to produce a stone made mostly of a departed loved one’s ashes.
- Glass Cremation Stone - glass artists form liquid glass into beautiful symmetrical stones of various colors, shapes, and sizes. Ashes are infused and displayed to create a touching memorial.
The Living Urn offers the breathtaking Living Glass Touchstones - an exquisite collection of five glass cremation stones infused with your loved one’s ashes. Choose from three radiant colors: Ocean Blue, Lily Green, and Peaceful Sunset. With the collection of five touchstones, you can share four with family and friends, strengthening your bond with your departed loved one. You can also place all five throughout significant areas in your home to provide comfort and support. Once ordered, you’ll be sent a collection kit detailing how to send a small portion of your loved one’s ashes to the Living Glass artist. Visit The Living Urn today to learn more about our Living Glass Touchstones or other wonderful keepsakes, cremation jewelry, and urns!