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Stunning jewelry that incorporates the ashes of loved ones: we interviewed the creator

At first these stunning jewelry pieces look like just glass beads, but these pieces created by Merry Coor incorporate the ashes of departed loved ones inside of them. In this exclusive interview, we asked the designer what inspired her to make these precious beads and her future plans in jewelry design. [read our original post about Ash Beads here]

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into bead making?
I have always loved beads, and having a bead shop since 1993, the next step for me was to make the beads myself.

What was it like incorporating ashes into your beads for the first time?
It was an intimate experience, for me to incorporate the ashes of a loved one into a bead.  It was a big responsibility for me. I wanted to do the remains justice, I wanted to respect the ashes, and the people that were going to be wearing them. I had the chills the entire time I was making the beads, and it was hot in my studio that day.

How long does it take to create each ash bead?  
About 45 minutes.

Have you seen a lot of interest in your ash beads since this blew up in the media?
Yes, there has been so much interest since Ash Beads went viral. I have received so many wonderful, heart warming, heart breaking, funny, sweet, and emotional, letters from people wanting ash beads.

Do you have an accessory designer that you admire and look up to?
You would think that I would have a designer that I admire, but I don’t. I only wear a few pieces of jewelry, and most of what I wear, I’ve been wearing for over 30 years.

Can you tell us what you’re working on right now?
I have asked a local jeweler to help me with some rings, and pendants that are more geared towards men.   It won’t be a bead, but a cabochon, (flat on one side, and a slight dome, made off mandrill and not a bead with a hole). So, in a month or so, we will be offering more options.

See more of Merry Coor’s ash beads over on her Etsy page, here.

Ash beads
Ash beads

About the author

Rachel Oakley is an Aussie writer based in NYC with an obsession for the creepy, cool and quirky side of life. She’ll remind you she’s a vegan every chance she gets. Her IG is filled with doggo pics: @patty_pottymouth