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Artist Turns the Ashes of Loved Ones into Beautiful Jewelry

California artist Merry Coor is using her skills to help people preserve the memory of their loved ones in the form of breathtaking pieces of jewellery. She uses cremated ashes of the deceased to create stunning beads that are lovingly crafted by hand.

The process begins with Coor mailing an envelope and a tin box to clients who display interest in her work. They use these to send her ashes, along with any photos or stories relating to their loved one. Once she receives the materials, she begins the process of creating the bead, keeping the individual in mind the whole time. Merry said that she tries her best to imbibe each piece with good intentions and respect.

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Ashes to Ashes? In Korea, It’s More Like Ashes to Beads

As a result of changes in traditional South Korean beliefs, more and more people are choosing to have their cremated loved-ones’ ashes turned into decorative beads they can keep around.

10 years ago, 6 out of 10 Koreans who died were buried, according to Confucian beliefs to respect the dead and visit their graves. But, due in part to western influence, but also to a strong government campaign to convince people to switch to cremation, Korean culture changed drastically. In a small, densely populated country like South Korea, space is very important, so in 2000, the country’s government initiated an aggressive pro-cremation campaign that included pamphlets, radio broadcasts and press statements, This culminated with a law passed in 2000, requiring anyone who chose to bury their dead, to remove the grave after 60 years. Largely as a result of these facts, only 3 out of 10 Koreans were buried last year.

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