In 2014 I had the immense honor of working with a family in the creation of a funerary urn for two brothers.The family approached me with a wish for a consultation, desiring an intimacy they had found was lacking in the practices of conventional funerary establishments. Humbled and again, deeply appreciative for the opportunity to work with them on a memorial vessel, we proceeded in a process full of fundamental questions and reflection. Their willingness to share their personal experience of loss directly guided my creative process and the intent I employed in constructing of the urn.

In designing this urn, we spoke of representing the memory of these brothers by making it personal to them. Each aspect we spoke of was carefully crafted by hand to form an uplifting monument. The urn the Barbre brothers share is an homage to their impressions on this world, a place for them to rest in honor.

The process of making this urn was an extraordinary privilege for me. The time I spent crafting it became a sacred space in which to reflect on fear of mortality and the meaning of objects through the artist’s lens. As artist Todd Jannausch so succinctly remarked as we discussed the making of funeral vessels, “it’s a very uncomfortable place to be, but a very important place to be.”


Blackened mild steel and cast glass
Cast glass by Scott Chico Raskey
Patina by Mario Butkovik

All photography by Carlos Melgoza of Vision Sect