Monday, August 3, 2009

Human bone china

Since Friday, when this article appeared, the weird news has been buzzing about cremation urns in the shape of a loved one's head, and asking, "What could be creepier?" Well, Quigley has an answer to that* - although I think it's more cool than creepy: cremation urns that not only house a loved one's ashes, but incorporate them into the clay....Take a look at the human bone china made by San Francisco artist Charles Krafft, and watch him talk about his work. In a nod to English potter Josiah Spode (1733-1797), who perfected the production of bone china made using calcined cattle bone, Krafft calls his vases and commemorative plates Spone. He has made a full-scale army helmet to memorialize a World War II veteran, a figure of a bulldog from the ashes of a veterinarian, and a figurine of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh to commemorate a photographer who was a devotee of Eastern religion. Like his "Disaster Ware" - emblematic objects and imagery enshrined in the delicacy of Delft china - Spone provokes some of the public and some of his critics, but others embrace and commission it. "It's important to realize this is not illegal, it's not even creepy," says Larry Reid, co-author of Krafft's book Villa Delirium. "Who wouldn't want to be immortalized as a work of art?"
*Thanks to reader and Australian ceramicist Michael Keighery, who responded to my post about Creative cremains.

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