Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Combining individuality and bereavement...
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

I am seeking to combine the two indelible features of our lives, individuality and bereavement...

After a cremation, we are left with just a small casket to remember a loved one. Personally, I like them to get out and about, and feel that existing containers offer a restricted view. To achieve this I pour the contents onto a silver ashtray during special occasions (e.g. Christmas, Ash Wednesday, etc), giving our extinguished guest more involvement in proceedings. Sadly, this has several inherent drawbacks, the least important of which is its the ability to trigger asthma attacks.

Individuality is expressed in so many ways, including our handwriting, hence the autograph... This lead me, quite naturally, to propose the CrematoGraph, a personalised incendiary artifact. The technology has existed for some time, to turn power-station ash into a form of house brick (see breeze-block). With some artistic flair and basic household tools (see equipment), one can fashion the compressed ashes into a figurine to adorn your living-room.

The end result is a socially acceptable, environmentally-friendly and ornamentally-unique sculpture. I can tell you, it proves quite a talking-piece at parties...


1. A cake mould

2. An oven

3. A lump hammer

4. A stove-pipe hat, dark suit, white shirt, black tie and oven mittens.

note: The oven mittens should be dark grey or black so as to appear sufficiently somber.

riposte, Mar 23 2001

(?) Breeze Block http://www.rchme.go...m_types/B/97776.htm
Also available in grey... [riposte, Mar 23 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) Art Caskets http://www.artcaskets.com/sunset.html
I was wondering how long it would take Halfbakers to get to this... [rmutt, Mar 23 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Deceased Diamonds http://www.jsonline...tro/aug02/68498.asp
Many a true word said in jest... [riposte, Oct 04 2004]


       Baked. We have a ceramics kiln at home and equipment for making glazes. It's reasonable easy to make a glaze out of ash (we use wood ash, plus some Feldspar and maybe some copper oxide - the glaze becomes liquid at about 1200C/2200F - yup, after the CO2 has burnt off, ash will melt...). I've heard of potters making a special batch of glaze from the ashes of a loved one to glaze, for example, a special coffee mug with.
hippo, Mar 23 2001

       Hmmm, a 'mug that is glazed-over' may seem a fine way of remembering some relatives. My idea was to see form them into an artwork that most closely represents their favorite hobby - such as a book, fish or sand-castle.
riposte, Mar 23 2001

       [meta - I'm guessing jutta will have something to say about this...]   

       Weird. Neat, but weird. Don't know if I'd go for it, but it sounds like a good idea. "Mmm, eggs... Oh, there you are, Father! Good morning! And you, Uncle Milty, are we ready for our morning cup of coffee?"
absterge, Mar 23 2001

       '...are we ready AS our morning cup...'
StarChaser, Mar 24 2001

       I liked the ashtray idea - we don't smoke so have been seeking an idea to make use of a particularly nice "Bud" one I stole from the local bar-room. I was shocked to find my Grandmother had apparently put on weight until I realised that my friend had been using it for his cigar ash. I now use a spare cat-food dish I had lying about...the cat investigated and after he stopped sneezing he hasn't been near it since.
Gazfaz, Mar 27 2001

       Interesting ideas. I like the idea of having a loved one on display during social functions. This leads me to wonder why the art of taxidermy isn't practiced on humans.
embalmer101, Dec 04 2001

       Because the kids would inevitably want to include grandma and grandpa in the Halloween decorations...
phoenix, Dec 04 2001

       of course it goes to the top - when you've just annotated it, it becomes the most recently annotated idea. You're very sweet when you're being dim, [po]!
lewisgirl, Dec 04 2001

       Perhaps bathroom tiles . . . or a pizza stone
bristolz, Dec 04 2001

       How about one of those zen gardens with sand, stones and small plants? No one mistakes them for an ashtray and you get the opportunity to 'commune' with your ancestors.
"That's Grandma over by the bonzai. Grandpa's by the pebble there and see the part in the back? That's Uncle Bill."
phoenix, Dec 04 2001

       Upon seeing this idea I at first thought it was for a gas crematograph --- you would pipe the deceased's vapors through a bit of analytical machinery in order to discover their chemical composition. I would post my interpretation as an idea of its own if I could come up with a reason why you'd want to do this.
wiml, Dec 04 2001

       ¯po: Most recently annotated idea was elevated to the top since the days when HB was forty ideas on a single page. Certain filters have allowed new votes and idea edits to occur without elevating the idea, those were definitely announced changes.   

       Don't send g's ashes into the bank through the tube as proof of indentification. You won't get money, and if the container pops open you'll get pursued and tagged for a nuisance violation at minimum.
reensure, Dec 05 2001

       po: they definitely moved before. What might have happened was that the page didn't update each time you viewed it, so you weren't seeing the latest version. Most pages on the halfbakery use tricks (like dummy sequences at the end of URLs) to force pages to reload every time, but http://www.halfbakery.com/, the root page, does not use any such tricks, so it might not get updated every you move to it.   

       Most browsers don't always reload pages from the server; they keep local copies in stores called caches, and aren't always very good at checking the version they have stored is the latest. Pressing the back button will almost always restore the version in the cache, and will not request the latest (up-to-date) version from the server. Pressing CTRL+F5 in Internet Explorer forces the browser to get the latest version of a page from the server, so you can see the changes. Let me know if this makes no sense.
pottedstu, Dec 05 2001

       ps you are a gentleman! I owe you a pint. Ta
po, Dec 05 2001

       The first time I hit F5 after I login, I get an error. It's not a huge problem.
angel, Dec 05 2001

       The "dummy sequences" pottedstu talks about aren't intended to affect the browser's reload behavior, just the link color on browsers that include tags in their visited link database. Do they affect the reloading behavior?
jutta, Dec 05 2001

       Nor in Netscape 4.x or 6.x. 'Course I've modified my browser's caching behaviour so I wouldn't have this problem anyway.
phoenix, Dec 05 2001

       /aside on browser behavior at this site/ Everything here works fine for me in Konqueror 1.9.8 on KDE 2.0.1. Can't say the same for a lot of other sites. The cache thing pottedstu mentions is one reason I hate to use IE for blogging and here. Thanks for the tip on forced refresh.
quarterbaker, Dec 05 2001

       I note that a company (Lifegem) now offers this as a service, albeit, producing diamonds rather than compressed ash figurines. However, diamonds are tough to produce, requiring massive temperature and pressure. My preference is to 'half-bake' the lot, cram it into a tube and pack with dynamite. This would provide a (brief) shower of 'industrial' diamonds which could be enjoyed by every guest at the cremation. How pretty...
riposte, Jan 10 2004


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