Spirit Pieces-Memories, Remember Through Art in Austin, Texas

“Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin
So, today let’s talk about death…sort of…everyone has their own feelings about this, etc. but today I wanted to show you what David Blake at Spirit Pieces in Austin, Texas does to help those who are left behind.  You see, David creates beautiful art using the cremation remains of loved ones to honor and remember them.  I LOVE this idea!! While I didn’t have time at the moment to meet David in person, he was kind enough to agree to an email type of interview – thanks David! Ok, on with the interview!…(My questions in black, Mr. Blake’s responses are in blue). 
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Mr. David Blake of Spirit Pieces

Mr. Blake, this is quite the unusual business – can you tell me exactly how you decided to make this your career? 

Back in 2009 my Grandmother passed away and was buried in a grave abutting a warehouse.  I came away from that experience feeling that there was a certain lack of artistic value to how we deal with end-of-life and decided to see if I could do something about it.

 

What was your first actual cremation piece and what can you tell me about that experience?

The first piece we sold was a Glimmer orb to a customer in Nebraska of all places.  It was a bit nerve-wracking in terms of making sure everything got shipped properly but we ended up making her a lovely memorial she has on her windowsill.

 

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Isn’t this stunning?!?! So much nice and more meaningful in my opinion, than an urn!
Have you had one customer or request that really stands out in your mind – please tell me about it!
We recently had a customer ask for a 16″ dichroic spiral sculpture; still in production and I am looking forward to seeing how it comes out.

What’s been the best reaction to a piece your company has created?

We’ve had a lot of people say they cried when they received it; I can’t see us doing better than that.
What are your plans when your time comes? 

Great question … I’m really not sure yet.  I would like to move the company into green burials so maybe I’ll become a tree 🙂

Being in this rather unusual industry, what has been the best and worst things you have learned as a result?

I think the best thing I’ve learned is there is a way to make money yet make a real difference in people’s lives.  Often there’s a negative association with for-profit companies, but at the end of the day money is what allows the company to grow and innovate.  In terms of worst things, unfortunately there is a very small percentage of people who thrive on unhappiness and introduce some very negative family dynamics into the process.

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Nice that only you would really know about this piece’s importance unless you choose to share it’s significance 🙂 

 

Please tell me a little about yourself! 

I grew up in NY and moved down to Austin in 2014.  I came up through technology and spent about 8 years in product management.  Both careers gave me a good underpinning in terms of planning, design and how to bring new products to market.  Prior to this I had an educational gaming company (Agriopia) and a photography studio.

What are 3 items on your bucket list?

See a tornado, visit Eastern Europe and fly over an active volcano.

What piece did you enjoy making the most over the years?

 I love all our items, but maybe the favorite is the flame due to the symbolism.
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I love the whole idea of memorializing a loved one in such a unique and special way!!

What would you like readers to know?

That death is natural, and that talking about it in an honest light does make the process easier.

Thank you Mr. Blake for agreeing to this virtual interview!! Spirit Pieces can be found on Facebook, Instagram and of course their website.

What are your thoughts on this creative way to memorialize your loved one? 

Thanks for visiting! Have a wonderful today!

Elizabeth and Max

16 thoughts on “Spirit Pieces-Memories, Remember Through Art in Austin, Texas”

    1. Yes, the pieces are beautiful! I think it’s just a little amount mixed in as a treasured keepsake and then you could spread the rest out at that persons favorite place but this way you’d still have a memorial to keep.

  1. I love ceramics and glassware but I’m not too sure with this. Everyone has their own response to losing a loved one. The death of my dad is still raw for me and I don’t think this would help. But thanks for sharing 🙂 🙂

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