I don't get many requests for commissions but this one was near and dear to me. My nephew and his wife in Charlotte, NC recently lost their first baby after only 14hrs of life being born prematurely. Baby Keegan was cremated and I was asked to make a box or container for his remains. It had to be big enough to hold the small container of ashes from the crematorium as they didn't want to transfer the ashes themselves. They found out from the crematorium the little box was 2.5" square by 5" long. They didn't want anything "too urny" looking. They didn't want a high gloss or contemporary finish. More rustic or primitive they said their tastes were leaning towards. When we discussed it over the phone I asked if they had any old wood salvaged from their home or any logs left from trees they ha to remove. Last year they had moved into an old early 1900 timber frame farmhouse and had remodeled it. He had one 2.5ft old oak beam that they had kept but couldn't figure out what to do with it. So I had them send it back to me here in Indiana with his parents who had rushed out to be with them during the birth.
So this is the vessel/container that I made. I cut a block of maple to the 2.5" square X 5" long dimensions that you can see in a couple of the photos so I could size the interior properly. The photos show the rough beam and the old square head nails I had to dig out. The blue painters tape is keeping the System Three epoxy I colored black from leaking out of all the cracks and voids (the wood would not have held together during turning without it). the last few are the of the finished piece. sanded only to 180 grit as they didn't want anything too glossy and then a couple light coats of minwax antique oil.
They called last night when they opened the package I had sent it in and were extremely happy with it and that I had left just enough extra space inside that they were able to wrap the container holding his remains in his little baby blanket the Neo-natal intensive care ward had wrapped Keegan in right after birth up until he passed 14hrs later.