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Made with Love - September 2010

The death of pet or a loved one can be a difficult time for most people. What’s often helpful is creating a lasting memory of the one lost, and that’s exactly what Silvia Engel does.

Engel, an artist and jeweler originally from Veracruz, Mexico, fulfills a niche with her business Love Ashes, creating memorial pendants and keepsakes that are infused with the ashes of the pet or loved one. Clients have the choice of whether or not these ashes are visible in the piece. These art pieces can be worn or displayed, and each one is as unique as the person or pet that was lost.

“Families are thrilled with the beauty and vibrant colors of these memorials,” said Stephen Carpenter, president of Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home & White Dove Crematory of West Warwick, RI. “[They say] the pendants are a beautiful personalized tribute to their loved ones, a great testimony to the quality and workmanship of Love Ashes.”

Engel founded Love Ashes in 2007, inspired by the loss of her dog, Kiki. She draws on the colors and culture of Mexico as a muse in creating each keepsake and uses dichroic glass as her medium. Dichroic glass was originally developed by NASA for use in satellite mirrors and is also used in specialized laser applications. Many ultra-thin layers of exotic metal oxides are sprayed onto glass, giving it its unique reflective and refractive properties. This glass was new to the art world, so Engel did the research to learn how to work with it and fire it in her studio’s kiln.

Each piece takes about five or six days to make Creating the jewelry is satisfying, but Engel says the letters she receives are overwhelming. Pet owners write to her and send pictures of their lost pets, along with stories of how Love Ashes memorial art has helped them cope with their loss.

“It’s gratifying to know I’m helping others,” she says. “And it helps me to remember Kiki, too.”

Love Ashes products are hand created by owner and artist Silvia Engel from her studio in Florida. Engel partners with companies in the funeral service industry around the world. To receive a free partner kit with catalogs, brochures and ordering materials, please visit Love Ashes or call 1-888-452-7278.

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