One thing I have learned from losing my Rags, my 19.5 Ragdoll cat who passed on March 30, 2009, is that people handle death differently. In fact, I watched a documentary one time about how death is handled around the world and found it fascinating! I wish I could remember the name of it, but I don’t. Nonetheless, the way I have chosen to handle Rags’ death might seem strange or unique, but that’s how I am comfortable with it.
I am taking a Metalsmithing class this summer and for those of you that are friends with me on Facebook, you have seen that I have been slowly posting stuff that I have been making.
Right now I am working on a box for Rags’ ashes. My plan is that when I die, I want my ashes mixed with his and then I want them scattered about in New Mexico or the Caribbean – two places I feel are the most beautiful places in the world.
In the mean time, though I have to figure out where to store Rags’ ashes. So I decided to make a box out of Sterling Silver to put Rags’ ashes in, so that I could also display it on my mantel (which my boyfriend thinks is totally weird) with the photo of Rags taken by Elaina G Photography in 2006.
The box started as flat sheet metal and cost $303 for the sheet metal alone. My design inspirtation was a 1 – cup measuring cup from Williams Sonoma.
I had taken the bag of Rags’ ashes to make sure that it would fit in the measuring cup, and so it did.
The first step was to get the side piece in a circle – and when you’re dealing with 18 guage metal, that’s not a lot of fun.
Nonetheless, after a lot of pounding, I was successful in my attempt. Then I soldered on the bottom of the box – with the help of my professor who is a solder mastermind.
After I soldered on the bottom, it was time to cut off the top, so that I could solder on the lid. Sawing through a circular piece is not terribly fun – but I only broke one blade!
The photo to the right shows that I had made the indent for the top, but I had yet to cut it out. Since I measured the length I needed for Rags’ ashes to fit inside, I knew how high the top could be and that’s how I decided to make it that height.
I did debate whether or not to share this with my readers – but then thought that every time something with Rags happens, I am going to share it because, quite frankly, this website wouldn’t exist and had he not existed – as he was my inspiration for this site in more ways than one! So I hope you don’t mind me sharing this box with you.
Now, I am at the point where I need to solder on the lid and then figure out a way to secure the lid and the bottom, so that it can stay shut indefinitely at this point.
So here’s what’s left to do:
Add the lid
Cut off the square bits of metal – as this box is going to round – the circle of life is the idea with that.
Secure the lid and the bottom portion somehow
Add copper wire decoration
Add Rags’ silver paw to the top of the lid – to use as a pull to take off the lid
Polish and finish
You might have noticed that this post said, “Part One” – so there is more to come. Let me know if you have any recommendations!
Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,