A dear friend of mine, Carrie lost her beloved dog Brody last month. She contacted me and asked if I would create a very special ART PIECE for Brody's ashes. She wanted a piece she could display that was unique, personalized, and a memorial keepsake all about Brody.
The loss of a pet is so heartbreaking. I remember when my sister, Mom and I lost our dog Boggie several years ago. Boggie was our "heart healer" and came into our lives shortly after the loss of my Dad. Dogs loves us unconditionally, always teaching us about patience, understanding, affection and of course, exercise!
My heart was breaking just seeing the pain Carrie was in. Brody was a part of her life for nearly 14 years. There for her during good times and bad, always by her side. So I set out to design a very special art box, with my hubby's help. We photographed each step along the way. First thing I did, was pull together a few antique elements to show Carrie what I pictured in my head. An important part, I felt, was incorporating a candle that could be lit whenever she wanted.
My next step was making the metal box "rusty" and "weathered". I wanted a beautiful rich shade of red brown...the color of Brody.
With our handy torch, hubby and I burnt the outside of the galvanized metal box I had found at an antique market.
We left the box outside for a couple weeks, adding salt and water, letting mother nature help us artistically.
I even worked on weathering the inside of the box. As the days passed, the shade was really coming to life.
Once I washed all the salt off, we burnt the box one more time. and proceeded to add a sealer.
The sealer took approximately 3 to 4 days to cure. I couldn't work on the piece until the sealer fumes had dissipated, my nose is so sensitive, LOL!
To add Brody's name, we stamped into a piece of old tin, making a special tag.
I love creating texture within all my pieces. Using different metals, chain, wire and antique elements I've collected over the years, we began to attach textures with grommets and brads.
Since Carrie was placing the box inside an enclosed shelving unit that had a top, I decided to incorporate a battery candle for safety reasons. I aged the candle using permanent inks.
For the inside of the Memorial Box, I made a kraft envelope, where Carrie could place any keepsakes. I've always felt writing letters to those we've loved and lost, can help in the healing process. This envelope could hold a special letter written to Brody.
Here I used 2 wonderful photos of Brody that Carrie sent me. His coloring was so beautiful and I wanted the box to reflect that.
Inside I attached the envelope and placed a small burlap bag that had some antique stamping on it.
Again, using metal ribbons and grommets, we attached more details. The metal ribbon made us think of a dog collar, so we placed it around the lid.
One of the special details I wanted to add was the vintage lock on the front of the box with the galvanized metal frame holding the 2 pictures of Brody. We attached a fishing lure mechanism so Carrie can display any side of the frame she chooses.
The finished Memorial Pet Urn Art Piece box is a creation I'm very proud of.
Robin Davis Studio
Robin Davis Studio