Frequently Asked Questions
What is Art/Fused glass?
Glass utilized by Carasmiths starts off as either a specialty sheet of art glass or rod. Glass is a liquid, and when it's carefully heated in the flame of a torch or in a kiln (brick ovens similar to the ones that ceramic artists use) it flows like honey and fuses with other glass (depending on the temperature) before slowly returning to room temperature. This process takes place multiple times during your commission. Bringing the glass back to room temperature after shaping and finishing creates durability and requires experience in kiln-annealing to protect art glass for long wear and display.
What are EternaMemories?
Memorial art glass creations that are permanently embedded with human or pet ashes (cremains) during the design process.
Why use glass?
Glass, as a medium, is ideal for shaping and sculpting, creates a stunning backdrop for unique designs and warms to the human touch. Memorial glass jewelry and art are growing trends. It’s important to note that not all cremains objet d’art is created the same. Carasmiths studio has been designing EternaMemories for almost a decade, before it gained recent popularity. We handcraft each custom piece through client feedback -- one-at-a-time -- and a distinctive and differentiating element of our process is that cremains are embedded within the glass so that they are visible to beholders but not overwhelmingly obvious. For you, the cherisher, this means a tasteful and elegantly designed memorial for wear, display or keeping. You decide if and how to share the story.
Must cremains be used?
We recognize that not everyone prefers to or can provide human or pet cremains for the design process. EternaMemories can be commissioned using a swatch of 100% cotton from a favorite piece of clothing or personal item, flower petals/grass blades from a garden, or hair. These are used as a medium to form relief which results in an impression in the glass, and when kilned, leave gentle but visible inclusions within the final work. You may also choose not to include medium for inclusion in your order.
How are cremains or other inclusions sent/received/handled?
Upon full payment, an addressed prepaid collection kit will be mailed to you which serves to initiate your commission with Carasmiths. Follow the simple collection and mailing instructions. (Should you prefer, your funeral director may help you gather cremains for shipment — we’re happy to assist you in this conversation by email or phone.) Each collection kit received is numbered for authenticity and tracking. Upon completion, unused cremains are returned with your purchased artwork postage paid and insurance included in your purchase.
How long does it take to receive my order?
Estimated receipt of your commissioned order is 2-4 weeks from receipt of collection kit at Carasmiths. Larger custom order timelines are quoted as received. Expedited delivery may be available for an additional fee.
Overwhelmingly people say EternaMemories offer a sense of peace, especially when worn. We have many testimonials throughout our website from people over the years, but in short, nothing can replace the person or pet lost. EternaMemories provides a tactile, visual closeness that celebrates your loved one and if preferred, may be ordered without any embedded medium.
Can EternaMemories be ordered in quantity?
Most EternaMemories offerings are available for quantity purchases for family and friends and make magnificent memorials for life celebrations including weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. See product descriptions for details.
Still have questions?
We welcome them, simply email us.
Return Policy and Care
All work completed and inspected prior to careful packaging for shipment. Please contact us with any inquiries prior to return authorization.
Commissions that include cremains cannot be returned. For damage and repair, please contact us.
How do I care for Glass designs?
Carasmiths designs for your long wear and enjoyment. We carefully inspect our work before it comes home to you, but of course, glass is glass:
Although durable, dropping any glass on the floor will most likely result in cracks, especially if done repeatedly. Avoid this by putting on your jewelry where there is a soft landing -- away from hard floors and counters.
Wiping glass beads with a soft damp cloth will keep your jewelry, beads and home goods shiny, no need for (and please don't use) harsh detergents or cleaners.
Hard wearing of glass jewelry is not recommended. Remove your Carasmiths jewelry before engaging in contact sports or intense activities
Hand wash Carasmiths home goods items. Your piece is an investment: ornate, custom shaped or fused from art or recycled glass so you'll want to avoid the dishwasher. And of course, art glass and ovens/microwaves are not compatible.
How do I care for Metal designs?
Metals used in our designs are clearly described on each piece featured. As metalsmiths, we prefer using .925 sterling silver for jewelry, heavily plated silver or gold, as well as bronze and copper. Sterling silver can last a lifetime if stored properly, with minimal cleaning required. The sterling standard refers to .925 grade of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. The copper keeps your silver in shape and adds strength...no worries, you don't see the copper in .925 sterling. Even though sterling wears well, the do's and don'ts include:
Bejewel yourself after the lotions, hairspray, make-up, and perfumes are dry. Remove your jewelry when swimming and for other activities where moisture or contact could cause damage.
Don't stretch your jewelry. Sterling is resilient, but if you pull your bracelets or earring out of shape or are consistently hard on your treasures, eventually they'll snap or break. Bracelet bangles should be twisted from side to side just a bit prior to placing them on the side of your wrist from the thinnest point (vs. just pulling the bracelet open over the top of your wrist) to ensure longest wear.
Polishing cloths, inexpensive and available at retail stores and online, are great for quick shines. Never EVER dunk, dip or lather your silver with silver cleaner. Doing so will remove any purposely placed oxidation (that black highlighting in your jewelry that was put there purposely) and possibly ruin stones and/or beads.
To remove light dirt or tarnish, use a small amount of mild liquid detergent added to a 1/2 cup of warm water and rinse thoroughly with water. Avoid harsh cleaners that could damage the polish on stones or glass beads. Before storing silver, dry completely with a soft cloth.
To keep tarnish to a minimum, store your silver in a cloth pouch separate from other metals. Tip: Those little silica packets often found in shoe boxes are great to keep in your jewelry box or pouch to minimize tarnish...of course you know that these should not get into the paws of children or pets!
Storing your sterling silver in the open air and humidity for extended periods of time can cause it to tarnish quickly. Tarnish first appears as a gold/brown type hue and then turns dark...you might like it this way, and we actually force many of our pieces to achieve this look with darkening agents. Oxidization is normal and comes from the moisture in the air, the sun, and multiplies rapidly if you wear your silver to the beach.