We always want what is best for our pets during their short lives with us so when it comes time to finding a final resting place or urn it should be just as beautiful and sentimental as the memories you have of your best friend. I knew last Thanksgiving when Foyle started to get very sick that I would have to start looking for an urn and I wanted to make sure that his final home was not only hand-crafted but warm, sweet, and thoughtful- just like he was. I knew just the person I wanted to make it so with my fingers crossed I asked Douglas Thompson of SDI Woodworking if he would make a large urn for him that matched one that he had made for our second dachshund, Pandemonium, several years ago.
When I first came across Douglas' Etsy store back in 2008 I was looking for a small, hand-crafted, wood container to put Pandi's ashes in and found it on the page where he lists his gorgeous bowls. Little did he know that his container would become a wonderful memory and part of our house that we enjoy looking at every day. I fell in love with the idea that I could use it for an urn but when sitting on our mantel it would look like a piece of artwork that would blend in with our style and always be a sweet reminder of our furry friends. The small piece above (just the size for a miniature dachshund) is made out of one piece of Honduras mahogany wood with a ringed design cut into the side and the lid, approximately 4" in diameter and 5" tall. The top is designed to blend into the overall container and can easily be sealed shut to contain the contents.
Foyle's urn is incredibly sentimental, not only because it was custom made for Foyle, but because of the story of the wood and the insight into how it was made. Douglas chose to make it out of pieces of wild cherry from a tree that he and his friends had cut down about 35 years ago! I appreciate the thoughtfulness and care that was taken throughout the process, it means so much to us that someone who had never met Foyle would put so much love into chosing wood that had special memories for him too. All 96 pieces were cut and spliced together separately which you can see in the variations of the layers, which I think adds more character to piece. Doug was nice enough to take progress pictures along the way which you can see below.
You can see the amount of detail and craftsmanship that goes behind every step and I am in awe of how much work and attention (ok, let's face it, love) that went into the process . I truly can't thank Douglas enough for working with me on my idea and making Foyle's final resting place so personal and lovely. (Just to give you some sense of scale this urn fits a 120lb dog and is approximately 8" tall and 7" in diameter, with plenty of room inside.)
If you are looking for a unique and personal urn for your beloved pet I highly encourage you to send Douglas an email and talk to him about making your own custom piece. I would love for everyone to support an amazing craftsman and spread the word about how talented and beautiful his woodworking is. Tell him Robin sent you!
A very special thank you to our friends, Jeff Morris and Allie Fung, who let me take over their house this past weekend to take photos! Jeff is a conceptual artist that works with mixed media, found objects, and street photography. Check out what he finds on his daily pilgramage to work each day on his Instagram page, hithisisjeff.