Local artist turns ashes into keepsakes
By Jillian Chandler
An artist from as young as she can remember, Carolyn Osborne has a gift. The Tacoma native turned her artistic focus to fused glass in 1994. Years later, in 2008, she would introduce her business and now lifelong passion, Sacred Embers, to the local community. Here, she creates fused glass memorial keepsakes created with the ashes or hair of a beloved person or pet.
“I started Sacred Embers when my brother was dying. I wanted to honor him,” says Carolyn. “Sacred Embers was the perfect way because he loved glass, and I was lucky enough to get his blessing.”
Clients can rest assured that their loved one’s ashes or hair will be treated with the utmost respect, as Carolyn is the only one whom they’ll interact with during the process and the only one who will handle these priceless items. “With every Sacred Embers that I create, whether the client is near or far, I get to know the person or pet that has died so that I can honor them with the utmost dignity and love.”
In the beginning, Carolyn’s focus was on pendants and amulets. The list of offerings has grown over the years in large part due to her clients’ requests. Today she offers custom pieces ranging from a diverse array of jewelry to key chains, wall art, windchimes and so much more. She has even created custom urns at the request of her clients, and several have commissioned her to do portraits as well. “Yes, I also paint,” she smiles.
Carolyn, who is entirely self-taught in the craft of fused glass, is passionate about the path she has chosen. “I call this my ‘heartwork’ because a piece of my heart goes with every Sacred Embers created.”
These one-of-a-kind pieces are designed specifically with your story as inspiration. As Carolyn notes, no two Sacred Embers are ever the same.
When it comes to what she finds most rewarding about the work she does, Carolyn admits, “There are not words in the English language to really articulate the feelings when I present a Sacred Embers to someone and see a peace wash over them. I am able to share a very raw moment of loss with complete strangers. To be trusted to hear special stories and memories and tears is an absolute honor.”
She is proud to live and work in Tacoma, surrounded by its beauty and a community who appreciates art.
Carolyn is grateful for all that she has been able to accomplish both professionally and personally for each client who comes through her door. “I feel that my brother is with me with every Sacred Embers,” she says. “I love creating Sacred Embers for people; helping them to find peace and strength at the time of loss. Whether it is their beloved human or their beloved pet, I know their pain. I truly care and spend the time to hear them at a difficult time.”
If you are looking for a special way to honor your loved one, Carolyn will guide you in selecting a unique Sacred Embers memorial keepsake, which she will create with love and compassion.