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I’m just going to say it — Art surrounding natural burial can be tacky. “End of Life Shamans” who come to your house and burn incense and decorate your cardboard casket with glitter. It’s difficult to find good artistic death projects and even more difficult to find good green artistic death projects.

Enjoy this hot mess.

It seems like the good business is coming out of design colleges, where plucky industrial design students see the schmaltz usually associated with modern death wares and appreciate an untapped market. Godspeed, little design angels!

Take Margaret Ruyant, from the International School of Design.

This is her urn called PoeTree. Your dead friend/brother/lover is cremated and their ashes placed in a cork urn. When you take the urn home, you place a wee boxwood sapling and dirt in the urn on top of the ashes. Then you plant the cork portion in the ground, which will slowly degrade as the tree grows. Ashes spread with the roots and a ceramic ring with the deceased’s information remains around the base of the tree.

I think this is lovely, but there all sorts of haters commenting on how “boxwoods smell like cat piss” and “that shit’s just a hedge.” Haters gon’ hate, Margaret, you just keep doing your thing. A boxwood is way better than the guy who told me to take his uncle’s ashes and flush them down the toilet with some salt and call it a “sea scattering.”


Margaret’s Website



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