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Gratefully Answered Questions

Creation

  • How much of my loved ones ashes are required to make a Grateful Glass memorial keepsake?
    • A small amount of ashes is needed to create a Grateful Glass keepsake. We typically ask for one small teaspoon for each piece, and any unused ashes will always be returned with your finished keepsake. Because such a small amount of ashes is required, Grateful Glass can accompany a cremation memorial service, scattering of ashes, or traditional urn

  • Who will be making my Grateful Glass memorial keepsake?
    • All of our keepsakes are individually crafted by Grateful Glass founder Matthew Olian. 

  • How long have you been working with glass and making memorial keepsakes?
    • We have began making glass cremation keepsakes in 2010 through word of mouth. Gratefulglass.com officially launched in 2013.

      Grateful Glass founder, Matthew Olian, has been passionately working with hot glass since 1999.

  • How do I know that you will actually use my loved ones remains?
    • We wholeheartly understand this concern, and its something we do asked from time to time. We take the memorialization process very seriously, and take the necessary steps in identifying orders at all time to ensure clients receive their correct keepsakes. 

      It may take a small leap of faith to use a service like Grateful Glass or similar, and we cannot be the one to convince you. Its really something that you need to feel 100% comfortable with doing. If it helps to alleviate any concerns, Grateful Glass has been a proud supply member of the National Funeral Directors Association since 2013, and we work with many funeral homes around the country who put their trust us on a regular basis.  

       
  • Can I come to your studio and watch the creation process of my keepsake firsthand?
    • Unfortunately, we no longer allow visitors to come watch the creation process in person. It is something we did use to offer in the past, and we found that it put a tremendous amount of pressure and stress (as you can imagine!) on our artists while working. As a result, it ultimately showed through in the finished pieces. Beyond that, there are some insurance issues at play with having visitors in our studio. There is a very real danger for burns/cuts from flying hot glass and our shop is not setup to adequately protect viewers. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
  • I have had my loved ones ashes for 20+ years. Can the ashes still be used for a memorial piece?
    • Absolutely! Not matter how old the cremation ashes, we still can craft you a unique memorial piece.

  • I have both of my parents’ cremation ashes and would like to have memorial piece made with both of sets ashes. Is this possible?
    • Yes. We have made many memorial pieces with more than one individual’s ashes. Since the ashes will be mixed together, you will not be able to distinguish one from the other.
  • Can you make a Grateful Glass memorial piece with my pet’s ashes?
    • Absolutely, all of our keepsakes can be crafted from ashes of a beloved pet. Please visit our Pet Memorials page for more information. 

  • Will my keepsake look like the sample images shown on your website?
    • We do our absolute best to create a consistent product that is representative of the sample images shown on our website. Please keep in mind however that we are creating something which is made entirely by hand (with lots of variables that are out of our control!) so each keepsake will truly be unique unto iteself and may look different than the sample images. Encasing ashes within glass is very much an art and not a science!

      Each set of ashes reacts differently with the molten glass. Typically, the ashes will show up as tiny white flecks, but sometimes the ashes produce bubbles patterns. Occasionally, the ashes produce interesting colored flecks ranging the full color spectrum. This variation is largely due to the fact that individual crematories operate their machines, called retorts, at different temperatures and for different lengths of time. As a result, each set of ashes has a slightly different chemical makeup and will react with the glass colors uniquely. Simply put, we cannot control how the ashes will look in your keepsake and they may vary in look/design from the sample images shown on our website.

      In terms of the acutal creation process, your loved one's ashes are picked up with a gather of molten hot glass. We use the same amount of ashes every time, but sometimes more/less ashes can adhere to the glass during the encasement, Depending on the particular chemical makeup of the ashes (much like a DNA makeup), sometimes more or less ashes will "adhere" to the hot glass during the encasement process. This can result in the finished keepsake have either a fuller or more empty look.

      Please note: all of the sample keepsakes shown on our website were taken in a professional photography studio. Although they are completely unedited, certain colors like the Amber Purple and Sunshine Yellow may look differently in other light settings.  Please don't hesistate to contact us if you would like to see additional images of any keepsake colors in other light settings such as natural sunlight, etc. 

  • What type of glass is used to make Grateful Glass?
    • We work strictly with Pyrex, also known as borosilicate glass. It is the strongest commercially available glass.
  • What are your most popular colors?
    • Our most popular colors are Cobalt Blue, Emerald Green, and Ruby Red. All of our colors will showcase your loved one’s ashes beautifully.
  • I really like the Amber Purple color, but it looks very different in some pictures. Why?
    • Yes, you may have noticed that the Amber Purple color looks quite different on some of the sample keepsakes shown on our website. The Amber Purple would be best described as an opalescent color, and it can take on a range of hues from tans, ambers, pinks, reds, purples, and also blues. It is a very interesting color but due to the nature of the color, variation in its final coloration is inevitable and out of our control.

      The Amber Purple color tends to react uniquely with each set of ashes producing a wide range of different color effects. Additionally, a single pendant crafted from the Amber Purple can look very differently depending on the specific type of lighting (halogen, flouroscent, natural light, etc) and how/where exactly the light hits it. Many clients have said that the Amber Purple "comes to life" when the sunlight hits it! 

      Another thing to be mindful of is that the Amber Purple is a translucent color. When it is used in setting where sterling silver is behind the glass (such as the Forever Pendant or Eternal Love Pendant), the silver tends to darken the coloring and show off more of the deeper purple/blue hues. Conversely, when there is no silver behind the glass (such as the Perpetual pendant), the color tends to show off the lighter tan/Amber hues.

      Please note: all of the sample keepsakes shown on our website were taken in a professional photography studio. Although they are completely unedited, certain colors like the Amber Purple and Sunshine Yellow may look differently in other light settings. Please don't hesistate to contact us if you would like to see additional images of any keepsake colors in other light settings such as natural sunlight, etc. 

  • How are your settings created?
    • All of our sterling silver settings are cast locally here in Philadelphia. The casting process entails carefully pouring molten silver is into a mold to create the rough setting form. From there, the settings are cleaned up individually and then hand polished into the finished pieces that you receive.

      Please be aware that as a result of the handmade nature of the finishing process, you may find slight "irregularities" within the silver finish. These irregularities, which are not flaws, namely include what is known within the jewelry world as firescale. Firescale is essentially like a birthmark on the finish. We like to think these unique markings help to make each keepsake truly one of a kind and just as unique as your loved one!

  • How are your Orbs created?
    • Great question! They are created by taking small amount of your loved one’s ashes and encasing them within layers of Pyrex glass. Once encased, the ashes are then spun into a unique pattern of white flecks and organic bubbles (no two Orbs will ever have the same exact patten!). Finally, they are backed with a color of your choosing on the underside or can be ordered in clear. The Eternal Orb is approximately 2½" in diameter, roughly the size of a billiard ball. Please note: although the Orbs may appear fully colored in the pictures, the colored portion is just on the bottom of the paperweight. This is with intent as makes it much easier for light to pass through so that you can easily view the ashes through the clear glass instead of colored glass.

  • Is it possible to order a keepsake in 14k gold?
    • Yes, our keepsakes can be ordered in 14K yellow/white/rose gold as well as platinum. Please contact us for further information.

  • Do you make other glass art in addition to Grateful Glass memorials?
  • How do I contact Grateful Glass with other questions or concerns?

Ordering

  • Do you accept custom orders?
    • Yes! We have commissioned a variety of custom memorial pieces. Please contact us and we can discuss your commission.
  • I am interested in placing an order, but I do not want to handle the cremation ashes myself.
    • Not a problem. We work with a large network of funeral homes throughout the country. You can contact us directly, and we will point you in the direction of a local funeral home that can help to facilitate your order.

  • What is your return policy?
    • Due to the extreme custom nature of our work, all sales are final. Please be aware that because our keepsakes are entirely handcrafted, variations in color, look, and finish may exist. For more information about potential variations in look/design, please read the Creation section of our FAQ page. 

      If you have any quesitions about possible variations or you have a specific request, we encourage you to speak with us directly prior to placing your order. 

Shipping

  • How does shipping work?
    • Shipping is a 3 step process. First, we ship you a collection kit that will allow you to safely and securely send us a small amount of ashes. Next, you ship the completed collection kit back to our studio. Finally, we ship the finished keepsake along with any unused ashes back to you. All shipments include tracking and insurance.

  • How long will it take to receive my memorial keepsake?
    • From the time we receive your collection kit at our studio, it typically between 2-4 weeks to craft and then ship your Grateful Glass keepsake. 

  • I cannot wait 2-4 week to receive my order. Do you offer expedited delivery options?
    • Yes, but it depends somewhat on our current order queue at the time. Please feel free to contact us for further information.

  • How do you package and ship orders?
    • All memorial keepsakes are packaged with extreme care. Our Grateful Glass boxes are extremely durable and inset with protective foam inserts to hold all contents firmly in place. Each box is then individually bubble wrapped and then placed within an "indestructo" shipping carton.

      We ship all keepsakes insured via USPS Priority Mail Express, the safest and only legal method for shipping cremation ashes.  Tracking information is provided for all orders. A signature will be required to recieve your finished keepsake. 

  • How much does shipping cost?
    • All shipping costs TO YOU are included in your purchase price. This includes the shipping of a Grateful Glass “collection kit” to safely and securely mail us a small amount of ashes as well as the shipment of your finished keepsake. These included shipments represent a $45 value.

      Shipment of your completed collection kit back to Grateful Glass is at your expense. Typically, the return shipment will cost on average between $20-30. Your return shipment must be sent via USPS Priority Mail Express, the most secure method for shipping cremation ashes.

       

  • Do you ship internationally?
    • Yes, please contact us directly for more information about international shipments as our ordering process is slightly different than domestic orders. Certain restrictions may apply depending on your country of residence. 

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