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Gratefully Answered Questions


  • 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. 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. 

  • How is Grateful Glass cremation art made?
    • We take a small amount of your loved one’s ashes and encase them between many layers of hot glass. As the ashes are heated, they become permanently fused within the glass, creating a one of a kind tribute to your loved one. For more information visit our Creation Process page.
  • Will my keepsake look like the sample images shown on your website?
    • We do our absolute best to create a consistent product. That said, encasing ashes within glass is much more of an art than a science. Each set of ashes reacts differently with the molten glass. Typically, the ashes 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.

      Every crematory operates their machines at different temperatures and for different lengths of time. This is the primary cause for variations in our finished keepsakes. Also, certain glass colors colors react uniquely with each set of ashes. If you have any questions or concerns about a particular color, feel free to contact us to discuss in more detail.

  • 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, the Amber Purple color is quite unique and its one of our favoite colors.

      The Amber Purple would be best described as an opalescent color. It can take on a range of hues from tans, ambers, pinks, reds, purples, and also blues. Due to the nature of the color, variation in its final coloration is inevitable. The color itself can vary slightly from batch to batch in its raw form, and this particular color also tends to react uniquely with each set of ashes producing a variety different color effects. A single pendant crafted from the Amber Purple can look very differently depending on the type of lighting (halogen, flouroscent, natural light, etc) and how exactly the light hits it. Many people say that the color "comes to life" when the light hits it! 

      One 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. If you have a preference for a lighter/darker hue, feel free to make note of it when checking out and we will do our best to accomodate your resquest. 

  • 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?


  • 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 custom nature of our work, all sales are final. That said, we proudly stand behind the craftsmenship of our work and if you are not pleased with your Grateful Glass keepsake for any reason at all, we will do our absolute best to satisfy your expectations.

      Please be aware that because our keepsakes are entirely handcrafted slight variations in color, look, and finish may exist. This is simply the nature of handmade jewelry. 


  • 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.