Losing a loved one, either human or animal, is one of the hardest experiences you’ll face in life. To help keep the memories alive many of us like to have a physical reminder to keep close at hand, something beautiful and meaningful that contains the essence of a friend departed.

Davenport Memorial Glass specializes in just these kind of physical reminders, creating pet memorial pieces that infuse a small quantity of a loved one’s ashes with stunning glass works of art. The pet paw glass pendants are particularly popular and are small enough for you could carry a little piece of your beloved cat or dog with you wherever you go.

“Our goal is to physically capture a moment, to create a keepsake that brings back a memory,” Davenport writes on their website. “Nothing will compare to the time spent with your loved one, but we hope to aid in treasuring them and remembering the precious time you had together.”

While pets make up a huge part of many of our lives, there is no formal custom when it comes to memorializing them. If pet lovers decide to do anything at all, most will choose to bury their furry friends. Pet cemeteries exist, and people can choose to bury or cremate their pets there along with gravestones and statues, just like we do for humans.

However, if you don’t have a pet cemetery nearby and feel that perhaps a formal burial is too much, Davenport’s pet memorial jewelry offers a tasteful alternative. You just need to get a small spoonful of cremation ashes and send them to Davenport by post. You could also get a paw-imprint pendant, like the one pictured below.

“Ash heart and pendant. Made with the ashes of a beautiful young girl born to rock”

Davenport also makes glass jewelry and art without the addition of ashes, but simply for its aesthetic value. This ancient art has been around for centuries, and Davenport uses classic techniques combined with modern methods to create their masterpieces. “I started blowing glass back in 2003, Cameron Davenport, the man behind the business told Bored Panda. “After many years of struggling, I finally took a class from an artist by the name of Phil Siegel. That’s when everything changed. I started focusing more on the art, and less on the function. Working harder to make it clean and uniform rather than just sellable.”

“About ten years ago I lost a good friend. I was given a small spoonful of his ashes that I had just set on my bookshelf for a number of years.”

“One day it came to me, and I decided to make him into a memorial jewelry marble. There were quite a few friends that thought this was a neat idea and asked me to make them some memorial glass as well. It sort of just snowballed after that.”

Cameron has a special technique of infusing the ashes is one that he prefers to keep secret, having spent years hard at work perfecting it. “The ashes put a lot of stress into the glass while working with it, making it very difficult to work with,” he explained. “I’ve had many glass artists contact me and ask how I do it. I’d be up for teaching a class one day.”

The job comes with a portion of sadness for Cameron, as many of his customers are still in a grieving process. Cameron takes the time to make a personal connection with his customers, so he often hears the background behind the requests for custom pieces. “One of the hardest parts about my job is hearing stories bout S.I.D.S. It absolutely eats me up inside. I get a ton of sad emails and often need to take breaks from reading,” he said.

Of course, there is the other side too. Cameron’s craftmanship produces pieces that go beyond art and become cherished memories, something that can make a real difference to the lives of his clients. “One of my favorite parts about my job is the smiles and tears I receive from my clients,” he told us.

“They love the work I do for them and the meaning behind it. As each day goes on, I become more and more grateful for the people in my life and the time I get to spend with them. Doing this type of work really highlights the love in my life. I look forward to many more years of spreading joy and comfort through the memorial glass.”