About Small Saints
The catalyst for creating unique, personal urns and keepsakes was my mother's memorial reception in the year 2000. As I held her Parthenon-shaped, conventional wooden desktop urn in my hands, I realized that she would not have chosen this style for herself. It did not suit her as a visionary thinker and an artist. I would not have chosen this for her either. However, with unexpected events, one does not often have a choice. Similarly, urn choices are limited for companion pet owners. Urns and memorial products that are available at pet stores or online are often made offshore, cheaply, and are conventional in appearance.
When my own dogs were cremated, I had similar concerns. As an artist, I could appreciate something unique and artistically handcrafted. As a citizen wishing to support local businesses and artists, I desired something that was made in locally, if not by me, then by a local crafts-person or artisan. I also wanted an urn that was discreet. I desired quality that was apparent. I wanted the compassion in the creation of the urn to be evident. With these thoughts in mind, I conceived of, and created, a unique customized portrait urn that I felt paid tribute to the special relationship I had with each of them. This special wooden urn would be of high quality, also be a custom pet portrait and hang on the wall, making it indistinguishable from a painted or an engraved portrait.
I also made simple cotton shrouds for my dogs, because although I am an animal biologist by profession, and do not scare easily, seeing the usual and necessary plastic 'shroud' (often a green garbage bag) containing my friend left me feeling even more bereaved simply because of that uncomfortable association. I wished to at least hide the plastic.
Additionally, within the intervening years, a friend asked me to design a memorial silver pendant with which she could honour her canine friend.
Many of my friends, once seeing my designs and understanding the urns, the shrouds, and the ideas behind them, encouraged me to create a business around the conception. Small Saints is the fruition of that idea, created using values that I believe in. So, you could very literally say that Small Saints rose from ashes.
Barb Anderson | Small Saints Owner, Designer & Artist
Photo 2: my newest addition, Jim, who together with Gryphon comprise the current canine clan of two.