Thursday, December 11, 2008

And When I'm Dead

And When I'm Dead Dead And Gone
I Will Not be 240 Pencils Left
To Carry On!
To Carry On!

Jean - Yves Baxter, on his Genealogy Blog wrote an article titled "Unusual Christmas Gifts For The Genealogists." And he wasn't just whistling Dixie. He searched the web and found several unusual gifts for the genealogists, unusual is an understatement. I know, he called them Christmas gifts, but I can't.

The first gift on the list caught my attention immediately. Carbon Copies, a rather attractive pencil box that holds 240 pencils made from human remains. Carbon Copies is part of a Post Mortem Research project by Nadine Jarvis. Through her work Nadine hopes to "challenge our archaic post mortem traditions and to offer proposals for alternate treatment for our deceased."

Nadine says:

I have been designing urns that lengthen death ceremony to give more time to come to terms with loss. My motivation for this project was my interest in the death and decomposition of materials and how the degradation of materials could be used to aid the grieving process."

Nadine has created a Bird Feeder, a biodegradable project she calls Rest In Pieces, the pencils of Carbon Copies, and a work in progress called Scatter (use your imagination).

Carbon Copies
The Pencil Box

As for the Carbon Copies pencils, they can only be removed from the box one at a time. Each is gold stamped with the name of the body of ash that created them. The pencil box is also a sharpener, returning the ash to the box and transforming it into an urn. It has its own little ash counter letting you know how many pencils are left.

Let me just say, interesting idea Nadine, but I would only be a pencil if I could control what was being written.

Jean-Yves, thank you for your most unusual suggestions and Merry Christmas?

Nadine is an artist living and working in London.

Jean-Yves is a perfectly normal looking GeneaBlogger.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

sort of creepy - but that's JMO!

December 11, 2008 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Check out all of Nadine's innovations for our ashes!

I'll think I'll go to the rose garden rather than in a pencil box to school.


December 11, 2008 at 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, but I think it's disrespectful. Just toss me in the ground, thank you!

December 11, 2008 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Hopefully Nadine's postmortem innovations are done with the permission of the recently cremated.

Personally I would not be happy being a pencil or a bird feeder.

Stuff me and sit me up at the wake with a glass of Framboise in hand so that I can enjoy the party.


December 11, 2008 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find this really bizarre! I doubt that I could use one of the pencils! I prefer my memories in photo albums. . . but then I've always been more of a traditional type of person. . .

December 15, 2008 at 3:31 AM  

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