My neighbor recently asked me how I felt about creating such a beautiful item just to have it buried or cremated, gone forever. I did my best to answer...
I have been closely connected to rites of passage for my whole life, having gone through three of my own ceremonies and helped create or played a leading part in numerous others for my loved ones. One very key part to ceremony is the physical representation and symbol of a deep emotional shift, the crossing of a threshold, and the layered adjustments that follow. To weave a coffin with my hands, knowing that a human body will be laid in it and in turn, laid in the ground to return to dirt, I see each weaving rod representing a story in that person's life, a nugget of experience or love to be woven into the person they became in their life. I use my own experience and love to create a representation of that complex life, and it is a gift for me to see it feed the earth that in turn feeds me. Life and death are inherently tied. Everything that has ever been created must die, and for anything to change, part of it dies in order to do so.
Some facts about willow caskets:
- The original meaning of the word coffin is Greek and essentially translates to "basket". Casket comes from the Old English/French "cassette", a small box for valuables. Weaving coffins with willow is a very, very old tradition and can be found anywhere on the globe that willow grows, which is a great many places!
- Being a big basket and very strong and durable (if kept dry), you can use one of these as just that, and store sweaters, kids' toys, blankets, etc. in your house and admire it's beauty for years before it serves its' final function. A woven coffin makes a stunning coffee table. You'll never again have to scramble for a conversation topic!
- A willow casket is super strong! Tested weight is around 300 lbs. So no worrying about the bottom giving out on the way to the burial site. And yes, some folks weigh more than 300 lbs. Ask me about bigger coffins with extra weight bearing re-enforcement when you order.
- I have a stock of caskets, ready to sell, in various sizes ranging from 5' to 6' 6". All caskets have made-to-size unbleached muslin liners and lids.
- $2,300 - $2,800 sliding scale.
- Non-returnable deposit of $600 for material cost. (Included in final price).
- Delivery within 300 miles of Montague, MA for additional $200. If you live outside this radius, we can meet halfway or talk about shipping. My intention is to keep this business local and environmentally sustainable.
- Please inquire about baby, child and pet coffins. Prices will differ from the standard adult coffin.
Want to learn more about green burial and where you can be buried in one of these caskets? Check out the green burial page on this site and the links listed there.