Unfinished Business…..

Unfinished business, I have heard that phrase so many times in my life.  I never really understood the significance of the phrase until this last month.  The knowledge that you have said everything, especially the important things, that was to be said, done everything that needed to be done, and been there for everything that was important.  No unfinished business.  I think that for once in my life, this term applies.   This knowledge has lessened the sadness of my Pop’s passing.

I was asked to make the vessel for my Pop’s ashes.  I was so honored to be asked to make a vessel for his final resting.  With the honor came a great pressing pressure to create something worthy and representative of this irreplaceable man.  I really had to search my heart and let the love I feel for him lead me.  My Mom had only one request, to paint a Celtic knot.  Not just any knot, but the knot that my Pop had bought her and she has worn on her coat lapel for years.   I have long been an admirer and collector of the Celtic knots, be it jewelery or decorations of some sort.  My Pop had brought me home many knots from his travels to Ireland and Scotland, a vase, necklaces, and earrings.  My treasures.

IMG_1733I have always used music while I paint to supplement, mold, and formulate my feelings into my creative endeavors.  This time it was so much more personal, but the music really helped block out thought and just let the creativity and love take over.  Tears flowed as well as the paint……..


The knot was finished and I added in Gaelic, “Till we meet again”.   The vessel was well underway, 2 cd’s in, and I could feel the spirit move me for the big finish!

My Pop was a very talented artist, especially with pencil and ink.  He made the decision to major in mathematics, it would pay the bills, and minor in art while he was in college.  He was a fantastic teacher, standing room only kind of teacher.  He also used his artistic talent to enhance his teaching.  Growing up, I remember the self-character drawing he made.  It would go on to represent him through out his life.  I have many notes he sent me where he drew his self-character instead of signing.  I decided to paint this on the lid of the vessel.

popscharacter1This turned out to be the hardest and the easiest part of this journey.  I hadn’t broken down until this moment, these were bitter sweet tears.  Purely selfish tears to tell the truth, I truly felt his presence as I transferred his artwork to the ceramics.  The Celtic music blasted in the background as I tried to see what I was painting through my tears. LOL.  The end result was just as it should be…………

completedvesselIt is funny how fate has it’s fickle way.  We arrived to transfer the ashes to the vessel, they should fit perfectly.  The Neptune Society had given me the exact size requirements.  My Pop was 6’6″ plus, not your average size.  As fate would always have it’s way, he wouldn’t fit in the vessel.  So, the personalized vessel was used as a display.  My Pop had the last say, this vessel is now on my Mom’s mantel and will stay there to hopefully comfort her with his artistic representation of himself.  He would have never been forgotten, but he is now prominently overseeing the everyday routines from his vantage point.

This journey made me realize I had been given such a strong sense of self from my Pop!  This gift was ever so present as I painted.  I knew that he had been with me while I painted and that I would forever be guided by his love.  He is with me always and there to be called upon when needed!  No more grieving, no unfinished business to mourn over.  All I could think of was “Till We Meet Again”………………………….



About designbycyn

Sonoma County, California ceramic enthusiasts Cyn and Steven Gradek have worked in the clay medium since 1996. They had a retail store where they held classes and provided the essentials for fellow ceramic enthusiasts. The business evolved into producing for other retail outlets and artist. Which quickly grew and they closed the retail storefront and concentrated on the wholesale business. With their 3 children raised and on their own, they had time to pursue their own creativity. Cyn learned how to embroider from her Grandma Cirner at a young age. After that she found sewing, cross stitching, crocheting, well you get the jist, LOL. She hasn't met a craft that she hasn't liked. Blogging was suggested by her youngest daughter, Colleen. At first it was a battle to get her to try it, but eventually Cyn started to enjoy the exercise. The blog on Cyn's website designbycyn.com was limiting, so Colleen got her started with Wordpress. Hope you enjoy her Adventures with Creativity!
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