Sunday, June 26, 2016

Planning for the End of Casket Making

I think everyone can tell that I am a planner - an engineer - someone who always has a 10-year plan in my head (or on paper).  So it should be no surprise that I have planned for a graceful end to the casket making as well.

Richard and I sat down a month ago and really plotted things out.  We are right now nearing the end of the caskets that are in the queue that are on order from students and we wanted to plan forward for those that might be ordered, what I need for my project class upcoming, and his end to making them.

Richard will be retiring in 2021 and since this is already his second career (he used to own and operate a large engineering plastics plant), he and his lovely wife have already started traveling quite a bit (Iran was a fantastic trip they took just last year and he just got back from a trip to Ireland).  So we made some hard decisions on when to wrap up making boxes and put January 2021 as the date of the last deliveries.  Based on our historic volume, I put in orders for hardware and locks a month ago to tide us through 2019 and then we will plan our last wrap-up order of hardware and locks.  We also estimated how many caskets could be made between now and then.

This means that students who are thinking about ordering a casket should consider putting it on order
to claim a spot in the queue.  While January 2021 seems like a long time in the future - in 'casket years' it is not.  Since most people put their caskets on order in a 24-month payment cycle - that backs it up to December 2018.  And realistically, he can't make 100 caskets for delivery the same day!  And realistically, I can't store dozens of caskets here either.  So we make them to order.

I wanted to give all the students past, present and future a long warning period that we would stop making caskets because of the long payment cycles and making time.  I am not sure yet when we will have to stop taking orders - as that will be a fluid thing based on how many are in the queue and the time frame to manufacture any remaining locks needed.  But it could be six-nine months before he stops making them.

If anyone wants to reserve one and needs to go on a longer payment plan than offered - let me know and we can work something out.  I have streamlined the ordering method on my website to make it easier to get that done.

Just to recap - there are four full-sized cabinet options available that range from $375 - $2640.  And don't be fooled by the lesser priced options as being too simple.  In fact, the simplicity allows for even greater embellishing and 'tricking' out.  Some students have made doors in the lids by adding wood dividers that are embroidered, installed beautiful music boxes in the bottoms and false bottoms to expand the complexity, and I know there are gardens underway slowing growing in silk inside some of the cavities!  So in many ways the most inexpensive of the caskets will end up some of the most stunning and complex.

And yes - that was planned...



  1. How does this last class connect with Part II?


  2. If you mean, will I run the Part II afterwards - yes - I just haven't set the date. They are different as one is all about how to design/choose embroidery types/cover the casket and the second one is all about needlelace and raised embroidery. They can be taken at the same time or out of order or only one.

  3. Michele SilberhornJune 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    Will you be stopping making the mirrors at the same time?

  4. Nope - the mirrors are made by a different artisan - he makes the locks/hardware as well. While also not a spring chicken -he hasn't informed me of an end.

  5. I ordered a casket but I am confused did I sign up for the second part of cabinets of curiosity I hope I did.