Eddie, pictured with owner Joss McWilliam from Brooklet, contemplates the afterlife as a piece of pottery.
Eddie, pictured with owner Joss McWilliam from Brooklet, contemplates the afterlife as a piece of pottery.

WOULD YOU TURN YOUR PET INTO POTTERY?

By Will Jackson

IT'S the question every grieving pet-owner confronts eventually.

Once you've consoled the kids by telling them Spot's gone to a better place, there's always the issue of what to do with the body.

Now Brooklet-based actor and quirky entrepreneur Joss McWilliam has come along with a novel solution: Turn your pet into a piece of pottery.

"My mate Mark Warren actually came up with the idea," Joss said yesterday. "He's a ceramic artist and all-round creative guy, and he decided to experiment using cremated ashes as glazing on pottery."

For $220, Joss' company Ash Glaze Ceramics will glaze an urn with some of your pet's ashes, then seal the rest inside.

The process works surprisingly well, creating an interesting organic texture.

A veteran actor, Joss is best known for his role in the 1984 film The Coolangatta Kid and has appeared in many a classic Australian television drama including Blue Heelers, Water Rats, Pacific Drive and the Adventures of Skippy.

These days he does mostly stage acting and is currently performing in Hamlet with the Queensland Theatre Company, appropriately enough as a grave digger.

But with the downturn in Australian theatre and television production, he also has been forced to look to other sources of income.

"It's just a matter of me trying to make a buck," he said. "Last time I went to Centrelink I told them I'd rather eat dirt than go back on the dole."

While some people find the idea of turning pets into art weird, Joss reckons William Shakespeare got it right in Hamlet when he wrote: "In all the world, there's nothing, neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so."

Joss likes the idea of having a permanent, physical reminder of a pet, made from its essence, and is even keen to put his own pup, Eddie, on the mantelpiece eventually.

However, even Joss has his limits: "Mark's experimented with human ashes as well, but I find that really disturbing."



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