I must admit this idea doesn't appeal to me. However, some people apparently approve. It seems that the portraits of deceased people that an Edmonton company is selling to their loved ones boast a uniquely personal touch. Each pencil sketch has a little something of the subject in it -- namely a tablespoon-sized portion of their cremated ashes.
Honor Industries takes the ashes to create a pencil, which an artist then uses to draw a lifelike portrait of the deceased based on a selected photograph. The portrait is encased in glass and framed. Customers can choose to have the pencil itself included in the display.
You can read more about this product in an article by Bill Mah in the The Edmonton (Alberta) Journal at http://tinyurl.com/3x5hzr.