The Absurd And Cool Custom-Made Coffins Gaining Popularity
The custom-made coffin industry is gaming popularity – and everything, from giant cream doughnuts to lego are available.
Ross Hall – a New Zealander – was writing his will when he decided he didn’t want a regular coffin, but instead a bright red casket, with flames painted down the sides. And he wanted others to have the option to choose their own custom-made coffin as well.
Customers of Hall’s Dying Art casket manufacturers can now be interred inside a miniature sailboat, fire truck or giant cream doughnut. You can get leopard and tiger prints and even the landscapes of Middle Earth. The bespoke coffins cost about $2,100 USD each – and can be either cremated or buried.
“We’ve even started putting LEDS in the coffins that sit inside the lid, running off batteries, and those batteries last for 30 days,” Hall tells VICE World News over the phone. “So if you’re getting buried, the lights are on for 30 days.”
At the very start, Hall was doing about one custom coffin every six months. But now he and his team produce a couple of hundred a year.
“We’re definitely getting more demand for it,” he says. “And I just think the whole industry’s taking a turn. I mean take the latest coffin I did, which was the cream doughnut: whoever would have thought that something like that would get carried into a chapel with a body inside it?”
The founder of Lifestyle Coffins, Corey Simpson, estimates personalised coffins account for up to five per cent of Australia’s entire coffin market and says his own sales have grown by 20 per cent in the last four years.
“The strangest coffin I’ve ever been asked to design had a photo of a really ripped guy with muscles and abs laying sideways on one side,” Simpson told VWN via email. “I superimposed the face of the deceased man onto the ripped guy and they revealed it at the end of the service. It looked like the deceased was ripped and looking at the crowd laughing.”
It’s a new approach to a normally solemn occasion – but Hall values the opportunity to elicit laughter through tears.
“It just takes the edge of that horrible thing of death,” he says. “We’re getting more and more customers as time goes on, and I think it’s because people are understanding that a funeral can be a celebration of life rather than the mourning of a death.”
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