Macabre Merriment

A good friend recently turned 30; in honor of the milestone, he hosted an Irish wake for his dearly departed youth. There were flowers, a casket constructed of cardboard boxes, eulogies by friends sounding suspiciously like an old-fashion roast – and of course, barbeque. Naturally.

I hinted at the special gift Jack was working on for the occasion previously, but had not unveiled the details for fear of ruining the surprise.

Jack had been developing the design of the coffin itself for weeks, basing his model on a classic pine box and considering the dimension of the bottle it would eventually enclose.

With the box itself completed, I set myself to sewing cushions for the interior. I chose a dark green satin that I had on hand, and made a coffin-shaped pillow with a depression in which we could nestle the bottle of wine. Having plenty of scraps from cutting the odd angles of the coffin shape, I decided to make a smaller, rectangular pillow to support the neck of the bottle.

After scribbling out a rhyme to accompany the wine, we made a quick call to Mark’s mother to learn his full (including confirmation!) name. Jack wanted to preserve the unfinished nature of his pine box, so I lettered a paper sash to tuck into the lid identifying the coffin.

And of course, the obligatory shot of the birthday boy – this last image courtesy Will Beecher.

Happy 30th, Mark!

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