I accepted that I may be alone forever.
I submitted to the possibility, but stayed in motion.
I pushed forward.
I stood in my crib with my arms open and extended.
I opened my hands then folded my fingers info fists over and over even after the tears stopped.
I was willing nourishment.
I accepted that I was alone, but continued on.
September 2nd, 1983 – May 10th, 2021
Jesse and Minhi met at Pilchuck Glass School in 2012. The two bonded over a shared passion for combining glass and metal in a contemporary and conceptual fashion. Shortly after meeting, the two artists partnered and made a home together in Seattle, WA where they collaborated as artists, in love and in life. After years of working the rat race of production glass, their efforts came together in creating an “artist compound” where they invited promising artists to live and work at their homemade micro hotshop on the property they purchased in Seattle. The two thought of this space as an incubator “for fine art ahead of it’s time.” The household offered an affordable living/studio space situated within the city known to be the mecca of glass art.
In 2016, Jesse and Minhi partnered with a startup company, Artful Ashes. The two artists established manufacturing of the iconic glass memorials while elevating the surrounding glass community. “We wanted to give young artists an opportunity to thrive in an industry that is notoriously difficult to find footing.” With the help of founders Greg and Christina Dale, and through careful consideration of partnering with public access studios in the area, Jesse and Minhi were able to build a team which offered a livable wage. In addition to appropriate pay for the specialized skills necessary in glassmaking, the opportunity offered adequate time off of the hotshop floor to enable their team of artists to simultaneously grow their own artistic practice.
In 2019, Jesse England was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer called MPNST (malignanat peripherial nerve sheath tumor). He endured a below the knee amputation, radiation, chemotherapy, and trial drugs. The couple was married in 2020, but despite his best efforts to fight this insidious cancer, nine short months later, Jesse lost his fight in May of 2021.
Minhi has since made it her life’s mission to bring people together to share their stories of grief, loss, and trauma in the hopes that despite the suffering, those who are left behind can find solace and comfort in one another. She continues to work with grieving clients at Artful Ashes, saying,
“Now more than ever, it feels like every decision I have made leading up to this moment was meant to be, I can say without a doubt that I have a purpose.”
Minhi developed the Angel Wings Pendant with the help of her late partner, Jesse. To this day, she is still the sole maker of this wearable memorial, each one handmade in the studio she built with her deceased husband. This design symbolizes her past, her love, and her mission to carry on the legacy she created with Jesse.
Pictured is Minhi wearing her design of the Angel Wings Pendant
For information on how to purchase an Artful Ashes Memorial, please click the link below.