Jan 13, 2015
The origin of funeral directing in America began with artistry. Furniture builders, woodworkers and other craftsmen were called upon to build coffins for our nation’s fallen after the Civil War. As the death toll began to rise, skilled tradesman, who often worked under the title, “Furniture Maker and Undertaker”, were often needed to measure the deceased, prepare the body for viewing and assist with the burial. It was these artisans that laid the foundation of the funeral profession.
The artistic spirit of our nation’s first undertakers lives on in the creative pursuits of funeral directors today. The delicate art of embalming requires focus, excellent eye-hand coordination and an eye for detail, so it’s no surprise that many funeral professionals are creatively gifted. We were curious what other artistic skills and passions funeral directors possessed, so we reached out to our clients and asked them to share their creative talent with us. The response blew us away.
Each month, ASD will be featuring a different funeral director artist on our blog. This month, we are pleased to share photos from Forensic Sculptor, Leslie Price of Baldwin-Fairchild Oaklawn Park Cemetery & Funeral Home in Sanford, FL.
A photo of Leslie working on a forensic sculpture during a workshop she completed that was taught by the foremost authority on forensic art in the world.
Leslie’s interest in sculpture began when she was in mortuary school 13 years ago. She was learning about facial reconstruction in the embalming process and became fascinated with the process. According to Leslie, forensic sculpture is used in a law enforcement arena when an agency has unidentified skeletal remains they cannot identify through DNA or other testing. A forensic sculptor uses a combination of anatomical knowledge, anthropological data and innate artistic ability to reconstruct what the person’s face would have looked like in life.
A photo of the finished product Leslie completed during her workshop in Scottsdale, AZ.
Leslie says she thinks her “retirement job” someday will be to volunteer to help local law enforcement agencies who can’t afford to keep a forensic artist on staff.
The combination of both artistic talent and scientific knowledge needed to create a forensic sculpture is incredibly impressive. Thank you to Leslie Price for allowing ASD to share your work on our blog.
Click here to see December’s Funeral Director Artist of the Month.
ASD’s “Funeral Director Artist of the Month” Series
Are you a craftsman, woodworker, painter, sculptor or another kind of artisan? ASD is doing a special feature on funeral directors who are artistically talented. Tell us about your talent and send us a photo of your work so we can show others what you do when you’re not doing outstanding work at your funeral home. Please email all photos and information to jess.fowler@myASD.com.
Click here to learn how ASD’s solutions for funeral professionals can give you more time to pursue your creative passions.
About The Author
Jess Farren (Fowler)
Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess@myASD.com