The death of a loved one shouldn’t mean a loss to intimacy, thanks to an urn in the shape of a sex toy. 21 Grams, created by designer Mark Sturkenboom from Utrecht, the Netherlands, consists of a hollow glass dildo with an urn inside for your deceased partner’s ashen remains. The amorous accessory comes with a ‘memory box’, complete with a built-in perfume diffuser and speaker which serve as a reminder of your loved one’s favorite scent and song. But Sturkenboom, 31, tells Metro his creation is less of a ‘sex toy’ than a ‘work of art’: “Describing it as [a dildo] takes away from exactly what I'm trying to do with my work – which is to leave room for interpretation and make people wonder.”

Q: Where did you come up with the idea for a dildo-urn?

– I sometimes help an elderly lady with her groceries and she has an urn standing near the window with the remains of her husband. She always speaks with so much love about him but the jar he was in didn't reflect that at all. At the same time, I read an article about widows, their need for intimacy and the taboos regarding that. So I thought if I can combine these themes and make an object that is about love, longing and intimacy and try to open a new window for the way we reminisce someone.

Q: But isn’t this a bit necrophilic?

– The reference to sexual needs is nothing more then a spark to jumpstart new ideas and look at these themes differently. If people think its intention is purely as a 'sex toy’, then it's sad. The urn is more a intimacy-memory reference. I never used the term 'dildo' or 'sex toy’ in the creation process. It makes it flat. Describing it as [a dildo] takes away exactly that I'm trying to do with my work – which is to leave room for interpretation and make people wonder. Ultimately, it’s a work of art about new ideas and feelings.

Q: Do you have customers for ’21 Grams’?

– Yes, they love it. I'm sure they are fond of the idea about love and use the box as a shrine, like most of us would do. They also understand the humor and delicacy so close to each other. 

Q: What are your future plans?

– Maybe it would be nice to create a series where the annotation is not about 'sex' as the Internet makes it out to be but about different things. It’s all about building on the concept of a shrine and stimulating people to mourn with a deeper meaning than we are doing now.