A Place to Rest

In one of the most original, sad, and, therefore, daunting tasks I’ve ever heard of, Natascha Whitehurst is using her talent for welding to fabricate her own parents’ tombstones.

Instead of the usual headstones, Natascha is crafting two oak stumps (made from a water heater tank), connected by a root (made from an exhaust pipe), bearing their names and dates etched in the metal.

Welder honors her Mother & Father

By Laura Gutschke
Posted January 2, 2010

TUSCOLA — Rusted metal scrap objects long past their original function are finding new life as art at the hands of Natascha Whitehurst.

One of her current projects also is her most personal. She is crafting out of a discarded water heater’s inner steel tank a double tombstone for her parents. The tombstone looks like two oak stumps connected by a root, to be made out of a vehicle exhaust pipe.

“Instead of buying new, I like using what is already out there,” Whitehurst said.

Rows of small welding beads will run down the side of the tank to resemble bark. On top of the 18-inch tree stump for her mother, Janice Sadler, who died on Jan. 1, 2009, will be a watering can to symbolize her nurturing of the family.

A rifle will be leaning against the stump for her father, Harley Sadler, who continues to work as a truck driver today, to represent his providing for the family and his love of hunting.


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