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13 November 2014

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You are in: Nottingham > People > Your stories > The birth of Crazy Coffins in Notts

One of the 'Crazy Coffins'

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The birth of Crazy Coffins in Notts

The director of a Nottinghamshire coffin and casket manufacturers explains how they started making works of art.

A coffin and casket company based in Bulwell, Nottingham has been featured in the national newspapers, national television and now is making a name for themselves in Europe. Why? They make 'crazy coffins'.

David Crampton, director of Vic Fearn Co. Ltd, explains how they started building these coffins with a difference.

"Really by accident. It was not an idea of ours. We'd been painting coffins for many years. Then, out of the blue, someone rang us and asked if we could make an aeroplane. Quite a challenge. Something different. We said 'why not?'. That was about eight or nine years ago."

In recent times the demand for these unusually shaped coffins has increased.

The Ballet Shoe Coffin

The Ballet Shoe Coffin

"It's a very small part of our business but... it's simply grown and grown and grown." The greatest interest has been in the last few years."

"We made Paula Yates' coffin. A traditional coffin with a special finish. A freelance photographer came down to the factory in Nottingham. While he was there he thought we were making models as well as coffins because we were making unusual shapes... we explained and he sold the story to the News of the World. A few days later we appeared in The Sun with the title 'Crazy Coffins'. The name was born from that day."

The Skateboard coffin

The Skateboard coffin

"What has been so pleasing is that they have been recognised in art form. We are going to museums that deal with art (and putting on exhibitions). We're not just coffins anymore but pieces of art."

Coffins are now being ordered by people before they die and being used in the home. A couple in Newark have had made a pair of coffin canal boats. You can have coffins that double up as bookcases, coffee tables, sofas...

The Sled coffin

The Sled coffin

"Would you tempt fate and sit on it? When you see it out on exhibition you'd be amazed. I've sat and had a cup of tea for about an hour near this piece and you'd be suprised by the reaction of people..."

And future coffins in the making?

"We've taken a commission to make a torpedo for a Star Trek fan... we've just taken a commission to build a giant hotdog coffin for a chap in Glasgow... he wants the sausage, he wants the mustard and he wants the onions on top."

last updated: 24/09/2008 at 11:12
created: 29/09/2005

You are in: Nottingham > People > Your stories > The birth of Crazy Coffins in Notts

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