Artistic exit strategy

Artist crafts money-saving coffins
By Beth A. Birmingham | Jul 10, 2014
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Marvon Hupper believes in saving money when the time comes to meet his maker. He has added coffin-making to his studio offerings in Port Clyde.

Port Clyde — As the old saying goes, "there are two certainties in life — death and taxes." Artist Marvon Hupper has come up with an idea to save people money on one of those.

From an 144-square-foot studio in Port Clyde, Hupper offers a variety of unique creations — now including pine coffins.

The artist added coffin-making to his sign a few months ago after constructing his first version of the new, inexpensive way to go.

"I personally build these hand-crafted coffins in my shop with tender loving care one at a time," said Hupper. It takes him approximately a day and a half to make one.

The coffins are built to fit a burial vault and also conform to the requirements of a green cemetery. They are constructed out of pine, which is a biodegradable wood and have wooden handles on both sides. The removable head rest — for open coffin viewing — has a built-in spot for storage following the service.

Hupper researched the cost of funerals and was shocked. He found caskets starting at $985 all the way up to $16,000, or if one is cremated the cheapest is a specially designed cardboard box between $150 and $475.

"And those don't include any of the other burial services," said Hupper, who plans on being buried in one of his creations. "My wife thinks I'm nuts."

"I cannot envision spending thousands of dollars on a plastic box to be viewed for an hour or so, then buried in the ground forever," he added, "not while there are so many hungry and hurting people in this world that need help."

"The coffins can be used for storage, like a window box or book case, until its primary use is needed," said Hupper.

Other crafts the artist has on display are paintings, buoys, and a hand-crafted game called Mini Toc, similar to Chinese checkers.

Hupper's studio is located at 376 Glenmere Road in Port Clyde.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Demonstrating the removable head rest for viewing purposes, Marvon Hupper handcrafts pine coffins at his studio in Port Clyde. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Another creation artist Marvon Hupper has handcrafted is this board game Mini Toc, similar to Chinese checkers. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Paintings and hand-painted lobster buoys are other items offered at Marvon Hupper's studio in Port Clyde. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Artist Marvon Hupper recently added coffin maker to his studio sign in Port Clyde. He designs pine coffins to help save money on burial expenses. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Marlene W Dodge | Jul 10, 2014 11:59

Marvon you have come a long way since our motorcycling days.  You are and always have been a very creative person.

 



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Beth Birmingham
Staff Reporter
594-4401 ext. 125
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Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.

Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.

Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.

Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.

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