This article delves into all the various forms of cremation art. It really hits at home for me as I have made an adaptation of my turned wooden sculpture, that I refer as urn artistry. I, however, am not the only artisan that is producing finer quality works of cremation art.
So… what is Cremation Art?
Cremation Art – a term describing the various forms of art/sculpture which hold the cremains of a person or pet. Additionally, some forms of cremation art are created as a memorial or tribute to a loved one or animal. In this case they may or may not have some physical component of the loved one. There are works of cremation art in just about every medium.
Cremation Art by Medium
If you are like me, you looked at the dozen or so mass-market online urn brokers and weren’t that impressed with the level of quality. They, the online sites, have a lot of options to look at and an affordable price point. However, the styles they offer are limited and they look a bit cheap, in my opinion.
As with all artwork the price ranges on these pieces are all over the place. Infused glass beads are fairly reasonable price wise. My turned wooden urns start around $200, and costs go way up from there. I have seen some cremation glass sculpture for several thousands of dollars.
I wrote an article regarding urn size selection – where I suggest families consider what their plans are for the cremains before figuring out vessel size. Cremation art in many cases only requires a small portion of the actual cremains. Thus, from a planning point of view, it greatly expands the possibilities of what to do with the ashes from your pet or keepsake for your loved one.
So lets look at the cremation art by category…
Cremation Glass Art
Glass work may be the most common in the cremation art space, as there are several artisans making cremation glass. A small portion of ashes are infused with the molten glass to make beads, memorial pieces, and even larger sculpture. There is a lot of infused glass beads and pendants made for all types of jewelry. Everything from rings and bracelets to necklaces and brooches.
Blown glass cremation urns are also another type of cremation glass work. Many online urn sites sell these pieces. However, I would recommend searching for the individual artisans that make the pieces themselves as their styles tend to look less mass produced. Many of the urns sold on the online urn companies are made overseas in India, Vietnam, and China. The glass urns they offer are somewhat prettier than a traditional brass urn. Still, I find most lack an element of refinement that you would expect from an artisan with many years of experience.
Cremation jewelry has very old roots, as humans have been making memorials to their loved ones out of jewelry for thousands of years. However, the practice really took off in the Victorian era as black jewelry made of Jet came into fashion. Read here for more on cremation jewelry. By and large many of the modern jewelry pieces have some container incorporated into their designs intended to hold a small pinch of cremains.
Cremation jewelry is very diverse not only in the styles and materials but the quality and designs of the items produced. This medium is very popular and the main vendors of these items literally have thousands of selections available to choose. Most of those pieces are sold in the price ranges of $25-$200 generally.
I find the individual jewelry companies/artisans and the producers of cremation diamonds to be the more interesting players in this space. Cremation diamonds are made from the ashes of your loved one or pet and they are grown into diamonds or gemstones. These diamonds and gemstones come in a wide range of colors.
As with most things, the individual artisans are producing designs and styles that have a higher quality standard. The cost of these pieces reflect that quality. Much of the online cremation jewelry has a look of being mass produced.
The main attraction that I see in artistic urns is the quality standard. The standard for a cremation urn is typical bronze, metal, or porcelain urn with a characteristic urn style. Proportionally that style isn’t that appealing, and often when different higher quality materials are used it still conjures that same urn feeling.
Here are some artistic urns in different mediums…