This page contains information on my view on making urns, product specifics, and frequently asked questions. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact me here.
My View on Urn Making
Making urns is a natural adaptation of my sculpture, as proportion and form are the main focus. The patterning, tones, and colors are all a product of the wood itself. I use this approach to create a high quality vessel that is functional, unique, and offers a wide array of shapes, sizes, proportions, and colors. Each piece is an original, and I strive for people think of it more as sculpture.
Why choose one of my cremation urns?
I began making urns because I felt that the majority of options on the market lacked an element of uniqueness. Additionally, I believe that there is great interest in having an urn that is high quality and one of a kind. I also sought to create an urn that is subtle and would blend into any setting. I offer a product that is proportioned well, with a simple and beautiful shape. My cremation urns are sculpture and are unique, no two of which are exactly alike. All vessels are completely organic and reclaimed from Southern domestic hardwoods. The majority of these trees have reached the end of their lifecycle. Lastly, each urn is handmade and meant to honor the lives of whom they memorialize.
How large of an urn do I need?
The general rule of thumb is 1 cubic inch of ash is produced per pound. So for example 180 lbs = 180 cubic inches.
This is an approximation, since the amount of cremated remains are based more on bone size and bone density rather than weight. The rule of thumb will get you close but it is possible for the actual amount to be slightly over or under. That being said, I generally like to suggest that a purchaser would err on the conservative side and select an urn that is a bit larger than what the calculation gives. Refer to my blog post here for a more elaborate answer.
Why are there so many sizes of urns?
I don’t set out to make an urn with an exact size in mind. I put a block of wood on the lathe and create what form looks the best to me, and the size of the urn works out however it does.
With that in mind there are a few general categories of urns that I do make.
Keepsake Urns (20-100 cubic inches) : these are smaller sized urns for purposes where a portion of the cremated remains are needed to be contained.
Pet Urns (20-150 cubic inches) : also smaller sized urns gauged for capacities usually less than 100 cubic inches
Individual Urns (100-300 cubic inches) : these are standard sized urns intended to hold the total amount of cremated remains.
Companion or Double Urns (200 cubic inches and greater) : are urns that are intended to hold two or more individuals.
Openings and Bases
Does the urn seal and how large is the opening?
All of the urns that I make have finials (that function as the lid) that are hand-threaded into the body of the urn. Once the finial has been screwed onto the vessel, it is closed and there is no need to use silicon or epoxy to seal the lid. Currently the finials are made either out of African Blackwood or American Persimmon as those species are dense and fine grained enough cut a quality thread. I prefer to work exclusively out of American hardwoods. However, for this purpose there are very few species of American hardwoods that will cut a quality thread, so the blackwood is a nice alternative.
The opening sizes on the urns vary, but they range from 3/4″ to 1-1/4″ in diameter.
How stable is the urn, will it tip over?
It is a pretty complicated question, though in general I view the urns to be stable and I will not list any item for sale that I believe has undue risk of tipping over.
That being said some urn shapes are more naturally stable than others, i.e. having the bulk of their volume in the lower half of the vessel. So if you the purchaser would like to err on the side of caution, then choose a shape that has the widest points at or below the midheight area of the vessel.
How do you fill the urn?
Ideally you would have your urn ready so that whomever you are dealing with for the cremation services would be able to fill the urn for you. That, however, is not always the case, and that filling your urn can either be emotionally challenging or a task that you may prefer not to do.
In the advent that you would prefer someone else to handle the filling of the urn, if you are able to, contact the providers of the cremation services and ask if they would handle filling the urn for you. You may also be able to contact a local funeral home and see if they would provide that service for you as well.
If you are inclined to fill the urn yourself, there are a few videos on YouTube that might give you some good ideas as far as handling the cremated remains in their current containers and how to transfer them to your new vessel. If you need further help, please feel free to contact me.
How do I go about ordering an urn?
Ordering information can be found in my resource section here. Please read through the item selection information as well.