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Ceramic Urns

Ceramic cremation urns have a long standing position throughout our collective history

Ceramic urns, for many, bring to mind the famous clay sculpting scene in the classic 1990 movie Ghost. In that scene, the characters played by Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze were not necessarily creating ceramic urns, but, actually, it’s unclear exactly what they were making. It very well could have been a ceramic urn. It goes without saying that the ceramic material itself is largely under-rated. This material is in fact one of the oldest known to man, and not just in the memorial industry. As many of us can recall seeing pots and pieces of everyday things like bowls or cups being unearthed in an excavation site, this material was one of the first used to create things that are still used today, and may have a larger part than one would expect in modern technology. But, for the purpose of this article, we will narrow or field down to the use of ceramic for cremation urns. Many of the first cincerary urns ever found were actually crafted from ceramics, and have survived the ages, which goes to show the true durability of the material.

A ceramic urn is one of the oldest vessels used to store cremated human remainsGoing back to the famous scene in Ghost, which has been voted in numerous polls as the most romantic movie moment of all time, beating out famous scenes from classic romantic movies such as Love Story, Titanic, and even When Harry Met Sally, Demi Moore begins by placing a piece of clay on a pottery wheel and slowly molding it into shape, just as everyone who throws ceramic urns does. This technique is actually the same for wheel-thrown ceramic vessels. The artist begins by wedging, or kneading, the clay to remove any air bubbles that would compromise the strength of the finished vessel. The next step is to mold the clay into a ball-shape, which is placed on the wheel. The artist then begins to turn the wheel, and as the clay spins, they shape it into first a rough cone, then shaped back into an even shape that closely resembles a hockey puck. Once the puck is formed, the artist begins the foundation of the piece by creating a whole in the center, then slowly builds the walls up until the clay becomes an elegant vessel for ashes. Once the urn is completely shaped, the artist bakes it into the 'bisque' stage, glazes or paints the pot, and then finally, re-fires it into what is the final, finished product. While not all urns are made in this fashion, wheel-throwing is one of the most common and ancient forms of making ceramics. In fact, another very commonly used method is to take a round ball of ceramic, place your thumb in it, and pinch the ball as you slowly turn it, creating a blown shape. This 'pinch-pot' method is not only one of the oldest forms of creating ceramic pottery of any kind, the vessels and sculptures it yields are nothing less than amazing, and the process itself has not changed very much since it was first discovered by our most ancient of ancestors. Eventually, Moore’s dead lover, played by Swayze, appears mysteriously next to her, and the two mold the pottery together in a very sensual, romantic performance that alludes to the very thing that ceramic urns, in general, represent: eternal unity, even after death. In truth, a ceramic cremation vessel not only holds a set of cremated remains, but holds a life of memories, love, and the true essence of our being.

Ceramic urns are certainly just a small offering of the urn types available today, but they are some of the few that are still are made according to an ancient technique that, in many ways, has changed very little over the centuries. And their method of production is just one way in which ceramic urns represent eternal unity. The other is their overall style. Many modern artists who design and make ceramic urns follow the traditions and styles use by cultures of yesteryear. Artist Otto Heino is just one example. Heino is a veteran maker of ceramic urns and other ceramic pottery, and he has been creating ceramic urns since the days of World War II. Many modern makers of ceramic urns follow his established style, but, even he mimics the style of artists who created ceramic urns centuries before. Like Demi Moore did with Patrick Swayze in the famous scene, Otto Heino builds ceramic urns today with the spirits of the past. And, no doubt, future builders of ceramic urns will do the same with Heino’s spirit. Other well known artists who make ceramic urns include Rudy Autio, Clayton Bailey, Peter Volkus, and Adrian Saxe. These people all create ceramic urns, and other ceramic pottery, while following the traditions established years before their time. They, in effect, are creating ceramic urns with the ghosts of century's worth of other artists giving them a helping hand, just as Patrick Swayze helped Demi Moore with her creation in the famous scene.

While ceramic pottery, in general, has a huge variety of uses, it is ceramic urns, with their practical connection to death by playing host to human ashes that, perhaps, best unites ceramic art to the rest of humanity, both past and present. People whose ashes are stored in ceramic pottery can are participating in an age-old human tradition (ceramic urns have been, for centuries, one of the most common products of ceramic art), but, because ceramic urns are still among the most sturdy urns available, the people who they memorialize will be remembered for centuries. There is truly nothing like an urn that is handmade, as it is not only entirely unique, but every part of the vessel has been carefully and lovingly shaped into a work of art that will celebrate a life well lived.

For the love of the art and spirit that goes into the creation of each ceramic cremation vessel, Memorials.com has created a beautiful collection of these elegant and otherwordly urns. With the extensive selection offered, we are sure that there is a beautiful piece to suite any taste or need.

See all your Ceramic Urns choices

 
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