How Funeral Urns are Made
By Vaughn Balchunas
Cremation is widely accepted and practiced around the
world and is slowly gaining popularity in the states.
But many of us who are opting for cremation have never
thought about how we might memorialize our loved ones
including our pets.
There are many types of funeral urns and processes for
making them. In general, cremation urns are designed to
hold cremated remains securely. After a deceased body is
subjected to the high heat used in cremation, it can be
pulverized for easy placement in a columbarium, buried,
or kept at home.
Many of today's urns are made by master craftsmen and
artists. These cremation urns are beautiful works of art
in their own right and many people prefer to display
them openly. Today family and friends are choosing
keepsake urns or memorial jewelry like lockets and urn
necklaces. These keepsakes can hold a small amount of
sacred ground, funeral flowers, cremains, clothing,
hair, or anything meaningful.
There are hundreds of funeral urns to choose from and
materials vary including wood, metal, ceramic, stone and
even bio-degradable material like natural fiber and
salt. The methods of creating funeral urns are varied as
well. The most common are:
Wrought or Fabricated Urns
These are methods used in metallic materials like
stainless steel, copper or bronze and may include one or
a combination of the following: hammering, bending,
welding, shearing or forming. These methods produce
cost-friendly urns and are relatively easy to do. The
methods usually result in urns with a satiny finish,
allowing the surfaces to be engraved with personalized
messages or inscriptions.
This is a method usually done with bronze and requires
high heat to melt the metal. It is poured into a mold
that usually has a reverse image, called the negative.
This method produces a funerary urn with very beautiful
and detailed designs. However, since it requires great
time and skills, it can be costly.
Another method used with bronze urns is the lost wax
method, where a rubber mold is used to form a temporary
wax sculpture and coated with a liquefied form of
ceramic. Once heated, the wax then melts, hence the term
'lost wax'. The resulting shell is then used as the mold
for the liquid bronze.
This method creates round-shaped urns and is limited to
most metals including pewter. Flat sheets are spun on a
lathe and are gradually shaped to form a round urn. Like
the fabrication method, this technique is only limited
to a satiny finish. However, the finished product is
easy to engrave and personalize.
Cloisonne involves hammering and soldering an
intricately-designed copper wire netting onto a shaped
urn. Different-colored enamels are then applied on the
spaces formed by the copper wires and the urn is fired.
The firing is performed several times until the enamel
fills the spaces perfectly. The urn is then scored by
hand and polished.
Tips for choosing funeral urns
First, consider what the burial rites are. Some families
prefer to keep the cremated remains in a temporary urn
for a scattering ceremony later on. For this type of
burial rite, they may want to consider using temporary
urns or bio-degradable urns. If you plan to keep a small
amount of the cremated remains as a keepsake, consider
getting keepsake urns or memorial jewelry.
If the burial rite involves land or deep water,
bio-degradable urns are the perfect choice. You can
house the remains securely and once buried in the soil
or deep water, the urn will then slowly degrade.
If, however, the family prefers to keep all the cremated
remains either in a mausoleum or at home, it would be a
good idea to get a durable urn to house the remains.
This way, they will be assured that the remains are safe
and secure in an urn that will last for many years.
Memorial Urns offers a wide selection of funeral urns
and cremation jewelry for humans and their pets. Find
out more about memorializing your loved one at