Cremation Urns Are Works of Art

The funeral industry is quick to provide cremation urn products for every need, including pet, keepsake, scattering and full sized urns. Since original and custom made cremation urns have also suffered from the generic mass production and marketing epidemic, the cremation urns that is made from inner inspiration into true works of art are few and far between. Cremation urns are not generally thought of as works of art, but some special artists are redefining the cremation urn image.

One such artist is Sharon Hornstein of Sacred Journey Vessels. Her true desire to bring excellence to the cremation urn industry is visible in every piece, and in every brush stroke. Her career as an urn artist literally started as a dream in which her departed husband compared a table full of generic urns to that of her artwork urn creation. Sharon says “The message, to me, was that I was not to create a company in which the urns could be mass produced. When my company expands and I need to hire artists to help me accommodate the vast number of orders, I can see how it can be done and still keep my inner promise to be true to my dream.”

Sharon’s eye for color and form is the key to the originality of her designs. The personality each cremation urn has is reminiscent of detailed tattoo art at its finest. The tattoo culturists is not the only urn residents however, as any person would have to agree that the paintings are high quality and imaginative.

An original design, Indian Birds, pulsates with a vibrant gold and red contrasts background. An interpretive design of Indian flavored bordering and pictographic images lends an authentic native American aura to the urn-shaped canvas. The top of the lid features additional artwork of a circular design that appears to be both a flower and a midday sun in the sky. Stylized lines reach outward from this image to other rippled effect levels in the sky.

The Indian Birds design is only one of her sixteen original painted designs. Her creativity has delved into the religious sector with respectful depictions of an Angel and Mary and Baby, Shiva and the Bali Goddess. Buddha has been rendered with blue hues and shades in a sitting position with one hand holding his bowl. A royal blue halo surrounds his head, focusing the specter’s eyes to the center of the piece. The lid is centered with a yin/yang symbol and the border possibly alludes to doves amid its detail work.

Among the line of fanciful cremation urns, such as the Hot Air Balloons and Fishing, is the custom made Stained Glass Windows line. Intricate outside panel detailing works with the four side windows, individually chosen and painted to revolve around various themes or a person’s greatest moments in life, to present an illustrious memorial.

The artist speaks of her products as a heartfelt creation, not only as a finished urn. “I actually consider these urns to be a blessing, not only to those who remain, but to those departed, as well. I believe that life continues in another form after death so that it is possible to appreciate beautiful color and form from that prospective, too.”

Sharon’s urns can be viewed or ordered at www.sacredjourneyvessels.com. The urns are also presented by a select group of funeral directors. Unfortunately, Sharon Hornstein is not planning to feature her art at any galleries in the near future.

Urns come in two sizes. Medium is 9 inches tall and holds 115 cubic inches, with prices ranging from $245- $645. Large is 9.75 inches tall and holds 230 cubic inches, with prices ranging from $295- $695. Urns for pets only come in medium, with a cost of $265. Payment is placed through PayPal, with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express and electronic checks accepted.

Sharon is not the only artist to have brought her dream to life. Judith Motzkin has also followed her dream of being a successful artist. Judith didn’t plan to be an urn artist. “I did not set out to make urns, but instead found that the ceramic woven lidded flame painted vessels I was making were being chosen as urns for ashes. What an honor! I hope they carry with them the meditative spirit with which I make them, inspired by river stones, skies and sunsets.”

Her artistry is not realism or abstract, but rather an impression of the randomness of nature. The process, flame painting, is tedious and time consuming yet, rewarding. Although similar techniques have been used through the ages, Judith has coined the phrase ‘flame painting’ to describe her somewhat unique process.

Judith shapes her vessels on a potter’s wheel using fine grained white clay. While the clay is still wet, the pot is then burnished to a glass-like smoothness. It is through burnishing that the pots shine as there is no glaze applied. When the clay is dry, the pot then is coated with a silky, very fine clay suspension, earth seal. The vessels will go through several burnishing and seals before it is ready to be fired in a kiln for the first time.

Sawdust and straw that has been soaked in various minerals are then wrapped and applied in a nesting fashion before being fired in the kiln for the last time. Flames burn away the volatile substances, while the mineral stains remain in the polished clay. The coloring is dependant on the minerals used, and, although a certain amount of production control is held by the artist, the final effects is a mystifying sight. The unpredictable look of the finished product is of an earthy quality that is both a respectful elegance and an uncommon beauty.

Each and every lid has a woven clay inlay detail, with a solid clay backing 1 inch behind. Lids are flanged and suitable for sealing to prevent accidental spillage of remains.

With a keen eye or a little imagination, subtle images can be seen in the accidental forming of colors and shapes. These works of art is basically made of three groupings of designs for showcasing sales, the Riverstone set, the Horizon Mist and the Mixed set. These descriptions does not imply a true sense of the excessive degrees in variations. The accidental palettes virtually lends the magic of nature to the creation, and the endless characteristics found in nature. It is this reason that there could be more categories than there are. However, the artist’s time is limited and as such, the artist isn’t compelled to sacrifice other projects in order to produce larger numbers of artwork urns.

The gallery is at http://spiritkeeper-urns.com/ . Available forms are elongated oval or a wider ‘top-shaped’ oval. The individual urns are approximately 8-9 inches in height with a volume of 220 cubic inches. Companion urns, for the combination of remain sources, are larger with a height of 9-11 inches and 450 cubic inches. Keepsake urns are also available, at a height of 4-6 inches and 100 cubic inches. Keepsake urns are perfect for the division of ashes between loved ones, or for the containment of pet remains.

Urns, unless bought through Funeria, must be selected online, and reserved by it’s unique identification number. Payment for purchases can be made through PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, C.O.D. or check. Price ranges from $200 for the smallest keepsake to $750 for the large companion size.

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