Ceramic Urns and Raku Urns

Ceramic urns for ashes and raku urns are chosen by families looking for durability combined with artistry. Every ceramic urn and raku urn for ashes is handcrafted by an artist and thus is unique in its final shape and glazing effects.

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Ceramic urns are made by hand of clay, glazed to create beautiful color effects, and then fired in a kiln to make a durable container for ashes. People have created ceramic urns to hold ashes for hundreds of years. Families who choose ceramic urns today are remembering a loved one in a time-honored way.

Ceramic Urns ~ Frequently Asked Questions

What are ceramic urns for ashes?

Ceramic urns for ashes are round vessels with lids made by ceramic / pottery artists using skills and techniques that have been passed down for centuries. Ceramic urns are made of clay -- often a specific type called porcelain. Ceramic urns are often turned on a potter's wheel, then glazed using special color pigments designed for pottery, and then fired in a kiln to make the urn hard and durable. Each ceramic urn is unique because the round vessel is made by hand, the color pigments are applied by hand -- and thus unique to each piece, and the firing can impact the final product due to heat variations. The artistry of ceramic urns can be incredible.

What is a raku urn?

A raku urn for ashes is a type of ceramic urn that uses a unique process when the urn is fired in the kiln. Inspired by Japanese pottery techniques, raku generally refers to a process where pottery is removed from the kiln while bright red / high heat and placed it into containers with combustible materials such as straw, leaves, and plant materials. Once the materials ignite, the containers are closed. This produces an intense reduction atmosphere which affects the glaze colors and clay itself. The thermal shock of pulling out the hot vessels also produces cracking—known as crackling since it is deliberate. The intense color effects and beauty of raku urns make them extremely popular.

Are ceramic urns approved by TSA? Can you take a ceramic urn on a plane?

A ceramic urn technically may be able to pass through TSA security -- meaning that an xray machine can penetrate the urn and verify for TSA that ashes are inside, but we do not recommend transporting a loved one's ashes in this manner. Stardust Memorials recommends a different approach if you have a ceramic urn and need to transport or travel with it. Our top recommendation is to ship the ceramic urn from our company to your final destination and bring the ashes with you on the plane in a plastic or cardboard temporary container (commonly provided at no charge by funeral homes and cremation providers). The Stardust Memorials team can package the ceramic urn properly to go through shipping services and arrive undamaged. If you put a ceramic urn containing ashes in a carry on bag, you may struggle to keep the urn from damage in the regular jostling of air travel. Once at your destination -- or the urn's final resting place -- the ashes can be transferred easily into the beautiful ceramic urn and then sealed.

Are your ceramic urns handmade?

Yes, every ceramic urn we offer is made by hand by an American master potter. Each piece takes weeks to make as she throws the pots, lets them air dry, glazes each one, and then fires them in the kiln.

Are ceramic urns fragile? Won't pottery urns break in shipping?

Pottery urns are surprisingly durable. Once the clay has been fired, it is hard and strong and can last for thousands of years -- as we know from ceramic vessels that date back to time periods such as the Han Dynasty in China, the Mayans, and the Greeks. We have shipped hundreds of ceramic urns safely to our customers. Once in your home or a columbarium, we do recommend that you place it in a secure spot to keep it safe from a long fall to a hard floor, etc.

Why should I choose a ceramic urn for my loved one?

Many families choose a ceramic urn because they appreciate that it is handmade and that each ceramic urn is unique like the person being remembered. The shapes and the glazes of ceramic urns combine to create works of art. In addition, ceramic urns are a time honored way to contain ashes and can be kept at home, buried, or placed in a columbarium as preferred.