Monday, November 14, 2016

Spring and Summer of 2016 Buial Urn

Greenware burial urn

 I have been remiss in keeping up with the blog site here, as it seems like there is never enough time in the day. I have been working on several different projects the last two seasons and also attended the NCECA conference in Kansas City in March.

One of the projects that was completed n a hurry was a burial urn for a man that my father had been a guardian/mentor for over the last 30 years. I had never thrown a burial urn before so dove into the internet to get some idea of sizes, possible design ideas, and other specifics that might help me design this man's urn. Some of the concepts I tried to put into it was  that often things get lost in time and that it would be good to have name and date for future reference instead of just an urn with nothing to identify the remains. So I believed that some sort of double lid would be appropriate, with the possibility of sealing one of the lids with glue or caulk. Some of this also came about because of my mother's and sister's search into our family heritage, and some or the problems they had with identifying relatives.

Inner Lid with name and birth date

 I used rubber stamps to add the name on the lid in the center area, and as I did not have stamps for the numbers of a size I wanted to use, these were incised. As you can see the lid fits very closely to the size of the rim. It does have a gallery that fits into the pot, it is not just a cover.

 The lid opening is large enough that the ashes in the plastic bag from the mortuary would fit inside with a little effort. This allowed things to be pretty easy for my father to fill the urn, without a lot of mess. The rim is flat at the top with a slight outer edge that is about an 1/8" wider than the neck. Reasoning for this is that it would allow some caulk around the rim before putting the lid on the pot to seal things in place.

The man spent much of his life outdoors, working on a farm, hunting, hiking and doing other things outside. I believed that it was appropriate for some form of decoration that would suggest something of what he was about. So I used a pine tree motif roller to stamp the pine branches, needles and cones on the side of the cylinder before shaping. I also added a few other decorative lines enhancing the belly, and a bottom foot ring on the jar form.

Glazed Lid

The pot was glazed with a glossy white as a base color along with a rust brown and a rutile green,
The white was dipped, and the other glazes were sprayed on.

This is the completed urn, with the lids in place. I believe that the glaze turned out quite well, and that the pine motif showed up well with the glaze technique. The clay body is 211 Hazelnut Brown cone 6 from Standard Ceramics. This was one of the factors I believe was important to this particular piece as the coloring worked well with the motif and glazes.

When I first began working with the Hazelnut Brown I liked its working and drying characteristics but was frustrated with the dull color I was getting with my glazes. I began experimenting with the use of a white slip, and later a white base glaze over the clay. This made things brighter, and I found that a little sanding off of either the slip or the glaze on the decoration helped to bring these out even more. I have just ordered another ton of clay, and half is the 211.

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