the initial enquiry for a wooden urn
This pair of acorn shaped keepsake urns were commissioned by Belinda to store her father’s ashes. We initially got talking at the Caversham Artisan & Farmers Market in July 2019. She was intrigued by a small, acorn shaped box I had on display and asked if I’d ever made a bigger version as she was looking for an acorn container for some of her Dad’s ashes. I admitted that I hadn’t but that I’d be happy to make one for her.
In October Belinda emailed me asking if we could discuss her idea in more detail. So through a series of emails we decided on her specific requirements. The majority of her father’s ashes had been scattered so she wanted two smallish keepsake urns, in the shape of acorns, for her and her mum.
Once I had an idea of what Belinda wanted I created lots of quick sketches of different urn ideas. Belinda and her mum had a look at them and picked their favourites.
Belinda liked the idea of an urn that laid flat while her mum preferred one that had a stand.
Next, we finalised details like the size of the urns, the type of wood, the and the estimated timescale and price. I estimated it would take at least 2 months. This was because the wood needed to be rough shaped and left to settle and dry fully for most of that time, before being turned again to finish the shaping.
turning the urns
I drew up precise, scale drawings and used them to create both urns and the stand. The bodies of the urns were of Box wood. The lids were Oak with Box wood inserts. Belinda wanted the lids to be very secure and screw on. The best wood to achieve this is Box as it’s very hard. Fine threads can be cut into it without it crumbling. The Oak was chosen to go with the acorn design and because it contrasts nicely with the Box.
When making urns the wood has to be completely dry because the fit is so precise. If the wood continues to dry after its been turned then, after a while, the lid and body will no longer fit together. That’s why it took till the end of February 2020 to complete them.
I finished both urns with a plant based wax/oil to protect and nourish the wood. It gave them a beautifully soft, natural shine.
completion and delivery
Belinda ‘s a local client, so I delivered the urns personally. It was lovely to see her reaction to them in person. I also emailed her this PDF which shows the stages each log went through to become a finished wooden urn.
“They are beautiful and the pdf is wonderful to see”Belinda