We get it. We have pets, and we understand how quickly and completely they become part of a family. When Ted was asked if he could create a turned wooden urn for the ashes of a beloved pet, he was honored to play a part in memorializing the life of a special friend.
Turned cremation urns are basically lidded bowls. While we do have at least one beautiful lidded bowl in stock that could easily serve as an urn for a small or medium-sized pet, it is likely that a family will ask to have a part in the design phase of the project. Ted works with each family to determine the appropriate size for the urn. The next step is to select the type of vessel. Although an urn could be turned from a single piece of wood, Ted most commonly makes lidded stave bowls, which are formed like a barrel out of strips of contrasting or complimentary woods that are glued together to form the turning blank. The photo below shows a lidded stave bowl made from curly cherry, figured maple, and dyed veneer with an ebony knob adorned with a Swarovski crystal. This urn is currently available in our Store.
The next decision is the type of wood or woods to be used. Most families have a favorite wood, something that has special significance to them or to the life of their pet. One family provided some of the wood for their pet’s urn. Another family requested specific favorite woods to be used in the stave construction of their urn.
Another decision has to do with the type of knob for the lid and any adornments to be added. The first urn that Ted made as a custom order was adorned with a pink sapphire provided by the family. This item had significance to them, and Ted turned the lid and knob to the appropriate dimension and proportion to highlight the sapphire.
In another instance, the family requested a moose antler knob on the lid.
The final decision has to do with the type of finish. Polyurethane produces a high-gloss, glass-like finish. Danish oil produces a low-gloss, satin finish. The choice is up to the family. The urn pictured below has a Danish oil finish, with a light coat of polyurethane on the moose antler knob.
The time required to design, turn, and finish a pet urn depends on several factors. If Ted has the required materials in stock and a slot in his production schedule, the process takes a minimum of several weeks. An urn with a polyurethane finish will require more time because typically somewhere between ten and twenty coats of polyurethane are applied. Each coat has to dry, then be wet-sanded and re-dried, before the next coat can go on. A Danish oil finish requires at least three or four days for the application of the multiple coats, then a multi-day drying period before the piece can be waxed and buffed.
The cost of a custom urn will depend on the dimensions, type of wood, and finish selected. Ted discounts his labor charge, offering a bereavement rate, for this type of project. As with any custom order, there is no purchase commitment required on the part of the family.
We do get it. Pets are family, and to the extent that Ted’s Woodshop can play a part in honoring a life well lived we are available to help.