From ancient Roman times up to nowadays, ceramic pottery vessels have been used as urns for our loved one’s ashes. Known for their durability and beauty, urns made of ceramic can express something personal about your loved one as they come in various shapes and colours.
Ceramic urns are undoubtedly the most popular type of cremation urns nowadays, simply because ceramic is a material with rich history.
Ceramic urns for ashes by Pulvis Art Urns, model "The Passage"
Brief History of Ceramics
The first evidence of human-made ceramics date back to at least 24,000 years BC - a small statue known as Venus of Dolní Věstonice, was found in a settlement near Brno, in the Czech Republic.
The first evidences of pottery use appeared in Asia several thousand years later. In the Xianrendong cave in China, parts of pottery vessels dated to 17,000-16,000 BCE have been found. It is believed that from China the use of pottery successively spread to Japan where archaeologists have found shards of ceramic artefacts dating to 14,000 BCE.
In Japan, the history of ceramics dates back to 10,000 years BC in the Jomon period, but it was not widely used until the potter’s wheel and the sloping kiln were introduced.
Use of tools made of ceramics increased rapidly during the Neolithic period, with the establishment of communities dedicated to agriculture, land cultivation and farming.
Ceramic keepsake with candle, model "Guardian" - buy now
In the West, pottery is associated with creation and decoration of vases, known as the Neolithic art, which was popular in Ancient Greece. Many art critics consider Greek pottery to represent the zenith of ceramic art.
One of the most important breakthroughs in the production of ceramics was the invention of the wheel, in 3,500 BCE. The wheel allowed for the utilisation of the wheel-forming technique to produce ceramic vessels with radial symmetry.
Meanwhile, ceramic pottery evolved in its use of increasingly elaborated paintings, so that these objects eventually became genuine pieces of art.
During the Middle Ages, trade through the Silk Road allowed for the introduction and diffusion of porcelain throughout Islamic countries first and later in Europe.
Ceramic urns before entering the furnace. Photo by Pulvis Art Urns
By the end of fifteenth century the first blast furnaces were developed in Europe. They could easily reach temperatures above 1300 degrees Celsius and were used to melt iron. In the early 16th century synthetic materials with better resistance to high temperatures were developed. This was the beginning of the industrial revolution and since then the ceramic industry has gone through a dramatic transformation.
After World War II, ceramics have contributed to the growth of many technologically advanced fields, including electronics, automotive and space exploration. Since these ancient times, the technology and applications of ceramics has steadily increased, reaching its full potential today, while in 2023 the sector is expected to reach almost 1.1 trillion dollar market.
Ceramic is all around us and almost not a day goes by that we do not come into contact with it.
Ceramic products have many advantages among which are:
- The clay can be easily moulded to become many useful things, including cremation urns;
- There are endless options of colours and finishes available;
- Ceramics do not stain and are easy to clean;
- Ceramics are very durable and chemically resistant;
- Objects made of ceramics are lightweight, environmentally compatible and beautiful;
From industry to home ware and urns, ceramic is always being used and it is so important to modern day life!
Purpose of the Cremation Urn
Before you make any decision regarding your urn and eventually buy one, you need to decide its purpose. Are you going to be dividing the ashes amongst family? Or maybe you intend to bury it? Many people prefer to store the ashes in their home or garden. Those are all valid questions and depending on what you decide will help you proceed with picking the right urn.
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