How to Make an Urn Using a Potter’s Wheel

how to make an urn potters wheel

Making an Urn for Yourself or a Loved One

At a time when more and more people are investing in the DIY scene, and folks from 18 to 65 are learning to knit their own scarves, make their own furniture and even brew their own beer, it’s no surprise that some people are interested in learning how to make an urn.

If you think about it, it makes sense. If you make your own urn, you have complete control over the outcome and the appearance. If you want to make an urn for a loved one, it’s really the ultimate memorial for them. You spend time and thought making an urn using your own two hands that’s suited perfectly for them.

One of the more common ways complete this project is for you or your loved one is to go the ceramic route. Making an urn from clay allows you to learn the art of pottery-making or use the skills you already have in this art. It’s also easier to make an urn feel like a part of your home when it is made by you or a loved one.

How to Make an Urn from Clay

If you’ve never worked with clay before, it might take several tries before you like the results, but remember, this is for something meant to last for years, so take the time to do it right.

There are two ways to work with clay when making an urn: using your hands to make a pinch pot or working on a potter’s wheel. Unless you have years of experience, pinch pots can often come off looking like a 3rd grade art project rather than a stately cremation urn, so we typically recommend working on a potter’s wheel.  Here’s a very basic overview on how to make an urn using a potter’s wheel.

  • Throw the clay onto the wheel.
  • Center the clay.
  • Get the wheel spinning.
  • Wet your hands and the clay.
  • Press firmly on the clay to form it.
  • Create the opening.
  • Pull the clay upwards.
  • Continue to form the vessel until you have the shape you want.
  • Trim the base of the urn from the potter’s wheel.

After you have the clay formed the way you like, you’ll need to take it to a place that has a kiln so that it can be fired and hardened as well as have the glazes added.

Another Approach to Personal Urns

If all of this seems a little difficult, it’s OK. Maybe consider having a custom urn made to your specifications. You can design it, pick the style you’d like and let a professional artisan handle the production of the urn. It’s just as meaningful and you might even find that an artisan can help deliver a memorial urn beyond your dreams to honor your loved one.

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