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Cavy Fire Studios

My Angelbun's Urn

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So...seeing as how my grief over losing Thanatos is pretty much ripping me apart, I've decided to channel my heartache into a very special project for him. It might sound stupid or crazy to some (and I don't give a crap), but I loved that boy like a son. He was a beautiful, spunky, loving bun who liked to hum when he hopped around. He loved to play in the local park on his harness and run me ragged. I've had him since he was a tiny babe of nine weeks...watching him grow was a special joy .

 

He was an english lop, and I feel a sculpture would do him the most justice. It will serve as his urn. I have rubber plug thingies for the ash and can epoxy a velvet cushion underneath for added protection against leakage.

 

I've never handbuilt an urn before...any tips would be very welcome. He was a 10lb (4.5kg) rabbit, so he will have about the same amount of ashes as a cat.

 

Sorry to whine...but Guinea is really, really hurting so much. This is a very important piece...I hope it will help me start to heal.

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I'm sorry you lost your rabbit.  I have a 12 pound Flemish Giant and I understand your feelings for him.

 

About your urn, I am facing my dog's death soon as he has lymphoma.  I have made an urn in preparation for him, although on the wheel as I don't hand build things.  I don't know how to put a picture on here as I am new to using this forum, but it's shaped like a ginger jar with a lid that I plan to seal with paraffin once his ashes are in there.  I put a carving inside the lid to keep him company in there.

 

I saw another potter with a bunny drawn with underglaze pencils on his piece, and if I could draw that well, I'd put my dog's picture on it.  Maybe you could use your bun's photo and do a very detailed portrait of him.

 

I just put a picture of it in my gallery.

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It's not stupid or crazy sweetie.... I have an urn for our dog Jasper's  two brothers, Sherman and Riley, in the kiln right now. Riley passed of cancer in 2010 and Sherman left us just a month ago. :( They were 10 and 14 respectively. And when Jasper's time comes, I'll make one for him too.

 

Only those who have never had an animal touch their heart would be at a loss to understand your pain. For those of us whom our animals are our life, we fully understand. :wub:

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So, if I understand correctly, the sculptural urn, will look like him?

 

In regards to the hand building, are you set on a certain method; slab, coil?  I just had a similar conversation, with a student today, on creating a sculpture.  Creating a form, with crumpled newspaper, you could drape slabs, in the general shape, then define it by slight paddling and carving.  The downside to such a process, is that slabs crinkle and fold, when you go to drape them.  Not a huge issue, just an extra something, you have to deal with.

Alternately, you could coil it.  With coils, you have far more control over the changes in surface, and there is less issue, with getting thick and thin spots, you can get, by draping slabs.  The downside is, that it takes a bit longer, as you have to blend all the coils together.

 

Personally, I use coils for most my sculptural work.  But each method has its pros and cons.

 

Someone here posted, that they had a cat, which they fired in the urn itself.  Probably not a great idea, in an electric kiln though...

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GBP

I have done my own creamations and urns for cats-Mine are thrown and are between 3 inchsx 3 inches and a tad larger. Those hold a regular size cats ashes.

Sorry about your loss.

I posted photos of these urns here before and you could search for them if you like. They are about a cup in volume.after you smash the bones.

Mark

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Guinea, I'm sorry for your loss, too.  I was at a demonstration recently and the potter, Janice Joplin, asked for ideas.  I have 4 senior cats and will be facing their loss soon.  I wanted an urn that looked like a sleeping cat.  She uses pool noodles as her armature and placed the noodle inside a cylinder of clay, then added legs and tail and made a face.  You have to let the form stiffen somewhat before you close up the rear end so that you can get the noodle out.  She made a lid in the top and a mouse as the handle on the lid.  She was very good and very fast and it is something I will have to practice at but I can now see my way to making different cat shaped urns for my four ( one of the cats we call "otter cat" because he sleeps on his back).  With all of the talent you have shown I know you can do a great job.  I want to place my urns in my garden, under bushes, by the birdbath, etc.  Remember, they never really leave us - we have their love always. 

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Sorry for your loss.  

For human urns I've been told to figure 1 cubic inch per pound.  For a 200 lb person + or - that would be an inside measurement of 6 x 6 x 6.  I've figured that to be a bit less than a gallon size.  For Thanatos at 10 lbs that would be less than 3 x 3 x 1.5, maybe a cup, cup and a half.  You do beautiful work.  I'm sure Thanatos would love being always near you as you play in clay.

Nancy

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I was thinking of pinch building his urn, as I'm most familiar with that method...It will be sculpted to look like him, yes. I'll be making him in a sweet pose, with some onions around him. He wasn't neutered, and thus, when he was feeling "romantic," he gave off a rather horrendous aroma that was very much like the raunchiest onions in the universe, dipped in burned coffee. Thus, he was dubbed "Onion Butt," "Stinky Fanny Thannie," and "Thannie McFanny." I never thought I would miss that smell... :(

 

I also would like to paint it, as opposed to glazing it. I figured that I'd spray a couple coats of Krylon clear on it afterwards...Underglaze is just so frickin unpredictable and tends to kill small details. I saw a video on youtube where a sculptor made a rhino with that method and it looked really nice.

 

I'm at my fella's place...I just can't look at that empty pen. It's too hard...

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Just because your family members have fur doesn't mean you mourn them less. I had to say farewell to my Lab, Sheba last Friday. She hid cancer from us, and by the time we found it...

The Internet leaves something to be desired in offering sympathy.

I was going to suggest pinch building, but you're already there.

You may have to find someone else willing to handle the ashes, to transfer them into the final piece. Handling the remains of one of your own is sometimes harder than expected.

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I made a small urn for my son's dog recently, they wanted something plain and simple.  So I made a covered dish and scribed name and date on the bottom with little paw prints.  I have never felt the need to keep my past pets ashes their spirits hang around me all the time.  My last two dogs who died of old age were 18 and 21 years old.      Denice

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I think the sculpture idea is nice. I really liked the plates you decorated. Which makes me think about modernization of old Greek funerary vessels. They had large open space to tell mythology and or story of the fallen. They were very large, and were not urns per say, but could be reduced to an appropriate size. The wide open surfaces were designed for narrative images. You could tell the story of his life with you on the surface.

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Awww, Guinea, so sorry for your loss.  Our fur babies give us so much joy then sorrow when they leave us.  I made an urn two years ago for my then 20 year old cat, who, btw, is still with me.  At the time, I had no idea how big the urn should be, but this discussion has set my mind at ease.  Her ashes will fit.  I plan to silicone the lid in place.  But I really like your idea of a sculpture and your painting skill will make a beautiful resting place for your fur baby.  Hugs,  Florence 

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what5 a wonderful idea for a memorial urn to your dear bunny. So sorry for your loss. I too have the ashes of my departed doggie Tiger. I have a potter friend who has made little grave markers for his pet rats.  And one potter who made little urns that actually have a person's ashes melted into the cover so several people could have them.

Pets are our family and should be celebrated as such.   rakuku

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awwwww Guinea, I am so sorry for your loss.  Your work is awesome.  Your finished urn will look fabulous. Pets are part of our family.  My heart goes out to you. 

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Timely post!! .....good suggestions.

 

My beautiful and very gentle spirited male fox terrier 'Ärgie left the world yesterday and I'm tearing up constantly. Have asked for his ashes to be returned to me for keeping until his daughter 'Nina' follows him in a few years time so have been thinking last night how to best make a 2 chambered vessel that will suit now and for later. Have never made for anything like this before and don't yet know how big it should be so am taking notes from the posts here.

 

Irene 

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I am so, so sorry about your darling puppyson. I'm still in a black fog of grief right now...I cannot bear to clean Thannie's litter box or pen. Making that one less salad in the morning is like pouring vinegar on the cut in my heart...the pain is like a living thing in my bones. I just stare into space with tears falling down my face, silent screams welling up inside...I feel like I've been hollowed out.

I hope we all can someday feel the sting ease. Our clay helps...but just getting up to eat at this point takes so much effort for me. :'(

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With your talent for underglaze illustrations, I figured you would just do some nice brush work and add a clear.  My problem with acrylic paint, is that well, it looks like acrylic paint.  I prefer my acrylic on a canvas.

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Fair enough.

 

Though I will say, the only issue, I've ever had with clear glaze, is when I applied it too thick.  It got a little more translucent, than transparent.  But it was one hundred percent my fault, for not applying even coats.

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So sorry for your loss.  I lost both my dogs last year, one over Christmas holidays.  The worst part was when I went back to work, I came home thinking I need to make Molly's dinner, but no Molly.  The pain subsides, then something happens and it hurts all over again.  But I know my babies had a good life, much better than others.  I know you will make your baby a beautiful resting place, mine are buried with little ceramic markers.  Good luck with your design, I know it will be beautiful, just like he was.

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I think making an urn for your sweet bunnie is wonderful.  One of my pastimes is walking through cemeteries and taking pictures of unusual stones.  I came across this one several years ago.  What about finishing your sculpture using bronze powder?  I have done several sculptures, bisqued them, then used the bronze powder method of finishing them.  It is actual bronze so the finished result looks like a bronze sculpture.  Takes a bit of elbow grease to polish, but the result is worth it.  

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