Not for the Faint of Heart - Ceramic Funeral Urns from Mexico

If going out in style is your thing, you may want to consider a new ceramic urn from Mexico-based designers Tony Moxham and Maurcio Paniagua to do the job with you.


Just think about it for a second. Once you have passed on--not to be too morbid here, but we know it will happen to all of us eventually--what are you going to do with the remains? Better yet, what are your relatives going to do with the remains? Urns on the market these days are not exhibiting quite the crafty type of design you've become accustomed to surround yourself with (while you are still among the living.) So why not add some spunk to your death and hang around on someone's mantle looking cool? Maybe annoy them with your continued after-death hipness? Just saying.

Mexico City-based designers Tony Moxham and Maurcio Paniagua of DFC came up with the idea to commemorate a person's life with colorful and spiky ceramic vessels. With traditional funeral costs rising and more people opting for cremation, the team established the line of ceramic vessels with two objectives: that every design be functional, and that every vessel be inspired by pre-Hispanic designs and techniques. 

The ceramic vessels measure about two feet and can hold the ashes of two people. They come in “soft clash” combinations of pastel hues with earthen tones, giving the objects what Moxham calls a “90s take on science fiction.”

The spiked urns are inspired by the Mayan belief that the Ceiba tree is a connection between spiritual levels. They often referenced the spikes of the tree as design motifs. The ball-covered urns are informed by the ceramic techniques employed by the Aztecs, who used hollow geometric forms to build more complex vessels. 

I think this idea has a lot of potential for ceramicists and metalsmiths everywhere. Individualization is highly prized these days. Why not show everyone what you're made of even after you've gone?

More information on MT Objects.

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Comment by Susan Amador on March 8, 2016 at 9:07pm

There's a lotto be said for "letting go"...

Comment by Brigitte Martin on March 8, 2016 at 11:02am

Thank you, Kai. I like the idea with the seven keepsake urns within the larger one. If you don't mind, I'd like to hear more about that, please.

BTW, just remembered that another metalsmith, Steve Shelby, occasionally creates urns from metal too: http://www.shelbyvision.com/metalart1.htm in case you'd like to take a look.

Comment by Kai Wolter on March 8, 2016 at 10:51am

Oh, yeah, the urn I made is all metal; stainless steel, copper and brass.

Comment by Kai Wolter on March 8, 2016 at 10:49am

I just returned from Chicago (Sunday) after burying my 100 year old Grandmother (Omi) in an urn I made that included seven keepsake urns. Interesting experience, I also transferred the cre-mains into them myself. Note: If anyone tells you cremation ash is "just like sand," it is not, not at all. Sorry no pictures to show yet.

Comment by Brigitte Martin on March 8, 2016 at 9:05am

I've always been a fan of people who create their own opportunities rather than wait for something to happen to them. Here's an example.

Comment by 2Roses on March 8, 2016 at 8:52am

Artists applying creativity beyond the familiar range of objects. Making markets for themselves. 

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