Frequently asked questions:
What is Raku? The Raku style of pottery, originating in Japan during the
16th century, reflects Zen or Wabi-like properties, embracing austerity,
brevity and tranquility. Using the "western style" Raku process, the urns are
removed from the kiln when the glazes have reached maturity. They are
relocated to a reduction chamber and combined with combustible elm, alder,
pine and oak tree shavings. This process brings out marvelous colors and
textures. Each urn is unique and unrepeatable, a perfect testimony for the
cremated remains of your loved one.
Are these urns fragile? Raku ware, fired at a slightly lower temperature
than stoneware or porcelain, should be handled carefully and stored in a safe place.
What size will I need? There are two important dimensions to keep in mind when purchasing a cremation urn. The first is the outer dimension. Will the urn fit in or on your chosen space; a mantle, a shelf or columbarium? The other dimension would be the volume requirements for the inside of the urn.
The capacity of my urns are expressed in cubic inches. The standard measurement for cremated remains is: one pound of body weight is equal to one cubic inch of cremated remains. Therefore, a two-hundred-pound individual would require an urn with a two hundred cubic inch capacity, and so on. It may be advisable to purchase a slightly larger urn versus a smaller one to cover any variables. It may also be helpful to talk to your cremation provider or funeral director to confirm what size you need.
If you desire the remains of companions to be combined, add the weights together to confirm what size is needed.
The same volume rules apply for the remains of your beloved pet: one cubic inch equals one pound. A pet that weighed forty-five to fifty pounds would require an urn of at least fifty cubic inches.
How do the fastening lids work? I have developed two ways of fastening the lids to the urns. #1. The urn's lid has a strap or braid of leather looping through an applied ring at the bottom inside of the urn. The leather strap then goes through the top center of the lid and ties, holding the lid safely in place. #2. The leather strap or braid is exposed on the outside of the urn, securing the lid as needed.
What are your shipping policies? I ship using UPS Ground. Retail Customer: All costs of packaging and shipping are included in the price of the urn, (for the continental US, Hawaii, Alaska and US territories are extra costs ). For pieces shipped to countries with customs fees, these will need to be paid for by client, sorry.
Urns are insured by the carrier during shipping. If your urn arrives damaged, please save the original packaging and contact me ASAP. A claim will be made with the carrier.
What is your return policy? I am committed to my customer's satisfaction. If you are unsatisfied, contact me as soon as possible for an exchange or refund. Sorry, but shipping costs will be deducted from your refund.
Are the urns made by you the artist? Yes, all the urns are hand thrown, trimmed and glazed by me. Each urn is unique just like the individual whose remains are kept inside. Raku and soda firing adds character to each piece and the variations in color and texture should be regarded as normal and desired. The urns are one-of-a-kind and a limited number are made each year.
Note: I do have assistance during the firing process as that is a two to three-person task.
Who can I talk to if I have other concerns or questions? The easiest method is an email to Robin, my Business Manager at Earthhandsfire. You can also leave a message by phone, and either I or Robin will return your call.
Can you add a name or dates to an urn? On Raku fired urns only. I can inscribe a date and name into the the bottom of the urn for a $25.00 fee. The nature of the clay is rough, so the lettering and numbers will be rough, as well.
How do I order one of your urns? Simply choose the urn and its identifying catalog number shown on the "Urns " page. Click on the "Purchase Urn" button at the top of the page on the web site. Enter your information, including the urn title and catalog number. Be sure to include your shipping address and contact phone number in the "Notes" section.
If you prefer to contact me, Kevin Blackburn, go to the contact page and send an email with the above information, a contact name and phone number, and either I or Robin will contact you shortly.
Payment can be made by any major credit/debit card or via PayPal. Taxes apply to Washington State residents.
How do I transfer the cremains into one of your urns? I have found the best way to transfer cremains is to fold or roll a glossy magazine or catalog page into a funnel. Tape the outside to hold the shape. Open the lid and pour the cremains into the funnel and then into the urn. If desired, a silicone adhesive can be used as a sealer.
Note: A word on images of my work. I strive to present all my work as accurately as possible. The pieces are photographed in a studio setting with lighting that matches that of the camera setting. The pieces may look different under natural, fluorescent or direct incandescent lighting. That is the nature of photographing art work.