Cloisonne urns are the most visually striking of all funeral urns. Combining memorialisation and art, cloisonne urns are known for their brightly coloured and patterned surfaces, and for their deep reflective luster. An item that could just as well adorn a mantelpiece or recess in your home as it could an outdoor memorial, cloisonne urns bring a touch of oriental drama wherever they are appointed.
Cloisonne urns are of Chinese origin. They first appeared in the late 13th Century / early 14th Century under the Yuan Dynasty alongside other ornaments decorated using the cloisonne technique. By the 15th Century under the Ming Dynasty, cloisonne was a well-established art form, the cloisonne urn being widely used for a variety of purposes.
The creative process used to make cloisonne urns today is little changed from the techniques implemented in the production of cloisonne urns 500 years ago. Chinese artisans would gently hammer out copper cores to form base shapes for the cloisonne urn. Hand decoration was then applied to the cloisonne urn using copper rods. Today, more intricate designs on cloisonne urns are created through the application of a copper wire mesh.
The next step in the creation of cloisonne urns is the inlaying of enamel to the base of the cloisonne urn between the wire mesh. It is the different mineral compositions of the inlaid enamels that are responsible for the dazzling colours on cloisonne urns when fired. Cloisonne urns are fired many times over to achieve the vibrancy of colour associated with these types of funeral urn, and in a final process the cloisonne urn is repeatedly polished to enhance its shine.
As an urn in which to hold cremated remains, cloisonne urns form a highly decorative memorial to the deceased. In fact, many people choose cloisonne urns for a dual purpose - to hold their loved one's ashes and to be set upon display as an alluring piece of art. But, whichever visual function cloisonne urns are chosen to perform, you can be sure that their unique appearance will form a striking memorial in honour of loved ones passed away.