LA-based travel photographer Marianna Jamadi has collaborated with Mexico City-based ceramics studio Menat Studio to create a collection of memorial urns.
Jamadi wanted the urns to be objects that would fit seamlessly into the modern home after struggling to find suitable urns for her parents’ ashes.
“I noticed a gap in urns that were thoughtfully designed and could be incorporated into the home in a way that brought joy, peace and comfort,” Jamadi told Dezeen.
The name Kunokaiku combines Kuno, the Indonesian word for ancient, and Kaiku, the Finnish word for echo, in honor of Jamadi’s parents.
Jamadi designed the urns as bespoke, handcrafted pieces, as opposed to standard morgue-bought urns that may seem out of place in the modern home.
The urns are available in three different sizes and can be used as a candle holder, stackable vase, sculpture and box.
“We developed three sizes with the idea that people store ashes differently and might want to share them among loved ones,” explained Jamadi.
“Although designed as urns, these can be used as vessels to hold items if you don’t have ashes but want to keep things like jewelry and artifacts from someone you miss,” she continued.
As a travel photographer, Jamadi has witnessed the mourning processes of different cultures, such as the burning ghats of Varanasi, India, and the cremation parades and ceremonies in Bali.
Based on these experiences, she wanted to create a product that would similarly evoke “ritual remembrance.”
“I I hope to aid in the grieving process by creating tangible objects to interact with, thereby maintaining a connection with the missing,” she explained.
Each stoneware urn has been handcrafted in Menat Studio’s workshop in Mexico City using locally sourced raw materials.
Inspired by nature, a custom matte glaze was used to achieve the desired color and texture.
The urns consisted of high-temperature ceramics that were fired at over 1,000 degrees Celsius. The production process involves casting, cutting and glazing by hand, which takes between two and three months depending on the size of the piece.
Jamadi plans to partner with a variety of artists to create special edition urns. She will launch her first limited collection in collaboration with LA-based artist Raina Lee on March 6th.
According to Jamadi, Lee was the first person who came to mind for a collaboration because of Lee’s “play with glazes, textures and colors”.
Other urns recently featured at Dezeen include Claesson Koivisto Rune’s biodegradable wool burial urn and RCA student underwater urns that double as oyster reefs.
The photograph is by Marianna Jamadi.