How The Urns Are Made

Wood is selected.

We use only native hard woods from the Great Smoky Mountain/Appalachia region, such as black walnut, cherry, maple and the like.  We do not take any trees down for the purpose of wood turning, only trees that have come down on their own, or ones that have had to be excavated.

Wood is cut.


The manageable size blocks are stored until it is dry enough for turning. Our tobacco barn is the perfect environment for this stage of the process.

The wood-turning process begins.

A piece of wood is selected for the appropriate urn size needed.  It is then mounted on the lathe and turned with various tools/gouges/chisels into the desired form.


The next phase is to hollow the urn on the lathe to the correct size.

Hancrafted urns made on a lathe

The Finishing Steps.

Once the shape is complete, the urn is removed from the lathe for the finishing process. The urn is then sanded smoothly with several grits of sandpaper, progressively finer and finer to allow a flawless finish. Several coats of high quality gloss urethane is applied, with careful drying and sanding in between coats.

After the final sanding  the urn is waxed and inspection of the urn is done before shipping.

Final Notes.

Our Wood Turned Urns are all hand-crafted individually, with care by artist Robert Woods.  These urns are not mass produced. Though we have a line of urns each turns out similar in style but is truly unique and a signed original. Shapes, sizes, grains of wood will vary slightly as often the wood dictates how the urn must be turned on the lathe.

Wood-turned urns are much like a “thumbprint”, no two are alike. We do not remove natural occurrences in the wood such as small markings, spalting, small cracks that were part of the growth of the tree, lines created by insects, mineral deposits in the wood (things that would not affect the functionality or longevity of the product). It is that same thumbprint that makes each product truly one of a kind with its own character. Each hand-crafted item is as unique as the loved one you are memorializing. Each piece is special! You do not get this individuality when your product comes off of “an assembly line”. Many thanks for supporting the hand-crafted artist.

Robert Woods’ studio is housed in an authentic Appalachia Tobacco Barn in the Smoky Mountains of NC.Barn

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