• What Is Aquamation? Alkaline Hydrolysis Explained

    What Is Aquamation? Alkaline Hydrolysis Explained

    We here at Boyce Studio care about sustainability and support aquamation and cremation as more eco-friendly alternatives to burial. In fact, we partner with Resting Waters Aquamation facility in Seattle, where our urns have become increasingly popular.

    Alkaline Hydrolysis, AKA Aquamation, Water Cremation, or Hydro Cremation is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cremation. You may not have heard about it yet, but it is becoming more and more accessible both for pets and for people.

    Alkaline hydrolysis was actually patented in the US way back in 1888, and the process hasn’t changed much since then. (Though the equipment has been much improved). Simply put, the body is placed into a large metal tank. Water and lye are combined to speed up the natural decomposition process. Aquamation produces a completely sterile solution of amino acids, small peptides, sugars, nutrients, and soap. It is then returned to the ecosystem via the normal wastewater treatment facility,

    What is left are completely clean bones which are subsequently pulverized for the family to take home. Aquamation produces 10-30% more cremains than flame cremation, and our urns are suitable for both.


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  • The Case for Buying a Cremation Urn Right Away

    The Case for Buying a Cremation Urn Right Away

    Recently a friend of mine's mom passed away, and she and her siblings asked me to make companion urns for their mom and dad, who had passed away a few years prior. I of course said yes. One problem: the sibling who had the dad's ashes couldn't find them. "Who would misplace ashes??" you may think to yourself. But it's way more common than you think!

    This story from the podcast My Favorite Murder illustrates just how life gets in the way sometimes: (story will be cued up, just press play) 

    MFM Minisode 80

    A quick Google search and you will see just how common lost cremains are. You may think that there is no way that you would not remember where you put the box of your loved one's cremains. Or that you would definitely remember moving them. Or that there is no way that they would accidentally get thrown away. But lots of times the cremains are returned back to you in a nondescript cardboard box, and someone may think that they are just clutter and throw them away.

    This post is not to scare you or shame you, but to illustrate that we are all human and life happens! Looking for a cremation urn is not a fun task, and one that you may want to put off. Totally understandable! But purchasing a Boyce Studio Planturn guarantees that your cremains will never be thrown away by mistake and you will always know that your loved one is close, and safe.


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  • What is a Keepsake Urn?

    What is a Keepsake Urn?

    Before I started making wood cremation urns, I had not heard the term “Keepsake Urns”. What? there is more than one kind of urn? Yes! Basically, keepsake urns hold only a portion of someone’s cremated remains. This can happen for a variety of reasons.

    Sometimes, more than one family member would like to honor a loved one by having a part of the deceased kept close by. As cremation becomes more popular, it is very common for cremains to be divided up amongst family members, and they all buy keepsake urns in which to keep their allocated amount. I have had lots of requests to make more than one urn for a family, which I think is a beautiful thing! And since all of the Boyce Studio cremation urns are made to order, you can request all of your urns to be made from the same piece of wood, making your urns “related”. No extra charge for this service, just send an email expressing your wishes.

    Another instance of someone wanting a keepsake urn is when they intend to scatter most of the ashes, but want to save a small amount to keep. Or they have something else done with the bulk of the remains, like having them molded into stone shapes, as our friends at Parting Stone do.

    Other times, families cannot decide on just one kind of memorial for their loved one. And that is great, I think everyone should be able to grieve and honor their loved one in their own way. Someone may want to plant a tree and bury the ashes near the tree, some may want to scatter the ashes, and some people may not have room for a bigger urn, and want something smaller and more appropriate for their space. These are all great reasons to have a keepsake urn!

    Boyce Studio has a few kinds of urns that can serve as keepsake urns. Our small urns hold up to 35 cubic inches of cremains, while the medium size holds up to 80 cubic inches.

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  • What Size Cremation Urn Do I Need?

    What Size Cremation Urn Do I Need?

    Choosing a cremation urn can be a confusing and painful task. It’s hard enough looking for an urn that reflects your style, let alone thinking about what size you need. Read on to get recommendations of which of the Boyce Studio wood cremation urns are right for you and your needs. This article is meant to be a guide, ash volume can vary in different locations or with different cremation protocols. If you have questions or concerns after reading this guide, you can email and we are happy to offer further assistance.


    If you are looking for a cremation urn for an adult, the large size urn is most likely right for you. It holds 180 cubic inches of cremains and comes in 2 finishes.

    If you need a cremation urn for a child, the medium Planturn could work for you. The medium Planturns™ hold 80-90 cubic inches of cremains. Generally this can hold a pre-cremation weight of up to 80 pounds.

    The medium Planturn™ is also useful if cremains are divided amongst family members. If you are purchasing more than one urn for family members to have a keepsake, email us about making the urns out of the same piece of wood, so that the urns are “related”.

    The small size Planturn™ is suitable for infants. It can also be used as a memorial or keepsake urn, where most of the cremains are scattered, but a small amount is saved to be kept close.


    Larger dogs under 80 pounds pre-cremation weight will generally fit into a medium Planturn™. Keep in mind, the process of aquamation yields 20-30% more cremains than traditional cremation. It is best to measure your ashes in cubic inches to make sure the medium is the right size.

    Small size Planturns™ are suitable for smaller dogs or cats. The small hold 35 cubic inches, so generally any pet under 35 pounds pre-cremation weight will fit into the small size. The process of aquamation produces 20-30% more ashes, so if your pet was close to 30 pounds, measure their cremains in cubic inches to make sure the small size is large enough.

    Hopefully this post was helpful in choosing the right urn for you and your family. Again, it is meant to be a guide only, ash volumes can vary. If you still have questions, you can send an email to


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