Rookwood Pottery Co. Revives Historic Line Through Product Agreement With Aurora Casket Co.
11/21/2011

Companies Partner to Produce Line of Cremation Urns, Building on Tradition of Community and Craftsmanship

Online PR News – 21-November-2011 – – CINCINNATI (Nov. 17, 2011) — The Rookwood Pottery Co., historic maker of one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted architectural tile and art pottery, is partnering with the largest family-owned supplier in funeral service, Aurora Casket Company, to make an exclusive line of cremation urns.

The deal marks Rookwood’s return to the funeral industry, where familial connections and legacies carry notable significance. In the 1940s, when World War II caused a severe shortage of metals in the United States, Rookwood produced ceramic urns to meet demand. In fact, one of the designs in the Aurora line is a modernized version of a 1940s classic.

Under the agreement, Aurora commissioned Rookwood to create a line of eight urns, comprising two designs in four colors. Rookwood’s artisans will produce the urns, which will bear the Rookwood logo and time stamp, at its Over-the-Rhine facility in Cincinnati.

The timing of the partnership with Aurora is important as demand for cremations continues to rise, with an estimated 44.4 percent of the population expected to choose cremation by 2015, according to the Cremation Association of North America. That compares with 34.3 percent of the population in 2007.

Chip DeMois, CEO of Rookwood, said the company decided to bring back its urns after recognizing this trend.

“In our research we find that most urns come from overseas and they are not ceramic,” DeMois said. “Aurora gives Rookwood a chance to revive American-made, ceramic urns. A Rookwood urn represents the finest in American ceramics and is one of the new business cornerstones of Rookwood’s current revival as the leader in architectural tile and art pottery.”

Aurora Casket has prominently featured the urns in its recent cremation products catalog. They are available to the thousands of funeral homes which Aurora serves, said Steve Jones, President of Meierjohan-Wengler, an Aurora subsidiary which manufactures and distributes cremation urns.

“We’re really honored that Rookwood chose us as partner,” Jones said. “Part of Aurora’s mission is to help bring an honorable closure to every life. Rookwood, because of its beauty and uniqueness, will help us take a step toward our mission. That is important to a family-run company.”

“Aurora, through Steve Jones, has demonstrated a true respect and appreciation for the quality that Rookwood represents,” DeMois said. “Likewise, the brand integrity and quality of the Aurora name ensures us the best opportunity to offer our urns throughout the country.”

In addition to the line of urns available through Aurora Casket, Rookwood is offering customized, hand-painted urns through Rookwood. For more information about either company, please visit www.rookwood.com or www.auroracasket.com.

•••••
About Rookwood Pottery
Founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols as the first female-owned U.S. manufacturing company, Rookwood Pottery won the grand prize at the 1889 Paris Expo, transforming the world’s perception of American art. It became one of America’s most coveted luxury brands in the 20th century and can be found in grand homes, hotels and public spaces including Union Terminal in Cincinnati, the Mayo Clinic, Rochester and Grand Central Station, New York. From its studios in Cincinnati, Rookwood’s uniquely talented artists craft art tile, art pottery, corporate gifts and special commissioned products for designers, architects, homeowners and businesses. Rookwood sets the standard for what can be achieved in design and ceramics. Visit Rookwood at www.rookwood.com or our Twitter page at http://twitter.com/RookwoodPottery.

About Aurora Casket Co.
Aurora Casket is the largest family-owned funeral supplier in America. Founded in 1890, the company operates five manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Canada, and provides a full range of burial, cremation, and technology products to funeral home clients across America. Aurora is a fifth-generation family business, owned and operated by the Barrott and Backman families. For more information, visit www.auroracasket.com.