A psychedelic green world

I worked in a funeral home in Glendale California while I attended the local community college as an art student. I became a professional draftsman instead of an artist which was more realistic at the time. However my short experience at the mortuary gave me the idea of someday using cremated ashes in an art form besides the traditional urn or scattering of ashes.

Now that I’m retired my hobby focused on that particular subject. I asked the human society what they did with the euthanized animals. They contract a crematorium to be cremated and put into a landfill. No tribute, no remembrance, no memorial for all those unwanted animals. I contacted the owner of the crematorium and said I needed cremains for an art project. He sent me five pounds of generic cremains and said he supported my idea of using ashes in my artwork.

Since that time in November 2001 the funeral industry has been going through a change. Green burials and new technology has given rise to many creative ways of the disposition of bodies. I’m giving mine to the Donate Life organization. They have a float in the Rose Parade every year. I’m committed to that tissue bank process. They cremate whatever can’t be used and return the cremains to a designated family member or friend. Mine are going to be placed into a SOL art vault I made with my beloved cats ashes. The artwork has the fine powdered ash mixed into a sustainable plant based medium, it’s sculpted on the surface of a wood framed canvas and painted. The rest go behind the artwork into the “vault” area. Stone of Light artwork has come full circle with the funeral industries new paradigm.

Alternative burials; like the Living Urn where you can become a plant or tree and Promessa will become the new standard for cremation. Which I am very enthusiastic about for my own use in SOL work. The urn has become an art form like the amazing art gallery Funeria exhibits. Cemeteries are making areas for green burials that places the body directly into the ground via a biodegradable casket, bio urn or simply wrapped in a shroud, no embalming required. Earth friendly burials and park like cemeteries will be the new wave for the death industry. But what is the most amazing offering yet is Coeio’s Infinity Burial Suit. This would have been my choice if I was not going to be harvested for usable parts after I die. It’s called the mushroom suit; using mushroom spores in the burial suit or shroud to produce good earth. Good rich soil made from your body. Now imagine if they used magic mushroom spores! Your friends could collect the mushrooms in your honor and have a Psychedelic green world! Peace be with you.

D.R. Ortega