Residents who want a memorial momento of their special pet might think about an art piece created with their pet’s cremains.
Daniel Roberto Ortega offers just such a service. But it is more than just pets.
“I use pet or humans cremains mixed into my sustainable hemp plant medium to create the memorial artwork,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of memorial work with or without ashes since Nov. 2, 2001.”
He got the idea shortly after 9/11. He wanted to make a memorial dedicated to all the innocent lives lost.
“I could not get any structural ash from New York, so I settled for Mt. Saint Helens volcanic ash to create a work titled, ‘Twin Towers’ and it was purchased right away,” Ortega explained.
Eventually he found a source for generic animal cremains from a crematorium in Los Angeles. He also found the perfect hemp medium to mix the fine bone powder ash and use the coarse bone fragments for texture in his artwork. He calls it “Stone Of Light” because it has the appearance of stone and feels like bark on a tree.
He operates a for-profit plant fiber business called Earth Stone, but he offers to memorial artwork on a not-for-profit basis. The memorial art service is offered for the cost of materials, packing and shipping. Residents interested in this service can save by picking up their SOL work at Ortega’s home studio. Ashes can be sent via Priority Mail to his post office box in a small flat rate box. Ortega also offers memorial frames, vaults for keepsakes and round dream catcher designs.
“This part is a not-for-profit service that is a hobby not a business,” Ortega said.
All Ortega’s art pieces are developed from sustainable natural resources and formulated from different types of ash, stone and byproduct plant fiber powders that are safe and non-toxic.
“My medium is termed ‘Earth Stone’ because it comes from Mother Earth and looks like carved stone bas-relief,” Ortega explained. “Spirit House Art works with the spirit of plants, animals and humans. It is profoundly transformative, like metaphorical alchemy or the philosophers stone. Spirit House speaks beyond words from mineral and plant spirits.”
In his younger years, Ortega was invited to attend Otis Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles, California. His summer scholarship programs in 1967-68 exposed him to various types of professional art media. Life drawing classes and recycling art projects inspired him to pursue fine arts as a major in high school. His college curriculum included graphic design, architecture, technical illustration, electronic drafting, ceramics and photography. He learned about the funeral industry working part-time for Kiefer & Eyerick mortuary in Glendale, California while attending Glendale Community College.
Ripley’s Entertainment exhibits his work in their Orlando, Florida and Hollywood, California museums and their 8th Edition publication.
Ortega made a career change in 1998 due to drafting transitioning to computerization. He relocated to Oaxaca, Mexico and learned holistic medicine from healers and Nuad Bo-Rarn ancient Thailand bodywork.
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