About Spirit Pots — Urns for Loved Pets

16 01 2012

Spirit Pots are personalized, hand-made containers for the ashes and soul of the departed.Completed Urn

The concept of a “spirit Pot” allows the client to display an urn in a very public area, because visitors will only understand it as a hand built work of art. Each is unique though based on a common design.  That’s because I only use my hands.  Each is also signed and numbered and the name of the pet or human is inscribed into the clay.  The concept marries two cultures into one unique concept, French and Native American, and provides a beautiful vessel to hold the spirit of the departed.  In fact, the name for the urn was recommended by Ohkay Owingeh tribal elders I worked with a few years ago.

The Spirit Pot has three parts:

(1) the Mother Earth Vessel in which the ashes rest.

(2) A French Bread Basket inside which the Mother Earth Vessel rests. The French Bread Basket represents eternal life.

(3) Flowers and Leaves, also representing life, symbolically kept alive by the spirit in the Mother Earth Vessel.   Taken together, the parts constitute the Spirit Pot Urn.

The concept was born in France in 1983 while I was studying Van Gogh.  I was then serving in Paris at the US Mission to OECD, needed a break and went to the grave of Van Gogh and his brother, Theo.   As I walked up to the graves, I found ceramic flowers which were used because of the material’s durability, even in winter. Water flowed between the flowers and didn’t crack the assembly when the fluid froze.

Years later, my parents chose cremation and their ashes ended up in a large, manufactured urn with the ashes of a favorite cat named Daisy.  Like most urns, the vessel looked machine made as though it was definitely holding remains.  Proximity to such urns can make people very uncomfortable, especially if the departed is placed on a mantle or dinner table.   My concept solves that problem.

A bit of news:   January 27, 2016:  Just became a member of the Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee, which was created by the Board of Supervisors in 1978 to collect and display works of art that reflect the diverse Loudoun community.  The AAC manages a large and growing permanent and loaned art collection as well as producing six art exhibits each year. that

Larry Roeder, MS