Inyan: "topic" or "center of interest" in the Hebrew language.
According to various sources, Inyan is also a Lakota name meaning “rock,” or “God of creation who made Earth, the sky, humans, and whose blood formed the blue water.”
Trace1 (trās), n., v., — n. 1. footprint or other mark left; track; trail 2. mark, token, or evidence of the former existence, presence, or action of something; vestige. … — v. 1. follow by means of marks, tracks, or signs. 2. follow the course of. 3. find signs of; observe.
— Thorndike-Barnhart Comprehensive Desk Dictionary 1954
Many years ago a friend was planning her own funeral and asked me to make her an urn. I enjoyed participating in her planning for her own death, as we shared a recognition and acceptance of death as an integral, interesting, and inevitable part of life. She celebrated life, and in planning funerary arrangements she was clearly celebrating the closing scene of that life with humor and graceful acceptance.
A revitalization of interest in creating funerary vessels took place during my deployment in Iraq as I watched a soldier’s body loaded onto a military transport plane. While military rituals concerning the handling of remains and funerals are impressively respectful, the fact that everyone receives the same ritual with identical relics struck me as incomplete. Each soldier — each human being — is a unique personality and is valued as such by friends and family. At least one ritual object involved in the death rites ought to reflect and celebrate that rich individuality.
I’ve been a working artist for over twenty years, supporting that passion by working as an archeologist for sixteen years, and a project manager for the Army for two years. Inyan Trace Art Studio represents a passion to apply my skills as an artist to functional ritual objects that honor the cycle of life.
Each ceramic cremation and memorial urn at Inyan Trace Art Studio is made by hand. Consisting of earth and water, turned into stone by the action of fire and air, clay refers us directly to the elements of the physical world. It can be seen to represent the solidity and familiarity of physical life. The ceramic process, the change from malleable clay into solid rock, suggests the hand of the divine, the magical or spiritual — the alchemical essence of life. Clay can help to ground us in our lives on earth as we remember our loved ones who have passed. The process of an urn’s creation may remind us that change can be a beautiful and graceful transition, and that larger forces are present within our lives and beyond.
At Inyan Trace Art Studio I create unique vessels for valuable souls. I build each pot by hand using slabs or coils, and decorate each pot in a unique way to create beautiful urns that will hold your loved one's remains with honor.
~ Natalie Sudman, Inyan Trace Art Studio