These water-rounded stones are from the shores of Lake Huron, and many years ago I was delighted to find on its beaches larger limestone “pebbles” (quite unlike the hard granite or quartz ones here along Rhode Island’s coast) which were easily carved.
Friends have carried them from my studio to India and the Camino, to churches and groves, sometimes to leave them in memory, sometimes dipped in a holy well to secure a blessing. Right from the first one I carved, I was touched to find they were treated as special and a wee bit magical.
I find inspiration for these small sculptures in the ancient practice of securing white, water-rounded stones for purposes of healing or magical preservation.
Variously referred to as ‘charm stones’ “prayer stones” or even “Druid’s eggs”, round or egg shaped stones were pressed into service for healing cattle, curing kings, or cursing enemies.
You’ll find stories of the white stones with the saints of Ireland and Scotland, in a zen garden, marking the way home, or skipping across a lake as a wish.
I had the chance recently to rethink these small sculptures as part of a larger installation, which I assembled as part of SculptFest 2021 at The Carving Studio in West Rutland Vermont. The first image shows part of the piece, "Three, Seven, Nine" which explores symbols and folklore around those mythic numbers.
Some of those shown here are gone on their journeys, and some are recently completed and available. If you have one of them with you, please send a photograph so I can include it in this little collection. I will continue to add to this gallery as I complete more or others come to visit by way of a photograph.
I am accepting “mini-commissions” to carve what I have been calling ‘the sanctuary stones’, since so many seem to end up in a contemplative corner, embellishing a memorial or in a quiet garden spot.
(We’re all in need of a bit of sanctuary these days.)
They might make a handsome desk accessory, conversation piece, or special gift and may be placed outdoors.
I’d be delighted to discuss any ideas for designs you might have. I look forward to collaborating with you to create something beautiful and meaningful.