Love on the Rocks
Funky Rock Designs, Dover
What happens when a lobsterman has had enough of the bottom and puts away his traps? If you are like Jeff Henderson of Dover, you fish for something else. Today Henderson searches the shores of the Atlantic looking for beautiful and functional rocks that whisper beauty.
From lobsterman to artisan, I’m not sure I see the transition. It’s kind of like lobstering. When I was fishing close to shore, which is what I preferred, I kind of fell in love with a group of rocks. Through the years I gathered a few rocks here and there and began making things out of them.
What was the first thing you made? Nine or 10 years ago I made three stacked stone lamps as gifts. Everyone liked them and so I started making some vases and other things out of rocks and then about three and a half years ago, after an accident on my boat, I decided to work with rocks full time.
How do you drill a rock? Slowly. It all depends on the size of the hole you want, the depth and the diameter. I do it with diamond bits and water. You are grinding out a donut shape hole, and once I am down the depth I want, I break out the center with wedges and other tools.
vWhat are your popular items? The vases and the balance rock lamps, also the stones in which you can hide a key. In seashore communities the key stone, sponge holders, toothbrush and soap and lotion pumps do well. In my opinion everything I make has simplistic beauty but is highly functional.
Do you sign your pieces? No, because in my opinion, Mother Nature is the artist. If I were a painter and making paintings, I would sign those pieces. I feel it is not right to sign the art if it isn’t really mine.
So What’s New?
Looking for a Little R & R?
Go ahead and drop your anchor. Sit in a classic Adirondack chair made by R&R Woodworkers in Jackson and you won’t be going anywhere for a while. Robert (Bob) Yanuck and Robin Kosstrin make these backyard must-haves out of Northern White Cedar grown along the banks of the Connecticut River. Sturdy with a one-inch finish from top to bottom, these Adirondacks are irresistible for lazy days of summer reading. Custom hand-painted chairs available. See www.RandRwoodworkers.com for dealers.
Shackleton Thomas, 15 S. Main St., Hanover, may be a retail store, but it is more like a fine art gallery showcasing authentic handmade furniture, pottery and accessories. “You have to touch and feel the products to understand our philosophy – things made by hand have different qualities and characteristics that machines can’t replicate,” says Jason Drebitko, who is CEO of the company. Founded by Charles Shackelton (yes, he is related to Ernest Shackelton, the Antarctic explorer) and artist Miranda Thomas, the store invites one to linger and explore the beauty of each and every object made from the hands of true craftsmen.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Set the GPS for Salzburg Square, 292 Route 1, Amherst. Just Naturals & Co. is a natural boutique bursting with products for home and family and even pets. Owner Karen Girado and her fabulous staff know more about chemicals and toxins than the EPA. The natural lavender, rosemary, mint and tangerine lime dish soap is luscious. Treat weary weeding hands to a soothing muscle rub or some comforting hand lotion that spreads like a blanket. By evening, you’ll be ready to hold hands again with someone special.
A Tiara for Tara
Tara Leonard is a retail terror queen and her Ashland boutique has just doubled in size. Wholly Tara, 62 S. Main St., is a kingdom of funky, hard to find sophisticated and zippy fashions for people in all shapes and sizes. Tara’s specialty is styling her clients and her honesty (Yes, those pants make you look fat). Look for tummy-tucking ART pants, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and lots of sassy accessories. Hot pink and green gift wrap makes this a one-stop shop.