Enjoying Nature

It’s no secret that I love stones, rocks, natural structures and features in all their myriad presentations.  (Just read some of my earlier blogs).  This is one reason why…

Everything here where I call home is reproduce-able in my mind.  I know how the buildings are built, how the houses are made, how the streets and parking lots are laid down.  I have a pretty good idea how the cars are put together, how airplanes fly and even how all these people are made.  This is a place I know pretty well.  It’s ordered and logical (mostly) and utterly human made.  Most everything here has appeared within my lifetime, and if not, certainly within the span of human history.

Camping recently, I walked around looking down at the Earth and was brought back to nature and that feeling that I am lost in an overwhelming, complicated, mysterious, unknowable, ageless and incredible place in the universe that is beyond all human comprehension.

Then I looked up and saw a tree.  They’re pretty neat too.


Little engraved stone hearts made right here in Phoenix, Arizona

Striking Stone Hearts

Striking Stone’s engraved hearts

Sometimes it is the simplest things…

Engraved simple natural, unpolished stones – about one inch in diameter.

These are beings used as business cards, wedding favors, wedding thank you gifts, love stones, memory rocks to symbolize promises of the hearts… and so many other things.


Striking Stone’s design team.


Who doesn’t love a good party?  Since we moved into a new place here in north Phoenix, we had to have a grand opening party for our customers, vendors, friends and family.  The idea was to show everyone how we etch, engrave, cut and polish stone and also to get feedback on our storefront.  So, we got a case of wine, a BIG sandwich and a bunch of plates of snacks and sent out invites.

It was a great success and everyone was excited about the studio.  What surprised me was how impressed many people were with the process of what we do here.  I showed attendees what it takes to etch stone from beginning to end.  After showing one guest how I engrave and grout fill fundraising bricks, she said “wow, I thought you just used machines”.  Nope, all hand crafted here!

It was so nice to have the shop full of people enjoying themselves and what we take great pride in doing that I can’t wait for our first customer appreciation party.  More wine please!

Space… Our new frontier

Space, oh wonderful space!  Striking Stone had been, for over two years, engraving bricks, stones etc in a small plastic shed.  When I say small, I mean seven feet by seven feet- minus a few inches for insulation.  And that’s not my working space- that’s the whole shed.  With all of the equipment required to sandcarve, I was left with little more than the space that my stool took up.

Well, now we have rented an industrial studio with a nice retail/office area separate from the workshop.  To say I can now breath when I work is like saying a river can flow after a damn is knocked down!  Think on it for a bit- from 49sq’ to 903sq’…  NICE!

Come by and see!  20816 N. 20th Ave in Phoenix. M-F 9-6 Sat 10-2

Desert Rats Forum gathering

Special interest forums are awesome.  If you have a special interest (aren’t they all?) there is probably a forum full of like minded people discussing every possible issue of that interest.  Questions get answered and answers get questioned and everybody learns and contributes and shares and benefits.

What if you could actually MEET these people in person?  That’s is exactly what the founder of our favorite forum pulled off.  He calls it the Desert Rats Meeting because it is held in Phoenix, and as everyone is Irish on St Patties day, everyone is a desert rat when in the desert.

This was the second year of the meet.  Last year’s attendance was better, but we still have a great time and do and learn hands on what is discussed on the forum.  The food is great, door prizes are handed out and you get to keep anything you make (we are all sandcarvers whether on glass or stone or whatever), except of course for me as I chiseled, hammered and honed a 4000 pound boulder in the host’s front yard.

Another fun aspect of meeting people you converse with on a forum is that you can actually see that they don’t look like that cute/funny/sexy/nonsense/object-of-interest/furry/blatantly-non-human avatar they insist on using instead of a current picture of themselves.