“What in the world is that sound!?”
We kept stopping along the trail leading to the cliffs, listening for a sound that we could not identify. I finally decided that we must be getting close to the world’s largest rock tumbler. I wasn’t too far off. There are special coves along the Nova Scotia coast where the tidal action rolls large stones up steep inclines of maybe 15 feet twice a day. The sound is mesmerizing. Imagine thousands of bowling balls clicking against each other.
Several days later, we were in a shop near Ingonish in Cape Breton when we spotted some of these stones that had been turned into vases. As usual, this sent us out on a scouting mission to find out who was behind Stoneworks.
These rock tumbler coves are the source of the beautiful stone vases that are fashioned by Darren Arsenault. He has a good eye for geologically interesting forms and is allowed to only pack out only as many stones as he can carry. Darren slab cuts the bottoms, core drills the holes, and voila! They naturally hold water and become some of the most interesting vases that you will ever find.
Darren will tell you, “You’ve got to like people. You’ve got to have a good product, and you’ve got to believe in your product. Those three things make it easy for you. The best thing about this business is knowing that something you made is now in another person’s house, where people can enjoy it.”
Since meeting Darren at the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou, Nova Scotia, he has come out of the deep woods and into the limelight as a touring musician. In 1984, Darren escaped to Nova Scotia where he built a house as far into the woods as one can go. In 2008, he found his way out of the woods and can presently be found somewhere on the banks of the LaHave River.
He now plays several distinctly different types of guitar plus the banjo, dobro, mandolin, dulcimer, harp, drums, and percussion instruments. The music he plays varies from jazz to bluegrass, country, folk, blues, rock & roll, lounge, classical, old-timey and political science. He is well known for bending, twisting, and exploring all these styles with confidence and finesse.
Please enjoy these pictures from our trip and shop for Darren’s work at Pixel Point. ~ (emh)