2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5, Page #33[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
They Use Farm Rocks To Make Custom Grave Stones
Roger and Linda Shore of Millet, Alberta, turn field stones into grave stones. The majority of their clients are farmers who've spent a good chunk of their lives clearing rocks off cropland.
Many farmers have a memorable rock they've found during their lifetime. Or they might just like the idea of marking their grave with something out of the ground that supported them all their life.
"One rock I worked on was brought in by a daughter after her father died. She said she and her father had once picnicked on that rock," Roger says.
"When we first got the idea, we were told that field stones could not be usedą that they were not suitable and ugly. But we've found it to be completely the opposite," Linda says. "They're harder and more time consuming to work with, but they are beautiful and unique. Many cemeteries have regulations that exclude anything but traditional tombstones, but we've had some change their rules when they saw how nice ours are."
Roger acquired his original stone-cutting saw at an auction sale of a bankrupt monument company. He's always on the lookout for attractive rocks but says most people bring him their own rocks to work on.
"There are so many types of stone, each is truly one-of-a-kind. I've made monuments from a huge piece of petrified wood and others from what I believe was a meteorite because it looked like a black ball of lava," he says. "Even ordinary field stones have amazing colors and patterns when you cut them open and polish them."
Although he once sliced more than six different grave stones from one big rock, Shore enjoys leaving the back of the monument uncut, unpolished and natural-looking ū like a rock in the field.
The Shores can adorn rocks with original artwork, including a special stone paint. "We've been told by people in the business that they've never seen such nice work," he says. "Our service is so popular we're usually about a year behind on orders."
Shore says one of his most impressive field stone projects was an 8-ft. tall rock monument for the entrance to the town of New Sarepta, as a tribute to the farmers of the area.
Shore's tomb stones are vandal-proof because he embeds them into a concrete foundation.
He charges $2.30 per square inch to cut, polish and engrave a stone. For example, a 24 by 24-in. stone would cost $1,324 (Canada). On large stones, his prices are considerably cheaper than traditional monument suppliers, according to Shore.
Brochures are available. Stone also makes picnic tables, sign posts, bronze sculptures, and wildlife oil paintings.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roger and Linda Shore, R.R. 1, Site 5, Box 11, Millet, Alberta, Canada (ph 780 387-5185; fax 780 387-5581).
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