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Rural Business Is Based On Rocks
You might say that the Eyben family business has a rock solid foundation. Blair and Denise Eyben of Kitscoty, Alta., operate Prairie Stoneworks and make their living by carving and etching stones of all sizes and shapes.
  Their finished products include garden centerpieces, gate markers, memorials, grave monuments, and smaller items such as Italian marble coasters, candle holders, wall hangings and plaques.
  With some help from their youngsters, Shane and Samantha, the couple specializes in personalized rock creations that leave a lasting record or tribute to the people, animals or things their clients hold dear.
  "Some people keep memories alive by having us carve a record of an important date, their family name, land location, or whatever is significant to them. These memory stones give a sense of permanency that those memories will never be forgotten, even after the owners are gone," Denise says. "We've also done pet stones that recognize special animals that have passed away."
  Eybens' market their gift line at craft shows and gift stores around Alberta and across Canada.
  Another of their products that have become popular are "inukshuk kits." Inukshuks originate in the north where Inuit people erected them as sentinals to travelers. Eybens provide a collection of slab-shaped rocks, and customers across the country assemble these kits to their own liking.
  Their custom orders sometimes take them to the clients' property where they will work on stones that are too large to transport. Otherwise, their customers either bring their own special rocks to the Prairie Stoneworks shop, or they choose one from Eybens' supply. These are usually gathered from stone quarries in various locations, and local farmers' fieldstones.
  Once they've cleaned a rock, they make stencils and sandblast the design. Lastly, the text or pictures are usually painted so they will be more eye-catching.
  Prices vary depending on the project (some of the gift item prices are available on their website) and the Eybens welcome specific inquiries.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Prairie Stoneworks, Blair and Denise Eyben, Box 127, Kitscoty, Alta., Canada T0B 2P0 (ph 866 846-2677 or 780 846-2677; beyben1@telus.net; www.prairiestone works.com).

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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #6