Our Stone Vessels begin as freshly “grown” fieldstones that American Stonecraft sustainably hand-harvests at working farms. The stone used to make this Vessel is gneiss from a New Hampshire farm.
Each rock is unique in shape and color, comprised of metamorphic granite. Artisans craft each Vessel from scratch in our Massachusetts studio using custom tools. The stone is transformed from a dull rock into a piece of art. Our Stone Vessels also retain the natural “live” exterior surface of the stone’s glacial tumbling. Each stone arrives with your personalized gift note, if applicable.
This Stone Vessel stands 10” tall and the base has a 7” x 18” footprint with a 7” deep oval shaped bore. It weighs 50 lbs. There are no drainage holes.
Fieldstones being natural, have minor, non-structural fissures, pocks, scratches, chips, and other superficial flaws that we affectionately call beauty marks.
THE FARM–TO–TABLE STORY
About 8,000 years ago, icy glaciers pushed boulders into the soil of America’s Northeast. As a result, a fresh crop of rocks ‘grow’ each spring when the winter’s freeze-thaw cycles force buried stones upward, a process called granular convection.
In the 1890s, before the railroads opened up rock-free farmlands in other parts of the United States, farmers removing stones from their fields piled them into what eventually became 215,000 miles of stonewalls, a distance greater than from the earth to the moon!
These stonewalls became the folklore of poets like Robert Frost, and the landscape of the Northeast United States. Because clearing rocks is never complete, American Stonecraft partners with working farms to sustainably harvest their fresh rocks and transform them into functional heirlooms. Not only does this endeavor share geology that has never been seen before, but it helps support working farms, preserving open space and protecting the stonewalls that are so iconic to this region.
Like many of us, the founder of American Stonecraft, Gerald Croteau, fell in love with these archaeological stone ruins as a youth. However, he became an economist and founded American Stonecraft in his late 20s after seeing the inside of a fieldstone for the first time. He was amazed at what he had overlooked for so long, and realized that there was a sustainable supply of these rocks that farmers could share at their farmstands. Diamond tools (being a relatively modern invention) revealed amazing colors, patterns, and geologies in the humble New England farm-gathered fieldstone that he wanted to help share with others!
Gerald rolled up his sleeves, spent several years as an independent craftsman touring at local arts and crafts shows, and taught himself how to make a number of fascinating products. We are now a small team of artisans, and each piece is signed by its maker(s), and produced under Gerald’s direct supervision.