SPECIAL WRITE UP by Scientist and Explorer Bart Jarek
STANDARD DESCRIPTION by Gerald
Bowlders most often begin as freshly “grown” fieldstones that American Stonecraft sustainably hand-harvests at working farms. Each rock is unique in shape and color, comprised of metamorphic granite. Artisans craft each Bowlder from scratch in our Massachusetts studio using custom tools. The stone is transformed from a dull rock into a piece of art with impossibly brilliant color. This color is not the result of an outside product or lacquer, but of skilled grinding and polishing, smoothing away all roughness up to a 10,000 grit. Bowlders also retain the natural “live” edge from the stone’s glacial tumbling. All Bowlders are protected with a permanent food-safe (EU testing) seal that penetrates any microscopic pores to prevent staining and allow for easy cleaning with soap and water. Farm-provenance and your artisan is permanently labeled on the underside of each Bowlder. Cork feet are included in the box and can be applied to the underside of your Bowlder to protect delicate surfaces. Each item arrives packaged in an American Stonecraft gift box with your personalized gift note, if applicable.
NOTE Fieldstones being natural, have minor, non-structural fissures, pocks, scratches, chips, and other superficial flaws that we affectionately call beauty marks. All product photos of a particular product type (ie Food Slabs or Coasters) are photographed from the same distance with the same lens. Therefore, you are welcome to compare size and shape from listing to listing as they are a representative scale. Each wooden slat is 3″ wide.
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.