The Rocks I Use Around My Home are Really Ancient Artifacts

(Video link here.) Seth Boyden’s charming An Object at Rest follows the life of a stone as he travels over the course of millions of years, facing nature’s greatest obstacle: human civilization. It has changed the way I view the nearly two dozen rocks and stones of varying sizes that live around my space, whose possible histories I never took the time to imagine. I enjoy their beauty, and the memories they spark of where they were found and carried home: beach or woods or field. Their weight and balance makes for many practical uses.


Ellen Silverman

Now I view them as ancient artifacts whose long journey I can only guess at: hunks of the natural world that traveled through time and space to get to me. I enjoy that deeper view and connection.

Some have been with me for years, following me from one home to another where they have been used in various ways…

…door stop

…weight for a pot lid…

Sally Schneider

…or to “brick-fry” a chicken

Ellen Silverman

…elemental toilet paper holder…(the long dark stone is perfect for pressing oversize books flat against the scanner bed)…

Sally Schneider

I use a smooth stone to mash garlic quickly…

Maria Robledo

I originally used this green stone to pound basil and pine nuts for pesto in a huge stone mortar that was in the kitchen courtyard of a house in the South of France many years ago, its pestle nowhere to be found. It does many jobs in my kitchen, including weighting down the lid being pushed up by steaming greens…

Sally Schneider

And of course, I use stones to secure piles of ideas for a project…

Sally Schneider

…some wait for a long time before they are moved (there are A LOT of projects)

Sally Schneider


Of course, I’m not alone in my love of rocks and stones.

Designer Russel Wright used boulders to prop up his red-painted credenza…

Don Freeman 

One day Cage was inspired to use the stones he collected and loved in his own works of art…


We humans that pick up rocks and bring them home to enjoy add ourselves to their patient histories… 



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