In the beginning, it was never about the money. Matter of fact, we had no aspirations of starting a stone fabrication business at all. We got into the stone industry by polishing edges of marble tiles to complete our tile installations. After all, we were humble tile setters, nothing more.
Those were the days of pure enjoyment. Making those edges shiny was oddly satisfying, as we were creating something beautiful from rough stone.
Fast forward 23 years to our lives now. Days filled with the responsibilities of running a stone business. A large stone business. Employees, machinery, machinery breaking down, deadlines, building maintenance, bills, large bills, shockingly large bills, safety meetings, taxes, taxes and more taxes. Did I mention bills?
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved, but for my father and I, that feeling of creativity was noticeably missing, and starting to take its toll on us professionally. I’m not referring to the day to day creativity we get from providing stonework to meet the needs of the public. I’m talking about pure creativity that only comes from making something that you want, how you want and when you want, with the only person to please is yourself.
A couple of years ago, seemingly simultaneously, we both started to “create” again. My father with lapidary items, and myself with fine art sculpture. All of a sudden, work is fun again. We remember what it is to truly enjoy the stone and why we got into this business in the first place.
My father’s “therapy” is amazing, and he’s had a miraculous and full recovery from terminal non-create-ilitis. Not so much about marble and granite anymore, now it’s a world of obsidian, petrified wood and semi-precious gems. You can check out some of his handiwork at knivesinstone.com or by visiting the rock and gem show at the fairgrounds each spring.