Years ago, when my wife Betty was spending most of her summers on the beach of Keuka Lake watching our five children swim, she began to notice the many shapes and colors of the beach stones around her. With a little imagination she could combine them to look like fish, children, trees and more. By embedding the stones in a cement mix in redwood frames, she began to create mosaics. Eventually, Betty started selling her work at art & craft shows in the Finger Lakes Region.
As she became more serious about her art, her collection of stones began to grow. Betty sorted her carefully selected pieces of beach shale into cardboard milk cartons split lengthwise. Soon the shelves in her workshop were filled with boxes labeled “mushrooms,” “children’s heads,” “fish heads,” “tree branches,” “arms and legs,” and “too good to be true!” Most of her rocks are from the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario, but a few are from Maine, where long straight pieces of slate can be found.
In addition to exhibiting her art at the Clothesline Show in Rochester and smaller local shows, she sold her work at The Three Crowns in Pittsford. Currently, Betty displays her work at Artizanns in Naples, and she continues to sell her mosaics at the Hammondsport Craft Show each August. I help by making the redwood frames and by cleaning sink drains that mysteriously become plugged with concrete.
Creating her stone mosaics has been a fun hobby. She no longer has to watch swimmers (except for grandchildren now and then), but watching for the just right rock has led to many nice walks on Finger Lakes beaches.
by Bill Kinsman