Natural Stone Products & Rustic Twig Furniture at Arts in the Park

By Arts in the Park | Jun 19, 2014
Photo by: Mark Guido

A builder by trade, Mark became inspired by the shapes and forms he saw in the woods and on the beaches of Maine. This inspired him to create his line of stone products and rustic furniture. Mark's work is made from found materials, such as stone, twigs and burls which he has gathered from the forests and approved beach sites on the Coast of Maine.

Mark uses Speckled Alder wood for his furniture because it is very supple and has beautiful natural markings. It bends easily to create the graceful arches of the chair backs and armrests and allows for the twisting of small decorative branches.
The saplings are gathered throughout the year, except in the spring. They are cut using only hand tools (no chainsaws or other machinery are used) and are bent immediately. They are not steamed, but bent while "green" (freshly cut).

To hold the furniture together, Mark uses silicon bronze or galvanized nails in his furniture.

Each piece is available in natural wood (with no finish applied) or with a hand-rubbed linseed oil finish. This imparts a soft luster to the wood and gives protection for occasional outdoor use.

Our stone products begin with a family trip to one of the beaches or islands of Downeast Maine. We only go to approved sites, with owner permission. By boat or on foot, we spend hours looking for the most exquisite colors and shapes we can find. Being careful not to remove too many stones from any one place, we use backpacks and pockets when leaving the beach area, then transport the stones to our Liberty, Maine workshop.

The stones are sorted according to their size and the type of product they will become (i.e. vase, lamp, etc.) and the bottoms are flattened using masonry saws and grinders. Industrial drills are used for boring holes and a tung oil finish is hand rubbed onto each stone. This finish brings out the color of the stone (as it appears when seen in the water) and gives it a soft luster.

See Mark and all the artist at this year's Arts in the Park July 12th & 13th Heritage Park, Belfast.

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