COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) Step on them when you're barefoot on the beach and they may cause you pain, but collecting them and setting them in a scene brings one woman pleasure and Made in Vermont art.
Big things often have small beginnings. No one knows that saying more than Jean Ferguson Ward. "I'm happiest when I'm being creative," Ward said.
Since 2015, she's been making and selling one of a kind pebble art, Once Upon A Rock. "I always see something in a rock," she said.
That started years ago when she was painting on rocks while pregnant with the first of her three sons. "There's like a 1994, because that was the year," Ferguson Ward said.
The first rock she painted was a Christmas tree. "As soon as my friends saw that, they wanted one for themselves," Ferguson Ward said.
But it wasn't until her sons were older that she got into pebble art, simply by making little figures on the beach. "You can make a pebble into anything you want," Ferguson Ward said.
When the snow goes away, that's when her hand-picking of pebbles begins. She'll spend an afternoon filling up a bag. "You don't realize where rocks are because you're not looking for them. If you're looking for them, you find them everywhere," Ferguson Ward said. "I just started with pebbles and then I started adding glass, because people wanted more color."
She was making larger pebble art projects, but over the last year has really found a niche making smaller ones that fit in a 3 x 4 frame. She's up to 1,100 of these type pieces and counting. "I can do a few in an evening and every one can be completely different," Ferguson Ward said.
She teaches how to make pebble art to classes throughout the year, teaching others to enjoy the little things. "It's really looking internally and knowing that you can do something and being okay if you fail and then trying again," Ferguson Ward said.
Or you could say, all things are difficult before they become easy. Once Upon A Pebble can be found at various craft shows throughout the state and through her website and are about $30. "There's such peace with working with rocks and I always tell people, it's grounding for me," Ferguson Ward said.
From the beach to her basement, it's paradise found for Jean Ferguson Ward with Once Upon a Rock.