She always collected shells and pebbles and twigs. Then this fall an East Tennessee woman who saw beauty in those objects started making them into actual art.
You'll find plenty of gently used books at Southland Books in Maryville. Tucked in a corner of the book store's cafe you'll see old rocks getting a new life.
"Ever since I was little I've brought home pockets full of pebbles and shells and sticks and everything," Lori Ogden explained.
She has always been attracted to pebbles: the color, the shape, the size. Now she sorts them into those categories since she started making pebbles into art.
"I think I actually just sat two of them together and I had two heads that had come from completely different places I'm sure," Lori Ogden said. "They looked like a couple for all the world standing there together and I think I ended up giving that one as a wedding present," she said.
She said making pebble art is therapeutic. It keeps her focused.
"Just to have something that tells a little story with as little as possible, "she said.
A finished piece is paper, pebbles, ink, maybe a twig. Nothing complicated.
"That's the challenge I guess to tell the story with just as little as possible because you tend to want to add more and more and more to it. And, yeah, keep it simple," she said.
Some of her creations are custom orders like a family with a certain number of children. Others are inspired by the pebbles.
"Sometimes the pebble itself starts me off. I have this one that looks like the moon exactly," she said.
Some are more difficult than others.
"A guy wanted a little girl holding a balloon and I managed that one pretty quickly and then he wanted the little boy who loved his mountain bike and he wanted the kid on the mountain bike and I just i struggled over that one forever because finding two perfectly round,,, you know you start with the wheels and it just took me forever to get the shape of the bike and I almost just threw it out the window and couple of times," she said.
Lori Ogden still enjoys collecting pebbles along river banks but now she's a little more picky.
"Since I've started doing the pebble art I've picked the smaller ones and the ones that have just a little bit more character to them. I don't pick the huge rocks anymore," she said.
She features her pebble art on a facebook page.