Rocknoggins are the creation of Dawn Sorrell

What Are Rocknoggins?

About the Artwork

The rocks used come from South Cascades, North Cascades, and the Rocky Mountains, each Rocknoggin has its own unique character discovered as faint images naturally hidden on its surface and released from the rock by the imagination and talent of artist Dawn Sorrell.

What Are Rocknoggins?

About the Artwork

What are they made of?
The original stones are mostly igneous rocks, such as granite and basalt, and some have traces of various minerals such as jade in there make up but each is one of a kind. A mold is made of an original hand carved stone and hand-cast using my own special blend of cement, various aggregates, marble dust, fibers and a fortifier to reinforce the cement and make each as "rock like" and durable as possible. After each cast has cured, then they are hand stained and treated to bring out the original rock characteristics. Each cast is then sealed. Every cast is individual and unique and great care is taken to make them look like "real" rocks.

How did the noggins start?
The noggin story: I'm an artist who recently relocated to Washington from Colorado. For the past nine years I was a successful Graphic Artist and sculpted part-time. In September of 2003 I decided to make sculpting my full-time career. I moved to Washington with that goal in mind and soon began feeling the enormous stress and pressure that I think many people feel that take that kind of plunge. Consequently, I needed some outlet that I could express myself and try to free up my creative energy that had been lost with the pressure of making a living as an artist. I began finding rocks on various hikes with faint images naturally hidden on their surface. I took them back to my studio and started refining these images and making them into what is now known as - Rocknoggins. They were so spontaneous and liberating that I continued and slowly began to free up. Although they began as a creative release, I quickly began to see how others might see their charm and want to include them in their gardens or homes. I've always strived to portray some kind of emotion with my work - to impact people on a very personal level. What could be better than making people laugh? They have become my therapy and I believe art patrons will soon agree that laughter is underrated.

Can you tell me about the pricing?
Each noggin is totally unique and one-of-a-kind. The natural rock's surface provides many imperfections that enhance their character filled faces. Diamond coated bits and tools have to be used to carve these extremely hard stones and the cost of these along with the many hours it takes to carve them make it difficult to sell these at "garden art" prices. Because of this, I'm faced with a dilemma – I either have to price them very high to cover the costs or reproduce them in limited quantities. The reproductions are more affordable and I take great care to make each unique and individual. I don't simply pull them from a mold. I individually stain and treat each cast using chemicals and processes that penetrate the surface to make each durable and long lasting. These casts are solid and look and feel very much like the original stones that they came from.

How do I care for my noggin?
The casts are all sealed for outdoor display. Cement can never be totally waterproofed so it is recommended that, during freezing temperatures they be brought indoors. The original noggins come from outdoors and manage to survive the severe temperatures that higher altitudes offer, but because they have been carved and crevasses are left in their faces, water may penetrate the rock and consequently cause damaged over time if left unprotected. If left outdoors in freezing temperatures, there is a chance that they could crack. Some have been sealed but this changes their appearance and unless they are to be left outdoors all year long are better left as God made them. When unsealed they are the most fun because when it rains they change color and expressions. Be sure to ask whether your original noggin has been sealed if it is to be left unattended outdoors all year long.