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Cross carver leaves no stone unturned

Staff writer

When pulling into Wendy’s in Hillsboro last week, hungry customers witnessed a truck bed filled with stone crosses.

It was the work of Darin Nixon of El Dorado, also known as “The Rock Guy,” who has been carving for the past year.

“I was driving through town, seeing if anybody’s interested in buying rock,” he said. “I needed a better way to sell rock than just selling it on Facebook.”

Nixon carves benches, headstones, crosses, desk name signs, and family name signs by hand out of rock he finds near El Dorado.

“I used to take cows out on the pasture with this rock all the time, and they’d have a horrible time,” he said. “Now I’m selling the rock.”

He visited stores to see whether he could sell his product, but frequently found buyers approaching him at the door or by his truck. His items sell for $30 to $250. He works both by commission and free-lance.

“I’ve had people following me for 8 to 9 miles just to buy some of my stuff,” he said.

Stone crosses are his most popular product. They have been used as roadside crosses, cemetery headstones, pet grave markers, and yard landscaping.

He sold stone crosses in Hillsboro, Canton, and Florence to stores and individuals. He also has hit Wichita, Eureka, and his home in El Dorado, but he finds the most luck in small towns.

“I do better in country towns. Country people are different,” he explained. “A lot of people have a little rock garden out in their yard and appreciate landscaping stone.”

His selling success didn’t stop him from hand-carving more rock pieces the next day in El Dorado.

“This stone sticks to you everywhere when you’re hot,” he laughed.

Last modified July 1, 2021

 

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