stoneBy Mary Fox

Ellicottville boasts of an impressive number of artistically talented individuals in a variety of mediums.

“Ellicottville is a town with a great appetite for the experimental, a place where artists offer their wares to an enthusiastic audience that cheers their unique visions,” said Todd Plough, an American impressionist artist living locally.

Brian Naber, a carver of wood and stone, like many artists, pursues his art purely for his own satisfaction. He began woodcarving over 40 years ago when he participated in a carving course, taking his inspiration from nature and Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Brian’s natural talent has produced a collection of expertly detailed wooden pieces including birds, decoys and a 2-foot-by-4-foot wall carving of the biblical burning bush. He has also created unique coffee and side tables from, “wood from our woods and local Pennsylvania slate.”

“Two years ago while visiting Costa Rico, I was inspired by rock faces I saw in the National Museum of Art in San Jose,” he said.

Since then, Brian has been giving ordinary rocks inspiring faces that he calls Serenity Stone Heads.

“It takes a lot of patience, but it’s fun to discover the face within the rock,” he said.

Last summer at the Art in the Garden show, Brian exhibited his Serenity Stone Heads, which inspire contemplation whether placed indoors or in a garden. Currently, besides the Serenity Heads, Brian is working on carving stone birds.

Serenity Heads are for sale but not for profit. Naber “sells” his Serenity Stone Heads for a monetary contribution to the Ellicottville Food Pantry.

“I do it because I enjoy it.  It has given me a lot of satisfaction over the years,” he said.

“We are taking 15 pieces to Atlanta when we visit my daughter to be put in a shop that is interested in selling them. All the profits from there will also benefit the Ellicottville Food Pantry,” said Naber’s wife Trish.

The Naber’s home is a showplace for Brian and Trish’s artistic talents.

Trish Naber is a talented potter who has recently returned to pottery making. Her work is totally unique and, while practical, it is also is whimsical and fun and comes in all forms and sizes of utilitarian dinner settings, vases, bowls, mugs and pitchers.

If you are interested in purchasing a Serenity Stone Head or finding out more about the Nabers’ artwork, you can call them at (716) 699-4940, but don’t be surprised if they aren’t home. Their travels take them all around the United States and into Canada, as well as other countries.