Larger than life

One man’s obsession with tiny pebbles has manifested into a larger-than-life opportunity to decorate a home or backyard with oversized versions of the small rocks. Contemplating some of his favorite pebbles, Michael Zimber asked himself, “What if pebbles got big?” Now, the company Zimber founded, Stone Forest Inc. in Santa Fe, N.M., offers the Pebble Collection of fountains, seating, vases and vessel sinks.

Zimber has spent plenty of time on rivers, at beaches and along the ocean and has always loved looking at pebbles he finds. “I might be kayaking and stop for a break, and I gather a great stash of pebbles. It’s hard for me to pull away and get going again. A lot of people love something about pebbles, so I thought about what would happen if pebbles got big.”

Each Stone Forest Pebble element is hand-carved from a selection of natural, quarried exotic stones, including multicolored onyx and conglomerate, to resemble small pebbles. In some cases, the stone elements stand up to 5 ft. high, weigh 4,000 lbs. and can be found in people’s gardens and homes.

“In a garden, it could be the main feature,” Zimber says. “As a fountain, one of these large pebbles could be the central feature in a landscaping environment. Or, it could be a small indoor fountain; we have these as 24-in.-high indoor fountains. One thing I imagine and have not seen yet is a big fountain with Pebble seats around it. It would be interesting to mix and match seating with different stone materials.”

Standard weather restrictions apply to the fountains, which typically are completed in about one week and are constructed in many phases. From the time Stone Forest receives an order, it will arrive on-site within three weeks. “We carve them ourselves. These sculptures are full of surprises, and each one is unique. And we also do custom work for homeowners looking to really have something no one else has,” Zimber says.

Smaller, indoor Pebble fountains are available, but big fountains can reside indoors, too. “It would have to be set as the house is being built or, if it’s a remodel, when we can still get a forklift through the door or a crane through the roof to set the fountain in place. In this case we’d create a concrete vault for it to rest on.

For details about the Pebble Collection, visit or circle 19 for more information.