Set in Stone

Stone artist and craftsman David Campbell’s artistry is shaped by Cape Cod’s geometry.

At the close of a long day in the brilliant summer sun, David Campbell finds solace in the landscape. A faded cut-off tee shirt exposes the tan, sturdy arms that designed the gardens he’s surrounded by, and built the stone bench on which he’s perched. His build hints at years of work requiring strength and endurance in the outdoors; his demeanor hints at years of relishing the life he’s crafted for himself.

Set in Stone

The picturesque scenes of Cape Cod—from the rippling ocean waves to beach stones to marsh grasses swaying softly—provide infinite inspiration for David Campbell’s creative mind and skilled hands. He sculpts and carves an array of materials, including stone, metal, wood, and found objects, into intricately designed sculptures. He views each piece of his artwork as a product of his Cape Cod environment, drawing upon the geometry of the natural world around him.

short distance from Conaumet Cove and lush cranberry bogs in East Sandwich, Campbell’s property feels like an oasis in an already beautifully wooded neighborhood. The granite mailbox post with his house number carved into its side is but a preview of Campbell’s exquisitely designed landscape, where a selection of his garden sculptures reside. The first bluestone blue heron he ever carved, one of his staple designs, majestically surveys the yard amid vibrant rhododendron; stone fountains provide a choir of trickling water set in several mini-gardens that surround the property. Campbell’s workshop, a shed at the end of the driveway, bursts with etching and carving experiments, diamond drill bits and welding tools, and a sandblasting booth he constructed himself.

Set in Stone

“I’ve always created things, whether it be jewelry or wood carvings or entire landscapes,” Campbell says. “Each project has its own challenges, but that’s what I like about it.” A landscape designer and stone mason since 1982, Campbell has done almost all of the work for each project himself, from conceptualization to installation. Every piece of art coming from Campbell’s workshop is one of a kind; he does the work by hand and often sources from his stone stockpile, which he’s been building up for over 30 years. A tour through his gardens is all it takes to reveal Campbell’s passion and talent for stonework.

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Ashley Owen is a freelance writer and former editorial intern for Cape Cod Life Publications.

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