Scott and Katy Anderson became Triassic Stone, they brought
a wealth of artistic talent and environmental consciousness
to the business.
Scott’s grandmother, grandfather and father were avid
rock collectors, and used the rocks they found to make small
stonework pieces, such as bookends. Scott also learned woodworking
with hand tools, and began investigating the possibilities
in both media. Scott graduated from Southern Illinois-Edwardsville
Art School with a double major in anthropology and geography.
Through Edwardsville, Scott went to Oaxaca, Mexico to study
pottery and weaving, then to Hazard, KY, to learn blacksmithing.
This learning would stand him in good stead, but not right
away. After getting out of school, Scott began leading kids’ backpacking
trips in the US and Canada for Aspen Youth Alternatives, which
he still does occasionally. In 1997, one of those trips took
him to Torrey and he was hooked on the country. Scott says, “I
like the lack of people and the open space. You can see a long
In Torrey, Scott began making small stone pendants by hand.
After he traded some pieces for a grinding wheel, the work
went faster and his output went up enough that he began to
think of it as a business. He lived out of his truck for 5
years until he relocated to Moab.
came to Triassic Stone from a different direction. She
was a creative kid, but even more of a soccer jock. She
graduated from George Mason University in Virginia with
a degree in journalism. When Katy came to Southeastern
Utah on a backpacking trip with friends in 2003, she fell
for Moab. When asked why, Katy has a simple answer, “It’s
Katy hadn’t worked in stone or wood until she met Scott,
but found a love for those art forms. She uses her creativity
not only through Triassic Stone, but also teaches at the Paradox
The ethic that underlies Triassic Stone is living softly on
the earth. Their materials are salvaged, locally-available,
and non-toxic to them or their customers. Scott and Katy used
to order materials from the global market, but when they found
that the leather they use from India contaminates rivers, they
agreed they didn’t want to kill people to make jewelry.
They use alabaster from Onion Creek, pearwood from the soon-to-be
Mulberry Lane Neighborhood behind Mulberry Lane and Rotary
Park, black walnut from behind the old movie theatre, and apricot
from all over the valley. To replace that hazardous cordage
from India, they use dogbane by stripping the fibers and winding
in the same way it has been used for millennia. Katy and Scott
have found uses even for tamarisk.
They find most of their raw materials on backpacking trips.
Making a connection to the place each piece comes from infuses
their art and is part of the fun. “Customers like knowing
where the pieces came from,” Katy says.
goal is “Zero Waste.” Whether they are working
with wood or stone, they often start with big pieces and
recycle the scraps in ever smaller and smaller pieces so
nothing is wasted. A huge slab of wood might be shaped
into a table, with the scrap pieces becoming bowls or spoons
or chopsticks. This is not only eco-friendly, but helps
keep their prices down.
“Stone is about breakage,” Scott says. “The
material limits what you can do with it. This can be good because
it stretches you.”
In form, Katy describes their style as “simple and conscious.” Each
piece is handmade, one off. Most of their pieces are wearable
or usable. Along with the large pieces, they make small tools
such as drop spindles, tongs, weaving and felting tools, and
burnishers. A Navajo weaver’s batten was grooved from
the wool; they made her a batten from mountain mahogany, hard
as ironwood and likely to last a lifetime. Scott says, “I
try to make things that bring out the natural beauty of the
materials, and I think I just provide the shape or the form.
When I change what I’m doing, I meet a new set of people
to talk to. Often I find out that they may have done something
a year ago, they bought a sawmill, which opened up new
possibilities. Like many other artists, they add one tool
at a time, gradually accumulating new equipment and broadening
their range. Their workshop is messy and cluttered – definitely
a shop that belongs to working artists.
They note that it’s hard for new artists to break in.
In order to make their presence known, Katy and Scott took
over Petra Gallery after its founder, Bill Kent, died, and
ran it until they turned it over to Robin Straub in March of
this year. That experience jumpstarted Scott’s bigger
Most of this year, you could find Triassic Stone at the Farmers’ Market.
They underwrite programs at KZMU, and support local music programs,
as well as participating in artists’ studio tours.
Scott and Katy agree that “Our philosophy entails our
do-it-yourself attitude, and we encourage other people to try
out these materials.” Generous and eco-friendly, Triassic
Stone is a business that improves the art scene in Moab.
If you would like to know more about Triassic Stone, visit
their website at www.triassicstone.com.