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Engraver Leaves No River Rock Unturned for His Custom Stone Gifts


With St. Patrick's Day coming up, Rick Rosensteel has been turning out a lot of shamrocks and Celtic crests and "Erin Go Braghs." For Valentine's, it was hearts and flowers.

Rosensteel writes in stone. Or rather, he blasts in stone, using a pressurized hose and carbide tip, after a stencil has been applied to the stone's surface.

"I used to work for a utility company as a mechanic, but I was really interested in crystal engraving and did it as a hobby," he said. "Then I went to sandblasting and started doing stones for people's gardens."

His C/R Custom Engraving, a Baltimore home-based business, also has a full line of glassware and crystal products.

Rosensteel handpicks much of his river rock. "It has to be flat and smooth," he said. "The worst to work on is granite, because it's so hard, and the best is white quartz."

He will customize any sentiment the customer wishes to have immortalized. "We've had some unusual requests," he said. "I just finished an order for a bar mitzvah with the 10 Commandments on little river rocks. And I recently did a stone with a parakeet's name on it, for a perch in the bird cage."

The stone line ranges from pocket size to desktop, garden stones and pet memorials. Clan crests and coats of arms are popular, and available in stone or glass. Price depends on a stone's size and the intricacy of its message. Generally, prices range from $10 to $85. "We do a lot of ceramic tiles and marble tiles for home decorating," he said. "And we're getting ready for the Maryland Renaissance festival. We'll have a booth loaded with medieval items."

Rosensteel can be reached by phone at (410) 426-0387 or by e-mail at


If your house needs more than decorative stones for a spring sprucing up, check out the Antique Outdoor Market Sunday at Long Beach Veterans Stadium, Lakewood Boulevard and Conant Street.

Now in its 18th year, the monthly show features 800 vendors with everything from small jewelry to large-scale furniture, says promoter Donald Moger of Americana Enterprises, Inc.

"We're not the biggest or the oldest flea market in the area, but what's great is that we feature only antiques and collectibles," he said. "Unlike most of the competitors, we screen out our junk. No jeans and T-shirts."

In new collectibles, he says, Roseville pottery from the 1920s Midwest is "very hot and hard to find," and so is bakelite jewelry, a predecessor to plastic.

"For decorating, you can find architectural items like columns and doors, and we have lots of garden furniture. You could furnish an entire house here."

Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., parking is free and admission is $4.50. For information, call (323) 655-5703.

Connie Koenenn can be reached

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