These signs can be spotted at the time capsule vault at SW Centennial Plaza, at the Cedaredge Skate Park, Cedaredge High School, in front of private homes, and as beautiful memorials. They are the work of Cedaredge resident and artisan Sherry Henrie.
Sherry is most pleased with the new sign at CHS, but she also takes a certain amount of pride in the signs she created for 372d USAF Recruiting Group at Hill Air Force Base (near Ogden, Utah); the entrance sign to the Wolf Mountain Ski Resort (Eden, Utah); and the sign she did for the home of Ralph and Pat Mangum.
She is also proud to have been the one chosen to make the sign for the "Mr. Z Zamarripa Memorial Playground," dedicated to the memory of Fred Zamarripa.
A truly skilled and talented craftswoman, Sherry is the youngest of four children (Todd, Tim and Robin) born to Danny and Ethel Kissner of Cedaredge who, like their father, are all graduates of Cedaredge High School. It was her father who ﬁrst got Sherry interested in rocks.
After graduating from Cedaredge High School in 1988, Sherry went on to study at Mesa Sate College, earning an associate degree in business before marrying longtime sweetheart, Robert Henrie of Delta in 1991. They have three children - Brianna, 16, Aaron, 13, and Hailey, 10. Sherry noted that Brianna will be following the family's long tradition as a graduate of Cedaredge High School.
Robert is an aircraft maintenance mechanic and manager of "tech-ops" for Delta Airlines, working out of Salt Lake City. For her part, Sherry is an extremely talented "sandblast artist and rock specialist."
Sherry's interest in sandblasting art on rock and glass began 10 years ago when she saw the work of Cedaredge resident Nancy Hovde. Sherry was so impressed by Nancy's talent she knew right away she wanted to learn how it was done, how to be creative by sandblasting"both as a hobby and for my own satisfaction," she said.
Sherry said it was Nancy who taught her how to blast. "It was something that I could do to customize by own home. It was never meant to be a business."
During that same time period, Dan Ames had a sign shop in Cedaredge and he was the one who eventually encouraged her to become a sign maker. "Nancy and Dan were my mentors," she said.
Hovde said Sherry was more than a student. "Sherry was my friend," said Hovde, "and she quickly learned the basics and some other things that I could teach her, ...and more; then she ran with it."
That "mentor/friend" relationship continued even after Sherry and Robert moved to Atlanta and eventually Salt Like City. "I could call her [Nancy] with questions, and she would tell me what I needed to do to solve any problem in order to complete or begin a project."
Most people don't really realize the full range of products they can create by sandblasting, because they don't realize the full range of the types of stones that are available.
There are many products (i.e., gift items, stone tiles and stone monuments) that are made from polished marble and granite. Unﬁnished stones with smooth, hard surfaces include everything from crystals to river rocks. Then there is the category of rough rocks, like sandstone, ﬂagstone, slate and various sizes of boulders, any of which can be sandblasted or carved.
Sherry prefers to work with sandstone. Shape and color determine which stone she chooses.
Sherry said Robert even went so far as to buy her a large pallet of red sandstone for her birthday. "My favorite birthday gift, ever," she said. "But I never knew rocks were so expensive."
Even though it may look like a rock quarry or a sandy beach, it's not. It's just the leftover sand in the Henrie's backyard where Sherry does most of her work. "It's not glamorous, and it's dirty work, but somebody has to do it," she laughed.
Sherry doesn't use acid to etch the stone. Her tools include an air compressor with a minimum of 100 pounds of air pressure per square inch (psi), a blaster and either sand or aluminum oxide as an abrasive. By adjusting the speed and pressure of the blaster and the angle from which the abrasive is being applied, differing shades can be created, allowing for some true works of art. "The natural grain of the rock always surprises me," said Sherry.
Stencils created by Sherry from clients' photographs or other media, or drawn "free hand," are then applied to the stone, and the stone is ready to be sandblasted. After the sandblasting is completed, the stencil is removed, and monument stain is applied to bring out the graphics on the stone. The rock is then soaked in a soap and water solution to soften the glue and clean the rock. Once the stone is cleaned and sealed, it is ready for the public and/or clients to enjoy.
And Sherry enjoys it as well. "Just being able to be a part of something, or of someone's life, that's important to me and what I love about it," said Sherry. Sherry also works with other media, but said she can't say enough about working with stone. "I've been so lucky to have been surrounded by the right people," she said, "and I've been blessed."
Needless to say, most of Sherry's work is etched in "stone," and "rock solid."blog comments powered by Disqus