When Cliff Hakim was growing up he had a love of landscaping and an affinity for stone. And, he has always had a knack for solving puzzles and visioning possibilities. This passion and talent simmered in the background for some thirty years while he built a career as an Executive Coach and Consultant in the corporate world. Things shifted for the Arlington resident about four years ago as Mr. Hakim realized the intersection of his true nature and in that evolution he formed Inspired Stones combining creativity with reclaimed stone, wood and iron to enhance diverse environments.
From a personal backyard project crafted from sourced granite, Mr. Hakim has over time developed a following who share his love of natural materials used in elegance and simplicity. Benches, tables memorials, house numbers and other custom touchstones grace his clients’ homes, gardens, courtyards and entry ways – some handcrafted from antique clock faces, machine washers, vintage granite and reclaimed cobblestones from historic Boston neighborhoods. Each piece is unique and sports a story all its own. In working with his clients, Hakim takes great consideration of their needs and interests, is dictated by the elements at hand, and stressed that he “never knows where the pieces will lead him in his craft.” Most days find him in his studio in West Concord – an artisan enclave which houses a host of craftsmen and women immersed in their passions and creating beauty in furniture and food… and even boats. As the season kicks in Inspired Stones enjoys a satellite showroom or “outdoor gallery” at the entrance to the family owned and operated Verrill Farm perched on some 200 acres in Concord and neighboring Sudbury. A fitting setting for his signature works. When visitors walk through Inspired Stones, Hakim says that many pause to share their “stone” stories, as though the environment calls to be in touch with self, another human being and the Earth.
As the season shifts and many in turn shift their lengthening days to embrace the outdoors, it’s a rather perfect time to consider enhancements to the backyard, terrace or garden – especially those built quietly from natural elements. “Our earth is a great stone. Inspired Stones’ benches, tables, and art forms reminds us of the Earth’s preciousness and beauty. My forms are powerfully simple. They flow. I don’t want to complicate things but rather allow the elements to unfold organically in their natural orientation.” Inspired Stones is open to the public from May through October, at the farm located at 11 Wheeler Road in Concord, MA.
By, Susan Currie