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Friends and Neighbours: A passion for rocks and clocks

Wes Peters has a lot of time on his hands.
Leah Blain photo Wes Peters with some of the clocks he has crafted from pieces of rock.

Wes Peters has a lot of time on his hands.

Well, to be more specific, he has a lot of clocks – about 800, all made by Peters from rock.

No one is like another – each rock clock has its own unique shape and beauty.

Peters’ penchant for rockwork began years ago as a hobby.

“About 1950 I started cutting rocks – it was just a hobby,” says Wes.

This hobby became a fun and important part of his family’s life as their vacations centered around rock collecting. But his interest in rocks started before that.

“When I was a kid, I found some fool’s gold. I didn’t know what it was so I brought it home and my dad says, ‘It’s just called fool’s gold.’ It was yellow as could be – it was good enough for me.”

Peters worked on the pipeline and long-distance trucking, but his real love was geology. He taught himself all about rocks through books, and was a charter member of the Thompson Valley Rock Club.

In 1972, Wes, wife Dorothy and their children moved to Salmon Arm. He made himself a saw to cut the rocks and got into making clocks and jewelry, selling them at craft fairs and markets.

“I never started out with any idea of doing this,” he says smiling.

Over the years, Peters’ has received a lot of orders for trophies, plaques and other special requests.

As he points out the brilliant colors of the various rocks and clocks, Peters explains how he used chemicals to bring out the rocks’ natural beauty more brilliantly.

In a spare room, besides the 50 or so clocks that are on the table and shelves, he has boxes of various rocks and, for the most part, he remembers where he got each of them.

“This one is from the Revelstoke area, this one is from Lillooet, Squilax, Savona, Monty Lake…,” he says as he picks up or points out various items.

From under the table he pulls out a plastic peanut butter jar. Inside there are minuscule, perfectly round rock pieces. These are the ‘timbits’ of the clocks, the pieces he cut to put the clock hand mechanism in. He has every single one he has ever cut.

“I have four jars full – about 8,000,” he estimates.

Rocks are fascinating he says as he pulls out a few he has polished but not made into anything.

“Some of them are just beautiful – pretty patterns. Mother Nature makes everything – you don’t have a human hand in it and it’s perfect.”