By Ed Karvoski Jr., Culture Editor
Westborough – Sindy Indge-Crosby has collected rocks and expressed herself artistically since growing up in Westborough. Now living in Salem, N.H, she’s doing business as Sindy Rocks and has stayed connected with her hometown through artworks.
Her painted rocks are keepsakes for other natives and many townspeople including patrons of the 1717 Shoppe during Westborough’s 300th anniversary in 2017.
“I’ve had such a great response from people in my hometown,” she said. “They’ve been a huge part of my success.”
After graduating from Westborough High School (WHS) in 1974, she worked as a layout artist for Chase Paper Company. She later studied gemology, became a certified diamondoligist and explored the jewelry industry. While working with two interior design businesses, she helped clients choose fabrics and colors.
In the early-2000s, she combined her interests in rocks and art. A particular rock painting remains her most memorable.
“My cat passed away and I painted her image on a rock,” she explained. “It looked so real that my daughter thought she was alive on the table.”
Now, Indge-Crosby’s specialty is painting pet portraits and memory rocks on commission. She typically leaves a heart-shaped space unpainted for her signature or pet’s name. Completing the presentation, she hand sows a bag for each rock. She has permission to collect rocks from a Maine camp and a friend’s oceanfront property.
“Any rock will do,” she said. “Sometimes I put wood filler on the bottom to make it stand upright. I try to keep a natural part of the rocks exposed somewhere.”
Soon after founding Sindy Rocks in 2014, she discovered opportunities to reconnect with her hometown.
While her WHS class of 1974 prepared for their 40th reunion, Indge-Crosby’s classmate Nancy Perkins asked if she could create a memento for attendees. She painted the “Entering Westborough” sign on rocks, which were distributed during their reunion at the Knights of Columbus Council 85.
“I’m grateful that I was able to contribute something that meant so much to them,” she said. “A lot of people moved away from Westborough and they wanted to have a little piece of their hometown. A painted rock was something that I could give them.”
While delivering a pet memory rock to a Westborough woman in 2014, Indge-Crosby was asked if she could paint an image of the Westborough Fire Department’s station on bricks. The old firehouse had been demolished around that time and the current facility was built adjacent to the property. The woman’s father had helped build an addition to the original 1886 station.
Indge-Crosby retrieved bricks from the demolition. On the first 50 bricks she painted one of three versions of the firehouse: the original, with addition, and current building. They were sold on commission. She also decoupaged prints of her older firehouse paintings onto bricks, which were sold at the 1717 Shoppe.
“I wouldn’t have gotten the jumpstart on being as successful as I am without support from my hometown,” Indge-Crosby said.