During his inaugural turn at Park Silly Sunday Market, stone carver Matthew Lawler turned things around. "I put down an 8-foot table with steel files and gave away free lessons. People couldn't get enough!" says the owner of 'Let's Carve Stone' on Sidewinder Drive. "That day set me on my path."

It wasn’t Matt's first epiphany. That happened when his family moved to Italy from Maine and encountered sculptor Glenn Ball. "I was reading a bio of Michelangelo at the time," he recalls. "That set the stage." Journeying to the Italian countryside for hours of weekly lessons, teenaged Matt learned that "the person and the stone create together. For Michelangelo, David was already in the marble; he had to uncover it."

After studying the language at an Italian university, Matt followed his family to Utah. "I bought Canyons season passes at UVU and got hooked on snowboarding," he recalls. “I bugged the manager at the Grand Summit until I got a job as a bellman. That was in 2005." Now, Park City feels like Cheers, "where everybody knows my name," he laughs.

"People picture hammers and chisels as hard to use, but they gasp at what a single motion can do," Matt says of helping customers craft lifetime keepsakes. "People see me on the street and say, 'I still have what I created, and I love it.’ When I help people create with their own hands, I rediscover why I love stone carving."

Now, businesses are discovering carving as a new team project idea. "A group of leaders recently created their business name in marble," he enthuses. "They will have it forever, along with their memory of making it themselves."

Matt refreshes language and inspiration with regular jaunts to Italy. "Speaking Italian is magical, and if I am not carving, I feel I've lost a part of myself,’ he concludes. “This is my calling. Stone found me."