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desktop zen garden

by Arra David and Anne Johnson
Handmade
Exclusive
Community Voted
This item is sold out and no longer available.

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  • the story

Office Oasis

Who would have guessed that "going to your happy place" could mean that you're at work? With this meditative, desktop Zen garden, you can soothe away all your workday worries in style. Housed in an unvarnished wooden frame, the striking black sand invites you to create calming patterns in its surface using the included handmade brushed aluminum rake. Resting in the black sand, called Black Beauty, which is a byproduct of ore smelting, are three smooth, natural sea stones that can be repositioned to create ever-changing tableaus. Each stone is functional as well as beautiful: one holds the rake and your pen, one has a slot for displaying up to 5 business cards, and one contains a hidden magnet for securing paperclips. Handmade by Arra David and Anne Johnson in New Hampshire.


Exclusively at UncommonGoods.

  • details
Handmade
Exclusive
Community Voted
Item ID
21096
Made from
aluminum, wood, granite
Measurements
Sandbox: 10" L x 5" W x 0.75" H; 2 lbs., Stones: 1.63" dia and 1.25" dia. 11oz. of sand.
Notes
Pen not included. Handmade brushed aluminum rake, gold paperclips, 3 stones, and sand are included.
  • the maker
Arra David and Anne Johnson

Arra David and Anne Johnson

Arra David and Anne Johnson are longtime New England rockhounds. Their love for Mother Nature's artwork in stone and hardwood inspires them to handcraft functional creations that bring the outdoors in. They craft each piece with attention to detail, quality, and respect for nature.

Working with stone calls for custom fixtures and techniques. Arra is an engineer and serial inventor, and he says it's part of his "normal care and feeding" to put him in the workshop and let him make new products and tools.

Anne is an artist with a keen eye for balance and harmony. She blends the endless varieties of nature's materials into pieces that decorate homes and will keep generations connected to their environment.

To keep our beaches and forests as they are, Anne and Arra "plant" a new quarry stone in the water to replace each one gathered, and they plant ten times the number of trees harvested for their work. collection

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  • reviews
  • q & a
  • voting

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
DESKTOP ZEN GARDEN
 
3.0

(based on 2 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Reviewed by 2 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-2

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4.0

Zen garden

By 

from Chicago

About Me Practical

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • A phone pal
      • Office

      Comments about DESKTOP ZEN GARDEN:

      I wasn't sure if she would like it, but my friend loved it. She sits at a desk on the phone a lot and plays with things. I thought the zen garden would be a stress reliever and better looking on her desk than a stress ball.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Comment on this review

      (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Zen - Sort of

      By 

      from Jacksonville, Illinois

      About Me Practical, Stylish

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Cute
      • Easy To Use

      Cons

      • Cheap gravel
      • Weird rake

      Best Uses

      • Office

      Comments about DESKTOP ZEN GARDEN:

      This was a gift to my employee. It is a novel gift that gets the point across. The problem is that I was expecting a sand and it was a course gravel. The rake was not a rake but a weighted cylinder with slots. This did not allow you to do what the gift was supposed to allow you to do and that is make good patterns in the sand. So if you want just the novelty, it will work, but don't expect more.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Comment on this review

      Displaying reviews 1-2

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      Q and A

      When our community voted on this product, some also shared comments - read them below:

      415votes, 58 comments

      dianne
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      not big enough

      Cassie, UncommonGoods Community Moderator

      We love that this stylish desk art by Arra David and Anne Johnson makes it possible to find a moment of zen despite piles of paperwork, urgent emails, and upcoming deadlines. Would you decorate your work space with this lovely garden?

      Kimberley
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I like all of the items by this artist, but I feel that this one could have been done differently. Also, I feel like the black sand looks more like dirt.

      Seneca
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I think that this could have been slightly larger.

      ciara

      I like it.

      Rachel
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Very small

      Karen
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Like it, but at a slightly lower price point ($40?). I think the black sand is a nice change from the other sets out there, and the stones are great. Already know who to buy this for.

      Kimberly
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Looks like a nice way to relieve stress during the work day!

      Elizabeth
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Nah!!! Not aethetic enough for me, and too highly priced.

      Heather
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Too small, and there many others like it. Also, $55 is outrageous.

      Patricia

      Now, this is fun. In fact, I've been hinting around for a few years to anyone who will listen (

      Gail
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Another one? This was old in the 70's. At least it's made in the US

      linda
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      cute, but other versions have been out there for a long time, this one more functional because of the card/pen/clip holder, TOO expensive

      alena
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      i like it but you see these all over and it is way too pricey.

      Stephanie
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Wayyyyyyyy too expensive. This is very cute but I've seen similar items for 20.00

      kim

      Seriously-$55? It's a nice set but I wouldn't pay more than $25.

      Nancy
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I like the idea but it's a bit pricey.

      Cassie, UncommonGoods Community Moderator

      Thanks for all of your votes and comments! To answer a few of your questions, this piece is 8 inches long and 5 inches wide, so it's a nice size to fit on your desk. The designers, Arra and Anne, handpick the stones that are used in each of their designs to make sure each individual creation is unique and beautiful. After "harvesting" the sea stones, they put new rocks in their place, so those too can be tumbled by the waves. To learn more about the artists, please click on the blue link in the artist section under the product story.

      amy
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      looks cheap.

      linda
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      no way would I pay 55.00 for this.

      Barbara
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      If you have extra $$$ to spend for someone who has everything, including a miserable job, OK...otherwise, have a glass of wine.

      Rasha
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I think people are likely to use more than one pen...design may have needed to be practical.

      Christine
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I've seen these, I like the utility of it, but for $55 you should make it at least 8x10.

      Cindy
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Very cute and useful desk item.

      Tammy
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I have enough stuff on my desk and this certainly doesn't hold much!

      roberta
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      A bit pricey.

      Denise
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I like it, but I wouldn't pay more than $25 for it.

      Jane
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Too small for the price.

      diane
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Just not for me...with a two year old anything with open dirt = mess.

      maryhelen
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Nice for a gift, but priced a little too high

      Daryl
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Too small. The "rake" has to be able to go all the way around a stone. Sand will spill onto the desk.

      Celeste
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Seems like a silly thing to spend $55 on.

      Christen
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      No litter box for my desk...

      Jennifer
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Who really has space on their desk for these things?

      Abby
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      i like but the price is alittle steep

      Mary Margaret
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Seriously? Do I need to really comment on how silly it is to spend 55 bucks on 3 rocks and some black sand?

      Liz
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      $55 for a tray of dirt and a few rocks seems a little steep.

      Irene
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      like these, artist made but pricey

      Rebecca
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Small, expensive and visually unappealing

      Rachel
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Super cute, but really pricey.

      Malorie
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      This is pretty pricey!

      Joanne
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I N E E D this!

      Michele
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      $55 for rocks in a small tray? WOW

      Yvonne
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      ZEN! It would make me crazy that I paid that much for this!

      Tess
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      The "zen desk garden" seems very late-1990s. And unnecessary to try to revive as a retro trend.

      sharon
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Do not like the entire set. Overpriced and too small.

      Jackie
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      It's already been done

      Shahla
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Very pretty. I like the black sand. However it's too expensive for a desk ornament. Also agree that it's too small.

      SE
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Too small. Too expensive. Cut idea.

      jenni
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      too small and too pricy!!

      Jessica Kate
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I like this but it is awful small for the price.

      CMT
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      nice to have the black sand and the stones, but the "utility" of the piece makes it look cluttered once pens, clips and cards are there. Way too expensive

      Krista
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      wish the sand was, well, sand colored, but I like the idea!

      Kelly G
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Cute but does it only hold one business card? I would want it to hold at least 15. It's creative. A little expensive but cute.

      amy
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Little Spendy - but I like the concept - it's fun.

      Cassie, UncommonGoods Community Moderator

      Thanks for your question, Kelly G. The Desktop Zen Garden can hold up to five cards comfortably, so you can keep them on display and have them handy at your desk!

      Becky
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Like the concept; dislike the price.

      nancy

      Pricey and space-consuming

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