Rocks for Brains


About Us

Thank You for visiting the rocksforbrains website.

The mission of rocksforbrains is to broaden the appreciation of geology in the Pacific Northwest through whimsical and functional pieces of art. Geologic specimens are responsibly retrieved from favorite places in the PNW: Methow Valley, Icicle Creek Drainage, Nooksack Drainage, etc... or vineyards where the bedrock is a prominent contributor to the terroir. These specimens are modified so that they may be enjoyed in homes, businesses and public spaces.

Every rock has a story and petrography, analysis and research in conjunction with Western Washington University’s geology program is completed for each specimen. Passersby who would encounter a rocksforbrains specimen can read a succinct summary of the rock’s geologic history by scanning the rock’s QR code with a smartphone or tablet. Visitors to this website can see the same by going to The Collection. For those that want more detailed information about a rock or favorite place, the rocksforbrains website provides a growing list of links to research papers, public documents, books and more at Learn More.

Respect for the land. Specimens are selected from private land with owners’ permission or public lands with appropriate permits. Specimens are not chosen from locations on public lands that would diminish future visitors’ enjoyment of that location. Note that chosen specimens are typically large, heavy rocks…so their found location will be close to a road – not in a roadless area!

Support Washington Trails Association. rocksforbrains will donate 10% of sale proceeds to Washington Trails Association, a state-based nonprofit. WTA's mission is to preserve, enhance, and promote hiking opportunities in Washington state through collaboration, education, advocacy and volunteer trail maintenance. Hiking trails are our link to wilderness and it is important for everyone to have access to outdoor experiences.

Philip Oxley, the Founder of rocksforbrains, is a life-long native of the Pacific Northwest. Phil loves hiking and, like you, has designated some favorite places that deserve repeated visits…while returning with a cool rock or two in his pack. So in 2014, Phil decided to dust off the geology books from school (Geology, WWU 1980) and apply his creative energy to share a new interpretation of this behavior with fellow outdoor enthusiasts through rocksforbrains.