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In the 1980's, Douglas Coffin was the art director for a magazine, and creative director for an ad agency. At 40 years old, his life changed when he went to a demonstration and seminar about letter cutting and stone.

The Belfast man is now one of a handful in the country doing something he loves, and his daughter is by his side.

"There are only about 25 letter cutters in the country working at the caliber my daughter and I do, so it's a small, small pond that we swim in." Coffin went to that seminar 29 years ago and found he had the tools and ability to do the job in Belfast. His daughter Sigrid saw him working, but never thought she'd be in his studio too.


Belfast has 17 public shore access points or paths, often referred to as rangeways. The Allyn Street marker is the first of at least two, and hopefully more, permanent art installations in a series of split-rock gateways on the public paths to the shore or river edge. Developed by Stockton Springs artist Douglas Coffin. Coffin, one of the few traditional stone letter cutters in the country, felt that a simple approach tying all the rangeways and rights of way together was best. Coffin states in his proposal that such a "gate" suggests "walking from the present into the past, through these ancient rangeways, through the stone that Belfast is built on, from land towards the water that Belfast first thrived on." The large granite piece selected for this first installation, purchased through JC Stone in Washington, was quarried in York.

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