For most people, the rocks strewn along the Maine coast are elements of beauty. For Daniel Morales-Walsh, they are also pieces to a puzzle that inspire his art.

The 25-year-old South Portland stonemason and aspiring stone sculptor has built more than 50 self-supporting arches, including this one, which took him about three hours to build on Ship’s Cove Beach at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. A typical arch takes him four to five hours.

His creations have adorned other northern New England coastal locations over the past two years, though his favorites are at Fort Williams Park. “It’s the best spot and has the best flat stone,” he said.

He does it for a number of reasons, both professional and creative. In his day job, Morales-Walsh builds stone walls in and around Cape Elizabeth.

“It’s very peaceful working with the earth and building something that is natural and will be there forever,” he said.

He is inspired by the “amazing work” of others in the stone-sculpting field and said he knows that “if I ever want to do this kind of work, I’d have to practice and first try these things before I can do it for a client.”

Morales-Walsh said that creatively, making stone sculptures “is my favorite thing to do because I’m outside, working hard and I’m building something that I think is beautiful. And I’m at the beach.”

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