The last five pages of my notebook are covered in boulder sketches. Each one records the shape and dimensions of a large stone in Edward Tufte’s growing stock yard of material pried loose from ledges on his Hogpen Hill Farm.
The pencil sketches are the first step in a method of discovery I’ve employed for designing megalithic constructions since 1981 when I won a NEA grant for studying amphitheaters. From the drawings I fashion ¼” -1’ clay models of the stones. With the clay pieces I can try out a variety of construction configurations before confronting the actual boulders. The small-scale assemblages allow for freedom to experiment with different design concepts.
When it’s time to step into the real-world of full-scale construction, the excavator loads the appropriate pieces on a Euclid dump truck that shifts them to the building site of our finished works. Ideas developed in miniature are brought to mega-sized reality.