Soon, I will begin construction on a columbarium in a western Connecticut cemetery. The term columbarium is derived from the Latin columba, meaning dove. So, what do doves have to do with laying the departed to rest? Traditionally, a columbarium is a sepulchral structure with recesses in the walls to receive the ashes of the dead. The walls of cathedrals often have columbaria. But, prehistorically, those recesses were simply hollows in a cliff face, hollows sometimes shared by nesting doves. Thus, the dove became a symbol of love and peace. In the case of columbaria, the dove represents resting in peace.Read More
When I built this wall in Jamaica, Vermont, thirty-odd years ago, my concern for its longevity came out of its close proximity to the road. I expected a car might back into it, or the snow plow jostle it. The notion that Ball Mountain Brook might one day destroy it never crossed my mind. But that’s just what happened a month ago when rain from Hurricane Irene turned the mild stream into a raging cataract. Brook waters tore away the bank, sweeping away not only a section of the stone wall but half the house, as well.Read More
Sunny skies, slight breezes and perfect temperatures graced a great day of wall building. Dan is pictured above with participants Garet McIntyre, Matt Buzerak and Melanie Grubman. After a hard day's work, the recreated livestock pound in Dummerston Center is one day closer to completion. The next workshop is in October. Contact Great River Arts Institute to register. Feel free to contact Dan directly for details about the next workshop.Read More
Cultivated land is a handmade environment.
Over the past two centuries, the rural face of Vermont has been shaped by farm life. While the stone walls built during that time have lost their stature as livestock fences, their presence has become a defining characteristic of the land. A dry laid stone wall, that has stood the test of time, is praised for its practicality, durability and craftsmanship. The close attention farmers pay to their surrounding is comparable to the awareness artists bring to their work. As a medium of expression, dry stone construction is a logical choice for an artist working in the landscape.