Posts tagged basalt
The Tarriance under Blue Skies

The 34-stone construction is made from stream-worn “pillow” basalt boulders gathered from a gravel bank along the Santiam River in Mill City, Oregon and 70 year-old hand split, cast-offs collected from an abandoned granite quarry in Haines, Oregon. The stones are held in place by gravity and friction aided by stainless steel pins for lateral strength. The total weight of the piece is 15 tons, the largest stone weighing 4 tons. The piece covers a 10’x30’ area and is 6’ tall at it’s highest point.

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A Day of Stone Hunting with Dan Dunn

You have to love a state whose official rock is a petrified “burp.” Large areas of the land that is now the state of Oregon had bubbly, silicic lava periodically flowing out of it for 11 million years. The lava cooled and became buried. Water got into the hardened shell of the gas nodules and brought mineral solutions which eventually turned to agate. Today those geologic anomalies are called “thunder eggs.” Dan Dunn, owner of Alpine Boulder Company, showed me around the inventory of his stone yard. I was amazed by the size and quality of thunder egg, petrified log and basalt column specimens at his Helix, Oregon location. Dan owns or leases properties in Oregon with mineral potential. He prospects for special stones and makes them available to wholesale customers.

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Stone Hunting for the Tarriance

Stone hunting for The Tarriance sculpture project recently took me on a 1,300 mile, Oregon road trip. The trail led across dry shrub-lands, over evergreen-spired mountain passes, and along deep river gorges. In the west, three basalt boulders were located in a riverside gravel pit. In the east, slag from an abandoned granite quarry netted the thirty pieces I’ll use to construct the “raft” that the boulders will rest upon.

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