Posts tagged granite
2017 Stone Projects and Art Travels

The 2017 work year was a variety-pack of projects and travels bringing rocks and people together. Projects from 2017 now lie nestled in snow, while projects for 2018 are already underway.

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Granite Jenga

What could be a more direct expression of form than molding earth in one’s hands? While the modes of earth shaping may vary, the impulse is ages old and remains strong as ever. My personal choice for satisfying the desire for hands-on interpretation of the earthly elements is the manipulation and configuration of loose stone. Within that narrow frame a wide variety of creative endeavors can be manifest.

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The Isosceles Stone Wall

Even without the silhouette of a crosswalking pedestrian or leaping deer, road signs with a triangular outline convey a message of caution; warning the traveler to be aware of what lies ahead. The sharp angles draw attention because they represent sudden change. Survival of the human species has depended on the ability of individuals to recognize signs of change and to adapt quickly to new situations.

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Stone Well Cover

I can only imagine the pride a 19th century homesteader might have had, on the completion of a hand-dug, stone-lined water well. The clear, cold water contained in it would have been an essential ingredient for any hill farm’s success. Some old wells are still in use today at venerable New England homes, while other 30 foot deep examples of the well digger’s art may be found next to abandoned cellar holes in the backwoods. Although underground and out of sight, such a towering achievement deserved to be crowned, and many were, with a beautiful stone well cover. The cover helped keep the well from contamination, and children and livestock safe from falling in.

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A Ripple Effect in Stone and Steel

As part of its 40th anniversary, the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont commissioned me to create a permanent, interactive, environmental art piece. The result is a 1,000 sq. ft. dry stone and stainless steel sculpture that rises like a geologic upthrust from the open space alongside the museum entryway. Visitors can walk, climb and sit on the undulant surfaces of the work, or, simply view it on their way to, and from, the building.

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Finn Island at Landmark College

During the month of May, a 22 meter long sculpture surfaced on the quad at Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. The dorsal fin of the granite and earth construction rises 2 meters above the MacFarlane Science, Technology & Innovation Center lawn. Once the cover plants are established on the earthen swells of the shark body, the piece will become an inviting land feature for students and faculty to congregate for outdoor classes and conversation.

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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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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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Gardening on Graniite

In late autumn of 2011 Gordon Hayward called to say that Teddy Berg had asked him to write a book about her gardens on Rice Mountain in Walpole, New Hampshire. He wanted to know if I’d care to contribute a few essays, and, of course, I said I’d be pleased and honored to do so. ‘Gardening on Granite’ is hot off the presses this month. It’s a large-format book packed with gorgeous photographs and a lovingly told, personal history of a very special place and time.  

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