Posts tagged stoneworks
Art in the Balance

To be in touch and in tune with nature has a centering effect on us. Couple the outdoors with a creative pursuit, and engagement with both is enriched because together they sharpen and heighten our spatial orientation. My environmental art piece Fantasy Topography seeks to bring pleasure to the core.

Read More
A Stone Livestock Pound

What was the first public structure built to safeguard harmony in early agricultural communities? Who were the hog reeves and why were they sometimes recently married, young men? What did impecunious pound-brechers do to deserve 30 lashes? These questions and more will be answered during a program I’ll be giving at the Dummerston Historical Society’s quarterly meeting Thursday July 18th at 7:30 pm. I hope you’ll join me for an evening exploring the history of Dummerston’s town pound and take a walk around the dry stone pound, erected ten years ago, next to the Historical Society building.

Read More
Length In: Developing a Frame of Mind in Dry Stone Walling

A belief set in the mind of many beginner dry stone wallers is that a wall is what it looks like on the outside, when it actually is what is not seen, on the inside. To accept a wall stone at face value is to believe that what shows is most of what that stone is, but in a well built wall, most is concealed, securely trapped inside the construction.

Read More
Self-Archeology in a Stone Environment

The most enjoyable takeaway from examining a wall that has remained true is a validation of the beliefs held while bringing it into being. Dry stone walling is about action in the moment but the results take a while to be proven out. The labor of building is lightened by seeing how honest effort ultimately endures.

Read More
Rocky Toppers

The studio has been filling up with rocky toppers this winter. The half-products are elements in a sculpture to be installed as part of a new outdoor exhibition at Shelburne Museum. The uniquely shaped objects will be arranged atop berms of loose stone. The completed piece will sprawl across the floor of a pine forest, flowing between and around the tree trunks.

Read More
Rocking Back, and Forth

Nothing begins without looking back, so, to get 2019 started, I’m taking stock of 2018’s doings.
Thanks for following along. Now, let’s get this new year rockin!


Read More
Stone Puzzling

A stone wall builder creates the puzzle as they complete it. The way each piece is picked and positioned answers an immediate question and offers up a new one. Every choice invites another. Action in the moment reduces the work ahead while increasing the choices to be made. Though the labor is demanding, it’s tempered by the gifts brought by doing it. Many small satisfactions weld themselves into the gratification of a desire to complete the picture of a stone wall settled into its place on the land.

Read More
Embracing Ambiguity in Outdoor Spacemaking

It’s the spacemaker’s obligation to create flexible surroundings that can adapt to situations as they develop. Not knowing what’s to come is unsettling, but without one foot in the unknown we can’t prepare a place for advancement. A built outdoor environment can be exciting simply for its possibilities.

Read More
Arch Bridge Workshops

While there remain, across New England, examples of stream-vaulting bridges built more than 100 years ago, the builders of those spans have long since left us. That’s why it’s particularly poignant that The Stone Trust’s recent tour of historic dry stone bridges coincided with the construction of a new one.

Read More
Dowsing for Genesis

Basically, wallers are spare-parts jobbers. The loose pieces of indigenous stone they collect and parcel out are really nothing more than the duft of earth’s crowning mantle. In rare cases, bedrock, stone’s “birthmother”, is present on a building site and can come into play as a defining element of a dry stone design.

Read More
Mother Earth Asks Dr. Stonework

Having landscaping and stonework done can be a geophysical boost to Earth’s well being in the long run but it’s not without short-term costs. Before the shovel goes in, here are some FAQs for a planet considering a surgical procedure.

Read More
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.

Read More
The Fourth Corner is Finished, English Harbour Arts Centre Dry Stone Workshop

My thanks go out to all those who made the stone workshops a success. Community members collected stone by the snowmobile trailer load, or by filling up the back of their Subaru. Members of the Centre’s board of directors promoted the workshop, participated in it and brought baked goods and coffee to fuel progress. For those who dug sod, barrowed stone, nailed together guide frames and crafted the works I’m forever grateful for your toil and alacrity.

Read More
The Dry Stone Workshops at English Harbour Newfoundland

The dry stone workshops at English Harbour have been treated to buffeting winds, lightning storms, muffling fog and dazzling sunshine over these past two weeks. Participants have gone from working in tee shirts to suiting up in insulated rain-gear. Whatever the weather conditions of the day (or hour) it’s been exhilarating working on the Newfoundland coast. The wide vistas of boreal forestland and ever-changing seascape have made a dramatic backdrop to our dry stone activities.

Read More
The Magic of Whales at Night - English Harbour, Newfoundland

Last night the sky over the harbor was totally star-twinkled. From the bay, which was uncharacteristically placid, came the "whooshing" sound of whales' breaths. The huge animals rhythmically rose to the water's surface in the darkness, exhaling plumes of sea mist. They were invisible to the eye but must have been very close to shore. The 'squeaks' and 'squawks' of their aquatic songs reverberated around the bay. The sonic echoes were hauntingly beautiful but their meaning lost on my land-locked ears.

Read More
A Stone Lantern - English Harbour Dry Stone Workshop

While other parts of Canada are experiencing record high temperatures, here on the east coast of Newfoundland we go about in wool sweaters and windbreakers. Lightning storms have made quick visits overhead in the nighttime. Strong winds blow intermittently through the day. But always, in the past week, there has been fog. Time stands still when the quality of light remains the same from dawn to dusk. It’s the color of pewter tinged with green from the landscape of meadow grass and spruce forest. And always the mournful moan of the foghorn in the background calling out from the coastal headlands; a sound I don’t so much hear, as feel in my body like the rise and fall of a breath.

Read More
Dry Stone Walling Workshop English Harbour Newfoundland

Since my arrival in English Harbour under clear blue skies three days ago, the fog has crept in and kept our dry stone walling workshop blanketed in degrees of gray. However, the enthusiasm of all six participants has been nothing less than rainbow bright. They started out on Monday brainstorming their way to a design and plan of attack to begin building the first of four corner features for a new fence around the arts centre. On Tuesday they completed a six-sided base for a stone lantern and a short length of retaining wall. Today we’ll keep a watch out for whales. Maybe the three humpbacks that were feeding on capelin in the harbor on Monday will be back.

Read More
Summer Shower

Having the fresh supply of stone at my disposal, from last week’s harvesting, has been like getting a blood transfusion for the imagination. I can design with select pieces in mind. I knew when I saw the 6’x7’ slab in the jumble of stone that came off the hillside in Townshend that it was destined for this project in Dummerston.

Read More