Monday, December 5, 2011

Lasting ugliness




A bad looking dry stone wall can still last for years, because it's built of stone. 


Is the fact that it probably can last the only criteria then for not insisting on building a more aesthetic looking dry stone wall?

9 comments:

  1. There is a problem here John. I am fairly sure that the person who built this wall was very pleased with it. In fact probably their family and friends were also pleased with it.

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  2. Another reason would be that the builder (farmer, gardener) doesn't have the skill to build a good dry stone wall. If he builds a poor or mediocre wall using whatever skill he possesses, is that better than doing nothing at all? How wonderful if a dry stone waller would happen by and show him a better way!

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  3. I am just asking the question, and not taking sides here.

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  4. John, your post today is a firecracker. Norman and Pamela are spot on. Unsolicited, showing a better way better way might offend the waller and give them a poor conception of other wallers. Praising their work will not encourage them to improve upon their skills. Scolding them for poor performance will discourage them from ever building another. The politics of dry stonework is surprisingly complex, I have learned. Maybe the best approach is to politely observe the wall, digest it's construction, admire its strengths and learn from its weakness, and then decide how it will impact the next wall you build. Whatever your approach, don't be offended to see others politely observing your work and don't assume their tone is all critical. Rather, encourage feedback and open discussion, learn from this, and then get back to work.

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  5. Not every form is an aesthetical pleasing one
    but still may serve well as a functional installation.
    Working beautifully is a level we would all like to
    aspire to I would hope.

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  6. In Canada, we should just be surprised to discover an original wall such as this and be thankful it wasn't built of wood, as it would be long gone by now. We should be delighted it wasn't bulldozed and crushed as so many others were here. Instead of dissecting it, we should celebrate it's here!

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  7. Can't you just organise a flash-walling-mob to take it down and rebuild it?

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  8. J Scott and Norman are so right. Most people probably aren't looking for help or critique, but there is nothing so beautiful in education as a wise reprover and an obedient ear. I would love for a dry stone waller to come along and turn some of the loosely stacked stone "walls" in my garden to something more stable and--um--aesthetically pleasing. Better yet if they were to show me and my family how to build strong walls in the first place. Those of us willing to learn are out here, though it may take several well-placed questions and a gentle challenge or two to separate us from the people who are happy with their stone piles.

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  9. I can't see completely from the photo, but to me it looks like most of the wall is older and was built by someone else.
    Around here because of the hundreds and hundreds of miles of stone walls someone is always breaching one to put in a new subdivision. I think the corner was added after someone needed to get through the wall.

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