Friday, February 26, 2010

Hand-drawn Conclusions- Part 1

I am fascinated with the duality of meaning there exits in dry stone terminology. Bonding, hearting, coping, facing and bedding are just a few of the words that draw you into their double meaning. Now I am thinking about all the aspects of a dry stone wall project that incorporate the concept of 'drawing'. The basic design for instance: I am often asked to do a drawing of what it is I will be building for a client. In a sense these can be thought of as 'pre-drawn' conclusions. There is the initial 'concept', and then there is the photoshop 'application', and then there is the actual 'installation'.

Carts, wagons and hand-dollys (or 'hand trucks') are 'hand-drawn' four-or-two-wheeled devices that help in moving very big rocks. We use them all the time when we are building dry stone walls. They are quiet and maneuverable and far less expensive than bobcats or forklifts. A very large stone becomes a simple problem when you approach it with an industry-grade 'tree dolly' for instance. Two men can usually gently lever it up onto the dolly and draw it to where they need it with little difficulty at all. You just have to be careful letting it down or you may be catapulted into the stratosphere.

You would often see horse-drawn carts, in the old days, being filled with a fresh spring crop of rocks drawn from farmers field's ready to be taken to build walls with. These days it is hard to find a horse that can even do a 'rough sketch', but anyway, even with the help of 'hand-drawn' carts, a job can be 'drawn out' if the weather is bad or if the building season 'draws' to a close too soon, things have to be shut down altogether. Over the winter months new ideas for wall designs can be drawn from other sources such as magazines and websites pages. A good design can draw a client to committing to having a contract drawn up in time to start walling again in the spring. Otherwise you will have to draw from your savings. Ok so there is nothing about a lot of this that is uniquely associated with dry stone walling, granted, but I am just trying to draw out my blog entry for today.


  1. This is drawn together so cleverly that we can all draw our own conclusions. Norman