Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grasping the obvious.

Third day of the StoneFest at Marenakos. The sides to the beehive hut are steadily going up under the careful supervision of Patrick McAfee. The 8 large rectangular stones form the canted sides of four crude window openings. Also note the batter is starting to go in faster to form the signature curve of the Irish clochan.

It is interesting to compare the 'noise' level in this video compared to the previous posting where there are no machines running.

It always amazes me how dependent stonemasons have become on large machinery. This powerful mechanical 'hand' does the job of 8 men lifting these stones into place. Unfortunately there are those of us who didn't come here to watch heavy machinery move stones. Most of us see that every day in our working environment. What many of us came to see and experience was a transfer of knowledge, including a passing down of an inheritance of stone moving skills different to those used on every job site today.

Im just saying.


  1. Your comment about the machinery is fine John.....BUT, we have to finish this thing in five short days, therefore the big machine is a fact of life in this build. Could any of us afford to take two or three weeks off in the peak season to lift these 700lb jambstones with medieval methods? Not to mention the corbel stones which are twice that size!

    Just saying...........

  2. While a stone project of this size may not be completed as fast without big machinery around to do it, I have noticed, (as in the Japanese ramparts project in Ventura too) how important the actual hands-on part of the whole building process is and think we should always looking to find ways to facilitate that aspect of the training. Surely it would be quite educational and even more satisfying to have something set up on site, where people can take a little time and be involved with hoisting a few big stones at least, using a method of construction which is consistent with the other traditional aspects of this project.