It is a beautiful thing when people get together with stones. Even when they are not making a living building serious stone structures, wallers and masons will often still need to build things. Yesterday morning members of the Stone Foundation gathered at the beach in Ventura on the last day of the 2011 Symposium to have some fun creating a free-standing arch with stones from the beach. Since we didn't have a form (centering) we decided to try to do it by having all of us hold several stones in place and then each one us carefully let go until none of us was holding it.
Our first attempt was unsuccessful. Though they look flat the stones are all slightly convex and their rounded surfaces do not make good contact.
Our second try involved a lot of shuffling and pinning. We had to not only tune into the stones but also convey to one another what the was happening. Things go wrong when masons don't cooperate with each other. There was a sense of excitement as we tried to tune into where the arch was weakest and where there were still unbalanced forces interacting. In the end we managed to do it. Next followed some celebrative picture taking and a group shot. We dedicated this piece to Mimi who earlier in the day had slipped on the stones and got a bad knock on her head. Tomas took her off to the hospital to make sure she was okay.