I get to do some really unusual dry stone projects sometimes. The Celtic Cross we did for the Highland Games in Victoria this weekend has to be one of the most enjoyable and best collaborative demonstration projects I have been involved in a while.
Hats off to Christopher Barclay who made it all happen under the auspices of ( and as a support for ) and as a sign of solidarity with, the newly formed, not for profit Dry Stone Walling Association of Canada.
There was such wonderful a collaboration of masons and wallers and a genuine respect and appreciation of one another's skills. It was just like the good old days in Ontario when everyone got along, before a few troublemakers took a lot of the fun and enthusiasm out of it and felt they needed to belittle everyone else's efforts.
Christopher and I were able to tweak his original design based on our not wanting the centre post of the cross to interfere with the dynamics of the arch. We reasoned that if it was placed so that it was going through, or supporting (or even touching) the arch it could actually weaken the structure because the lateral line of thrust would be broken. We contemplated leaving a gap at the top of the upright just below the arch centre and then wondered about having the upright actually suspended by the arch (in effect clamping it) leaving a tiny gap about a half inch above the cross pieces. Then we decided to really raise the bar so to speak, excuse the pun, and have the uprights and even the side pieces separated by several inches.
The structure which would likely stand for over a hundred years is only supposed to remain at the Victoria Highland Games in Topaz Park for Sunday ( Gaelic Pride Day ?) before we take it down.
Jose took this great shot of the Celtic Cross with the view of the Scottish flag in the background, cleverly aligned to appear in the gap between the four independent cross pieces. Who knows, maybe the photo will become a new promotional image for those rallying for an independent Scotland.