Monday, February 9, 2015

Demonstration Arch

The arch building went well on Saturday and Sunday in California. The students watched this simple demonstration arch we built and were able to build three of their own on Sunday. The finished installation will be posted tomorrow. A big thanks and congratulations to our students for hanging in there to the end and finishing the project in between hurricane-like weather conditions.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Design for workshop in California

I enjoy coming up with new ideas for workshop projects especially at one place in California that I have taught for the last six years each winter. The one we are building this weekend involves three dry stone pillars. They will be joined by three low dry stone arches. The wide pillars will also be recessed in the centres so they can be used as planters. Patric McAfee and I have a great group of students and the project should be completed by this afternoon.  

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The tower shot !

Some of the guys who worked on the tower. 

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Gleason

Quick lime, red brick dust and coarse sand. This is the special mix, before it's mixed 

After you mix it just add water.

But watch out it gets hot !   As you can see Matt Harvey has discovered how highly corrosive hot lime is

Thursday, February 5, 2015

2015 Canadian Dry Stone Festival

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

More from the tower build

Mark Ricard waves to the workers on the ground, nearly ten feet below 

Patrick McAfee, incorporating a traditional style of stonework, pounds smaller 'pin stones' into the larger spaces created by the lime mortar between the builder stones. 

David Claman makes sure the joints are finished properly to ensure the final mortar surface is flush. It will have the correct texture and grainy look (with tiny specks of aggregate exposed ) when it is worked with brush.

Thirteen steps are now in place.

They each have 12 inches of tread at the widest point.
There are at least ten more to go.

Kyle Schlagenhauf has carved a beautiful candle niche for the inside wall near the bottom of the staircase

The tower already has a commanding view down to the ocean.

Monroe waits for the huge granite lintel to be hoisted into place.

Matt Driscoll checks the final measurements for the lintel he has been shaping an dressing for several days.

The front door lintel is set into place on a bed of lime mortar using a chain hoist and a tripod.

 Next phase will be October 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Finished Stones.

The stones on the shore are all at various stages of completion.
Some have not yet become fully rounded. Some are still too big. 
Most have no identity at all. There are countless numbers of them all huddle together, each waiting to one day become interesting.

A few unusual candidates I see have small round holes in them. Some, the holes go right through to the other side. They are special.

The stones where the holes don't quite go through to the other side will need a few more years to become ready.

A couple stones along my beach walk appear to be perfect, both in shape and smoothness - tumbled by the ocean and then cleverly left lying there on the beach, just waiting to be discovered.

An holey stone catches my eye. I reach down and pick it up.
It will stay in my hand as I walk.
I roll it's smooth shape in my hand and probe the finger sized holes as I walk along the beach looking for others

There is no rush. No agenda.
My eyes go into neutral looking down at me feet.
My focus is on nothing, so that I see only the stones that are really something. 
The 'finished' stones.

I will bring back two or three of them in my pockets every time I visit the beach

In time, eventually, if I keep coming back here over an infinite number of visits, the sea will have completed the task of tumbling every one of her stones into unique works of art. And I, by then, will have brought back 
the entire beach with me.