Thursday, October 8, 2015

The herringbone pattern

We used a herringbone pattern on the Irish Ditch the students built in Brockport last week. It's a very structural type of bond. 

The pattern does however require more cooperation and planning when taught in a group. Stones can't just be laid anywhere along the wall at the same time by all the students. There is a bit more waiting involved

To accommodate more students being able to lay stones, we placed a temporary upright 'resting' stone in the middle of the row we were to begin to build. (note the cube-like stone positioned on the wall just behind Judy, the lady in blue) 

When this is in place, two half-rows of leaning stones can be built at the same time. When the whole row is complete, the resting stone is taken out and replaced with two leaning stones.

In regular horizontal coursed walls, stones laid flat have only their own weight (and the weight of some stones above them) to limit any shifting, but stones laid diagonally (as in a herringbone pattern) are further held in place by the weight of all the stones leaning to the left or right of them. 

Stones in a herringbone wall are more connected and their dependence on each other is quite structural. 

People who depend on each other are better connected too. The song Lean On Me talks about the importance of knowing you can lean on someone. 

I know I'd rather be in a dynamic 'herringbone community' than a static boxy-caged rigid-gridded one. Stones (and people) that are merely butted up against each other, but not leaning on one another, can give the appearance of stability, but in fact can still be reluctant to be in any meaningful contact, and in the end, tend to fall out.

1 comment:

  1. This wall is wonderful. Is the cover with Sedum? Norman