Friday, June 3, 2016

Opus 40 Update.

Work group standing on top of the 'footings'
doubling as tie stones one foot above ground level as we had to build around enormous hearting boulders first! 

First proper course of tie stones in place. 

Small car size 'hearting' teetering above your head, 
what's to worry about?

Sean Adcock reporting from Opus 40. He leads a crew of people from across N. America doing some major repairs to this one of the most important if not largest dry stone installations in the land. 

"If we are finished (on schedule )that would be marvellous...(when it will end, June 17th) is a hypothetical date, at the moment its impossible to tell when it will be!"

"Not all the preliminary stuff was done before I got here and the machinery/hoists are not working properly yet. Today was the first full day of building, all very complicated. ( I ) knew it would be a logistic nightmare and it most certainly is!"

"A few photos for you...   I'll send more as work progresses if you're interested (or could maybe plug the project on your blog).   SEan "

Thanks for keeping us up to date, Sean.

Below is Tomas Lipps's description of Opus 40 and his overview of what this year's project entails. 

"Opus 40, located in Saugerties, NY, is a unique mortar-less, stone-built artifact that was laboriously constructed on the site of an old bluestone quarry by a single man, artist Harvey Fite. He commenced work in 1939 and toiled on the project for 37 years until his death in a work-site accident in 1976.

Opus 40 was a precursor to the Land Art ‘movement’ that evolved in the late 60’s, and it is well worthy of preservation. Watch a short documentary produced by Celluloid Rain Productions.

Hurricane Sandy in 2012, caused the blow-out of a 15-foot tall wall. A communal effort on the part of Stone Foundation stonemason/wallers to rebuild the collapsed wall at Opus 40 and restore the integrity of the entity has been organized and managed by former Director, Tomas Lipps of Stonexus Productions.

Sean Adcock from Wales, DSWA/GB Master Craftsman, Certified Instructor, Chairman of the North Wales Branch of the DSWA will be in charge of the work.

Tim Smith (NY) has been in charge of site prep and the gin-pole and boom supplied by Chance Anderson (NH) are in place, and work will begin May 31, 2016, and continue for an estimated three to four weeks until it is complete.

A succession of teams of skilled professional stonemason/wallers (some certified, some not) from NY, PA, VT, NH, ME, MA, CT, and RI, as well as a group from Canada, will augment the core crew, consisting of Sean, Tomas, and an intern. Work will be done in accord with best practices—although, consonant with the existing stonework at Opus 40 and the recent repair, the wall faces will be vertical.

Participants will arrive at midday, share a communal lunch, work through the afternoon, enjoy copious libations and a communal dinner, spend the night, work through the next morning, have lunch before returning home—or staying on for another day (most participants have opted for a two-day stint). They will receive lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner, beer and wine, as well as an honorarium and the satisfaction of doing worthwhile work in the company of fellow stonemasons and wallers—restoring, even improving upon, a unique and historic structural/sculptural land form.

The schedule is full from May 31until June 17. Anyone interested observing the work in progress is invited to come by (come in the late afternoon and bring some nice cold IPA). Anyone interested in taking part if work extends into a fourth week should contact the project manager:"

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