Sunday, April 22, 2018

Small is beautiful.

Inspired recently by a clever stop action video a friend sent to my Facebook page, of lego figures building a small arch, I decided I wanted to try my hand at some dry stone arching action too. First, I downloaded a great app called Stop Motion. Then yesterday morning, I took some buckets of small stones I'd been collecting, poured them onto my stone table and set to work, to build a dry stone bridge as a set for my first miniature movie production.

I used small centering that had been given to me by a student of mine who used it for making a small niches in a very tidy wall he built after he took my workshop. 

A place mat made the perfect curved surface over the arch for building on. It looked just like boards laid across the centering

The work was going well. It's more comfortable to work off a table than on the ground. The last bridge I built, the stones were much heavier too.

I had originally thought about doing a stop action showing the whole process but this would have literally stopped the bridge building action down too much, so I just took stills using my iPhone and a tiny new tripod that really makes closeups look much clearer. I figured I'd only do the stop motion stuff if I had time at the point where the centering is removed

My guy Clayton Waller was there for all the heavy lifts.

He took lots of breaks though. 

There he is again. You know, now that I think about it, Clay took a lot of breaks. I think I did most of the work.

The vertical coping for the parapet was completed about four o'clock in the afternoon. I was glad I wasn't up that high .It looked a bit dangerous.  

Clayton taking another break.

Let's see what did Clay figure? Ah yes, that the span is about twelve of his feet of clay.

Time to remove the shims and the 4x 4 supports and take the centering out, now. I better go help him.

Phew it didn't fall down. Hooray !


  1. How wonderfully delightful!!!

    I was lucky enough to see some of the work, and honoured to meet and have tea with clay man on one of his numerous breaks! This is a wonderful 'teaching' video, John.