Friday, February 22, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

What stones are like.

The colourful pattern of living material that grows on stone is ‘lichen-elegy’. It remembers for us the merits of stones we might have long forgotten.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019

Time Lapsing Lichen

Imagine if you had the time and were patient enough to watch lichen growing on rocks.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Flat to the fireplace

Think about it. If you we’re thinking about remounting that ‘flat to the wall’ back up there, after youve had that newly-built,‘real stone’ fireplace put in, what’s the likelihood you’d find anything better to watch on the screen anyway, than the beautiful stonework behind it? Okay,you might need to see some antlers on the TV too.

Friday, February 15, 2019

As high as we’ve gone so far

Here’s the outside or the hexagonal temple (hexatemple) so far.
Below shows the inside scoop.

Photos by Sean Adcock

Thursday, February 14, 2019

I ❤️ Rocks

Big ones, small ones
Fat ones, tall ones

Heavy ones, light ones
Dull ones, bright ones 

Weighty rocks, hard to lift
Pebbly ones, that fingers sift

Flat ones and ugly ones  
Smooth ones and rugged ones

Square ones, round ones
Tossed ones, found ones

Faceless or faceted'
Time worn ones, or just blasted

Polished ones and precious stones
Fosiled ones with tiny bones

Layered ones with veins and stripes
Building stones of different types

Perfect ones for building walls
Or awkward ones to use at all  

Boulders stretching out for many miles
or gathered stones in tiny piles

Always do I think about 'em
And what 
would I do 
without them.

There'd be no shores, no mountain tops
No cliffs, no canyons, no stone outcrops
No quarry yards with tons of stone
Just emptiness, a rockless home 

There'd be no stuff to make concrete
To build our buildings and our streets
No beach with smooth stones fun to find
No gems or minerals to be mined
Fields and forests would all be bare
No lichen covered moss rocks there

How do I love rocks? Let me count the ways.
I love them to their depth and breadth and height
A stone can reach where nought else might
For they end up being such ideal shapes.
I love them in great Teutonic plates
Most quiet forms, that speak their wisdom thus
I love them freely, and love how they love us
I love them purely, in tumbled mass
I love them in the way they last and last
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love them with a love I seemed to lose
With my hurried ways---and misspent youth
I love them in their simple life --- and, if they choose,
I shall but somehow put some to even better use.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Looking round the Corner

Focusing on the hexagonal corner being constructed (between two future arches of the structure, yet to be built) it is clear the contrast of not just the materials, but how they’re used, achieves a very pleasing visual. The formal granite quoins are stately, somewhat impersonal and have a kind of monumental poise. The basalt column with its unusual length and apparent natural geometry is the hexagonal antithesis of the granite cubes. The rhythm and the rugged horizontal pattern of the mica schist softens and humanizes the two. 
I’m just hoping the balance can be maintained as we get higher and likely have to add a fourth material to the mix

Monday, February 11, 2019

Taking Shape

We start to fill in the shape of the dry stone hexagonal structure now with quoins we’ve dressed from reclaimed San Francisco granite curbs, inter-fingered with Sydney Peak mica schist flagstone.

Sunday, February 10, 2019


Stonewart seems like a pretty good name for this type of appalling approach to working with stone.  You're supposed to work with stone, not against it. These stones were crying out not to be used this way. The fact that they were trapped in this column should have been a warning to us. We were trying out a new place in town to have lunch. The food was awful there. I think this is just another example of how the universe is always trying to make contact with us and send helpful clues all along the way, if we just pay attention.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Basalt of the earth men.

The basalt columns are now lowered into position. These will be the six corners of the dry stacked hexagon structure. (The granite quoins which were precisely stacked in position, had to be disassembled and neatly stacked to the sides so as not be in the way of maneuvering in the basalt columns.)

The proper measuring of the columns so that the bottoms were cut square was essential. Then each column had to be skilfully rigged with sturdy straps and lifted into place in its proper orientation. These silent sentry columns final placement depended on a crack team of rock stars. Mark R, Sean A and Shawn K. The Gradall operated by Peter M. did the necessary usual amazingly precise lifts.

Sean A complains a lot.  Please caption this one.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Moving in

After the concrete is cured enough, we can move on to the pad and measure out the dimensions and permanently scratch in the footprint of the structure’s hexagon shape with a nail. 
Next, the first of the granite quoins we’ve cut and dressed are ceremoniously moved into place, either side of the arch openings that we’ve marked out. 
This is a pretty auspicious occasion for these chunky fellas. Who can blame them for looking so excited. Because really,  there isn’t a newly shaped building stone I know of that wouldn’t love to have his very own pad.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Hexa going going gone

There are times even in dry stone walling when pouring a pad is the best way to go. So that’s the way we’ve gone We decided that the arched hexagonal structure I had designed previously for another area of the property needed even more of a level solid base of concrete now so as not to leave any possibility of the ground shifting .

We formed the sides, compacted the middle, and then, cleverly reinforcing the hexagon theme with an appropriately configured pattern of rebar, we filled the entire shape with 9 inches of concrete, which ended up being the whole nine yards. (actually, more like eleven)
After leveling and smoothing the pad, we agreed to wait five days before starting to build.
Finally, after days of planning and measuring,and much back aching labour, (and many hosings down of the pad to ensure proper curing of the concrete) the hexagram project was on its way.
I’m delighted to tell you, the hexa’s gone well so far.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Watch out for pine cones’

It has that kind of ‘stoned-pine-cone-in-the-headlights’ kind of look.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Seed of an idea.

‘PineStone‘  A selection of reclaimed stones, large flakes of lovely Bouquet Canyon mica schist flagstone, gave me the seed of an idea that the material might be coaxed into the likeness of a large pine cone, like the ones we keep coming across here in California. The installation ended up being a rather random matrix of cone/stone petals. 
Sappy idea ? 
Anyway. Thanks Amanda Means Stinson for your help with finishing this piece.

Monday, February 4, 2019

What the hexagram is it?

This week we are starting to get more of a rough idea of what we’re doing.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Pondering Pine

This tall pine tree fell down onto our floating boulder wall during a big storm recently. Surprisingly there was no damage to the wall!  The tree could have fallen in dozen other places along the wall and yet it fell in a direction that let the wall take the full blow without a single cope stone budging. 

Perhaps the tree, having stood there for a year, almost to the day since the wall was built, had pondered where best it could come to its final resting place and do the least damage to our installation. In deference to its thougtfulness we have not moved it away or cut it up. It becomes a new part of the overall experience as you come over the hill to see the wall. I like to think nature does its part to collaborate with us if we are open to surprises .