Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Dry Stone Wall




...building began about a month ago...  it continues when weather allows...




... much labor and time needed...




...and the magic to make them fit together...


It is going to be so worth it...



.

39 comments:

Shelley said...

It certainly is! I miss ya.

rachel said...

Oh, that's a big, skilled job! I remember hearing an old chap, with years of dry stone walling behind him, say that if you were doing it properly, you never needed to lift a stone more than once.

Some of your stones look like they might be impossible to lift at all!

Penny said...

Love stone walls, it will be great when its finished.

pRiyA said...

I remember seeing these stone walls somewhere on a drive in Switzerland and I remember being amazed that they were just 'placed'together. I thought these were things that were done in days of yore, centuries ago, so I am quite enthralled to see you actually 'doing'it!
Where do you source so many stones from? Is it just there around and you cart into one place. (Dreadful citygirl question I know).

liZZie said...

I look forward to seeing it as it grows. I have one to repair and rebuild in places, about forty foot wide so I will watch and learn.

Gail said...

I love working in stone.

I see potential for great beauty in the finished wall.

Dyche Designs said...

I love stone walls, they remind me of home.

yvette said...

great!

Shayla said...

You guys are hard workers and creators. Thanks for these glimpses of your paradise. The wall will look great. I once built a smaller garden wall by myself by using a kid's tobaggan to haul the impossibly heavy rocks over. Worked great!

Just wondering which years you worked at King's Landing? I was there (with my family) from 1989-1998. Did it cross over? Which houses did you work in?

Arija said...

Dry stone walling is quite an art. We have some really old ones both at our house and at the farm.

All that hard work will be worth it to have something so lasting.

George said...

I love stone walls and admire your undertaking, Gwen. And here I was thinking that you and your husband already had enough projects to keep you busy! Good luck — and take care of those backs.

...louciao... said...

What John lacks in memory he makes up in muscle.

Guillaume said...

Don't know why, but I love stone walls.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi everybody.. John had a tug of war with quite a few of these stones as the surrounding branches and roots were tangled in amongst them. ..got kind of scraped up... He had to individually gather the stones from about a km. away and bring them to the studio, a few at a time, in our utility trailer.

yes those stones are really heavy.. I know I couldn't lift many of them, if any.. I'll leave this job to John and make myself busy in the jewelry studio... lots to do there before the Christmas shows... Wish there was more time in the day...

Take care.

Valerianna said...

Hi Gwen - It sure WILL be beautiful! I've been dreaming of a few stone walls here, it will be a while, I'm sure! I have one close to the road that I want to restore, but I can hardly lift ONE of them... so I keep dreaming, and hoping that the friendly bear would someday decide to use his 500 lbs of self to lift a few stones back up on the wall... so far, he much prefers to raid bird feeders and sleep all winter!

Steven Cain said...

It's a good thing you didn't hook up with one of those mamby-pamby artists Gwen... all I ever see John doing is back-breaking work...mind you, it's beautiful back-breaking work.

That's my next project too... just got to get down to the lower 40 and round up the stones.

Can't wait to see the finished product... especially when its alive with Spring.

Gwen Buchanan said...

ha ha ha... you are right there... a mamby-bamby would have cut and run ages ago...
No, really, there are people, you included, I would say, that really like to have a physical challenge.. and then there is the knowledge that when its done it should last a good long time... and it never needs painting!!

VioletSky said...

He has taken on quite the challenge! I have seen these walls made at Canada Blooms (and often wished I could come back at the end of the show to see the finished result) but they were using MUCH smaller stones.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Shayla, I was at Kings Landing in 1990, if I remember correctly.. I loved it. I was in a small house down near the end of the village and then in one other place.. did a lot of spinning and fine textile work.. we must have been there at the same time.. what a small world..
I remember they reprimanded me for holding my dress just above my ankles. At the time I had been walking down a muddy road.. they said it didn't matter if the dress got dirty, never raise your dress even a little bit... They must have had a lot of dirty laundry back then.. and they wore a lot of layers..

Gwen Buchanan said...

Just so people know, Kings Landing was a reconstructed Historical Village where New Brunswick rescued historically significant homes along the Saint John River before it was flooded for the Mactaquac Power Generating Station...

Shayla said...

It sounds like you were at the Irish cabin. Did John work there too? I think I was with my mother that year at the Lint House- the little house after the Inn. My mother was one of the weavers too. Perhaps we were on opposite shifts.

Lol,Oh yes, it did feel gross when it rained with the wet dress hitting your legs...

Thanks for letting me know. Very cool.

helen said...

It is so lovely to see you two creating beauty at every turn. I take my hats off to John for the hard labour he's putting in to this :~)

Thanks for explaining about King's Landing Gwen, I was going to ask! It sounds a brilliant place to have been a part of.

I owe you an email reply....will get to it in the next couple of days....

Blessed be

helen said...

p.s. Forgot to mention....love your windowsill treasures :~)

ArtPropelled said...

It will be a beautiful stone wall patched with moss. So worth the hard work! Love the photo through the window with the windowsill full of interesting things....and I enjoyed your story about not baring your ankles.

Seth said...

I can already see that this wall will be so special when it is complete.

Ruth said...

It's going to be fabulous, just like everything you and John touch. I agree with George, that I am amazed that you never call it quits and keep finding new ways to create and work hard. I truly marvel at your creative energy, and physical and mental strength to pull this off. Any one of your projects is a mighty and glorious undertaking. I sit with my jaw dropped!

I can envision this finished wall now, with your organic and natural design touches. Wow.

Gwen Buchanan said...

So good to read all your comments...

...making good headway since the rain has stopped for the last few days... sure am happy to see and feel the sun.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Hard work...lovely photos. They could have been taken in any era...oh, and I noticed the muscle, too...

J said...

I'm a big fan of stone walls too. I cheated on mine, though, and went with cinderblock with a Coronado Stone stacked stone facade. Looks nice, but in no way compares to the real thing. :-)

Congrats on your perseverance!

Sandy said...

I love stone work. I'm sure this is looking great!

Owen said...

My goodness, is there anything you two don't do ? and do beautifully ? One thing I love about central and southern France are all the dry stone walls all over the place, many are hundreds of years old. They have stood the test of time... I'm sure yours will too.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you all... the stone work that has endured from all over the world is inspiration to try to create some here..

Hope it doesn't get too cold too quick, to finish it up before winter strikes.

Fickle Cattle said...

It's not worth it unless it's difficult in the first place. Good luck! :-)

http://ficklecattle.blogspot.com/

Are you curious about me? said...

Hi Gwen

Lovely to see the dry stone wall coming together, we have a relation in Oxfordshire that builds dry stone walls for a living all over the Cotswolds, his work is amazing, he explained to me once that you choose a stone and place it, never putting in down again to look for another. He has been doing it for nearly 40 years, so he's had a lot of practice.

It will be lovely to have left your footprint on this earth for hundreds of years to come, perhaps it might be nice to hide a 'treasure' tin or 'message' bottle within the wall, with a letter, coins and a piece of your work. It would be wonderful for someone to accidently find in a couple of hundred years.

Around Colchester where I live Roman coins and jewelry are quite often being found, along with the many thousands of chards from disguarded pots. It is so exciting when something wonderful has been found, I sometimes feel like that we can almost touch each other and so lovely to have a connection over the centurys.

flutietootie said...

It looks like you are off to a great start. I bet it will look really nice once the construction is over.

Lord Wellbourne said...

It's going to wonderful! Now THAT'S a wall the deer and turkeys won't bring tumbling down! I have to rebuild different sections of mine every two or three days.

alaine@éclectique said...

What a wonderful project; with the path below it will be beautiful!

Morna Crites-Moore ~Wicked Waif ~ said...

The amount of grueling labor that is necessary for all the beauty you two have created .... it astounds me. The wall looks quite beautiful, even now in its unfinished state. xo

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you thoughtful friends. The wall is mostly done down the side by the tree, around the back, with two sets of stairs and made a turn past the deck, John constructed to the back door... having to catch up on other tasks that were put by the wayside... now waiting for less windy and rainy weather to finish..

Thanks for all the encouragement!!!