Here is a look at my latest outdoor classroom project I completed recently. In early 2015 Scoil Mhuire National School in Lucan, Co. Dublin put out a tender to commission a creative outdoor space for the students to utilise for years to come. It was commissioned under the government’s ‘Percent for Art Scheme‘ which allocates 1% of the building cost of any public building to the installation of an art project. The school prides itself on its commitment to sport and creativity.
So after a number of years of procrastination and dreaming about going to StoneFest, this year I finally made it over to Seattle to attend the event. Procrastination was of course not the only factor in making the 14,623 km round trip to the event, finances and situation also played a big factor. If it were not for Alexandra and Scott of StoneFest and the work they are doing with the ‘OnTrack‘ scholarship, dreams and procrastination would still be my only memories of StoneFes
Can tradespeople be artists?
An interesting question which is being explored by a new Irish series on TG4 at the moment called ‘Dullamullóg’ Launched last Sunday 13th January, the show follows six tradespeople who take on the challenge of creating a piece of critically acclaimed art. Each tradesperson is paired up with a professional artist who helps them with their work. The final piece is then put in amongst professional art works which are all scrutinised by art critic Cia
Winter is a difficult time for a stonemason, as it is often to cold or wet to work. At this time of year you will find many twitchy stonemasons bundled up in their homes or studios like children waiting for the rain to stop so that they can go back out and play. This is, however, a great time to get inspired and conjure up interesting projects for the spring. This is exactly what Vermont sculptor and stonemason Chris Miller did. Inspired by this stone VW beetle built in a fi
Andrew Rogers is a sculptor whose works may be found in many plazas and buildings around the world. He is a leading contemporary artist. Rogers is the creator of the world’s largest contemporary land art undertaking. Titled “Rhythms of Life,” the project commenced in 1998 and at present comprises 48 massive stone structures (Geoglyphs) across 13 countries in seven continents and has involved over 6,700 people. These Geoglyphs range in size up to 40,000 sq m/430,560 sq ft – an
Last September my wife had to go to a conference to Helsinki, Finland, so I decided to tag along and see what Helsinki is all about. On arriving I quickly noticed that much of the buildings and stone walls in Helsinki are made of a lovely pink granite. If you had a geologist to hand he would tell you the reason for this is because Helsinki sits on an indented Pegmatitic (pink) granite peninsula that makes up part of the Baltic shield. I did not have a geologist to hand, but w
On Monday a few of the members of the association met up at the foot of The Rock of Cashel to promote both the DSWA of Ireland and Fellow association member Tom Pollard’s Fly a flag for Ireland campaign, for a segment to be shown on an RTE documentary “How to be Irish” Tom’s Fly a flag for Ireland campaign is looking to put some colour, positivity and pride back in our Country. Showing our elected representatives and European neighbours that we are a proud and colourful inde
Many of you may already be familiar with the work of Jeffery Bale, but for those of you who aren’t, I feel the need to share his work with you. I am a big fan of mosaics. One of my favourite city to visit is Barcelona, mainly because of all the wonderful mosaics of Gaudi that decorate much of the city. I have even ventured to make a few mosaics myself upon occasion (see my blog post on making mosaics) but nothing as large, detailed or impressive as the mosaics of Jeffery. For
As the winter solstice is coming up, I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk about one of Ireland’s oldest and most impressive stone structures.
I am talking of course about Newgrange in County Meath. (County Meath is well known as Ireland’s Heritage Capital)
According to the most reliable Carbon 14 dates available from archaeology, it is believed that Newgrange (or Sí an Bhrú as it is know in Irish) was constructed over 5,000 years ago, around 3200BC. This makes
Last weekend I attended my first dry stone walling workshop on Inis Oírr Island. And I am already looking forward to going back next year. For those of you who don’t know where Inis Oírr (Inisheer) is, it is the smallest of the three islands that make up the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. As a location for a dry stone walling workshop, I could not imagine a better place, as Inis Oírr has some of the finest examples of drystone walls in the country. Altogether the Aran Islands ha
Just a very quick post to promote some very interesting things happening this week. This week is Heritage Week 2011 from 20th to the 28th of August. Coordinated by The Heritage Council, Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days in which over 40 countries participate each year. I was down at the lovely Drimnagh Castle today in the heart of Dublin City, where renowned stonemason, teacher and author Patrick McAfee held an arch building demonstration. This hour long demonst
Here is a picture of a project I recently finished for an artist in West Cork. The mosaic in the center was actually a bit of an afterthought. The seating area was initially designed to have a fire pit in the center but later the client decided against the fire pit. I still wanted to have some sort of central feature, so I decided to put in a mosaic instead. I have been getting a lot of reaction to the mosaic I made for the center, I also have been getting some feedback from
So I have talked about stone benches on a number of occasions, and now I am going to talk about them some more.
I just had a lady asking me for more information on some of my stone benches, and while compiling the information for her I thought, why not kill two birds with one stone and write a blog post about it.
So here it is! Stone Benches.
Enrich your garden with one of Stone Arts trademark stone benches. Each one of these immensely popular benches is completely unique a
It’s not very difficult to see why Michael Eckerman and his stonework is loved by the surfing community, building stone features for many of the great surfers, and even getting featured in The Surfer’s Journal back in 2007. Bored with traditional stonework, Micheal’s creative nature has led him away from traditional design. Attracted by the flowing aspects of tectonic upheavals of lava flows that he observed in his travels, he began forming his own signature style of stonewor
Garden Theatres Although there are many grand Garden Theatres and huge impressive amphitheatres out there in the world, they are not something you find very often in normal residential garden design. They are however, something I like very much. So I will leave the many grand garden theatres and the huge impressive amphitheatres for another post for another day. Today I am going to talk about the intimate and sometimes modest (but just as effective) garden theatre. Growing up
A while back while visiting Jan Johnsen landscape gardening blog ‘Serenity In The Garden‘ (a blog I highly recommend checking out if you don’t know it already) I saw this photo (derectally above ↑) and at first glance, thought it was a piece by Andy Goldsworthy. I quickly discovered that this fabulous piece of stone art was not the work of Goldsworthy but of Vermont Stonemason/ Artist Thea Alvin. Thea has been a professional stone mason for 25 years, and uses the dry stone st
Real or Photoshopped? The first time I saw this photo I really didn’t know. I came across this photo a while back, it was posted on the web somewhere by someone, and a lot of the comments underneath it branded it a fake and put it down to photoshop trickery, as surely balancing stones like this is impossible? Well I wanted to believe it was real, but also needed some convincing. It was only after finding the creator of the photo Bill Dan and saw one of his You tube videos of
Stone River is a project by award wining landscape architect and stonemason, Jon Piasecki. Jon Piasecki is a graduate of Harvard University (with a Masters in Landscape Architecture in 1995), and Cornell University (with a B.S. in forest ecology in 1989). In 2004, he received the Prince Charitable Trust Rome Prize awarded by the American Academy in Rome, and was in residence at the Academy in 2005. For this project Jon was commissioned by prominent landscape architect Michael
Hand with Reflecting Sphere by M. C. Escher 1935 Ever since my art teacher in school handed me a book depicting this picture by M. C. Escher, and a mirror ball, and told me to get busy, I have been a huge fan of his work. He is by far my favourite graphic artist of all time. Relativity by M. C. Escher 1953 Ascending and Descending by M. C. Escher 1960 Cycle by M. C. Escher 1938 Recently I came across these pictures on the net, of a stepwell situated in the village Abhaneri ne
A few months back I wrote a post ‘Stone Chairs. Some ancient some not so ancient…Yet….’ in which I mentioned that one of my favorite things to build are stone seats. Well here is a stone seating area I have just completed and the process I used to create it. So recently a lady in down in Co. Kildare asked me if I could transform this old area of her garden into one of my stone seating areas, so of course I was only too happy to oblige. My delivery of stone. So when the old ma