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The art of Stone Balancing

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

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 him at work that it all became clear.

Bill Dan spends much of his time on the waterfront shoreline of San Francisco Bay, which offers ample opportunities for rock balancing. Large quantities of erosion control material called “stone riprap” have been placed to prevent storm and tidal damage. The perfect place for Bill to practice and demonstrate the amazing possibilities in the interactions between rock and gravity. It is here that Bill developed, practiced, and continues to share the delightful, astonishing, and even inspirational sculptures he constructs with the varied forms and shapes available to him at the water’s edge.

Check out this video of Bill at work to see it for yourself

A little closer to home, artist Adrian Gray practices the art of stone balancing along one of the most famous and beautiful coastlines in the UK, the Jurasssic Coastline of Dorset. Adrian also combines the art of stone balancing with the art of photography, creating enchanting photo prints for people to purchase from his website.

As if the stone sculptures were not amazing enough, Adrian also brings various moods in his prints, by incorporating things like movement and lighting.

All the stones in these pictures are balanced, strictly without the aid of adhesive, pins or computer manipulation. They remain in place through the natural force of gravity and friction. ‘Nature’s glue’ sustains them in these seemingly impossible positions and it is the capricious natural forces of wind or waves that returns them to obscurity amongst their fellow boulders.

Adrian Gray

 Thanks to both Bill Dan and Adrian Gray for their kind permission to use their photos and videos for this post.

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