The Fireplace Continues

As you can see, we have finished the "skeleton" of the fireplace and have already placed the granite hearth and the granite sides. The next big challenge is to move this large piece of granite into place to be used as the lintel. Luckily, we planned the project so that we would have just enough room to move into the space with a small excavator. We'll use this to set the piece. Once this is complete, we can begin…

The Fireplace Begins

The focal point of the upper terrace and really the entire stonework project is the fireplace that is being built. In this image, you'll see the very first steps. We needed to continue the concrete wall with concrete blocks to make up the shape of the back of the fireplace. We are using a product called Isokern as the "skeleton" of the fireplace and will then veneer around it. We'll use granite as the hearth, lintel,…

A Much Needed Break

  We decided to take a couple of days off to re-energize for the rest of the season. After we got the guys set up on some tasks, we took off to go camping. We ended up at Myles Standish State Park in Carver, MA. What a great place! We wish we could wake up to this scene everyday. In typical fashion, we arrived at our camp site at 9 pm (I just couldn't seem to leave the office on time). Nonethless, we had time…

Back To The South

We  have been back to our Matunuck project for a couple of weeks now and are making great progress on the next phase of the project, the stonework! As you can see the lower wall has been completed and we are working our way to the top terrace.       Here you'll see the bench that is being built in the top terrace. Instead of letting this corner become a dead space, we designed a built-in bluestone…

Sunday!

Affectionaly titled 'Sunday' by our client, this piece is now complete. Check out this small gallery for some interesting detailed shots of the piece.  You'll notice just how beautiful and colorful the fieldstone is up close. You'll also notice that there is no mortar between the stone. It's held together purely through gravity and the skill of the mason. And of course, if you like what you see, please tell everyone…

Building The Arch

Much like what we did with the flower show, we needed to build a wood form to support the arch while the stone was being set in place. Our choice of stone  for this project is a new england fieldstone that we have found in Sudbury, MA. Much of this stone is harvested from the ground so it has not yet had a chance to be aged by the weather.       This is New England however, and our weather conditions…

So How Do You Split Granite?

Now this was the fun part. To finalize our work with the granite, we needed to split it to size and slip it into notches that we will make in the upright piece. So here is how it is done. First, we drilled holes into the granite using a hammer drill (kids, don't try this at home). Once the holes were drilled deep enough, we went "old school," placing feather and wedges into these holes.       Using…

Ahhh, The Power Of Car Jacks

Seriously. Without this invention we would not have gotten very far! The challenge for this phase of the sculpture was knowing that we needed to cut into the upright piece of granite in order to slide the horizonatl pieces of granite into it. We also needed to split the horizontal pieces of granite to get them to the correct size. So, by placing these pieces on a system of jacks, we had the flexibility to raise and lower…

Our Next Sculpture

We are on a roll! We have started our next stone sculpture and we could not be more excited. This vision comes directly from Neil's sketch book. This first image shows  the bed where the sculpure will be placed (on the left side). It will have a tall background of hemlocks to both soften it and give a great backdrop.       Our first challenge was to get 900 lb pieces of granite out of the truck…

Moongate Complete

We were inspired to build a moongate on this site because of the placement of existing stones. Our client wanted to extend a garden that we had installed a few years earlier and we knew these stones should be a focal point for the design. And of course, with our new "moongate building" skills, we figured this would be the perfect place to build our first residential moongate. In this scenerio, the existing stones act…