Here's a series of in-progress photos documenting a small stonework called All The Best Hopes.
The box frame is pine, milled from reclaimed lumber found at a municipal brushpile. The back is scrap plywood from a glass shop's discarded shelving unit. I gather stones wherever I am. The hanger is 12 gauge galvanized tie wire.
A day or two later, I realized the wire's twist-tie was in the way, so I cut it and secured the ends to screws sunk into the back. Where surfaces meet closely, I join stone with Weldbond. Where there are gaps to fill, I use a water-based construction adhesive.
I glued the triangular stone to a base cut from scrap plywood. When the Weldbond had cured, I shimmed and glued the base to the back.
Fitting the small stones surrounding the triangular icon was slow work. I use a hammer and pincers to break stone, coarse sandpaper to refine edges, weather fresh faces. I discarded more than a few.
The last two were the trickiest. They're at a focal point, and I wanted them tight. I want them all tight. But especially these.
I fill voids between the stones and back with latex caulk. I've used mortar, but I like caulk's flexibility and superior adhesion to both stone and wood.
|All The Best Hopes Natural stone, framed, 14" x 18", 2013|
Here's the finished stonework. I wanted the look of dry-laid stone, tightly joined, but with the irregularities, the bellying-out and hollowing of a well-preserved old wall- And just as importantly, one you can touch. Stone feels good, does us more good than we know. It's timeless, calming, perhaps healing. For me, working with small stone is both a pleasure, and a valued meditation.