Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


STONE Project

Peenya Granite Quarry, India | Stonebreaker from STONE project on Vimeo.

A recent book about stonework, Stone: A Legacy and Inspiration for Art, caught my eye with its focus on the raw material and craft of stonework rather than the finished product that seems to fill most of the stone books out there. Turns out the book has a companion website, STONE Project, with a lot of great content as well, including photos, a stone glossary, and tons of videos, including the rather striking one above showing one of the more un-OSHA-compliant workers I’ve ever seen. Sandals, a sari, and a big sledge, gotta love it. The videos are rather raw and cinema verite, and overall the website is probably more for the serious stone lovers out there, but then personally I’m convinced that everyone in the world is a stone lover, so there you go. Good stuff, definitely worth a look if you’re interested in the process of stonework. From their Introduction page:

STONE Project aims:

to collect information about stone through the eyes of artists, masons, quarry workers, anthropologists, and cultural and literary thinkers.
to discover differences in how stone is understood and worked throughout the world.
to understand both the ‘physical processes’ and the ‘thinking approaches’ when working with stone.
to show these modes of understanding in ways that are broadly applicable and transferable.
At the heart of STONE Project is the shared belief that research on stone can also contribute to a further understanding of:

hands, tools and material –
tactility/senses –
tacit skills –
reductive thinking –

STONE Project’s ultimate aim is to:

… assemble all research and achievements in an archive for the use of current and future generations, a tool which anyone can use.

Hear, hear.

5 Responses to “STONE Project”

  1. October 21st, 2012 at 10:04 am

    James says:

    Someone hand that man some explosives! That’s a tough job if ever there was one. Do you know the quarry photos of Edward Burtynsky? There are several pages of quarry shots off of his homepage: http://www.edwardburtynsky.com/. The images from Carrara and Vermont have some pretty stunning in a conventional ooh and ahh landscape photography viewpoint. (Two-plus decades of postmodernism haven’t numbed my senses to the power of “pretty.”)

  2. October 21st, 2012 at 10:47 am

    ryan says:

    I do know the Edward Burtynsky quarry photos, and some of the STONE Project photos remind me of them. They’re great, and actually I think the quarries are sort of unique in all of his photos as the one kind of place that I would love to visit, that I could see myself going back to again and again if it were near my home. That’s partly just because I’m biased towards stone, no doubt, but you’re right about there being something conventionally ‘ooh and aah’ about quarries.

  3. October 21st, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Matt says:

    Thank you for posting this. Not everyone gets to see stone in it’s raw form at the quarry and sometimes it is hard to appreciate that the work is still done with nothing other than hard physical labor, determination and the ringing of hammers. And James, I’m pretty sure that the quarry worker is a woman….making the effort even more impressive is that the sledge is most likely 20lbs.

  4. October 21st, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    ryan says:

    Right, the video makers say she’s a woman, and her sledge is bigger than any I’ve ever used. If John Henry had been a woman from India…

  5. October 22nd, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Matt says:

    I didn’t catch that on the video link on here. The determination in her eyes and actions is to be admired for sure.

    I have used 20lb hammers to break down large granite quarry blocks many,many times….it’s one way to get the best corners. I can assure you, it is not easy!

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