Occasional pursuits – stonework


I was lucky enough, in my house in Somerville, to come by a large number of cobblestones that were being torn up nearby. I set them in an art nouveau pattern, which I was very happy with. I am sorry I had to leave them behind.

I happened across this picture by accident recently, after having given up after an extended search for it when I was first creating this web site.

Raw material

Work in progress

Newly laid

The brick walkway is yet to be laid, and the existing steps will later be removed.

Retaining wall

Granite patio

The patio, which is outside the kitchen, overlooks the long yard.

Walkway edging

Splitting a stone for the rear patio left this curved shard as a neat piece. It made a perfect addition to the edging for the brick sidewalk.

In the cracks

No, it's not a moss. This is Sagina subulata. If you look closely, you can see that it has tiny white flowers. It thrives and spreads as long as it has some water. It's perennial.

House number

Granite that is freshly and smoothly worked has a lighter color than stone that is rough or not so newly cleaned. This makes for an effect exactly opposite that desired in lettering, which is to have the incised character be darker. For this reason, stone cutters have often painted their letters black initially. As time goes on, the paint wears off, but the incised stone acquires a darker patina.

This peculiarity is somewhat obviated with the modern use of sandblasting for lettering, which creates a deep and well-shadowed effect from the start.