Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Dolmen Next Door:

My neighbor Richard has an interest in sculpture. Earlier in the summer he surprised me by asking me if I was familiar with the work of Andy Goldsworthy, (I am.) and if I would help him make a giant stacked stone egg similar to one of Goldsworthy's. After I got over a silly initial reticence about it not being my idea, I made a full-scale maquette for the 10 foot tall egg, and a cutout of the curves so that a mason could stack the stones to the right curvature. That's a work in progress.

In the meantime Richard pointed out a pile of limestone boulders and asked me if I could come up with an idea for a sculpture that would utilize them. My idea was to make a dolmen, as such things are sometimes called in Ireland, Scotland, England, & Northern France. The word comes from the Breton "tolmen" ~ tol = table + men = stone ~ "a prehistoric monument of two or more upright stones supporting a horizontal stone slab." Some of them were tombstones. I've always wanted to make one, and this morning, we (a great crew of workers) did.

This one is a little unusual, compared to the ones I've seen in Ireland, in that one of the supports of the top slab is a big geode. Geodes are fairly common around here. Often they are hollow, the interior lined with quartz crystals, the globular shape formed by intense pressures deep beneath the earth. A crystalline core formed under great pressure is an image I can work with - it fits - and I really think the geode looks perfect supporting the massive capstone on a single point. Do the crystals inside feel it? Perhaps it reminds them of their childhood.

There's a lot of interesting info about portal tombs and dolmens here:


Bruce Orwin said...

I look forward to seeing it!

Cathy said...

Me too!

SBD said...

me three...let's walk there tomorrow

Dan Dutton said...

Neat to have a permanent sculpture installation next door. See you tomorrow!