This is a project we just completed. We took local granite boulders and split them into face stone for stacking. The owners wanted us to put in lots of quirky accents and include a bench section with large seat backrest stones. Pennsylvania flagstone paving. The project was quite a haul in terms of labor, but I’m quite satisfied with the results and hope to do more wall work with granite in the future. I’m in love with the look and feel of the material in its split-face form.
This shot shows my assistant Derek at work prepping the raw granite boulders into face material. This stage took up quite a bit of time, but since the rubble material costs less than a third of most square-ish drystack material, it balanced out in the end. If I get more opportunities to work in this style, I would love to purchase a pneumatic splitting machine to make this process more streamlined.
A closeup of the 3-foot tall, left side of the wall. I have to give Derek credit here – he put his skills to work mostly in this section. I should also send a shout out to the local company Arthur and Suede who built the sample wall at Marenakos Rock Center that my customers chose as a stylistic template. A lot of masons would just emulate another craftsman’s work and take all the credit – I’d like to think that someone copying my work would give credit where it’s due. But hey, we all have to do the work that comes down the chute!
And another closeup showing the bench or “stone couch”. I wanted the bench top to be a mixture of large, thick stones and thinner, 2″ thermalled flagstones. This was based on another project I built seven years ago using large step risers set on edge. My customers have been a few times to Macchu Piccu and Cuzco in Peru, and were thrilled to see this modern-day tip of the hat to such craftmanship. I can’t imagine working with a kinder, more fun couple than these people!
by Mark Shepherd www.ShepherdStoneworks.com
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