"Coyote" Garden Guardian
Framed Dendrite Picture Stone
Atlanta Art Projects
These two pieces were created for clients in Atlanta, GA. “Coyote” is what I call a garden guardian. It is a freestanding garden sculpture set in concrete below grade. The coyote itself is made of a polished black marble that was inlaid into a slab of Tennessee sandstone. While labor-intensive to produce, the results are worth it.
The dendrite stone screen, or framed picture stone, features a beautiful dendrite pattern in a slab of 2′ by 3′. Despite their appearance, dendrites aren’t actually fossils of a fern or other plant but result from mineral intrusion into the stone.
We designed the frame and had a friend fabricate it for us. The frame secures the stone without requiring any drill holes or epoxy. For installation, the frame is bolted to a subterranean concrete slab.
Pennsylvania Stone Steps & Patio
We completed this set of steps as well as a patio for a home in North Asheville. Made of Pennsylvania stone, a short stack of steps leads up from the driveway to a stepping stone path. The patio is built over an old concrete slab, which isn’t always possible, but we had the clearances necessary to get our stone and setting bed in place. Leaving the slab in place instead of removing it saved the customer a considerable amount of money.
While the steps and patio were laid dry, the flagstone on the stoop was mortared in place for supplemental support.
Big Stone Patio
The patio is what we call big stone paving, and it is one of Hammerhead’s signature styles. It is made of sandstone slabs (also used here) about two inches thick and also connects to a pair of boulders found on the property.
As a preventive measure to protect the look of the patio from grease drippings, we ensured that the grill is set in a small gravel area next to the patio.
The shape of the patio is very free-flowing and truly complements the both the modern design and color scheme of the house.
Frog Mosaic at NC Arboretum
The North Carolina Arboretum commissioned Hammerhead to design and build a stone mosaic in their stream garden. The stream garden is located immediately adjacent to the Arboretum’s signature quilt garden.
The frog mosaic lines the bottom of a long, man-made water feature and references to two large bullfrogs living in the water feature. Often times they hang out in the storage tank which houses the water pump. The arboretum staff as well as the many school groups led through the garden know the frogs well. Known as ‘Hamburger’ and ‘French Fry,’ the beloved bullfrogs often made their kerlunking sounds as we worked nearby.
While most of the stone is regional, the tympanic membrane is a scrap of countertop material. The eye is a Mexican beach pebble.
Sandstone Path with Landings
This path was designed and installed for the entryway of a house of modern design in Alexander, North Carolina. It is 4 feet wide and is comprised of boulders found and selected around the site as well as Tennessee sandstone (also used here and here).
In addition to helping to maintain a comfortable walking rhythm, the steps and landings are spaced to run with the slope. This was essential in order to avoid excessive excavation and/or build up.
Here are some new photographs of the sacred fire circle that Hammerhead completed in January 2014 for clients in Alexander, NC. Over 3 1/2 years later, the space is still well-used and can be viewed from outer space!
The overall design of the Sacred Fire Circle
Google Earth image of the prepped site before we began construction. The little white squares are the first pallets of stone.
A Google Earth image of the Sacred Fire Circle
(Above) The drain with the lid in place (Below) A closeup of the drain design and detail.
We incorporated this drain design in a patio we installed to cover and protect a sewer cleanout. The lid is the same type of stone used to build the patio. We used spray foam to create a seal to prevent gravel under the patio from making its way into the drain.
This backyard bench was designed and installed in North Asheville’s Lakeshore neighborhood. It is featured in the yard of a very avid gardener. It is a mortared bench that curves to round off the corners of the yard.
All the stone used for this bench is local with the end caps and wall portion made of mountain field stone and the seat made of Hooper’s Creek, which is quarried in Fletcher, NC. (We often use Hooper’s Creek as featured here.)
Kenilworth Stone Steps
The Finished Product
We completed this set of stone steps for a modern home of brand new construction. They are 9 1/2 feet across and made of sandstone slabs from Tennessee. They have a clean, modern look to match the style of the home.
The wooden decking seen in the images above leads to the entrance of the home. We were contacted by the homeowners when they noticed that every time it rained, there was a serious runoff problem, leaving leaves, mud, and debris to stain the deck. The existing steps in this location were dangerously uneven and ugly and created a waterfall-like effect during rainstorms. Additionally, there were only three of them in space where four are needed in order to walk comfortably.
Existing Steps (Before)
In addition to creating a more aesthetically pleasing set of steps and making this a safer space, we also wanted to solve the runoff issue. The flagstone landing at the top of the steps pitches toward the road to divert most of the water away from the entrance and into a drain that we installed.
We enjoyed this project because it was a project of functional beauty, providing both aesthetics as well as problem-solving.
Weaverville Entrance Sign
The Weaverville entrance sign, designed and built for the town of Weaverville, NC, features a moongate, or complete circular arch. The sign greets visitors arriving into Weaverville as they pass Lake Louise, onto which the moongate opens. The complexity of this build revealed sandstone as the ideal choice because it is colorful and easy to work.
This moongate design element, complete with 3 intersecting slabs of sandstone at the bottom, is inspired by a fiddlehead fern. One of the sure signs of spring, fiddlehead ferns represent growth and renewal, speaking to some of Weaverville’s lovely qualities. The moongate itself also references a nearby water wheel, located just below Lake Louise. While no longer functional, the water wheel serves as a bit of a local landmark, and it is a unique place to check out.
Closeup of the moongate
Weaverville Sign Process
Initial sign sketch
Laying out the stones for the moongate
Building up the sign
Moongate in process