GreenMan Mosaic Recognized by SAMA

GreenMan mosaic eye

A close up of the GreenMan’s malachite eye.

“GreenMan” the mosaic created for the GreenMan Brewery in downtown Asheville has been selected for inclusion in the Society for American Mosaic Artists exhibition Mosaic Arts International: Juried Fine Art and Invitational. It was selected in the Site-Specific category of the juried show. Images of it will hang during the 16th Annual American Mosaic Summit. The show will be visible from May 4 to June 15, 2017 at the Janice Charach Gallery, Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit. The entire show will be posted on-line at AmericanMosaics.org beginning May 4, 2017.
Photo by David Dietrich

Hammerhead Stoneworks Featured in the Slippery Rock Gazette

The Slippery Rock Gazette recently featured Hammerhead’s Green Man mosaic completed for Green Man Brewery. The article explains in great detail the process of creating the mosaic from the imagineering phase to the finished product. Additionally, readers can learn about why certain stones were selected as well as what a project of this scale entails.

Access the full feature here.

Special Thanks for the Slippery Rock Gazette Feature

We extend our gratitude to Peter J. Marcucci for authoring this feature as well as to Braxton-Bragg, who both publishes the Gazette and regularly supplies Hammerhead Stoneworks with cool tools and cutting supplies.

The full size mosaic in the space as featured in the Slippery Rock Gazette

The full size mosaic in the space Photograph ©2016 David Dietrich

The Mountain Waterfall Mosaic

The Mountain Waterfall Mosaic is located at First Baptist Church of Asheville, and it was the last part of the Memorial Garden that we completed there. The waterfall was a collaborative effort between Hammerhead and the crew at Medallion Pools led by Mark Dorsey. While Mark and crew took charge of the waterwork elements of the waterfall, Hammerhead was charged with designing and installing the stone.

Details About the Mountain Waterfall Mosaic

The waterfall is located at the end of the stream path. In fact, the bluestone that runs throughout the stream path represents the flowing water and widens as it reaches the pool. The floor of the pool is completely done in the bluestone as well. The sky in the waterfall mosaic is also bluestone, and I like the implied metaphor here. These elements were key components of the design created by Steve Wyda and Ryan Blau of Vision Design Collaborative, the landscape architects who designed the Memorial Garden.

Stream Path Leading to Waterfall

Stream Path Leading to Waterfall

The spillway is made of mountain stone, while the sun and sunset clouds are made of Tennessee sandstone. The Tennessee sandstone is used throughout the entire project at First Baptist Church of Asheville, including in the stream path, the labyrinth itself, and several of the benches. The mountains are made of a native stone that is sometimes called Emerald Gray. We were able to source it from Marion, NC, a town about an hour east of Asheville.

Mountain Waterfall Mosaic

Mountain Waterfall Mosaic

Our Thoughts About this Project

The waterfall was a very challenging build. It wasn’t one project but rather ten small projects combined, each with its own specific components. And when it was done and the water was flowing for the first time, it immediately became my favorite. The sound of the water washed away the months of stress of getting the whole garden finished.

Our completed waterfall flowing

Our completed waterfall flowing

At Hammerhead, it’s the challenges of the project that get us excited. We will take on almost any project, but we do have a couple of rules: no veneer and no water features. Of course, we broke both of these rules for the waterfall. The mosaic background – the mountains and the sunset – is a cut stone approach to veneer. It’s 4 inches thick, basically the depth of the brick, and is affixed to a block wall coated in shotcrete. I am proud to say, it doesn’t look like any lick’em-stick’em I’ve ever seen.

I try to avoid the naturalistic water features that are so commonplace now. Making mountain streams is Mother Nature’s domain, not mine. But this waterfall had just the right balance of creative freedom in the design, execution, and technical challenges to keep us all engaged and excited about the outcome. It’s my favorite project – for now…

Our completed waterfall flowing

Our completed waterfall flowing

Modern stack bench – First Baptist Church of Asheville

At Hammerhead, we enjoy the challenge of creating new designs for stone benches. We seek a balance between bombproof structure and graceful aesthetics, and we like our benches to be whimsical. The labyrinth project we competed for First Baptist Church of Asheville is comprised of four of our bench designs, including our modern stack bench.

The columbarium area of the Memorial Garden at First Baptist Church of Asheville contains four modern stack benches. The benches have a very clean, modern aesthetic. The design committee requested something more formal while not overtly like a highly polished memorial bench found in a graveyard.

Materials Used for the Modern Stack Bench

A rough hewn granite block anchors the bench to the concrete. Pennsylvania Bluestone comprises the seats, topped with reclaimed black granite. The granite serves as a spacer, which creates a shadow that suggests that the big blue slab is floating over the granite.

All of the materials used for the benches figure heavily in the overall design of the garden. We wanted the benches to help unite the various elements of the design. The black granite used in the benches resembles the granite used for the columbarium vaults as the place where names will be engraved. This provides a unifying element with other areas of the Memorial Garden.

Modern Stack Bench at First Baptist Church of Asheville

Modern Stack Bench at First Baptist Church of Asheville

Floating Stone Bench at First Baptist Church of Asheville

The Floating Stone Bench

At Hammerhead, we enjoy the challenge of creating new designs for stone benches. We seek a balance between bombproof structure and graceful aesthetics. And we like them to be whimsical. The floating stone bench is one of four designs we created for the memorial garden at First Baptist Church of Asheville for, as we call it, the labyrinth project.

One of our favorite designs, the floating bench is truly one of a kind as we created specifically for the church. A steel armature levitates a slab of bluestone above a block of Tennessee sandstone.

floating stone bench

A slab of bluestone appears to hover over a large chunk of sandstone in this floating bench.

Read More About Benches by Hammerhead Stoneworks

Ceremonial Fire Pit III

The inner ring of the stone fire pit features a planetary theme.

The inner ring of the stone fire pit features a planetary theme.

Work continues on the ceremonial stone fire pit that we’ve been working on. Gary and Jonathan have been braving the cold to work on the main flagstone areas. The tent surely helps, but it’s so windy out there that the whole house, amply weighed down with buckets of stone chips, occasionally flies away. The wind easily bends the metal fence poles that make up the tent frame. Today we risked liftoff to move the thing.

The inner ring of the fire pit, the ceremonial center, features a view of the planets, orbits abstractly placed around the central sun of the fire. As above, so below. The sky is cut Pennsylvania bluestone, a favorite material for me. The planets are cut of granite counter top scraps.

Progress continues on the ceremonial stone fire pit.

Progress continues on the ceremonial stone fire pit.

The westerly ray is in place, though the last section still needs to be shaped to fit against the boulder. If you look carefully you can see Jupiter in the fire pit, waiting for me to hone its bit of sky. The outer pathway is just about 75% complete. I hope that we’ll make some progress on the wall cap this week; I think that will give us a sense of completion for the northeast quadrant- where the inner ring is already in place.

A close up of progress on the fire pit stone patio.

A close up of progress on the fire pit stone patio.

Homemade Patio

It’s rare that I feature other’s work on my web site; I am uncomfortable taking credit (or blame!) for work that’s not my own. I am making an exception to this guideline to feature a patio built by a homeowner in southern California. Drew contacted me in the summer with questions about dry laying a patio and some concerns about drainage. I answered as best I could, though it’s hard to offer too many specifics without having firsthand experience of the stones, soil and slope of the area. I linked him to the handout I made for my flagstone classes. Drew ran with the info I provided. His words: “So many people told me that the flagstone must be set in concrete. I knew that wasn’t the case, but I was still apprehensive about building it that way until I found your website and saw that other people were building dry-set patios the way I wanted to. Once I saw your work, I said “Ok, I can do this…” It definitely gave me the courage to ignore the “nay-sayers.” Now everyone who sees it says, “Wow!” We’ve had some rain recently, and the drainage works exactly how I hoped it would.”
Drew reports that the stone is quartzite. He used a Skilsaw to cut the shapes, and then roughed up the edges with a hammer to give them a more naturalistic look.
Nicely done Drew! And thanks for sharing the images.

Dry stone patio by homeowner Drew in southern California.

Dry stone patio by homeowner Drew in southern California.

Patio by homeowner Drew in southern California. Well done!

Patio by homeowner Drew in southern California. Well done!

Mill Stone Patio

antique mill stone set in patio

Drystone patio with millstone inset

Asheville stone masons, Hammerhead Stoneworks, are currently installing a dry laid patio in Haw Creek. It’s a fairly large area behind a historic house. The trail of cobblestones runs over the top a perforated PVC drain pipe that conveys water away from the house. The cobble path begins (and will end) with an antique mill stone.

An existing drain pipe surround that we replaced.

An existing drain pipe surround that we replaced.

The Hammerhead solution to the drain pipe surround

The Hammerhead solution to the drain pipe surround

It’s all about the details!

Heart Stone

sandstone heart

Sandstone cut into a heart shape for a new walkway in North Asheville.

We’re working in North Asheville on front walkway. I made this heart stone on the customer’s request, after she saw some of Andreas Kunert’s mosaic work in a book I have.