Stone Column Theory
My latest project is the entrance to a horse farm just outside of Rock Hill, South Carolina. Mortared columns and connecting walls frame the main gate. I’m using a Tennessee sandstone as well as Arkansas Hackett, a type of sandstone akin to Tennessee Crab Orchard but darker in color. The client already had a supply of this stuff, snapped strips about 5-6 inches tall and about the same thickness. It makes a lovely cornerstone. The metal fins sticking out the side will hold wood fence rails.
I’m working on a theory that columns- which I find to be one of the most challenging and intriguing expressions of stone- are like short stories, compared to the long form of walls or novels. There’s a different rhythm and a greater attention to detail is needed to achieve the desired result. You need all the same elements in a short story as novel- strong characters, a compelling plot, beautiful language, but you have less space to develop it and if you miss it, well it’s painfully obvious. And multiple that by four, since each side of a column is its own piece, but visually and strucutrally connected to the other sides. Stone columns are a common item in around here, and yet few capture the imagination. I’m hoping that this set will really pop.