Ceremonial Fire Pit I

Hammerhead Stoneworks has recently begun a new project, one that will keep us busy through the winter months. It’s a large ceremonial fire pit in a wide open part of the Asheville environs. When the wind blows out here, we feel it. These first few photos show the start up and our early progress. We have started by building a series of drystone walls. They are two-sided, free standing-walls that will top out at about eighteen inches, making the whole wall a very long stone bench. There are four such walls that terminate at the boulders which are located at the cardinal points of the compass.

Fire pit project layout.

Fire pit project layout.

On a large project like this, site layout is a crucial component. Everything hinges on the center point. We worked diligently to get the levels and shapes correct before we cluttered the area with stone and our tent.

fire pit and drystone walls

Free-standing walls encircle a ceremonial fire pit.

Ceremonial fire pit

Free-standing walls encircle a ceremonial fire pit.

Cold weather stone work

A car port frame laced with sheet plastic protects us from the elements.

The tent has been a huge asset. Two weeks in, I think the tent has saved us two and half working days. And even in cases where we could have tolerated the cold, we were more comfortable and able to do our best, most efficient work. It’s hard to set stone well when you’re so bundled up you can’t move your arms! It’s noisy in there on a windy day, but pop in the iPod and you barely notice.

drystone wall

A long curving free-standing wall as part of a ceremonial fire pit.

This is a close up of the first wall now ready for cap.