Appreciation towards Jon Piasecki for providing the following description:
project to a jury in a hundred years and they’ll still give it an award. The materials
are uncompromising. A beautiful idea carried out with uncompromising craftsmanship. ”
—2011 Professional Awards Jury
Project Title: Stone River
Project Location: Eastern New York State
Project Type: Woodland Path
I joined the path itself to the preexisting stonewall and woods in an attempt to offer
the visitor the opportunity to experience a sense of fusion with nature. The goal of
this project is to join culture to nature. This path provides one trajectory along which
people can reintegrate with the natural world around them.
several years of practice physically joining stone and working in the woods as
well as by my independent research on Incan stone work. With this path I applied
great effort to join stones together. I strove to join the path itself to the preexisting
stonewall and woods in an attempt to offer the visitor the opportunity to experience
a sense of fusion with nature. The goal of this project is to join culture to nature.
This path provides one trajectory along which people can reintegrate with the world
around them in a sustainable way.
joint and moved each stone down the path on a small wooden cart. I transferred tens
of tons of gravel and sand as a setting bed with a wheelbarrow and I moved nearly 400
tons of stone in the wall and as paving over the 800-foot length of the path. I opened
the existing stonewall, chose the course of the path within it and rejoined the residual
wall stone in such a way that the path appears to have grown organically within this
stonewall where it resides. I was able to personally lay stones so as to avoid individual
clumps of ferns, standing trees, fallen logs and existing stones with mossy growths in
the wall. This was done in an attempt to preserve as much as of the preexisting life of
the enormous wall as possible.
the fields of landscape architecture, outdoor sculpture and architecture. The challenge
in all participating fields is to do the best work possible. The project presented here is my
part of this great project and is one piece of many pieces within the larger overall vision of
the clients and of another landscape architect. I have designed and built the path presented
here, which leads to two sculptures by different artists. However, my path is explicitly
acknowledged to be its own sculptural work.
in the quarrying of the silver stone (a mica schist) its transport, commuting to the job site,
some rough stone cutting and to a limited extent in shuttling of stone, sand and gravel. A
good deal of this mechanized work was carried out using vegetable based bio-diesel fuel. The
vast majority of the project was made using simple machines without engines and with the
efforts of my body.
instance by joining stone and by making a path into the woods with great sensitivity, I am
working to heal, in a small way, the rift between culture and nature that is intrinsic to our
modern relationship to the land.
people toil to make our things. Machines spew out the stuff of our needs and desires and the
making of them dehumanizes the production class and despoils the land. Of course the
machines are essential, and some disconnect between design and fabrication is inevitable,
but this project openly asks if perhaps our fascination with the virtual over the actual, or with
design over build, has gone too far? I would suggest that it has and that this disconnect
certainly harms nature but it endangers our humanity even more so.
through the woods. I hope to help these visitors feel the life and wonder of the natural world of
which we all are a part.