Curious Art of Rock Stacking
Adding Intrigue to Your Garden
Rock Stacking is a curious art and is an acquired skill. Among the many forms of “art” rock sculptures can add intrigue to your garden decor.
The following video is very well done and will give you a glimpse into the balancing arts.
A Life In Balance – Vancouver Film School
A Short Story of How This Started for Me
Many years ago, when my children were quite young, we had gone to the science exploratorium in San Francisco. While there were many fascinating exhibits and experiences available to dazzle the senses, there was an artist outside the facility that was demonstrating fantastic skills of balancing various items. As I recall, his art involved the balancing bottles on the ends of rebar. Now I realize this has nothing to do with rocks but, it was the precursor to what evolve later on. What amazed me about his display is that the points of contact were so small, it seemed inconceivable how such feats could be accomplished. This was the beginning.
Hence, the quest began to understand the mechanics of the balancing arts, and what better way to learn than with stones. There are many places to practice i.e. rocky areas along the coast, most rivers and lakes provided ample opportunities.
The How To’s of Rock Stacking
So, the question is, “How can you learn to do this?” Now a simple stack like the one displayed above is easy enough but, as you can see from the images below and the ones in the videos, the art of balancing stones can be much more complex.
What really comes into play more than anything else, is a strong kinesthetic sense. What this means is “by feel”. It is a feeling of relationships between one part and the others. This is the basis.
The other critical thing to get is that nearly anything can be balanced by combining the following two elements together, center of gravity + 3 points of contact.
Let’s start with the latter. A three legged stool is stable. Take away one leg and it’s not. This is simple enough.
The other concept to grasp is that every object has a center of gravity. That said, one can acquire a blended awareness of weight and balance which basically requires a bit of practical experience.
So, if you can coalesce these concepts together, weight, balance and a 3 point contact of one stone to another, then you’ll be well on your way to acquiring the skill of rock stacking.
Of course, with more stones there’s more at stake and this is where the real art transcends to a higher plane. It becomes an intimate dance between all the parts playing in harmonious cooperation.
At this point, you’ll have to practice. More words by me will not help.
One final note: A disclaimer: If you have small children, it would be advisable to build these in locations that are safely away from them as there is nothing holding these together except gravity. Enough said on this I think. I just felt that this was necessary and appropriate.
Some cool rock stacking VIDEOS…
Rock stacking art will add a whole new dimension to your garden!
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