The Granite Kiss: Traditions and Techniques of Building New England Stone Walls
by Kevin Gardner; Susan Allport (Introduction by); Guillermo Nunez (Illustrator)









Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. xix
1.Myth and Paradox: Historical Contexts and Misconceptions That Influence Stone Wall Builders Todayp. 1
2.Getting Started: Preparing the Site, Acquiring Material, and Laying Out the Wallp. 21
3.Placement: Fitting Stones Togetherp. 39
4.Faces: Stones That Show, and the Creation of Surfacesp. 57
5.Special Structures: Variations on a Themep. 71
6.Rhythm and Temperament: Ways of Managing the Workp. 109
7.Notes on Design: Thinking about Walls in the Landscapep. 121
8.Repair and Restoration: Techniques of Imitation and the Idea of Renewalp. 141
9.Why Stone Walls Are Beautifulp. 163
Our Glossary: Common and Uncommon Termsp. 179
Bibliographyp. 187
Indexp. 193




In this elegant, literate primer, a master stonemason imparts the fundamentals of building traditional New England-style dry stone walls, along with thoughts on the history, aesthetics, and philosophy of the craft of placing stone. In this eminently readable primer on the fundamentals of placing stone, Kevin Gardner distills 25 years of experience in building and repairing New England-style dry stone walls into principles and practices that are adaptable to a wide variety of designs and circumstances. In addition to directions on building basic stone walls, he also demystifies steps, wells, ramps, walkways, and may other forms of dry masonry. Gardner also discusses the philosophy behind the repair and restoration of old walls, and gives the beginning wall builder ways to think about the place of the stone wall within the landscape. Along the way, Gardner considers the mythology of the stone wall and its place in the New England imagination. And he explores the history, philosophy, and aesthetics of working with stone in a book that will bring as much pleasure to armchair craftsmen as it will valuable instruction to the beginning wall builder. Selected as one of 2001's Best Gift Books by The Times of Trenton, New Jersey; one of the 50 best nonfiction books of 2001 by the Christian Science Monitor. 22 black & white illustrations, glossary, bibliography, index.





For more than 25 years Kevin Gardner has been a stone wall builder with Owen Associates, a small family business in New Hampshire that designs, constructs, restores, evaluates, and teaches how to build traditional New England dry stone walls. Gardner has participated in major restoration projects and training workshops at Canterbury Shaker Village, Acadia National Park, and many other historic sites in New England. He is also an award-winning writer and producer for New Hampshire Public Radio






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