If you are following my blog, you will notice that many of my projects include the use of recycled stone. Truth is, you just can’t beat the character of time worn stone, which seems to draw your eye to the softened edges, and the patina created by years of weathering.
One of my favorite things to use is old granite curbs or cobblestones. They were used a lot in New England because granite holds up against the damage caused by the freeze thaw cycles, and general abuse paved walks and roads have to withstand. Cobblestone streets are common up and down the east coast, mainly because they were once used as shipping ballast, and somewhere along the line they started using them for paving instead of dumping them into the ocean. In NYC, you can still see the old cobbles poking through crumbled asphalt…..a steady time proven paving material covered by a more modern, but less durable one.
About 12 years ago I did a small project for Diamond Tough American Barns with a co-worker of Mellissa’s. They had couple of horses and a new barn nestled at the edge of a nice pasture. To celebrate the completion of the barn, they had a big party and a bonfire, which happens a lot in the fall in New England. While we were there, the topic of the walkway to the house came up because it was in shambles, and they needed to do something about it. When they asked me, the material quickly came to mind….” How about antique granite cobblestone?” I asked. Mark, my old boss and salvage stone dealer, had just had a few trailer loads delivered from RI, and they would fit nicely into the homestead. I had seen them a couple weeks before, and the well worn cobbles would be great for this project. I got the go ahead, and the walk was done a week later, along with rebuilding a small dry stone retaining wall using stone from the old wall and surrounding ones in the woods. In addition, I hand split a granite hitching post with feathers and wedges, and set it at the walk entry. Mark also collected antique metal hardware, so I added an old horse hitch ring to the post. Here are a few pics of the job.
The cobbles were all different sizes, so there was no pattern, but I tried to limit long lines….it was tricky.
The hitching post was cut from an old granite curb with feathers and wedges, then chiseled.
The small retaining wall was dry laid…more recycling at work.
I sure love working with material like this!