Monday, November 29, 2010

The art of Stone Balancing

Best Blogger Tips
Real or Photoshopped?

Photo and Sculpture by Bill Dan©


The first time I saw this photo I really didn't know. I came across this photo a while back, it was posted on the web somewhere by someone, and a lot of the comments underneath it branded it a fake and put it down to photoshop trickery, as surely balancing stones like this is impossible? 
Well I wanted to believe it was real, but also needed some convincing. It was only after finding the creator of the photo Bill Dan and saw one of his You tube videos of him at work that it all became clear.


Photo and Sculpture by Bill Dan©
Bill Dan spends much of his time on the waterfront shoreline of San Francisco Bay, which offers ample opportunities for rock balancing. Large quantities of erosion control material called "stone riprap" have been placed to prevent storm and tidal damage. The perfect place for Bill to practice and demonstrate the amazing possibilities in the interactions between rock and gravity.
It is here that Bill developed, practiced, and continues to share the delightful, astonishing, and even inspirational sculptures he constructs with the varied forms and shapes available to him at the water's edge.

Bill Dan at work

Photo and Sculpture by Bill Dan©

Photo and Sculpture by Bill Dan©

Check out this video of Bill at work to see it for yourself




A little closer to home, artist Adrian Gray practices the art of stone balancing along one of the most famous and beautiful coastlines in the UK, the Jurasssic Coastline of Dorset.
Adrian also combines the art of stone balancing with the art of photography, creating enchanting photo prints for people to purchase from his website.
 
Photo by Adrian Gray © (prints available from his website)

As if the stone sculptures were not amazing enough, Adrian also brings various moods in his prints, by incorporating things like movement and lighting.

Photo by Adrian Gray © (prints available from his website

All the stones in these pictures are balanced, strictly without the aid of adhesive, pins or computer manipulation. They remain in place through the natural force of gravity and friction. ‘Nature’s glue’ sustains them in these seemingly impossible positions and it is the capricious natural forces of wind or waves that returns them to obscurity amongst their fellow boulders.

Adrian Gray
Photo by Adrian Gray © (prints available from his website)

Photo by Adrian Gray © (prints available from his website)

Photo by Adrian Gray © (prints available from his website)

Photo by Adrian Gray © (prints available from his website)

Check out the video below to see Adrian talk about his work





 Thanks to both Bill Dan and Adrian Gray for their kind permission to use their photos and videos for this post.

44 comments:

  1. The modern answer to Stonehenge.
    Incredible - would love to walk along the shore and come up on this type of sculpture. Certainly beats the beer bottles with their necks stuck in the sand.
    Fun post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great stuff, reminds me of Andy Goldsworthy http://www.rwc.uc.edu/artcomm/web/w2005_2006/maria_Goldsworthy/TEST/index.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indeed, Goldsworthy is one of my favorite artists!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Simply amazing images! thanks for posting this! Great blog too! keep up the good work, karl

    ReplyDelete
  5. I know everyone has been saying amazing but I do not have another word except maybe mesmerizing. I would love to see one of these stone sculptures in person.

    Love your blog. I am a big fan of stone work.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Goodness! Honestly, I expected this post to have something to do with constructing stone walls without cement...was I wrong! I've seen little stacked stone sculptures in places like Hawaii, but nothing that compares to these. I can see why some would think at least a few of the sculptures were fake. They seem just one extra seagull away from toppling over. Just fabulous though, and the shot of the sculptures in front of the Golden Gate Bridge is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow !!! this is amazing and really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That is so unusual! I am glad to learn about him on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How bizarre! I guess you know your optical illusion is completely successful if it becomes viral on the internet with people arguing that it was photoshopped. Thanks for sharing this, I'd never heard of it! I'm not surprised to hear of it in San Francisco though -- I was there last summer and the shorelines were covered in random outdoor art.

    ReplyDelete
  10. wow- wonderful - thanks for sharing that. He places them so confidently. The seagulls seemed to to take great pleasure in kocking them over!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amazing! I didn't believe it until the end of the video where the birds knock over the sculpture. Now I see it's real! Thanks for a delightful post.

    ReplyDelete
  12. As always, an excellent and intrigueing post!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have often admired stone balancing in a nearby stream, where artist would amazingly position them as you show here. These are the most incredible ones I have ever seen however. Fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Amazing sculpture--you do have to suspend belief to think it isn't glued. If you ever have a chance to visit the Coastal Maine Botanic Garden, they have beautiful stone work of all kinds and magnificent gardens. Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
  15. SUPER cool stuff . . . Thank's for the nice Words, everybody.
    Greetings from San Francisco,
    Bill Dan

    ReplyDelete
  16. Truly a zen moment is the only way to describe their craft.

    ReplyDelete
  17. yes i see his work occasionally when i visit the shoreline along crissy fields in the the city as they say - it is amazing to witness in person.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very clever using natural elements - love it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Truly amazing! I wonder if the stones would collapse when the seagull flaps its wings. After all, its quite a big bird. Thanks for sharing. The next time I see this, I know it is stone balancing and not the work of Photoshop.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is fascinating! and beautiful... makes me want to try it -- I bet it's pretty hard, though.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sunny - incredible. You post the coolest stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Trully incredible, i wish to see someone doing like that in person. Amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for visiting my blog. My sister lives in Ireland just outside of Dublin. She teaches high school part time in Dublin and has 3 teenage children.
    I love the natural artwork in your post! My favorite image is the stones grouped around the camp fire. We have an artist here in Ottawa doing similar work on the Ottawa river. Here is the link to my post about it: http://threedogsinagarden.blogspot.com/2010/09/chance-discovery-river-sculptures-by.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is certainly fascinating, but I have to wonder what happens on a windy day. It reminds me also of Andy Goldworthy, is that his name? Rivers and Rocks.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow, these are amazing Sunny! I really like your blog- very happy to have come across it :) And thatnks a mil for your comment on the Calvinists interview- really glad you liked it.

    Take care,

    Elaine

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Urban Gardens, which led me to this delightful post! I believe these are called cairns, and were once used for ceremonial purposes. I believe these are called cairns, and were once used for ceremonial purposes. There is a fellow in our area who creates these balanced stone sculptures along the beach in Old Greenwich, CT, by Long Island Sound. As people pass them, some add to them or create their own.The stone sculptures become a living thing--they morph into new ones and others are born around them.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Stunning photos. It made me want to rush right out and have a go myself. Thanks also for your kind comment on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  28. You are awesome...all your posts are always so fascinating..this one was beautiful, fabulous and thrilling..love it!

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is just amazing! For a minute it looked like someone had thrown those rocks up in the air and clicked it mid-flight. Really boggles the mind!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for visiting my blog and adding a link on your facebook page. As someone who likes the beauty of stone, you may enjoy my post on waterfalls as well.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Really great and creative. Beauty and more.

    ReplyDelete
  32. There's even someone walking on water in the background. I'd find this process far too frustrating to try. Balance and fall, balance and fall. Aaaagh!

    Happy Christmas.

    Esther

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thank you very much for sharing your great photos on his blog. Wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Best wishes. Leovi.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Super pomysł!!! Uwielbiam kamienienie a one lubią mnie.

    ReplyDelete
  35. You’re probably thinking something like myeah, another fake set of images but I assure you they are all the real deal. Actually stone balancing is a very old art, passed on from generation to generation and frequently practiced for a number of reasons. Some do it in demonstration, just to show off their talents, while others perform rock balancing as a meditating ritual.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sunny - Best Wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year! --Shyrlene

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm trying to belive on it!

    Amazing...

    ReplyDelete