Art of Space Paul Weideman visits stonemason Tomas Lipps
On a recent afternoon in Tomas Lipps’ front yard, the master stonemason was busy with stones, all his attention focused on balancing the top two in a stack of five stones of various sizes, shapes, and varieties. “Done!” he exclaimed, stepping backward and wishing away any windy gusts that might be in the vicinity. “There’s a subculture of stone-balancing,” he said.
A few slabs of purple sandstone were underfoot. Lipps said they came from “the older, older Plaza” when the city was repaving it. That was in the late 1980s, at the same time Lipps was building
his distinctive fountain installation at the corner of Don Gaspar Avenue and Water Street. Also not far from the freshly balanced stones near his front door was a hunk of vesicular basalt, “perhaps from Rinconada,” he said. He lifted a long, elegantly curved (and water-smoothed) piece of green sandstone from California. Standing it up, he pointed out that it’s shaped like the Arabic letter
Then he wondered aloud where he might find a client who would appreciate that.