When work­ing with stone, time (or the way we move through time) slows and we may ex­pe­ri­ence a state of be­ing akin to med­i­ta­tion, but an ac­tive med­i­ta­tion. — To­mas Lipps

Pasatiempo - - ART OF SPACE -

Lipps am­bled around his prop­erty, which is like a stone mu­seum. Of a big disc-shaped black stone, he said, “That’s from China. When [the Santa Fe­based busi­ness] Stone For­est was get­ting started in China [im­ports], I went with them for about five years run­ning, as sort of a qual­ity-con­trol guy.” A short dis­tance away, a large old per­fo­rated ca­st­iron cylin­der rests on a boul­der of meta­mor­phic rock. “It’s just the ideal base for that thing. I’m ap­proach­ing the Ja­panese gar­den in Port­land to see if they’re in­ter­ested.” He walked over to a mas­sive gran­ite ta­ble, one foot thick and smooth and flat as if pre­ci­sion-ma­chined, that came from Los Alamos Na­tional Lab­o­ra­tory. “I couldn’t re­sist it. I think I paid six hun­dred bucks for it,” Lipps said, then de­scribed an elab­o­rate plan to make a foun­tain out of it. Nearby were a cou­ple slabs of gneiss, fea­tur­ing a jazz­ily bold grain, or “band­ing,” and en­gi­neered per­fectly flat like the gran­ite ta­ble, with a prickly pear cac­tus grow­ing be­tween them. The ma­son iden­ti­fied ev­ery rock with specifics, but then de­clared “I’m not a ge­ol­o­gist. For me, it’s more about stonework than stone. It’s about what man does with stone. But I par­tic­u­larly like go­ing out in the coun­try, go­ing out so far that I know there’s noth­ing I could see that I could carry back, so I just have to ap­pre­ci­ate it for it­self.”

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