Listening to Stone

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Overview

A master craftsman provides us with the timeless wisdom he has gained from heaving and hewing stone.

In his highly anticipated second book, Vermonter Dan Snow once again proves that he is not just one of America's premier artisans, but also one of our most articulate voices on the natural world and our relationship to it. Snow's medium is stone: He is the nation's premier drystone wall builder. Schooled in this ancient craft, he painstakingly creates structures as breathtaking ...

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Overview

A master craftsman provides us with the timeless wisdom he has gained from heaving and hewing stone.

In his highly anticipated second book, Vermonter Dan Snow once again proves that he is not just one of America's premier artisans, but also one of our most articulate voices on the natural world and our relationship to it. Snow's medium is stone: He is the nation's premier drystone wall builder. Schooled in this ancient craft, he painstakingly creates structures as breathtaking as sculpture with nothing but gravity as their glue. In Listening to Stone, Peter Mauss's tactile photographs of Snow's artistry are matched by the artisan's quietly compelling prose.

In a voice as expressive as Annie Dillard's and as informed as John McPhee's, Snow demonstrates astonishing range as he touches on such subjects as geology, philosophy, and community. We learn that stone's grace comes from its unique characteristics—its capacity to give, its surprising fluidity, its ability to demand respect, and its role as a steadying force in nature. In these fast-paced times, Snow’s life's work offers an antidote: the luxury of patience, the bounty and quietude of nature, the satisfaction of sweat. "I work with stone," he ultimately tells us, "because stone is so much work."

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"What a pleasure to have the tales of these new wonders told, and in such lovely prose."—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

"This is a haunting and remarkable book—one that I will read again and again. Gentle and wise, with a precise understanding of the author's place in this precarious universe, Listening to Stone deserves a wide audience."—Jay Parini, author of Robert Frost: A Life

"Snow's reflections on wall building, and the tools of his craft, are as sturdy and playful as his stone structures. How fortunate that he expresses himself in words as well as stone."—Susan Allport, author of Sermons in Stone

"Listening to Stone is a meditation on the Earth's crust being put to good use and the way stones tell the stories of our lives."—Robert M. Thorson, author of Stone by Stone

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579653712
  • Publisher: Artisan
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Pages: 145
  • Sales rank: 579,353
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.74 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Mauss is a photographer of architecture, interior design, and landscapes. He lives in Vermont and New York.

Since 1976, Dan Snow has been hand-building unique drystone constructions for clients in New England and abroad. He is one of only a handful of Americans certified by Great Britain's Dry Stone Walling Association. He lectures and leads workshops and is the subject of the documentary film Stone Rising. He lives in Dummerston, Vermont.

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