After spending the better part of a day with Jo Hodgson back in October, and writing about her here, I wanted to share some more images of her work, where space is not at a premium.
When I first met her, I was actually shocked that she is such a slight woman. How could she possibly physically maneuver all those gargantuan stones and have the fortitude to make a trade where mainly men had come before her? I learned the answers to these questions during our time together: bobcat, crowbars, rolling logs and sheer force of will; and, in some part, the comfort and inspiration of having a sister who has followed the same path back in Britain.
I did originally use the word ‘alchemy’ in my newspaper piece because I thought her transformation of a pile of stones into something like this …
… is miraculous. A pile of stone has no function, no integrity, no presence. A dry stone wall has become something more than the sum of its’ parts, to borrow a phrase. It has become something entirely different.
Practicing a craft where you continually work magic like this must be such a joy. But it is not for everyone. Many landscapers prefer to work with man-made stone, where each piece gets laid next to the other, much like working with brick. In contrast, working with quarried natural stone requires that you get to know each piece and help it find its rightful place in the wall or path.
I’m really loving this art and hope that I can continue to encourage more homeowners to consider natural stone in their gardens – crafted by Jo, of course.