Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stonepost

 My Original Stone Post
It was just about exactly fifteen years ago that I created "Stonepost Company"
and my life changed forever and it was all pretty much an accident.  I was a remodeling contractor at the time with a crew of seven employees and always had at least two jobs going on at the same time and one waiting in the wings.
   One day I was in Home Depot just ambling down the isles like a guy might do in that kind of fantasy store for guys when I happened upon the lighting section and stopped at a display of Post Lights.  They had, of course, a lot of styles, colors, sizes and shapes but it was the Victorian Reproductions that caught my eye.
   I had only seen Post Lights displayed either on a black three inch pipe or on a massive brick or stone monolith where everything is out of proportion and the light fixture looks little and an afterthought.  I wondered why no one made a column for these fixtures?
   For the next six months I experimented in my backyard on weekends and after work, trying to discover how to build such a column and what it might look like.
I built a lot of failures, some models too heavy to move and many that weren't just quite right.  My goal was to create something complete in my studio that I could deliver and easily install.
   Most of my stone posts are the traditional five feet tall and have a double, tiered base, a column and what is known as a "capital" or heavier top. They are made of concrete reinforced with rebar and contain an electrical conduit. At the bottom are three 1/2" coupling nuts allowing the installation of foundation bolts during installation.  You dig a hole with a post hole digger as if setting a fence post. Fill the hole with fresh concrete, thread through the electrical wire into the conduit, screw in the foundation bolts and upright the post! It all takes about 30 minutes!
My Stone Posts have a veneer of slate over the concrete and each edge is mitred, no butt joints anywhere.
   To me these were just light posts but my customers
saw the potential that I missed. They wanted my posts

 Fencing between my Stone Posts!

with ornamental iron work, with gates and fences
and arbors!  In what seems now a short time I
had developed a huge market and I only had one problem.  I didn't know how to weld!  In fact I had never seen a welder, didn't know the first thing about working with metal.
   The first couple jobs I found other people who could weld and they did this for me. I realized that this was just a job for them and they really had no interest in the finished product, no interest in the art of it, no sense of balance or proportion.
   So I bought a little welder and you know the rest of that story!  I fell in love with it.  After a year,
"Stone Post Company", my little hobby company, was self supporting and I could make a living from it.
That is what started the whole thing, my introduction to art!
You can see where this lead HERE.http://www.picturetrail.com/slate



3 comments:

freebird said...

Sounds like you hit the artist jackpot of being able to do art and earn a living from it. Glad you could. I wonder what these posts would look like with a wooden fence in between them (in California the termites are so bad they eat the wooden posts set in the ground). The plain metal poles such as used for chain link fencing make a wooden fence rather ugly.

Barbra Joan said...

You are the Stonepost Man. !! No doubt about it.. They are all so unique, and if I saw one at someones house I could probably tell if it was yours. They have that artistic touch that only comes from loving what you do .. BJ

AutumnLeaves said...

Your work is beautiful Jerry and it is your stone posts that I find my favorites of your pieces that I've seen here in your blog. They are just gorgeous indeed.