I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: a question

Something that has been on my mind a little as I think about bluestone. Is it soft or hard? It's often described as forbidding, gothic, dark and awe-inducing, but I've also read a few things about its attractiveness as a walking and tactile surface because it is soft. Think of all those rounded edges in all those laneways, and our (Melbourney) familiarity with its rippled edges on the foundations of so many buildings, or on the edges of our kerbs as we cross the road.

It's a stone that's hard to carve -- though I need to find out more about this from a sculptor. But what do we mean when we say a stone is soft?

1 comment:

PeeBee said...

Hi Stephanie,

Went on a historic walk of North Melbourne today with my walking club and I have become obsessed with the symbols carved on bluestone kerbs.

I don't think the T represents a convicts initial because, he would have been a very busy person. Less possible that it was a bunch of convicts whose initials are T. But if it were to mark a person's work what happened to all the convicts that had worked in the industry and whose name started with something other than T. What about Ross or Kevin for example?

I did come across one mark today that had MCC and 13, which I believe was indicating the water main with MCC perhaps indicating Melbourne City Council.

Another common symbol was an arrow facing the road with a bar across the arrow.

I would be very curious to know what these symbols meant. If you have found out since you did this work, I would be curious to know.