Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And so the wall begins

In my previous post I indicated that over the weekend I started putting books into the book wall. As you can see from the photos below I had accumulated stacks and stacks of books.

©2013 Barry Smith - A stack of red hard covered books that will be the top level
The way the wall is being made is: threaded rods are cemented into the ground; anti white ant and other eating critter oil is applied to the soil; a layer of magazines are put down to create a reasonably even surface; the books are stacked to within 5-10cm of the top of the rod; a 5cm thick by 20cm wide board is placed on top of the books; a large rusted plate and washer go over the rod; a bolt is screwed on to compress the whole stack; and gravel covers the bottom layer.

The long layer of National Geographic magazines - dating from 1964 to the present - donated by elderly neighbours having a bit of a clean out.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - 40 years of National Geographic - a fitting foundation
Some books need to be drilled to fit over the threaded rods - unique drilling approach below.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - A big book borer?
And the 10-11ms of wall begin to grow.

©2013 Fiona Dempster  - The beginning point 
©2013 Fiona Dempster  - The stacking begins - bit like a dry stone wall
©2013 Fiona Dempster  - The end point
©2013 Fiona Dempster  - Quite a long wall really
In my next post I will show how the finished product will look; and how I think it could be used.


  1. Gorgeous! inspired, and a little bit loopy but absolutely fabulous and great to have it on our block!

  2. Wow... looks great! I can't wait to see how the environment will change it and add to its beauty.

  3. That's an awesome project...but I winced when I saw you drilling that book.

  4. this is such an interesting project.
    i look forward to seeing the next stage of photos.

    i bet it might be hard for some book lovers to look at this... but books are disappearing from our lives....

  5. Hi F, VA, JM & TL - thanks for checking out the wall part 1. F - yes loopy is correct but I think it will grow on us. VA - my plan is that it will become part of the environment. JM & TL- I know a lot of book lovers would be distraught but all those books would have ended in landfill - now they get a second life. Go well. B.

  6. OMG--- this wall books is amazing to me... so "out there" and I don't mean outside. This is so unique and creative and you must really want to do this as it looks like a lot of work. Thank you for leaving such a wonderful comment about my artist block. I am starting to see a glimmer.

  7. Looks fabulous, B and what a great way to recycle - but I'd be there cutting and selecting all sorts of bits 'just for 'ron' x

  8. Oh I've missed so much not visiting everyone's blog. The wall is amazing! How are you gonna keep a few from slipping out? Will be fun to see it weather and see the transformations of color. Beautiful Barry!

  9. Barry, your book wall is just beautiful. I love the mix of organic and geometric you're achieving. I'm intrigued to follow its process once built. I wonder how long it will last? Will it be consumed by insects and the like? Or will nature slowly envelope it, leaving traces of your structure for a while? I hope I get to see the journey.

    I also love your music choices, which I find rather paradoxical for a wall with peace at its heart - but then again, most human, and so entirely appropriate. Warm wishes.


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.