Who knew?  Living on a budget because most artists have to, and to have to value creativity as an asset instead of money, does celebrating Earth Day elevate this?  Synchronicity is fabulous when one runs into it.

I remember the first Earth Day,  sadly being that old.  1970.  Another reference said 1978, but I don’t think so.  Remember the Whole Earth Catalog?


Looking at this cover and the subheading of  “access to tools”,  it was.  But it was so much more.  1969!  First published a year after the “Crack in Time” of the year 1968, things were definitely shifting.

inside whole earth

Steve Jobs said that the “Whole Earth Catalog”  was the predecessor to the internet;  he was just out of the garage by then.   Buckie Fuller became famous through it.  And those of us who were around remember the cheap paper the catalog was printed on, just like we remember Mr. Natural and “trucking on down the line”.

mr natural

Those were the days, my friend.  Go back and click on the link at the beginning of this post.  This is where I ended up.  Click on “current issue” and go to page 24.



Around here, these are called  “Charleston bricks”.  Have no idea as to why.  Must be a small town South Carolina reference to the largest and oldest town around here created from bricks and cobblestones.


Last year, we began the piazza and then went on to other things.  Bricks came into our life again and we attacked the old project with gusto.


Glenn has created two brick pathways that strike out against the otherwise linear pattern of the piazza.



Working with bricks is so simple here in the Low Country of South Carolina.  Our ground does not freeze, and our soil is mostly sand.


We modify the lay of the work area with a box blade.   The sand in our driveway is virgin like beach sand and we mix it 2 parts sand to 1 part Portland cement.  Set the bricks, and let it rain, or water them.


Looking for a picture in my library that shows our sandy soil, I settled on this one, which features details other than the sand.  This is our house, hovering on rails, having been moved three miles.  Trenches are dug in the sand for the foundation block to go in, the next step in renovation.  The charcoal smudge in the foreground is what was left from an old burn pile.


At the left of the foreground of this image is a poured 1/2 basketball court.  The piazza will attach to that.


One edge of the “internal” brick path on this side has been measured out.


And now almost filled in.  More discussions of brick:…outdoor-shower/


I love old bricks without holes.  Here in South Carolina, they are just too easy to lay with our sandy soil and our lack of ground freeze in the winter.  I love they way they make one notice the undulation of the ground.  It looks ancient to me.

Glenn is now outside laying bricks.  He has caught the fever.  Added to my lazy brick vignettes all over our acreage, his unremitting craftsmanship and use of (my gawd) an angle grinder to cut just the right shape, will be a massive piazza outside our barn.  Of course, part of his consideration is that our big vehicles have to be able to be supported by the bricks.  My biggest consideration when laying is “will Creeping Betty have enough room to take root in these cracks?”.

Not that Glenn is unfamiliar with these bricks.  At least three pick up truckloads were full of bricks for just this purpose when he migrated  here.   We gave the sagging economy a big shot in the arm that summer.   Last week we bought a thousand at a very good price from the site of a building demolished near here in North.  Yes, North, South Carolina.  I know.

We also just bought twenty tons of sand mixed with clay to sculpt the area outside the barn, raise it a little higher and connect it to a small pad for basketball that was laid last summer.  Below, the stuff is in the process of being pushed around.

The sand plus clay is really this color.  It is quite beautiful.  The biggest doors on the front of the barn are to the right of the image, and the basketball pad is to the left.  Glenn had far too much fun with his box blade.

So Glenn has started around his studio door, created a little space for my Sky Pencil and the brick pathway out of the door is building.  What he is going to do is undulate the pathway within the larger shape of the piazza.  Think of it as a decisive little current within a bigger body of water.  That is the image I get from his description.

So I am sorry for those of you not in the South when it comes to laying brick on the ground.  All we do is level the ground, place the brick, get anal with angle grinders if you so wish, and you are almost done.  You then go out to your driveway, which is the former bottom of an ancient ocean, get a shovelful of sand, and dump it on the brick you placed.  Shuffle around, sweep, water, and there you go.  It is all so fine!

Stay tuned.