Leaving No Stone Unturned

The south of France is a rocky place, one where pretty much anything that can be made of stone, is.

From the most natural

to the most highly worked, stone is a ubiquitous presence in our lives.  If I’ve even ever been in a wooden building here, it escaped my attention.  The French have the idea of “construction en dur” or construction using hard materials.  These days that also includes a lot of concrete construction, but much of what we see every day was built to last for hundreds of years, and so it has.

From the simply utilitarian

through the category of beautiful as well as useful

stone has everywhere been worked to be more gorgeous than it strictly has to be to serve its function.  Masons and stonecutters are a well-represented category of artisans

and whether it’s restoring old structures

or carving out niches in caves to install a gallery, a stonecutter’s work is never done.  We were in a stonecutter’s house recently, a place where even the towel hook in the shower was carved in stone.  “It only took me a couple of hours to carve it,” he said.  He left unsaid what I was thinking:

an hour here, an hour there, and pretty soon you’re talking real work.

Explore posts in the same categories: At Home In France

4 Comments on “Leaving No Stone Unturned”

  1. Ray Says:

    very interesting. Thanks. Abra, how do you go about meeting all the different folks that you do in this foreign country….it seems, from your blog, that you have a large circle of friends there.That is a huge accomplishment in itself! What are some of your experiences in making that happen for other foreigners living abroad?

  2. Abra Says:

    Ray, that’s a great question. I think I’ll adress it in a separate post, as it’s really the secret to our happiness here.

  3. Mary Jo Crisp Says:

    You just have to be the Abra & Shel Bennett who came to stay in our house in Richmond on your trip to London about 12 years age?
    If so you are both looking fantastic!

    Jo Crisp

  4. Eden Says:

    where is that lovely stairwell in the first photo? the stone looks positively transluscent.

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