bare arch

bare arch 09

another thing I’ve been meaning to produce for a long while – a true compression arch with no lateral buttressing. I warmed up with the wall shown beneath, then build a driftwood framework on which to rough out the semicircle.

you can see that the composition of the arch changes between the third and second to last photos above. yes, I didn’t take enough care while removing the form work and yes, a large section did collapse. not to worry – I was able to get it back into shape after starting fresh with limited cursing.

the two most important aspects of building one of these arches is making sure there is a consistent curvature and wedging the exterior edge. restricting the freedom of the individual elements (just like every other build) and distributing force smoothly ensures stability.

having finally built a true arch without depending on bracing to cover the errors in my construction, I feel I have learned something useful to my craft. all the theory and intellectual possession of a concept in the world is nothing in the face of tactile experience; to know with you hands is to have real understanding. that being said, I’m now trying to think of how I can incorporate my new understanding into future projects. some ruminating while staring at the waves is required, methinks.

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