Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 8 January 2016

Great Balls of Stone


This the Great Globe at Durlston Park in Swanage, Dorset, England, and that's my son and husband being dwarfed by the mighty monument in 1999. Constructed in 1881 of Portland stone it is one of the largest stone spheres in the world. For those who like facts, figures and history follow the link.


This is how it looked around 1900 courtesy of the Detroit Publishing Company. The BBC page shows sepia pictures of how it looked in those days, when it first became a visitor attraction.



Here's a mini version in a shopping centre near here in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote. When it's fully functioning this one becomes a fountain-like water feature.


Visit Sepia Saturday this week for more large spherical objects, and see what other contributors made of the photo prompt above.

14 comments:

  1. Some where in the United States there is one that is floating on water freely like a fountain. The bottom on reminds me of it. The one at the top is large.

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  2. Stone balls are always interesting - but some are more interesting than others. There are perfectly round stone balls of varying sizes lying around somewhere in a South American jungle that have been dated to 50,000 years old. How did they get there & who made them?

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  3. Big ball sculptures are very decorative; I wished to have some in my garden!

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  4. This big stone ball looks to have been preserved pretty well. It made me think of the golden globe in the Vatican, but I don't have any of my own photos of that, so went for something simpler.

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  5. That's neat. I'm not sure I have seen anything like it before. It does look a bit worn in the first shot, but I would still like to see it.

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  6. One of the largest? Now I wonder just how many stone spheres there are. The sheer weight makes it seem like stone would be the last material anyone would use. Very interesting.

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  7. An original way to teach the people some geography!

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  8. There is the endurance factor to consider when making a stone sphere. I'd like to see that fountain working!

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  9. Fascinating! One of my non-musical and non-photograph interests is woodturning and sometime ago I taught myself the art of turning wooden spheres on a lathe. Long ago it was a common skill for making balls actually squished spheres)for lawn bowling. Your post has distracted me for the past hour from photos of big balls to investigating the techniques used to make such large spheres in stone. The Great Globe of Durlston Park is actually made of 15 segments linked together a bit like a layer cake. In the 19th century the work must have required very large jigs and a great deal of hammering and filing.

    In contrast the smaller sphere in Lanzarote is made from a single piece of solid stone. It was produced on great grinding machines that slowly spin a rough ball shape against rotating abrasive cups reducing the stone to its final polished shape. It takes many many hours of different grits, from coarse to fine, before that gloss and perfect curvature is achieved.

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  10. Amazing stone sculpture - didn't know it existed until I read your post, and I've been to Swanage!

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  11. Great match to the prompt photo :)

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  12. When we saw this ball last year (Durlstone has been restored) we were most impressed by a couple of stone slabs contemporary with the ball, on which was incised in old fashioned lettering that anyone who wished to inscribe their name should please do it on the slabs. And you know, all the graffiti WAS on the slabs! I suppose every now and then someone comes along and cleans it off!

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