River Rock Building in Patapsco River, Maryland with Nature Art InThe Park

July 18, 2013

Some practitioners call it Rock Balancing. Some call it the ancient art (or Zen) of Stone Stacking, while others call it cairn or dolmen constructing. Often remote & anonymous, these simple stone-on-stone sculptures speak to us like microcosmic written stories (bookmarks). We can read them as locators (breadcrumbs), places of ritual, icons, dancing spirit beings, calendrical circles, lightning rods, forts, falling stars, or other things — from distant times & places, other cultures and languages. And, we can build them ourselves in our own place & time, in our own image. It’s really all part of the same thing.

Buddha'sBuddha’s StonesStones
 Click on the images 

And yet, each iteration expresses something new & unique, too. It’s an object of divine beauty or comedy or ch’i or abstraction that never quite existed before, and may never again.


Teddy Betts (1956 – 2010)
Master River Rock Builder
Photo by Doug Retzler

It’s where the modern age meets the stone age — a balancing point, a fragile, pivotal moment in the river of time.  Here in Maryland’s Patapsco valley, we call it River Rock Building — because that’s what Teddy called it.  He was a devoted River Rock Builder, like no other.

For more information about Nature in the Park on FaceBook:


For more pictures go to: http://ellicottcity.net/gallery/guardians_of_the_patapsco/

Significance of River Rock Building by Tom Chambers: http://http://rockbuilding.wordpress.com/semiotics

This information was provided by Nature Art in the Park.org



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