I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Friday, January 09, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: Cemetery Gatehouse and Foliate Heads

The Melbourne General Cemetery was not the city's first, but was established in 1852. The current gatehouse was rebuilt in 1934-5, using materials from two other demolished entrance buildings dating from the 1850s.

So, nearly one hundred years after the gatehouse was first constructed, bluestone was still the preferred stone of choice. I imagine the original building was more gothic in style (something to check). 

There also a sweet little two-sided waiting area as you come through the main gates on College Crescent.

On either side of one of the gates, we found two foliate heads. These are both carved in sandstone, a stone that is much softer and more appropriate for any kind of carving, let alone detailed figurative work like these: 

I guess these are part of the "not-bluestone" part of my history: where the functional, sturdy bluestone gives way to but also supports the warmer sandstone used for trims and carvings. The woman seems to have Victorian-style ringlets...

And finally, also framed or backgrounded by bluestone, a notice about flowers and candles they haven't bothered to translate.

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