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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Oien

Kodawari

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

A small ring neck snake slithered out of it's winter hidey hole and joined me on the sun warmed flag stone I was in the process of setting, telling me the snow and ice is nearing it's seasonal demise. With the return of warm weather I'm back at the Mountain Top project. These last few weeks have been spent designing, fabricating, and installing the Nautilus mosaic, as well as capping the surrounding wall.

The Japanese word "Kodawari" in a nutshell, is the pursuit of perfection, while understanding perfection can never be achieved. As a stonemason, the tenants that make up this philosophy are always at the forefront of my mind; passion, commitment, attention to detail. The act of building in stone by nature is fluid and organic. "Knock off a bit here, trim a thumb width there" But the Nautilus spiral design adds precise geometry in the attempt to create "the golden ratio" - the mathematics of the spiral shape seen throughout nature, from plants to hurricanes. It's fairly easy to recreate on paper, but to carve and

grind out of stone it is rather challenging. A perfect opportunity to embrace the idea of Kodawari. I strive to create something perfect, knowing it will never be.









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