ARTIST: Michael Grab – Gravity Glue
STONE BALANCE: Gravity is the only “Glue” that holds these structures in equilibrium.

Michael Grab - Gravity Glue

Michael Grab was born in Edmonton, Canada in 1984 and relocated to Boulder, Colorado in 2002 to attend University. He stumbled upon the art of stone balance through an unexpected whim in the summer of 2008. Since then he has gained a local reputation for designing highly unlikely balanced rock formations up and down Boulder Creek, which flows through the heart of Boulder. While Michael is based in Boulder, he has also gone on to travel around the world to share his artistry and continue his creation in unique locations, including Sweden, Scotland, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Ukraine, and Canada. He plans to continue sharing the practice worldwide by performing, teaching, learning, and applying, his developing mastery of an ancient practice.

I am constantly in awe at the stillness, let alone possibility, of such precarious formations, amidst sometimes very turbulent conditions. For me this reflects our own potential to maintain a still-point amidst the variety of challenges we each face throughout our lives. Further, I wish to highlight the idea that WE ARE creators of our own reality, rather than mere recipients. Consciousness affects reality. This practice allows one to freely create, manifesting their own particular vibration into a 3D world.

Relative Vibration – November 6, 2014

Here is a fairly difficult variation of yesterday’s creation. Same top rock. Same base rock. but this time i put a slight curve on it. The challenge here is mimicking enough downward force, to stabilize the large cantilever, while slowly lifting the massive top rock into position. I must’ve spent more time barely holding on at the threshold of collapse, than i did with minimal relaxed adjustments.

I can point out 3 very general stages of balancing the more technical, top-heavy arrangements.

  • One, is stabilizing the base to a point where there is NO wiggle at the **stress-point (Stress-Point is what i call the point at which you place the next rock, and hence all the following weight). It is all about creating a kind of pure yoga among surfaces as i move upward… weaving the stability of the foundation all the way up through the parts to the point when i place the largest rock on top. This first stage can take quite a long time, especially if the anticipated top weight is bigger.. In this arrangement, my “base” goes all the way up through the first seven rocks. You can see how the counterbalancing creates a very tense curve through the structure.. :)) my favorite <3[/fusion_li_item] [fusion_li_item icon="fa-plus" iconcolor="#727272" circle="no" circlecolor=""]Two is the most dangerous stage in my experience, which is placing the largest rock on top and then adjusting the spine of the formation to neutralize the added stress. One must brace the combination of step One, WHILE lifting and placing a heavy rock on top with the other hand. I often use my forehead as an extra lateral stabilizer in these cases. I’m literally leaning into an object that could cause serious injury if I pull away. need I mention minimal contact points? Always space to reduce. This stage usually lasts until i can feel my foundation at the crown balance point.[/fusion_li_item] [fusion_li_item icon="fa-plus" iconcolor="#727272" circle="no" circlecolor=""]Third is most delicate. time to make fractional adjustments as I tune into the zero-point of the whole formation, atop a very sensitive spine. Here is where the deepest meditative states tend to appear in me. This is when nearly all the physical effort of step 1 and 2 is absorbed into the formation, so that now all i’m doing is gently touching the top rock, feeling for the most minute vibrations of contact. I must stress that I must still remain aware of potential and sudden collapse. They can happen in the finer arrangements. So i must tune IN while retaining a background awareness of how the spine might be shifting with my nudges. This is the stage where an ideal sitting stance is recommended so that I ran rest at least one elbow on my knees while my fingers are busy balancing vibrations. I also like to spread my fingers out as much as possible over the top rock because I see each finger as a mini antenna triangulating the sources of interacting vibrations. [/fusion_li_item] [/fusion_checklist] If I remove this top rock, everything else falls away within seconds, because the arrangement of this particular curved spine NEEDS the top weight of this particular rock. If I used another rock, it would need to almost precisely match weight, or i would need to make small adjustments throughout the spine to accommodate the change. A great example of how EVERYTHING connects to everything else. Sometimes i sit back and think how ridiculously unlikely it is for something like this to happen in nature, even throughout the universe. All while the Earth tumbles through space. or maybe “glides” is a more suitable word. The degree of smoothness in the way the earth moves makes this all possible. Such precision. And stillness. On an object traveling around its host at 30 km/s. All in all, another powerful statement of relativity. Movement and stillness like all things, are relative to an observer. [/fusion_builder_column] [fusion_builder_column type="1_3" last="yes"]Click images to view larger versionInitial creation. pure and simple. On to the “what if’s”...
    With an approaching strip of sunlight, my debate was to place the small round rock out on the cantilever, or not. I wanted to line it up with the underlying rock. These are risky situations because forces are amplified as the small rock moves out to the edge of the cantilever. if i go too far? collapse of the whole. And start again. but i’m happy I chose to risk in this case :)
    B/W negative space. “Zentangle” :)
    Connecting dots. Patterns. Wet in the Sun. A relative energetic peak.
    B/W textures. Post sunset.
    Opposite angle. Post sunset. I tried wetting the formation and accidentally caused a slight domino effect of my smaller rocks. I held my breath as they set one another off through the tiniest vibrations, and making the whole formation very slightly wave as one. I got lucky. It actually takes a bit of nudge sometimes to dislodge such high tension.
    So I replaced the dots with confidence and gratitude. and i must say, I absolutely love the prominant tree from this angle. I’ve known this tree for many years and it has appeared in past photos from, i think, two Falls ago. :) See if you can find the one I’m talking about in my “Fall 2012″ Portfolio :) Beautiful.