In the Luberon and the Ventoux, farmhouses, animal shelters, walls, bridges and other structures display the ancient tradition of “pierre sèche” or dry-stone – the construction by careful stacking of stones without any adhesive or binding. Practiced worldwide, dry-stone building dates back to the introduction of agriculture at the beginning of the Neolithic period.
“La lauze” is a term that designates the large flat paving stones used to cover a structure or to crown a wall of dry-stone. By the vertical stacking of stones of unequal size and length , “la lauze” forms a jagged silhouette.
Working by hand, artisans in the region carry out the tradition of “pierre sèche”, beginning with fashioning a design, and the sourcing of stones in local quarries, followed by the tedious and timely process of putting up the structure or wall.
Constructed for a property owner last winter in the Vaucluse, the “pierre sèche” wall with “la lauze” pictured here took more than two-months to complete.
This masterpiece has its price tag: $30,000. Yet what great pleasure one derives from its simplistic functionality and from its serene beauty nestled among the green oaks.