BUXTON, Maine — As you turn into Ted Carter Inspired Landscapes you are met with large excavation equipment and stacks of stone. But as you continue around a corner, you come face to face with the landscape designer's statement piece affectionately called The Sphere, which stands guard in front of his classically inspired home.
"I saw a book. Dan Snow. He's in Stone Trust. And I was thumbing through the book one day and, wow, there was this stone sphere and I said, 'Whoa, I've got to have this,'" Ted Carter joked. "When you look at it, it looks like you could just blow on it or push it and it would roll down the hill."
Art in the garden has always been a driving force behind Carter's designs as he has emphasized in previous interviews. The landscape designer explained what he feels the sphere represents.
"The sphere is holistic in nature. That's our earth. We're all one. You know. We step back from the planet and we look at it. We're all on this planet together whether we like it or not," Carter philosophized.
Carter's team built the base that the sphere stands on and a crew headed by Maine Stone Scapes owner Dan Morales-Walsh built the masterpiece.
"It's got a five-foot diameter. We shipped in a tri-axle, 22 tons of granite from New Hampshire," the mason said.
It took the crew of three, including Morales-Walsh, three weeks to build the round artwork.
"Every stone, there is always a rhyme and reason. We start at the bottom and try to do a full layer before we went up too high. There's a lot of cantilevering that goes on with this. Being sure to have these stones tied back in as far as possible to put more of that structure near the center to add to the stability was really very important," Morales-Walsh explained.
To the onlooker, the sphere is perfectly shaped, but to the mason, all he sees are the flaws.
"There's always concession when you have to do stonework. You're working with an imperfect material trying to make something perfect... and something's got to give. So, always keeping moving but I see a lot that we could have done. Your eyes don't see it. My eyes see it and I can't look away," the mason revealed.
Morales-Walsh was asked if he had any reservations when he was approached about this project.
"Not one," the stone artist affirmed. "I love complex projects. The more complex, the more excited I get about them, and when you have something like this I was definitely very excited."
Morales-Walsh said while this was his first sphere he hopes it won't be his last.
By commissioning this masonry masterpiece, Carter feels he is supporting the arts.
"It's important to support these types of things, because they're rare, and people need to be supported in their artistic endeavor," Carter affirmed.
But does the sphere quench the landscape designer's thirst in his search for perfection and beauty?
"Oh, no. No. Eventually, I'll probably rip all this out," Carter said as he referred to the front landscaping of his house. "I'm going to start over again."
"Seriously?" Gutner asked.
"Oh hell yes!" the landscape designer asserted.
"But this will stay. I Think?" Gutner questioned as he pointed to the sphere.
"Of course, this will stay."