Many people ask “how many rocks?” or “how high can you balance?” as if that was the most accurate measure of difficulty. These aspects do have a correlation with difficulty, but are strictly left brain methods to quantify that which is abstract. In my experience, technical difficulty better correlates with the “tension” that the piece incorporates and radiates overall. Things that increase tension are counterbalancing and point balancing to name a couple.
This balance for example, was extremely challenging to realize. The high degree of tension here comes from multiple point balances along with a reverse *continuous counterbalance. and also a high center of gravity.
*By continuous counterbalance, I mean that a rock requires the collective weight above it to balance. Here, the top 2 rocks are needed for the 3rd, and the top 4 rocks are all needed to counterbalance the 5th(down). A very fine alignment of parts into the whole.The amount of unflinching pressure I had to apply downward on all the rocks just before placing that heavy top rock was enormous (not to mention having to pick the top rock up at the same time). Extreme care required. Much patience required. VERY steady hands, heartbeat, breathing, one’s entire being.. required.
All I’m doing in this picture is imitating what I see many people do when they seem to not understand what’s going on..
..another curious monkey :)