Orienting Stones for Display
Normally, most viewing stones have a clear front and back and are easy to determine the best orientation for display. Some stones, especially abstract-shaped stones, can be displayed in more than one orientation and be acceptable. Abstract stones, ones that are not clear landscape scenes, figures or pattern, can usually be interpreted differently by people depending upon their knowledge and experience with Asian stones. As the orientation of the stone changes, the message communicated to the viewer can change.
It is important to study an abstract stone for some time before having a suitable base made for it. If you have just acquired or found an abstract stone and it has several possible orientations that may be suitable for display, try placing it in a tray with sand and study it for several days or weeks. Then change it to a different orientation and continue to study it. See if one orientation communicates a stronger message to you than in another position. Also, does the stone appear balanced, even if top heavy? If multiple positions appeal to you, consider making more than one base for the stone.
Consider the stone illustrated with this article. The bottom heavy, pyramidal-shape with a low nearly flat pedestal one the most obvious position to display this stone. But, it can be displayed in a larger raised pedestal styled base to resemble a large abstract stone displayed in a garden setting. It must appear to be balanced when displayed in this position. The third alternative is to display it in a shallow cradle type base with a narrow stalactite-like piece hanging from the top of the upper hole. This position also has appeal. A deeper understanding of stone appreciation can be obtained by viewing and studying many stones. This is especially true for abstract shaped stones as they are often more difficult to understand than figure-shaped or landscape-shaped stones. Abstract stones encourages imagination. This is one of the major appeals of these stones.
Whatever you do, don’t rush to make an expensive base for a newly acquired stone. Take your time and study the stone first for days or weeks.