Source: Oak Ridge Today |  | October 17, 2019

Gene Patterson, center, of CNS Y-12, watches as volunteers rake designs in the karesansui garden at the International Friendship Bell in Oak Ridge. (Submitted photo)

Volunteers who are designing and maintaining the new Japanese dry landscape garden at the International Friendship Bell Peace Pavilion received special rakes for the garden earlier this summer from Consolidated Nuclear Security, the contractor for the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

CNS-Y12 presented the volunteers with rakes featuring stainless steel blades, made by craftspeople at Y-12 especially for the karesansui garden, which features patterns in fine gravel raked around boulders or stones, a press release said.

“We believe these are the first stainless steel rakes to be used in these traditional karesansui gardens, a centuries-old garden tradition,” said Pat Postma, co-chair of the International Friendship Bell Citizens Advisory Committee. “The rakes have traditionally been made from wood, but I find the weight of the stainless steel rakes makes deeper furrows and longer-lasting designs. CNS and Y-12 continued Oak Ridge’s tradition of innovation by creating these rakes with stainless steel blades. We are glad that CNS offered to make these for us.”

The first rakes for the Oak Ridge garden were made by woodworker Duane Starr. He crafted a ceremonial rake of exotic woods to be used for special occasions, the press release said. He also made five traditional white oak rakes for everyday use in the karesansui garden.

“Duane came up with the idea of using stainless steel for the rake blades, thinking about durability and precision,” Postma said.

Starr, retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he was a research and development staff member in the National Security Sciences Directorate, suggested contacting CNS to see if someone there could create the blades needed for the rakes. CNS readily agreed, the press release said.

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