Collingwood Workshops

Friday, June 23, 2006 to Saturday, June 24, 2006
Beginner Seminar

 The women out numbered the men 8 to 7 in this spectacular dry stone walling workshop in Collingwood Ontario, which will be the last DSWAC course till the end of the summer. (due to how crazy hot it gets here in Canada during the summer months) The property of Ray and Cathy Goodman was the perfect setting for the event. The 30 to forty tons of stones were lovingly collected by the Goodmans and their friends from the fence rows on the 51 acres of rolling hills and mossy forest. The site was prepared to include a good 70 foot gravel foundation for the wall footprint, as well as bags and bags of hearting material (small stones for the inside packing of the wall) deposited along the line of the wall to be.

There was a wonderful selection laid out of many different sizes and shapes of both limestone and granite rocks to be used in the workshop focusing on building two walls along the perimeter of the lawn.

Competent wallers Dean Mclellan and Matthew Ring assisted DSWAC president John Shaw-Rimmington in teaching the basics of dry stone wall construction to eager students who came from as far away as Montreal ,Toronto, Guelph and Grimsby Ontario for the weekend.

There were fabulous lunches both days provided by Cathy including lemon chicken nuggets, smoked salmon, fresh trout and mackerel, corn on the cob, bean salads and deserts of apricot flans, rhubarb pie and strawberry shortcake. Wow!

Unlike many of the other workshops, this time we had plenty of through stones to use in the walls, which we placed in such a way so as to provide shelf space for potted plants The two walls ( 40 feet and 30 feet) were completed over the two days except for a segment coping-stones (soon to be added) and people left on the Sunday evening saying things like it was one of the best times they've ever had , or more fun than going on vacation and lying around on the beach.


A stone found on the property by Ray and Cathy, gave the suggestion of the shape of a lady's foot, and inspired John to create a small garden footure for people to enjoy during the weekend 

Ray was moved to write a poem too about dry stone walling which is printed below.
Thanks folks for all your efforts and the beautiful walls we built together.
by Ray Goodman (inspired by Joyce Kilmer and John Shaw-Rimmington)
I think that I shall never call
A poem as lovely as a wall,
 A wall whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast
A wall that looks at God all day
And lifts her stoney arms to pray
A wall that may in summer wear
A nest of Robins in her hair
Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain
A wall with batter cheeks and spacing
Without the slightest hint of tracing
Poems are written by fools like us all
But it takes a dry stone wall seminar to make a wall.