Indoor Workshop at Bethany Ontario Feb 4 -5

Friday, February 3, 2006 to Saturday, February 4, 2006
Bethany Ontario
Beginner Seminar

 I have always thought of dry stone walling as more like a jazz improvisation. As long as they know what they are doing,when a group of people get together to create a beautiful free standing wall or stone garden feature, a rare cooperation of individual personalities takes place. Few creative endeavors allow for such multiplicity of input. Most forms of artistic creativity involve a single personality who provides all the inspiration and is solely responsible for the work. Except for some rare collaborations of experimental 'group- composing', most works of literature for example, have one author, most paintings and sculptures are done by one artist, and most pieces of classical music are written by individual composers. What makes building walls with a group of people so satisfying is that everyone gets to add to the creative whole. A wall is more than the sum of its parts. It is the culmination of a multiplicity of creative individuals. Last weekend at Bethany Ontario we had another dozen or so relatively new wallers working together, constantly making creative decisions, both singly and as a group, to help construct, or should I say 'compose', two lovely stone walls. It was a well orchestrated event, with everyone building upon the 'notes' (rearranged, the letters spell 'stone') laid down by fellow composers. These were not 'unfinished symphonies' either. Both walls were close to twenty five feet long and were completed by mid afternoon on the second day of the workshop. It is always very satisfying to be part of these amazing group efforts. In our individualistic society it is a rare to see (and listen to) people creatively and quietly labouring together to make something that ends up looking so impressively massive, so structurally solid and so beautifully pleasing, and in such a short time.