In September 2007 a Dry Stone Walling Workshop took place in the village of Deia on the island of Mallorca. Thirty-six participants, men and women from America and Europe, guided by six Mallorcan mason-instructors from Artifex Balear, a stonemasonry and stone carving school on the island, successfully completed the technically demanding repair of a tall, curving retaining wall in the local style. We also dismantled and rebuilt a free-standing boundary wall and built a ramp – all on land owned by the village.
The experience was greatly enjoyed by the workshop participants and appreciated by the village, and villagers, of Deia. So much so that the mayor of Deia, Jaume Crespi, the Director of Artifex Balear, Miguel Ramis, and Tomas Lipps, representing the Stone Foundation, agreed to organize more workshops there in the future. A project in the village was designated: the construction – in traditional Mallorcan style walling – of a small public park overlooking the sea.
In September 2009 the Second Mallorcan Dry Stone Walling Workshop was held and the first of several planned walls was made. For photos of this workshop, click here
The workshop in June this year will also be a Symposium and an opportunity for the international community of dry stone artisans to gather, converse and to work together, building in a different style of walling with what is probably a different type of rock than they are used to – the excellent limestone of mountainous Mallorca.
There was a five days of hands-on stonework, with explanation and instruction in the local style provided. Each evening there will be presentations from the various dry stone walling organizations. On the sixth day a tour of the stonework of the island was arranged.
Mallorca is noted for its remarkable stonework spanning 4,000 years of the island's history. Megalithic, Roman, Moorish, Medieval and the stonework of more recent times are there to be seen and appreciated. A visit to Mallorca is in itself an education. Some of the finest dry stone walls to be found are in the environs of the village of Deia and the neighboring towns of Soller and Valledemossa in the mountainous Sierra Tramontana area which is veined with dry stone walking trails.
Workshop participants may wish to schedule more time in Mallorca after the workshop and tour. They can use this time for further touring or more walling work.
Deia is a village of stone houses nestled at the center of a valley articulately terraced with stone from the seacoast to the mountain tops. Though a village, it is also a cosmopolitan community with a variety of cafes, bars and restaurants in which the workshop participants gathered and engaged in informal discourse.
For more info on the workshop and registration form, visit www.stonefoundation.org