History was made on August 15th at the annual Scottish Festival in Fergus
Ontario Canada. Members of the Dry Stone Walling Across Canada
successfully attempted constructing the first 'Shaw Arch' out of 20 tonnes
of mica schist stone donated by Eisen Natural Stone..
The idea of 'twisting' an arch as it connects two ends of a curved dry stone
wall sheepfold was conceived by John Shaw-Rimmington in 2003 and presented
as a challenge to dry stone wallers in N.A. Scotland and England, to see if
it really could be done. The completed loop, with free-standing twisted
arch, becomes a sort of mobius dry stone strip wall, with essentially only
one surface presented, which continues around the wall, appearing to change
sides every time it does a circuit of the loop. The sheepfold complete with
styles was assembled on the Saturday Aug 14th and the Shaw Arch was built
the next day without any 'cement' (what we jokingly now refer to as 'glue')
Twisting the shape of the wall as it went over the arch, took a lot of right
brain activity and considerable dexterity. We had a pretty exciting time
attempting it, with many hands and minds working together to make it happen.
Sadly the arch had to be taken down after the festival.
Many thanks to Dean McClellan Mike Patten, Bob Waller, Claus, and Joel for
making an unimaginable shape take a tangible form. We are looking forward to
seeing a permanent 'Shaw Arch' being done here in Canada or some other part
of the world soon, as methods of constructing a Mobius D.S. Sheepfold get