DSWAC Comments

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Wanted to thank you again for putting on such a top notch stone fest. Always a good time. Met some new fantastic and interesting people as well as the old regulars.
Not sure what's next, but I'm keeping my ears open.
Thank you again,

Karl & Clara


What a weekend! Mother Nature blessed us with the Sun and record temperatures, and it was just what the doctor ordered!!!
Thank you so much to everyone that was involved! The Hart House Farm will forever remember your contributions, and those who make use of the new and spectacular amphitheatre will certainly feel the hard work and great energy that was put into the lands:

From Colin and his tireless efforts in the kitchen, to Doug and his musical sensibilities (espeically the Guh! members) the wallers and attendees were kept happy, and well-fed. Steve, you and Louise were great hosts, and things certainly could not have gone as well as they did without you two. Jacqui and Mary, thank you for your detail-oriented eyes. You are the Yin to the Yang. The Yang (or John) - what planet do you come from, and when is the next trip out there? Sign me up! Your relentless work ethic, focus, and love of the stone and land undoubtedly set the tone for the build, to which we can only say thank you (times two hundred). Those are for all the wallers of the association, too! Please send our thanks.

Once again, thank you a million times for your presence, contribution, and great energies!




Just wanted to applaud your work to make the festival happen last weekend, and not the least of your accomplishments was to make it a family affair for the 4 of you. I left feeling a trifle nostalgic that my family never achieved such togetherness, I guess some things aren't weren't meant to be and maybe we did things as an ensemble that I have forgotten about.

I thought there was such a mixture of good 'folks' ( to use Norman's vernacular) - wish I could be nearer to the lot. One will see what unfolds.

Thank you again, and if there is a need I would love to help you out in some capacity.

Vicki (Margot's friend).

Doug B.

John, Mary -
Am slowly decompressing from wonderful weekend.

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Thanks Norman
I think you are going to enjoy some of the special things we've got planned for this year.

Norman Haddow

So looking forward to this years Roctober festival. You seem to have an amazing group of outstanding wallers coming together along with the normal attractions it will be fantastic.


Question...I live in central PA and there are any number of Iron Furnaces about the community...so many that we named our consulting firm that name! Anyway, do you know if these furnaces are dry fitted or if there is concrete to hold them together? We would love to have something like one of these furnaces built for our firm (much smaller of cource), but not sure how to go about this process? Can you help? jay.krause@ironfurnace.com / http://www.ironfurnace.com
Many thanks in advance for any advise!

Matt J


Thank you for posting the pic on the dswa website.

I love building dry stone structures, but I also get great enjoyment out of seeing my co-workers faces after we complete a project. You can really see the pride in accomplishing some hard work and something truly unique. With that posting on the dswa website, I once again saw the them smile with pride when I showed them the post.

Take care,


Kyle C.

Hi John,

I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to attend your course, and say I would very much enjoy attending another. I hope you didn't take my early departure as indifference, we had worked 11- 12 hr days all week, just to make attendance possible. Unfortunately that left me a little burnt out, and incapable of getting my brain into the game.

I was very impressed with the images of some of your body of work. I was enthralled listening to you speak of stone and your work and its evolution over the years. I have been reading about artists like Lew French, Ian Cramb, and now I can add you to my list of people to emulate as I evolve into the artist I wish to become.


David W.

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the course on the July 2nd weekend. I'm afraid I was dragging a little on Sunday because Saturday night was so hot I didn't get much sleep.

As with most substantial things in life you find yourself appreciating things after the fact far more than during - that is you reflect on them more. So I'm actually enjoying things more in retrospect that when in the thrall of Sunday's heat. I am sorry we didn't get further than we did for Lachlan but as the weather cools I may stop by and give him a hand.
Thanks again for all the help and pointers, it was a pleasure meeting you.


Just thought Id post some feedback from this past weekend’s walling workshop.
Both my son John and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was exactly what I expected and I now feel more than equipped to take on my own wall next summer.

Thanks so much to Lachlan and his lovely wife for their hospitality and the great meals and snacks. They both went about and beyond what might be expected from hosts. The meal times and break times were as much a highlight as the actual walling time.

My impression is that the group worked well together and it came as no surprise that we got the wall done. John Shaw Remington has the perfect personality to carry off such a workshop.

I hope next weekend’s workshop will be just as successful.

Should John send you copies of any of the group digital photos he took at the end of the day, I would appreciate you forwarding some my way.

Thanks again,

Shaun and John S.
Winchester, Ont

Jo Hodgson

I would like to thank both you and John in your tireless commitment and courage in pursuing your passion and promoting dry stone walling practices in Canada. Thanks to you, canadians have a much better sense of what dry stone walling means and, amongst other things, the difference between dry stone wallers and landscapers!!


Jeff Hubble

The modern wall "north of lindsay" is at cameron lake. It was constructed by Jeff Hubble of Hubble Landscaping, a graduate of your drystone course in 2004 at Groundcovers Unlimited ( ted & Sandy's) . I was very pleased with the course. I have many other examples of drystone work ,including Siliago pillars that have been added to that site. Thank you for displaying my work

B and K

Kathy & I enjoyed the S F workshop immensely. You and John are great
instructors and we're glad to see that traditional techniques are still
being kept alive and passed on today.
We're sure to include stone walls in our new house.
Bill and Kathy

Daniel G. Ostrum

I really enjoyed the workshop in Landon Bay over Thanksgiving weekend! I learned a great deal not only by hands on walling but also by watching and listening. My three teachers, Michael Weitzner of Vermont, Norman Haddow of Scotland, and Patric McFee of Ireland were superb. If I were to describe in one word what impressed me about each one, I would say Michael was precise, Norman was bold and Patric was very clever---a great combination!
I also attended the Dry Stone Conservancy in eastern PA. the other weekend and helped rebuild a wall with Neil Rippinggale that had been originally built by slaves. Wonderful people. I am now working on my own project pitching a walkway underneath an arbor of wisteria 10 ft. wide and 100ft. long, similar to the look of the walk over the arched bridge built with you all in Canada. I loved attending both workshops and would like to go next year especially yours John Shaw-Rimmington! Thanks again and hope to see you all again soon.

Rod Keays

Are any courses planned for BC in 2011? I attended the Shawnigan Lake arch building course and enjoyed it very much.

Linda Hart

I was asked for feedback on the economic impact of this event to our business. I did not participate in any way that was meant to generate money but I do have a couple of comments on the social impact.

The DSW festival was a wonderful community building event. The good spirit of the participants, John and Mary Shaw-Rimmington's fabulous energy, and the purpose-driven activity of the walls and bridge, all created an amazingly positive, upbeat environment in our community.

I had the good fortune of putting up the three master craftsmen from Britain, and I enjoyed meeting them so much that it is likely I will go and visit them in their respective countries. It must be something about working with stone that creates these wonderful people. Way better than drugs and booze! The spirit left behind by all the participants had those of us who were involved, meeting for days after they left to try to keep it alive. And we weren't the only ones effected. The wallers I talked to, felt they had come to a magic place, and many joked about not going home.

We are currently living in an age where people don't know their neighbours, and community activities are now few and far between. Each individual or family is busy trying to get by, and the feeling of support and connection that comes from belonging to something larger has fallen by the way. For those of us involved in this Festival, it was like taking a step forward to a place where that interconnectivity exists again, and we have the spirit of this Festival to thank for this.

Thanksgiving weekend is a challenge for anyone attached to a family. I didn't see one person at this festival who couldn't have taken the extra day off work to be able to participate, and many more could have come if it wasn't on a holiday weekend. Having said that, everything was such a success that it is difficult to even think of suggestions!

So, how can we get them back here? How can ROCKport become a centre for DSW activity in the Province? How can this thing grow? Public land is a great idea. We have a lot of Parks around here. How can we at least make it an annual event? Something that will both put Rockport on the map and allow John Shaw-Rimmington to expand his magical activities. Easy for me to say who only changed beds, bought a fridge-load of food and won't attend meetings!

So there you have it.Two cents from the cheap seats.

Lind Hart

Patrick McAfee

It was a real pleasure to be part of Rocktoberfest 2010. John and Mary organized a super event with live music, good food and an opportunity to work with great people. The people of Rockport were the most hospitable of communities.
The dry stone bridge was a winner on many levels and is an example of how to build near water without causing any damage to the local ecology. Compared to a concrete and steel bridge with inevitable cement spills into water and the killing of fish etc this was an example of near zero impact, minimum carbon footprint and sustainability into the next century. It is also good to look at.
So congratulations John and Mary for on a job well done and an unforgettable event.


We had many comments about last months Rocktoberfest. Here are some of them...

I was there yesterday and it looks wonderful with all the fallen leaves on it. - Linda H

What an amazing weekend. Here are some pics for you (courtesy of Rayne) and a little treat at the end. Thanks for such a great time, I got to make new friends and reconnect with old ones. Could I get Gavin's contact info from you? I'd like to keep in touch with him too. I remember when we were talking on our way to Balsam Lake, and you were saying you'd like to recreate a certain sense of family you experienced at other festivals....well, I think you've done that and more. It was an absolute treat. Thanks again - Menno B

Thanks all around for a great weekend of walling and stone work solidarity! It was exactly what I was hoping for; my only regret was not being able to stick around Monday to see the form drop.- Charley M

With my head still full of Canada and the fantastic Rocktoberfest event in Rockport I now try to adapt to things here. It was a top class event and I wish you continuing returns on this.Thanks for coming up with a super project in a super place with music and food and camaraderie. It was a big success. - Patrick M
Congratulations on what seems to have been an extremely successfully Rocktoberfest. I wish I could have afforded to come, would have loved to take part in it. -Tomas L.

I wandered to the bridge, Mary, ("Maggie"...do you know that old dittie), and seeing it completed was wonderful. Only the sound of the birds and the water rippling by, it is truly a work of art. Congratulations to all the hard work, many people are phoning and emailing to mention how they enjoyed the weekend and love the work that remains. - Margot M.

I think you can rest knowing that your bridge is so awesome that the only criticism can find is that people were drawn from far far away to build it and then returned that distance with full hearts.- John Scott

Just a short note to let you know how great the bridge @landon bay looks (esp. in that sepia photo from your blog). Scott C
Hi John, We both had a wonderful day. What you're doing is marvelous. - Fred C

Well done. Looks amazing! - Jason M

Thank you very, very much for setting up a most interesting, inspiring and enjoyable weekend and for inviting me to be a part of it! Michael W.

I had the privilege and pleasure of attending the recent dry stone Thanksgiving gathering in the small town or Rockport. Although looking back, the first event in Port Hope was a modest event it has grown steadily over the last 7 years, yet lost nothing of the warmth and kind hospitality which has marked it out since the start. Thanks once again to John Shaw-Rimmington, his wife Mary and a large band of dedicated helpers. Norman H.