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For a look at our finished blackhouse go to http://drystonewallingcanada.blogspot.com/2010/07/here-is-photo-of-finis...


Are there any photos available of the finished black house on Dean Mc Clleland's property in Holstein that we worked on in June of 2009.
Dwain Wacko


Congrats on what looks like a fabulous weekend. Wish I could be with you.
Relocating to Ottawa with family. Look forward to getting reinvolved in
near future.

Karl kaufmann

Hi John,
I should stop by the site more often. The upcoming stone fest in Ontario is only 6.5 hours from me. Don't think I can swing the time off though. Maybe if I'm lucky I can swing a couple day trip up to see you.


Dan O'Connell

I just completed the dry wall in Metchosin using local blasted basalt . This "rubble" has vexed me for years and I considered it useless unless equal amounts of mortar were available to beautify and substantiate any structure composed of it . The mortar always cracks and grey stone looks dreary in the dun winter landscapes of our coast so I considered it "flawed" and would go far afield to find flat character stone. Needless to say I am reborn with fervor based on three base teachings. One - putting the best face out usually results in "veneering" guaranteeing it will roll out with the subtle shifts of time. This wall now has structural integrity confidant enough to support an arch! (As a former civil engineer I was a big time skeptic let alone now being a physician and worried about crushed children) Two - it is handsome ,not in the way of the fitted stones @ Machu Pichu,but rather overall feel as it courses and accomadates the rolling pitches with its unchanging batter and constancy of individual rock shadowings.(however one cornerstone in the arch is hewn white granite from my private reserve) . Thirdly - I had been told by my Italian neighbour about harding before but thought it was a primitive idea for people needing to get rid of all the little ankle turners in the pile-I say it again I am now a Believer! Dr. Dan


Hi John, just wanted to thank you for the greatest course ever in Metchosin! I enjoyed
it so much and got started on my latest project at home already - with so
much more confidence. You are a great teacher! It was great to meet you
and look forward to seeing you at some stone events. (maybe on Gabriola) I have some pictures to send of the course but I think I need a email



Hi, just to let you know if you are ever looking for a venue for a course,
I have tons of rock and would love to have a dryrock wall built. Just let
me know. Thanks Laurie


beautiful job on the outdoor fireplace

Doug J

Many thanks. I received a congrats about winning the photo contest in email from someone on holidays out west - People are regularly checking your very attractive website

Doug Jamieson


Hello, John.

Thanks for your words and inspiration during wall-building workshop last weekend at the Chrystian farm. I've come away with perhaps equal doses of inspiration and humility: not sure which will win out. I see you posted photos and words about the wall and the oven (those two chickens in the photo with Bob and the new oven should likely give that oven a wider berth...)
Thanks again, John.


Thank you again for all I was able to learn from you. I had a great time, and I can't wait to start walling on my own.

Matt ( East Lansing, Mich.)

Laura B


Last year I built a small section of a limestone garden wall with the intention of making it look like it had fallen into disrepair. It was someone else's design idea and I'm still not sure I made it work (in restrospect I wish I'd done things a bit differently but it meant design changes), but my point is that I liked working on it as an exercise. It was so interesting and it forced me to think about the logic of building a wall so that in its fallen down state it looked authentic (assuming it was built properly in the first place of course).

Anyway, another good walling weekend was had by Joe and I in Grand Valley this past long weekend. The Landman's have both a lovely property as well as a lovely family, very friendly and welcoming. As usual coming home all we wanted to do is continue on with the next project. I quite liked working with the chocolate limestone. Really nice stuff to work with. Funny how all the different stones, depending on where they came from have their own characteristics just like people. You have to get to know them and treat them accordingly.

My next plan is to begin working on a wall ( both Joe and I) using stone we reclaimed from a barn foundation last Spring. Unforntunately we didn't manage to get more before the powers that be "got rid of it all". Such a shame. There were two barn foundations on two adjacent properties. The one had big beautiful, huge cut granite field stones. All gone.

Well again, thanks to you and Eric for a good weekend. Looking forward to Rocktoberfest. I HOPE I can get there this year. Sounds great.

Jill S-B

We thoroughly enjoyed our week-end with you at the Landman farm. Your passion for DSW is infectious and we can hardly wait to begin our own project. It will be a vegetable garden enclosure using stones from area
fence lines. Enjoy your summer. The bridge at Gananoque sounds
intriguing, Best wishes, Jill and Dave


Mary, We are trying to sign our daughter, Kaitlyn, up as a member but can't get in to the Membership Information page. Can you help us? It says "access denied". Thanks. Regards, Jill and Dave

Dan Pearl

Awesome weekend at the Frontenac Biosphere office building a stone arch. I got a lot out of the hands-on work and instructor guidance. Picked up more priceless dry laid stone working knowledge and enjoyed the good nature of my fellow students. Keep up the good work DSWA of Canada and thanks for allowing your Southern neighbors in the USA join the fun!
p.s. JSR, please send me a members password for the DSWAC website.

Aaron P. Wallis

Hello John,
Our designers and landscape crews were fuelled this morning as we revealed our story and pictures of the workshop and from your portfolio. We’ve opened the box for more possibilities for our landscapes and we greatly appreciate your contribution. Thank you for the great weekend.

Aaron P. Wallis

Tom F.

Hi John,
Thanks again for course this weekend. The guys are still talking about it and I have spent some time just looking at it. I have looked through your book at the projects you have done. Very impressive! You are a very good teacher.
Take care

Jack Wilford

Dear Mr Shaw-Rimmington

You'll be interested in recent developments regarding the Town of Midland's
approval of the Midland Heritage Committee's recommendation to designate the
Drummond Wall as a heritage site. The developer then issued a formal
objection which was to lead to a meeting with the Ontario Conservation
Review Board. A settlement has been reached which was presented to Midland's
Council meeting of March 22(tonight) and is attached. Although the terms of
the settlement appear to be confidential, it was verbally reported by Town
Planner Wes Crown that the developer has agreed to redesign the plan of
subdivision at his own cost so as to leave the wall intact and its future
will be under the control of the Town of Midland. I will try to obtain a
copy of thus agreement, but it appears the news is good.

Jack W.

Mark Litherland

Is there a fee for the workshops or do you just need to be a member?


Hello! I just wanted to say thank you for the excellent pictures of dry stack round rocks. We have a gravel pit of about 160 acres and I never thought I could use them for my retaining walls/landscaping projects. You gave me some great ideas. I just hope my back can take it!!!
Heidi Upstate NY