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I was fortunate to be able to participate in a workshop in Rockport this past weekend. It is amazing what a group of people of little or no experience can accomplish. John Shaw-Rimmington has a love and passion for stone and walling that is truly infectious. I have a real sense of pride and accomplishment in 'our wall'. This satisfaction will be reinforced every time I pass Rockport and admire it all over again. Thanks John, thanks Rockport.
Had a wonderful time building the stone wall in Rockport the weekend of October 24 & 25, 2009 ! The instruction, presentations, and cameraderie were excellent. I''m looking forward to taking another workshop with you in the future.
Roctober Festival 2009.
The blackhouse was outstanding and the training courses were the best I have attended because the three walls were so completely different in appearence that everyone there was able to appreciate how many and varied styles are possible with dry stone.All this plus the friendly atmosphere , fine food, the various other crafts, combined with the fun of kids building with butter nut squashes made the whole event a wonderful experience.
Concerning the comment recently added below,
Thanks for your input about this wall Jack. Is the picture we have posted the Waverley wall or the Midland wall?
I live in Midland/Penetanguishene area and have been involved in the campaign to save the dry stone wall on Fuller Ave which you describe on your website. Two comments:
1. Promising development...Midland Council have just given notice of its intent to designate the wall under the Ontario Heritage Act.
2. Your description of the "Penetanguishene" wall refers to the wall being built in Waverley, which is several miles from the Fuller Ave site. This is obviously in error. Also, the wall is in the town of Midland, not Penetanguishene.
Jack. Thanks for this update. Is the picture we have posted of the wall the Waverley or Midland wall?
I was able to drive by the festival that was held this past weekend and want to congratulate you on your work there, it was breath taking.
Thanks again for putting on the DSWAC seminar and demonstration at Kingsmere last weekend. Although I'm still exhausted I'm very glad I participated, and very proud to have been a (minor) part of the rebuilding of "our" section of the stone wall.
John had requested we let him know if we him wanted copies of his photos from the event and I would.
I'll be uploading my photos to FB and hope the others do the same.
I very much enjoyed the Kingsmere weekend and have spent perhaps more time than I should have scanning your website for my next opportunity to do some walling and spending time with another wonderful group of people. With great enthusiasm I have also been describing to some of my colleagues the physical, philosophical and psychological satisfaction I enjoyed throughout the weekend.
Will you provide directions on the DSWAC website on how to get to the Festival in Grand Valley?
Hi, my name is Rick Lloyd and I am a drystone waller and member of the DSWA
of Britain, but live and work in Japan. I was reading the quaterly
magazine we get the other day and was interested by an article titled
"Canadian Dry Stone Walling Festival, Port Hope, Ontario". In it it
mentioned that to overcome the problems of heavy frost "the DSWAC has come
up with a novel solution to the effects of movement under dry stone
structures, by digging foundations half a metre in depth and backfilling
with crushed limestone or granite chippings of 150mm. This 'porous' but
substantial bed is rammed down before building commenced." I thought this
was fascinating because we too suffer from serious frost penetration in the
winter here in Japan too, however I just wanted to ask whether the ramming
down of the 'porous bed' before building prevents the wall from 'settling'
which is where a dry stone wall is said to get it's strength from? What is
it that you use to ram the foundation with?
And finally I was wondering if you have any information or experience with
the resistance id dry stone walls to earthquakes. If so I would be very
keen to hear about it.
I also look forward to your response with regard to the "rammed down porous
I am the chairman of the West of Scotland branch of the DSWA . We have recently established our
own website to deal with local area matters and I am offering a reciprocal
website link between DSWA Canada and ourselves in the West of Scotland.
Hopefully this will offer wallers from both sides of the pond an
opportunity to see if their travel will coincide with an event in either of
our calendars. We already get the occasional visitor from afar and would be
delighted to receive more. Likewise the work you are doing in Canada is
extremely interesting. Anyway let me know what you think. Our website is -
www.wsdswa.org.uk and our secretary who runs it is David Boyd whose email
Hope all this works out and establishes closer contact between us. Kind
John, Evan and Joe:
Just a quick note to congratulate you all on the Russell bridge -- we could not have done it without you. The comments we're receiving are incredibly posative.
Not bad for a bunch of "dirty wallers"!
congratulations to you!
huge step forward for drystone with the public bridge - teach those engineering students the how. I do look forward to participating in one sooner than later!
I love the flat arch bridge you are building. Great step forward to get that into a public Park.
Hy there.I found thise webside on my journey on the netweb.Very
intresting.In Iceland wee have also very old tradision of building walls of
torf, and torf and stone brougt by norse people when they settlet down in
Iceland and later in Greenland and Faeroisland .You can see some fotos on
my homepage, :
Thank you for visiting and posting your comment. Your dry stone work is excellent. If you ever come to Canada please visit us.
We live in Australia just outside of Canberra on a 100 acre bush property.
We would like to build a dry stone wall, but the site is pretty
tricky--it's about 30 metre wide, 3 metres high in places, and is up
against a crumbling wall. Is there some books you could recommend on
building a stable dry stone wall. We'd like to have some built-in
seating--either w/stone or coupled w/wood.
I was lucky enough to recently attend a beginners drystone wall clinic just north of Garden Hill....two words...ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.
Our group covered all ages and a variety of backgrounds, a little reserved at first, the ice soon broke under the warm and humerous tutilage of John Shaw Remmington, and like the varied collection of field stones we began to knit as the wall grew. The end of two days found us comfortable companions like the stones we had placed.
I would also like to thank our hosts Bobby and Alice who fed and watered us, and shared their beautiful home.
I will most certainly be back for more.
Hello John and Mary,
I would like to thank you both again for an absolutely fantastic weekend!
I feel so lucky to have participated, and have the opportunity to learn from such an intuitive and enthusiastic teacher.
I felt so welcomed and included in your home, and your neighbors'.
All week I have been describing my experiences of the weekend and the art of walling to all who will listen, more than one person in the know has said, Andy, look out!
I look forward to seeing you in Orangeville at Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I will continue my studying, to prepare for my first dry stone wall project.
Tomorrow I will be mailing my registration form for membership in the association, so that I can keep up to date on events and courses.
I hope your summer is going well. I just thought I'd write with regard to your wall in Bethany - the gardens here have been on two tours this summer. The first one on July 5 was put on by the Lindsay Historical Society and the second one was yesterday hosted by the Janetville United Church. Both were done as fundraisers. On both the tours the wall and archway were a HUGE hit. I still look out every day and just love the wall and the look. It's beautiful.
First and foremost, I really enjoyed the seminar. If my father knew
that I paid to stack rocks in someone else's garden for a weekend, he would
be revolving in his grave at a high rate of speed right now. I came up with
a name for the seminar attendees... "Stoners", instead of wallers, we must
be on something to enjoy this activity so much. Regardless it was a
fantastic learning experience and very humbling, which is always a good
I was very impressed with the team work and how dynamic the people were
working with each other. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera on both days so
I did not get any pictures of the work in progress, if you could forward any
pictures that you have or are sent, or forward my email address to the other
members of the team that would be appreciated.