DSWAC Comments

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I heard the CBC interview and thought I would contact you in regard to a
planned project. We're building some short garden boundary dry stone walls
at the Fenelon Falls Museum this summer (set for Saturday, July 4th, in
fact), and wondered if your association had any members in the area of
Fenelon Falls / the City of Kawartha Lakes who might be willing to help,
either volunteering their time and expertise, or even in being paid to
coach / instruct? If you wish to pass our contact information to anybody,
we would be interested in talking to them. We realize there are plenty of
masons around and landscape contractors, but are not aware of anybody who
is really into the dry stone walls. We'd be using the flat (smallish)
limestone native to the area.
Alison Scott, Curator
Fenelon Falls Museum
50 Oak Street, Box 179
Fenelon Falls, ON K0M 1N0


Hi everyone,
Are there any seminars near the East Coast of US during Summer 2009? My husband and
I are transplanted Brits and we would love to learn how to build stone walls.

Jeanette Jenkin, Australia

Sun 14th June '09
Hi John
We have just visited Victoria and was given your website by Marie. Wonderful work! We would like to email you a photo of Wave Rock in Perth, Western Australia. Marie said you would like this. Do you have an email address that we can send this to, how do we go about this?
Jeanette and Keith

Mark Abley

Hello, I'm a freelance writer living in the Montreal area. A new magazine,
"Montreal Home" (available on newsstands but also distributed in select
areas via the Montreal Gazette newspaper), has commissioned me to write an
article about the dry stone walls in the Senneville area at the western
edge of Montreal island. Do you have any members who work in the West
Island of Montreal? Even if you don't, can you please put me in touch with
somebody who would know the right people to contact? Thank you.

Robin T

"The stone-roofed shed is awesome... more pics please!"

ken B

Amazing Moongate. Thanks for sharing the link to Garden Hill Acres so we can see how you did it. Simply amazing!


Rob Abram

Hi, I've been visiting this website for a few years because I love dry laid
stone work, and you have the best photos on the Internet. I'd love to
attend one of your workshops, but between travel, hotels, workshop fee, and
now a passport to go to Canada (I'm in Michigan), it's just too much money
for something that is just a hobby.
Have you ever considered making a DVD with examples of well made walls and
construction techniques? I'd love to learn proper stone laying techniques
for the price of a DVD since I can't afford to come to Canada for training.

I've built a couple of stone retaining walls using round, glacial
fieldstone found locally, but I can't imagine how to build a durable,
freestanding wall with the same round rocks.

Thanks for a great website,
Rob Abram


Hi Matthew, Hi John,

I just wanted to say thank you again for a fantastic weekend in Crieff. Both Joe and I had so much fun and we learned so much and yes, we have definitely been hooked. Well we were already hooked on working with natural stone, but the dry stone work has added a new dimension.

I have to confess that when work rolled around Monday morning everything just seemed to pale in comparison. We both found it hard to concentrate.

I can't stress enough what a pleasure it was to meet and work with people who have similar values and appreciate the art and craft of working with stone. And further, it was a relief to spend time with people who share the belief that good work takes time and care and it's worth every second it takes.

Again, thanks for a great time and a great learning experience. I am definitely planning to attend another seminar and both Joe and I are planning to be in Grand Valley for the festival in the fall. Perhaps we'll see you there.

Oh yeah, the pics on the website look great but if you could send me any other photos of the weekend that you have that would be great.

Happy walling,

Laura Blott
Gravity Works

Ken Rathgeber

Wow, what a great weekend we had building the wall at Crieff. The property owners were gracious in their hospitality and trusting in the fact that 14 rookies would leave them with something beautiful. John and Matt were terrific teachers and even better company. Thanks to all for a weekend that I will always remember.

Brian T

thank you so much for the workshop earlier this week John in Burnaby. I had some sore muscles (to be expected for an out of shape 62 year old), but I loved every minute of it! I can't wait to tackle my own project, either at home, or at our cabin in the Cariboo. I loved your teaching methods - understand the concepts, but don't sweat the small stuff. I feel confident that I have learned the basic concepts and will be able to create something structurally sound and am eager to try it with it our odd shaped stones.

Tracey Blackwell

Hello John SR.
What an interesting and informative site, a credit to you and DSWAC. Don't know why I haven't been before.
I was horrified to read here that heinous publication 'A guide to Dry Stone walling' by Andy Radford, has been smuggled across international borders as strictly X rated material. Please please to anyone out there, seriously, don't buy it. Its a waste of your money and the paper it is printed on.
You and Dean have been doing such inspirational work I'm looking forward to seeing what's on the menu for 09.
Best always. T

Jon Howcroft

Hi there...
I love how you change the pics on the website everyday. I hit the link on the toolbar about 5 times a day, just to see what's new.
I trust all is well, and you're looking towards spring. I know I am. big time.
have a look at some of my shots when you get the time. There are one or two i'm sure you'll like.



Paolo Pecchia

To whom it may concern, once you have mastered the art of dry walling, how
difficult is it to take it to the next step and add motar ?

brian t

I just saw the announcement for the Dry Stone Walling Workshops in
Vancouver starting April 13. I really want to register!!! I have been
monitoring your site for a long time but missed the workshop last year. I
go to Northwest regularly, sometimes just to hang out and visualize, and
have seen the walls that were built during the last workshops, beautiful. I
really want to learn. I have a cabin in the Cariboo district of BC (just
east of 100 Mile House) that is the rockiest lot in the subdivision so I
have lots of material to work with. Unfortunately, it is hard stone to work
with, some type of blue/green stone that is hard to break, but when it does
it breaks into random pyramidal shapes. I am determined to learn how to
work with it and make some nice stone walls instead of just large stone
perimeter boundaries.

jason r

On your Historic Wall page you take alook at the stone wall at Case Manor
- Formerly the Boyd Estate. It is a lovely wall and I'm glad to see it
included on your site. However I'm really disapointed in the final comment
about years of neglect. I am Mrs. Case's grandson and can assure you that
over the 30+ years of her ownership the wall was repired a number of times
- neglected it was not. Limted funding made it impossible to maintain a
pristine wall and the one section near the main gate (which part I'm
sure you are reffering to) was assessed seveal times to ensure it was safe
- as there was a significant bulge. Repairs we were told were not possible
without pulling down a significant portion of the Wall, and that it would
never be the same. As the wall was considered safe and sound we did not
wish to have any portion removed.

Kaori O

Hi John -
I 've dug down an area in my backyard where i want the stone wall to be, and got the supplies for the batter frame from home depot, and now I just need to get the stone and I can't wait to get started on my project! I am still connected to Greg on our Yahoo meetup page. well, I hope it turns out well - I will be sure to send you pics when i finish it!
thank you again for the class at American Soil and Stone, it was the most fun I've had in a long time and I think about it often. I learned so much and I hope to keep learning.




we call it an On-The-Bias wall
it does look like a quirky geological out cropping doesnt it?
very fitting for california with all its foibles and faults
you still have to batter it well and heart it well, but the stones seem to fit tighter as the weight of the wall builds upon each stone you lay
you can only build this wall away from the lean, so only two people can work on it at a time.

the grey stone is called cheif cliff dry stack from montana and is 510 a ton from lingso supply in san mateo
the red browny stuff is called moss back flagstone, and i think it is from more out your way, perhaps it is from colorado, but still supplied by lingso
i guess it is sandstone

anyway thanks for all the feedback

bob wiskera

> is there a name for this 'geologic uplifting' form?
What rules apply regarding batter, hearting, etc.
is there a side angle mid-construction image.
What's the name of the material? It almost looks like my sandstone when it
gets wet.


bob wiskera

John, the San Francisco arch is amazing.
Do you have any more images?

john scott

John...that americal soil wall is really nice. Was that first time students? Impressive.