April 24th 2010
Jake Sandison is a professor at Loyalist College in Belleville Ontario. He has taken two or three dry stone wall courses with me and is now an avid fan of building walls without mortar.
His main project is a folly he has been building on and off for the last two years in his back yard.
He writes...."This is a garden wall feature that is in the form of 2 "L" shaped walls, joined in the middle with an arched opening. It is west facing to block the prevailing winds (which we get a great deal of) from the garden plants. It is made from a variety of local fieldstone. The dimensions of: height, width and the various inside and outside lengths of both the long and short segments of the walls correspond to months and days of our family's (myself, my wife and 2 boys) birthdays and anniversary. It is truly a family wall. There is currently crushed brown limestone that continues the footprint of the wall to form a rectangle. I will bed flat stone into this limestone so that it looks like a foley perhaps...that this wall and arch is the remnant from an old building.
I am not overly happy with the cheek ends in the arch way opening... I was trying to do little to no shaping of the stone - but I am going to disassemble down to a course or two off the ground (just at the opening) and shape the stone all the way up (including the voissors and keystone). It may not look quite as natural...but I will sacrifice the look in this case for safety.
I think one of my next projects will be a stone school bus shelter for my boys out at the end of the driveway… I think I will be using limestone for that one"
Jake emailed me a photo (above) of his nearly completed project yesterday. It just needs an arch and vertical coping. He goes on to tell the story of the amusing super-hero who is building the wall and despite evil foes ( not to mention old man winter ) he intends to complete it sometime in April 2011
"When we last left our hero... he had been battling his "arch" enemy, the evil Corporal Concrete and his sidekick, Private Pressure-Treated from the planet Fakescape. It has been a gruelling battle... if it wasn't for the assistance of Dr. Fieldstone... our hero might not have made it this far (strictly a "plutonic" relationship). He still has not been able to "cope" with the circumstances completely. However, it is a common "sediment" that Concrete and Pressure-treated will not prevail here and it would be "igneous" to think otherwise. With "heart" and determination, our "battered" hero will be the "keystone" to a "metamorphic" revolt against the powers of manufactured Fakescape everywhere. Tune in April 2011 for the season finale... check your local listings
The previous has been a sad example of just how long this winter is going to be for those of us who like to drystack stone... hang in there everyone."