Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Sean "I'm fed up wiv this big ridiculously 'ard stone. You can av a go at it if you loyk, but Im knackered"
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Une arche en pierres sèches parmi les milles îles Après une semaine de travail rigoureux, l'idée de se retrouver apprenti auprès de l'un des maîtres canadiens dans l'art de construire des murs en pierres sèches pendant deux jours me plaisait bien. L'objectif pratique de cette fin de semaine était d'ériger une arche de pierres de huit pieds de hauteur (sans mortier ou béton) au «Biosphere center» situé dans la belle région des Milles îles, en Ontario. L'ouverture de cet atelier s'est faite lors d'une journée pluvieuse du mois de mai, sous un mercure qui n'a pas voulu dépasser les 5 degrés. Tailler et travailler la pierres dans ces conditions météorologiques aurait rebuté n'importe qui, mais les yeux scintillants et l'énergie dégagée par celui qui allait nous dévoiler les grands secrets de la pierre en valaient largement la peine! John Shaw Remmington, un maçon de formation au sommet de son art et instigateur du «Dry Stone Wall Association of Canada», a délaissé il y a belle lurette, le mortier et le béton pour renouer avec les techniques traditionnelles et ancestrales de pose de pierres. Les artisans de cette association créent des murs, des bâtiments et même des ponts de plus de quatre mètres de portée sans le moindre mortier! Des ouvrages qui laissent les visiteurs sans voix! En Estrie, la pierre reprend tranquillement sa place à travers nos paysages et je crois que nous pouvons tous nous en réjouir. L'impact écologique est beaucoup moindre qu'un produit de béton (surtout si la pierre est récoltée localement, il va sans dire), l'intégration plus harmonieuse et enfin, chaque ouvrage de pierres fait appel à un certain sens artistique. La pierre offre cependant plusieurs défis: apprendre à lire, comprendre et respecter la pierre avec laquelle on est appelé à travailler est fondamental pour la pérennité des ouvrages à réaliser. Pour l'instant, ces ateliers sont offerts uniquement en Ontario, mais ne laissez pas ce détail freiner vos envies de léguer des ouvrages de pierres à vos petits et même petits‐petits‐enfants! Cette aventure est ouverte à tous ceux et celles dont la curiosité et la soif d'apprendre ont comme chez moi, un caractère insatiable. Les ouvrages de pierres sont immuables, mais les connaissances et les apprentissages voyagent et n'ont de limite que l'imagination et la bonne volonté de leurs propriétaires! Et puis les Milles îles, c'est une si magnifique région! Aaron P. Wallis (architecte paysagiste, M.Sc A) Parution : Le Reflet du Lac – 27 mai 2010
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
My friend Akira Inman has been working with tatlock marble last week. He put on lots of winter clothing and worked alone in his tent in sub zero temperatures in Port Hope Canada chiselling this really hard stone. He told everybody he spent the day cutting his thumb. Friends were concerned of course. Here are some of the thoughts he had about his thumb project.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Every year around this time there is a kind of open season declared on the many passionate people who make the effort to get to fantastic walling events like the Stone Symposium being run here in Ventura California to promote the craft of dry stone walling. The cost for those of us coming and participating in these events is not just paid out in dollars and sweat, but in recognizing that one's reputation and professional integrity is going to be scrutinized by others who have chosen to sacrifice neither.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Paul Lindhard is the humble motivating force behind this amazing wonderland of stone. He is also the sculptor, businessman, teacher,and co-facilitator of this and last year's Stone Symposium. The carving workshop was based on the Art City property and was taught this year by well known British carver Nicholas Fairplay. Nick gave a wonderful presentation on Tuesday showing many amazing examples of the intricate carviings he has completed in such important places as Hampton Court and St John the Divine Cathedral in New York
Yesterday morning several of the Stone Foundation Symposium participants took a field trip to Stone City. I was admiring the stone 'contour' piece (shown above) and happened to bump into the artist who created it. He explained how the piece had to combine elements of a sculpture and also be a pathway where foot traffic and wheelchairs could safely pass. It was made of thousands of hand picked stones he had brought back from the beach. This undulating pebble mosaic by Kevin Carman reminded me of a miniature crevice garden. It also was reminiscent of some of the intricate historic pebbled pathwork I saw in St Andrews in Scotland.
Kevin's website is kevin-carmen.com
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Sean Adcock's section of the workshop wall being built in Ventura California during the Stone Foundation's 2011 Symposium required stone being built from the back. For a number of reasons Sean had opted for not using scaffolding (staging) so as his section of the retaining wall got higher, more of the stone material was brought down the slope and lifted up from the back of the wall (which was the lower side) and added to the front face. By leaning over and fitting each rock carefully, and every now and then going round to the front to have a look, the work progressed fairly efficiently .
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Tomas Lipps, director of the Stone Foundation and organizer of this year's Symposium in Ventura California, (and the man responsible for putting together nine other international stone symposiums since 2000, held in various stone-related places throughout North America and also in Spain) holds up a hammer he has just had fabricated by Trow and Holden. It is modeled after the Mallorcan hammer we were introduced to when the symposium workshop students were taught a very different method of shaping stone and walling back in 2007 in Deia Spain. The hammer is a hefty seven pounds in weight with an 18 inch handle and a rounded indentation in the head so that it has an edge on all four striking planes. It seems to do a good job of knocking off edges and making nice faces in the sandstone we have been working with this week. Lluc Mir who is here from Spain teaching one of the Ventura workshops likes this 'knock off' of the type of hammer he is used to working with, but suggests the handle could be even longer.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
ROCKTOBER FESTIVAL IN CANADA
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.
This year it was held close to Rockport in Landon Bay Public Park. The townsfolk had gone to a great deal of trouble to find accommodation for the participants and to provide a great selection of stone so essential for the success of this type of venture. I was amazed by the range of entertainment and also by the standard of walling on show. Only a few years ago there seemed to be little enthusiasm for dry stone walling over there. Now there is a growing band of excellent wallers many of whom have been masons who have come to realise the unique benefit of adding dry stone work to their c.v.
Much was happening over the four days. Most of the activities related to stone. However there was something for all. There was live music during the day and illustrated talks in the evenings.
The children took part in the creation of a wood spiral organised by DSWAC field Manager Eric Landman There were several stalls selling goods and services such as tools, cards, planters, warm food and included a table for the DSWA, UK. The 2011 calendar alone attracted considerable interest.
On days 2 and 3 there were three training courses taught by qualified instructors from the UK, USA and Ireland.People benefitted from these and produced fine work which enhanced the house in the park.
Meanwhile a fireplace was built be a group under the direction of John Scott who lectures in masonry at a Canadian heritage masonry college.
At the entrance to a woodland walk several of the young masons produced a remarkable arch (photo4). On the 4th day six people were tested on behalf of the DSWA .Two sat the initial and four sat the intermediate certificates
There is no doubt that the high-light of the festival was the bridge. It was built to replace Kay’s bridge which was in a poor state. Kay and her husband Charlie were some of the original owners of the area which they later donated to the town as a Public Park. Although sadly Kay had passed away quite recently, Charlie in his late 80s was there and was thrilled that the new bridge in stone would also be called after her.
The bridge project was overseen by John Shaw-Rimmington himself and was very happy to incorporate two new features. The first, a suggestion by Irish author and bridge builder Patrick McAfee, was an idea that the workers lay out the entire arch flat on the ground before it was placed on the wooden former. While this would involve double handling in fact it speeded up the process dramatically as far more people could dress the required vousoirs at the same time. The second idea came from Gavin Rose who works for the National Trust in the Lake District building Pathways in the hills. He suggested that the crossing over the bridge should be in the form of ‘pitching’ which turned out to be a very strong covering for traffic.
Overall I believe this was the best meeting of its kind which I have ever attended. I would encourage anyone interested in dry stone to go to Canada next year and experience for themselves the magic of this Canadian treat.
Links to the dry stone walling association of Canada www.dswac.ca
to more photos of the event www.ryanlemieux.com