Sunday, October 2, 2011

A intelligent waller with skill and good taste.

Another professional waller who we are honoured to have coming to Rocktoberfest this year is Sean Adcock. Along with a lot of other brilliant things, Sean is a Master Craftsman and an instructor with the DSWA in Great Britain. He also runs the Welsh branch of the association.

After having only an email acquaintance with Sean at first, we finally met up in Ventura at a Stone Symposium where he and I were presenting. We had breakfast together several times during that week and discovered we had some rather quirky similarities, like being lovers of marmite.

Relaxing and stacking on the beach.

Sean and I kept in contact and the next year after attending our second symposium in California we collaborated on a dry stone greenhouse near Mendocino. During that time working together and struggling with the structural dynamics of the thing I designed, I really came to appreciate Sean's sense of humour and his warm regard for his fellow wallers.

In his bio he rather humbly talks about having judged and competed in a number of walling competitions. Not at the same time of course. It turns out he has won and placed in many competitions, some of which are listed here.

He also produces a DSWA Branch magazine called "Stonechat",  an eclectic and very informative publication about dry stone walling. That can be found here.  It turns out he researched and wrote the technical leaflet "Specifications for Traditional Welsh Cloddiau" for the DSWA . He wrote the update for the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers"Dry Stone Walling: A Practical Guide". Copies of both publications should  be available at this year's festival.

Sean has been from Waen Penisarwaen Caernarfon Gwynedd (that's Wales) for quite some time but his cockney accent gives hints of a previous life somewhere back amidst the crowded metropolis of London town.  If I remember correctly I think he said he grew up there, got a good education, did well in math especially and figured he was destined to be a Savile Row banker. I'm sure if fate hadnt stepped in the world would have been robbed of one Britain's finest wallers, certainly Wales. Part of that fate has to do with Brenda his wife who you will meet when you come to the festival.

As I said before its Sean's humour that is so wonderful. He wins you over. He is not afraid to laugh at himself.

His mind for math, his constant analyzing keeps him always pondering the intricacies and rather demanding aspects of walling. He isnt just a thinker though. He effectively combines a comprehensive understanding of the intellectual physics of walling with the great speed and skill required for the physical aspects involved in proper walling too. 

The walls of Catesby House show off Sean's skill as a precise waller.

Sean researches everything. He is a well documented guy. Stonechat, now 24 th issues in total  tackles many of the techniques, paradoxes, complexities and idocyncracies of walling around the world.

He is just as comfortable with irregular shaped stone.

 Sean instructed the building of the Welsh-style section 
of symposium workshop wall at Ventura California last January

We look forward to having him come and help us with our unique amphitheatre project at Rocktoberfest and any other dry stone walling conundrums we can throw his way. 

To link with another version of Sean's Stonechat site via go to

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