Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Dry Stone Wall Hand book.

Sure there are 'how to' manuals. There are good books about how to do everything, of course. I've made a thing of collecting books out there about dry stone walling. When I see one or hear about one I buy it.  There are some very good ones out there. And there are a couple of really bad ones. One notable example is a book simply called A guide to Dry stone Walling, by Radford. The front cover alone should be enough to make you  wonder about this book. 

The number of rules that are broken just in the photograph of the wall they have chosen to put on the front cover of his book makes me think it should be filed in the humour section. It is certainly not the best dry stone walling handbook for those wishing to learn how to do it properly. 

Discerning walling enthusiasts will want to get the book put out by the DSWA in Britain. 

The thing is even a good hand book on the subject can't replace getting proper hands-on help.Getting down and dirty and just getting some first hand experience doing it is best. A better handbook may in fact be a book of poetry. The thoughts and ideas expressed in a good poem or a book of walling poems may touch you deeper and quicken your sensitivity to what it is that's actually going on when a person sets about trying to lay stone upon stone. Aesthetics is hard to teach. A how-to book will not help you very much in that department . Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost or T. S.  Eliot may come a lot closer.

1 comment:

  1. Genuine poetry can communicate before it's understood.

    T.S. Eliot

    A dry stone wall can touch our heart, never leaving where it stood.