Saturday, January 14, 2012

Natural Colours And Shapes

Dave Claman and Sean Smyth who work out of Missoula Montana were involved with an interesting dry stone wall project in their home town last summer. 

Dave who runs a buisiness in Montana called Stoneworks first met up with Sean a fellow waller in Ventura California who coincidently came from Missoula too.  Last January four international instructors including Sean Adcock and I were there in Ventura teaching a retaining wall workshop for the Stone Foundation which Dave and Sean both attended.

Back at Missoula Dave and Peter Mullins who came in from Gualala California began planning a special curved wall installation and together and with Sean's help they built a magnificent  80 foot long 6 foot high dry stone wall at Draftworks, a new brew pub that opened recently in town.

They used a beautiful coloured round glacial stone found locally. Dave and Sean spent many days procuring this material by pulling it out stone by stone from a nearby landfill 'deck' they arranged to pick material from. The wall, after it was sprayed down washed off to reveal some stunning  blues, greens, purples and pink colous all typical of this kind of argillite. The whole project took 8 weeks and has attracted alot of attention. 

Dave said he really enjoyed working with that kind of stone for a change because there was no way the stones could be shaped with tools, and so it became strictly a matter of finding the right shapes and fitting them together in order to build the wall.


  1. What a wonderfully colourful dry stone wall! The soft hues of rich corals colours, and waves of blue express the lovely warm climates of California
    as they reflect the colours of golden sandy beaches and the watery greens
    and blues of the ocean.
    The wall boasts a friendly face full of natural character with each stone resting
    beautifully against each other. Though not strictly coursed there is a definite
    cohesiveness throughout. I'm sure spraying the stones clean at projects end
    was a great moment of satisfaction.
    An excellent example of fine craftsmanship by Sean Smyth and Dave Claman in the art of dry stone walling.
    I'm sure you must be proud John, to have had the joy of such fine wallers in attendance of a workshop that your were instrumentally a part of.

  2. What gorgeous colours! I would be afraid to use a pressure washer on a wall like that though. Whats your opinion on using a high pressure spray on dry stone walls?