Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I will always be able to find fault with my work.
In a way it makes me careful not to criticize other people's work .
It is important to remember there are limitations and varying circumstances related to the building of any wall.

The choice of stone that you have available to work with puts enormous restraints on any project.
Even so, good wallers will usually make good choices with the materials they have at hand.
These choices might not be the same ones another waller would make, but we should not be too eager to say they are the 'wrong' choices.

Time constraints may be an unavoidable factor too.
If you don't have to rush you usually do a much better job.

This wall happily got built just in time for Christmas 2011.
I enjoyed building it applying a very strict coursing from top to bottom.
I had the time, I knew the rules and how to do it properly.

I revisited it on my way back from Vermont yesterday.
I thought you might like to see it.


  1. Now that is a beutiful wall. One of the things I've learned from you John, is that a wall can be built with rounded stone.

  2. Great looking wall John- except you compromised the integrity of the wall end with that goofed up placement of.....hahaha just kidding. An on-target message that I just shared with one of your workshop students that I'm helping rebuild a retaining wall. Her stone is totally different shaped than the workshop stone and she's gotta work with what she's got. Keeping true to all the rules yet being flexible in the application for the sake of harmony with the stone.

  3. Beautiful wall John. I look forward to a commission such as this, moreover the ability to build such a wall. Very much appreciate all your efforts promoting such a beautiful craft here in North America. Keep up the great and important work.

    Christopher Barclay, Victoria, B.C., Canada

  4. That looks alot like the wall at William Lyon McKenzie King Estate in Ottawa. It must be the roundness of stones. I enjoyed watching you rebuild it from the bottom up. I hope
    the Estate has you back to continue on as it certainly gets lots of good feedback.
    Hope to see you in Ottawa again.

    Andy Shimmer