Saturday, September 29, 2012

More gate openings.

Applicants with messy appearance will be turned away (from). We want to build upon our country's tradition and prefer not to employ substitute foreign material or manufactured products or any unsuitable blockheads

Must be willing to do shift work

There will be occasional layoffs but you will continue to be employed in terms of always being on hand and ready to return to a new position within our small home grown country as our live stock increasingly adjusts to seasonal yields in growth.

Our local staff of qualified agricultural specialists are on hand daily to take time with you and ensure that you are secure in your new  positions until you feel confident you can hold your own 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Gate Openings at Inis Oirr

Local material will be given first preference

Candidate stones must be able to work well with others.

They must be able to adapt

Placement will depend on distribution and economic buoyancy

We will help you find your niche within the firm

There will be room for growth

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Inis Oirr / Ad in the Classified Section / Gates

There are still many openings on Inis Oirr for qualified gates

We are looking to fill these positions with qualified applicants.
All inquiries must complete a specific form relating to their area of specialty.
Applicants will be required to mark off the boxes indicating the fields they are interested in.
Please remember that you will have to fill in all spaces inside the prescribed margins.

No inexperienced gates need apply
Candidates should be tidy and have a good appearance

Although these are full time jobs they are semi-permanent positions with definite opportunity for more openings into other fields

See more in tomorrow's post.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Two of the Festival of Stone Instructors

    S and N
There are still a few spaces for students wishing to take our two-day dry stone workshops at the Festival of Stone near Montreal instructed this Oct 5th and 6th by professional DSWA certified wallers Shona McLeod and Norman Haddow from Scotland. Cost is only 250 for two full day of training
See more about Shona McLeod work on Isle of Skye at
Noman Haddow's blog on walling at
Call 1 905 885 4298 or write  for last minute registrations for these special workshops.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stone Trekkers

As well as Pat McAfee (who is closely associated with the Irish Stone Wall Festival in Inis Oirr ) , the Galway County Council who hosted this year's Féile na gCloch in Ireland also invited myself (Dry Stone Walling Across Canada) Tomas Lipps (of the Stonefoundation) and Scott Hackney and Alexandra Morosco (of Stonefest ) to not only do presentations, but meet with their representatives to discuss ideas on developing an even better dry stone festival venue on the island. 

When the five of us got together we realized that over the last eleven years we (with help from many volunteers) have collectively organized and completed somewhere in the range of three dozen extremely successful stone festivals. As we convened in the high tech computer room of the co-op building on Inis Oirr we felt like 'stone fleet command'.  Along with our organizations we 'Stone Trekkers' have consistently attracted crowds of enthusiasts to these unique global events.  

Experts in a variety of 'rock-it' fields from around the lithosphere, including stoneworkers, carvers, quarrymen, sculptors and wallers have all participated in our Enterprises from the West Coast of North America all the way across to Mallorca Spain.  We all agreed that it has not only been an exciting adventure, it has been a lot of fun. Huge galactic projects have been taken on, cosmic enemies have been fought, and many earthlings have gained new skills and insight into the expanding universe of stone. The five of us planned to cooperate with each other and implement many of the new ideas we discussed for future stone festivals, and of course we will continue to 'boldly go where no man has gone before'.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Enjoying the moment

The lighting was especially perfect for a few magical moments this afternoon here on Inis Oirr.
Of the many hundreds of beautifully built walls on the island this stone wall spoke to me and said it needed to have its photo taken.
My job was just to enjoy the moment and obey.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Féile na gCloch, Inis Oírr

Meanwhile back at the Island Co-op on Inis Oirr there was another workshop going on led by Scottish walling instructors Nick Aitken and George Gunn. On Friday the students repaired a section of wall on the west side of the parking lot knocked down by a local farmer backing up his tractor accidentally  (tractors seem to be the main source of transportation on the island)

Photo courtesy of Tomas Lipps

Here is the wall completely repaired by the Friday evening of the same day that the students dismantled it.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

From rubble comes beauty and order

Patrick McAfee is shown the huge pile of rubble we will be digging through to build the retaining wall which is this year's workshop project on Inis Oirr, Ireland as part of their annual Dry Stone Wall Festival.

Dieter Sneider continues working a while longer after the other 20 workshop participants left for tea break. The wall hadn't taken long to begin rising out of the chaos.

By the end of the day a beautiful wall had magically appeared. What would in another country been taken off to the land fill site in a dozen or so dump truck loads was salvaged and transformed into a wall that would otherwise have required many tons of new concrete blocks to rebuild.

Tomorrow we will finish the wall.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Poem

What creates a sense of place?
A glade, some shade , a quiet space?
Enclosed protected but not confined
Nonthreatening walls yet well defined
A gateway there through which we pass
To contemplate the things that last.
Surrounding walls affirming love
Separate from and yet part of
The nameless regions of our wide expanse
These walls define our circumstance

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Revisiting Inis Oirr Island

All you see are walls!

A stonely friend circle.

Back in June of 2011 a group of us visited England Scotland and Ireland on a special DSWAC tour of walls.
Needless to say we had a great time. We met up with Patrick McAfee in Galway Ireland and after driving by bus to Doolin we took a boat to Inis Oirr. This time I 
met up with Patrick in dublin and took a train a bus and a small plane to get to the island .

I'm here again this time to give a presentation about dry stone walls in Canada at the 2012 Inis Oirr Dry Stone Walling Festival this weekend and participate in the wall building workshop Patrick instructs here each year.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Le Mont Rigaud

The National Film Board produced a documentary on the "mountain" upon which the Overing farm property is situated. This is where we are holding our Festival of Stone this year. It is an fascinating French Canadian film which hopefully gives those planning on attending our four day dry stone walling event a deeper appreciation of the uniqueness of the large hilly area known as Le Mont Rigaud.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Artist's Concept

An artist's concept of what the Festival Of Stone dry stone bridge will look like when it is completed on Sunday afternoon. Plan to be there.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Do bad fences make bad neighbours?

In Robert Frost's poem 'Mending Wall' there is a reference to the saying "Good fences make good neighbours". 
I wonder, is the converse true?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Workshop Wall to be built near Festival Bridge.

The students coming to take the two professional workshops being offered at this year's Festival of Stone near Montreal will be working very close to where the other professional wallers will be continuing to build the double arched dry stone bridge.

Two wing walls will extend at right angles away from the east entrance of the bridge.

The students will have a front row wall. 

Registration is still open for taking one of these two Thanksgiving Weekend DSWAC workshops.

Please email if you would like to attend.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bridge Builders

I am so thankful to have such a great crew of guys come join me in Montreal Quebec to help with the building on the Festival of Stone bridge which hopefully will be completed during the festival this Thanksgiving. 
Tarik Bill Chris John Ben Matt and Danny

Matt from Michigan

Scott from Ottawa

Carlan from Napanee

 Thanks too to Peter O. (standing next to me) for hosting our special festival event on this spectacular rural property.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bridge Work Ahead.

Some pre-build video footage of the double-arch dry stone bridge construction going on presently in preparation for the upcoming  'Festival of Stone' site in Montreal Quebec, organized by Dry Stone Walling Across Canada

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Double Arch Progression

Work continues on the double arch bridge at St Marthe, Quebec, the focus and highlight of this year's Festival of Stone (Oct 4-7, 2012) . The site of this years festival is less than an hour from Montreal. We will be adding stones to the 40 foot long foot bridge right up to the actual days of the festival. Don't worry there will be lots to see during that Thanksgiving festival weekend too, including innovative and traditional stone wall structures as well as training seminars for those interested in learning how to build 'walls without mortar'. Contact  us at  for details

The prebuild team this week consists of Danny, Jason, Matt, Ben, Scott and myself. Below are shots of the left-handed springers nicely shaped and fitted level and flush with the two arch forms on the north side of the bridge this week. The two right-handed springers are already in place too. The other side needs the two right handed springers and then we will have all eight completed by tomorrow.