A Flash Course in Dry Stone Walling

Paul Bowen brought his Marlboro College sculpture class students to my work site today for a flash course in dry stone walling, and an outdoor “gallery” tour of nearby installations. My normally quiet scene became very lively for an hour as the group practiced building a field-stone retaining wall. They quickly grasped the concept of laying a stone with its length in, and covering a joint below. Developing hand/eye coordination and paying attention to detail are essential skills in both craft and sculpture making. My thanks to Paul for the invitation to be a guest instructor and to the students for their interest and enthusiasm.

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4 Responses to A Flash Course in Dry Stone Walling

  1. T.J. Mora November 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Another new generation of wallers!

    • Dan December 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

      Dry stone may be humankind’s first, and longest lasting, method of construction. The fact that it’s endlessly useful is proved out every
      time someone new employs the craft. Thanks for the comment TJ.

  2. Jeff November 27, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Some of them look a little cold, perhaps they forgot their base-layers that morning? Another beauty of stonework, it keeps you warm in the winter! Looks like it was a good class to work with…

    • Dan December 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      Thanks for your comment, Jeff. Studying at a college located in the Vermont back country, I’m sure these students see dry stone walls in abundance.
      But getting a hand in the process of building one, even for just an hour, may give them a deeper appreciation for their every-day
      surroundings.

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