It must be said, “The Stone Trust Has It All.” That’s the conclusion I came away with after spending the weekend instructing a Features Workshop there. Not only were the participants an enthusiastic group of talented individuals, the panels they created display the wide variety of possibilities that dry stone offers.Read More
A family is held together by those things that their members share with each other. The “giving away” increases the closeness between individuals and tightens the family bonds. Mutual respect grows when a balance of give and take circulates within the tribe.Read More
Walling puts stone in relationship to gravity as much, or perhaps more, than it puts stone in relationship to stone. In walling, stone is the language through which we speak to gravity. Students open a dialogue with gravity when they place a stone. With time and practice they begin to direct that conversation.Read More
Newfoundland’s well deserved nickname is “The Rock.” You can’t go anywhere on the island without running into some new geologic wonder to explore. An ample supply of loose building stone is what first drew me to Canada’s easternmost province but in the five, annual pilgrimages I’ve made to Newfoundland since 2010 I’ve discovered that there’s much more going on there.Read More
The English Harbour fog machine has been churning out invisibility for a solid 24 hours. Before I arrived here a week ago the southwest wind that funnels moisture off Trinity Bay into the land bowl above the harbor had kept the village cloaked in a cotton wool shroud for fourteen days. Fortunately, the recently concluded environmental art workshop maintained blue skies above for each and every one of its five days. There were long-distance views in every direction from the headlands where the six participants worked on their dry stone installation.Read More
Last evening the atmosphere softened to dusty rose across the far horizon. An osprey wheeled its way around the shoreline heading across Green Bay toward an incandescent object rising from the shimmering surface of the sea. Two hours earlier, I was at Ken Tuach’s stone yard wrapping up a day of DSWA examination. E and I then made a mad dash from western Newfoundland to the Baie Verte Peninsula just in time to glimpse the majestic iceberg across the water before the darkness descended.Read More
The creation of a low, curving wall that leads the way up a hill to the newly restored St. Patrick’s church will be the goal of a dry stone walling workshop, July 19-20, in Woody Point, Newfoundland. Ken Tuach, a Level 3 DSWA craftsman, has asked me to join him in presenting the workshop to area stone enthusiasts. This two-day workshop will offer a challenge to beginners and improvers, alike. Workshop participants will be building a short retaining wall on a gentle slope. With a low student-teacher ratio, participants will learn the best practices and techniques for dry stone walling.Read More
The purpose of the workshop is to discover terrestrial habitats, artifacts, microcosms and vistas that excite curiosity and wonder about a place, identify existing order and disorder for the purpose of exploring ways art can be an evolutionary partner with the environment, and to seek out conditions conducive to the development of creative interrelationships with the natural world. The workshop will take a hands-on approach to making art that springs from, and is absorbed by, its surroundings.
DATE: Sunday July 27 - Thursday July 31, 2014. Participants interested in a 2-day workshop, are welcome to join in on the Wednesday/Thursday of the 5-day workshop.
LOCATION: English Harbour Arts Centre, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Canada.
On Friday, the Stone Trust workshop organizer, Jared Flynn, was overjoyed by the prospect of rain for Saturday morning. Having produced many dry stone workshops alongside Dutton Farm Road in Dummerston, Vermont over the past three years he knew what the makings of a classic weekend looked like. It starts out damp and dreary. By noon the rain stops and the orchard view appears in the valley. On Sunday morning pale skies turn blue and Mount Monadnock crowns the horizon line of distant hills. And so it was this year for fifteen stalwart participants. Saturday’s drizzle made way for Sunday’s sun.Read More
Who pays good money to do hard labor on their weekend off? Are they a bunch of nuts? No, they’re two dozen good eggs who joined in on The Stone Trust’s dry stone walling workshop. Lead by DSWA instructors Andrew Pighills, Brian Post and me, they studiously applied the rules they learned for wall building and restored a long stretch of fence (originally constructed one hundred years ago by ten Italian masons) to its former glory. Thanks to all for a great weekend of walling.Read More
Reflecting on the recently completed 2-day workshop at English Harbour Art Centre, I begin to see that perhaps the most useful function I perform as a walling instructor is offering permission to those in attendance to try something new. For a participant, the workshop setting is a green light at an intersection that otherwise would be blinking red. Because the building site has been prepared with footings dug, guidelines strung and stones laid out on the ground, around, the usual impediments to getting started building a wall have been removed. A participant feels free to act and is encouraged to begin.Read More
While the Northeast of the USA was sweltering, the weather in the Jotunheimen mountains of Norway was bracing. Cold winds and cloudy skies for the Turtagtrø dry stone walling workshop had me and the participants glad for some vigorous physical activity to stay warm. Of course, for the Norwegians it qualified as mild weather. As Morten gleefully pointed out, “If it’s not snowing, it must be summer!”Read More